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How to Stay Safe on the Internet, Part 4: Fighting the Power
May 15, 2020
Category 2 adversaries are nothing to sneeze at, but their resources are finite. If you armor up enough, they will give up, and move onto an easier comparable target. In confronting the threat of category 3, everything you have learned ratchets up to a whole new level of paranoia. Category 3 adversaries have functionally unlimited resources for pursuing top targets.
Abandoned Open Source Code Heightens Commercial Software Security Risks
May 13, 2020
Outdated or abandoned open source components are persistent in practically all commercial software, putting enterprise and consumer applications at risk from security issues, license compliance violations, and operational threats, concludes the Synopsys 2020 Open Source Security and Risk Analysis Report. The report highlights trends and patterns in open source usage within commercial applications.
Thunderbolt Flaw Opens Door for 'Evil Maid' Attack
May 12, 2020
A Dutch researcher has revealed a novel way to crack into a PC through a Thunderbolt port. The method, dubbed "Thunderspy" by researcher Björn Ruytenberg, sidesteps the login screen of a sleeping computer, as well as its hard disk encryption, to access all its data. "Thunderspy is stealth, meaning that you cannot find any traces of the attack. It does not require your involvement," he explained.
How to Stay Safe on the Internet, Part 3: Drive the Black Hatters Mad
May 1, 2020
Like conventional criminals, criminal hackers choose easy, lucrative targets. One group in the crosshairs is made up of companies that have data on millions of users, such as private sector entities with a Web presence. Why go after one user at a time when data is collected in one place? Criminal hackers also like to hunt small organizations that have modest capital but weak information security.
How to Stay Safe on the Internet, Part 2: Take Canaries Into the Data Mine
April 24, 2020
More than any other factor, it is our asset that determines our adversary. For most of us, our asset is the corpus of sensitive personal details used for online transactions. This all comes down to how much data an adversary can glean from you, and how thoroughly it can analyze it. If your data passes through some software or hardware, its developer or maintainer enjoys some measure of control.
How to Stay Safe on the Internet, Part 1
April 17, 2020
At this point, remarking that people now are more concerned about online privacy than ever before is not a novel observation. What's fascinating, though, is that interest in personal digital security has remained high since the issue exploded about seven years ago. In other words, instead of experiencing a short-lived spike, digital privacy awareness has been sustained. This is encouraging.
Zoom Boosts Security With Pick-Your-Route Feature
April 15, 2020
Zoom's paying customers will be able to choose the region they want to use for their virtual meetings. Paying customers will be able to opt in or out of a specific data center region, although they won't be able to change their default, which for most customers is the United States. Zoom has data centers in the U.S., Canada, Europe, India, Australia, China, Latin America, and Japan/Hong Kong.
How BlackBerry Could Make Voting From Smartphones Secure
April 13, 2020
Some states defaulted to mail-in ballots some time ago, and their elections are unconstrained by the pandemic. However, in many parts of the U.S. the prevailing attitude is that the Web lacks enough security for elections. That seems odd, given that we now use the Internet to manage our finances, our healthcare, our businesses, our travel -- and now our shopping, including for food.
The Pandemic's Toll on Privacy Laws
April 6, 2020
Life as we knew it before the coronavirus is gone forever, and many changes will manifest in the pandemic's aftermath. How will it impact privacy laws around the globe? No one knows for sure, and we will not know until after the coronavirus is behind us. Cybercriminals long have been taking advantage of the Internet, and now the spread of COVID-19 has sped up their evil work.
Risk Assessment: Buttress Account Security and Foil Fraudsters
March 30, 2020
Under ordinary circumstances, the average consumer can order a latte on the way to the coffee shop, book a last-minute trip to the coast, and come home to find groceries delivered -- all with the click of a button. What makes these transactions so smooth and effortless? It starts with account creation. Consumers increasingly are willing to create accounts with sites they interact with regularly.
Microsoft Leaves Necurs Botnet in Shambles
March 13, 2020
Microsoft and partners have disrupted the Necurs botnet group blamed for infecting more than 9 million computers globally. There are 11 botnets under the Necurs umbrella, all apparently controlled by a single group, according to Valter Santos, security researcher at Bitsight, which worked with Microsoft on the takedown. Four of those botnets account for about 95 percent of all infections.
E-Commerce Deliveries: How to Master the Last Mile
March 6, 2020
If you're an online retailer, congratulations are in order. Online holiday sales grew 18.8 percent in 2019 compared with 2018, according to Mastercard. Armed with new systems and processes -- as well as lessons from the past -- etailers were able to fulfill more orders than in previous years. E-commerce business leaders are already thinking ahead to the 2020 holiday season.
E-Commerce Payments Industry Trends to Watch in 2020
March 3, 2020
2019 was a milestone year for many in the payments industry, with contactless payments making up more than 50 percent of debit card transactions, and the good news doesn't end there. The consumer drive for seamless experiences is continuing to push the industry toward new innovations that will change the face of payments. So, what will 2020 hold for e-commerce and m-commerce?
The Dark Art of Turning Mountains of Stolen Data Into Cash
February 28, 2020
We're only two months into a new year and already hundreds of millions of personal records have been compromised, including 123 million records from sporting retailer Decathlon and another 10.6 million records from MGM Resorts hotels. These announcements followed fuel and convenience chain Wawa's revelation that it was the victim of a nine-month-long breach of its payment card systems.
Firefox Scrambles DNS to Boost Consumer Privacy
February 26, 2020
Firefox users in the United States are getting an extra measure of privacy protection starting this week, the Mozilla Foundation announced. Firefox Desktop Product Development Vice President Selena Deckelmann heralded the rollout of encrypted DNS over HTTPS, or DoH, by default in Mozilla's browser. The DNS, or Domain Name System, is one of the oldest parts of the Internet.
Unsigned Firmware Puts Windows, Linux Peripherals at Risk
February 19, 2020
Eclypsium has released research that identifies and confirms unsigned firmware in WiFi adapters, USB hubs, trackpads and cameras used in Windows and Linux computer and server products from Lenovo, Dell, HP and other major manufacturers. Eclypsium also demonstrated a successful attack on a server via a network interface card with unsigned firmware used by each of the big three server manufacturers.
The Clear and Present Ransomware Danger
February 12, 2020
Ransomware hit at least 966 U.S. government agencies, educational establishments and healthcare providers in 2019, at a cost possibly exceeding $7.5 billion. The victims included 113 state and municipal governments and agencies; 764 healthcare providers; and 89 universities, colleges and school districts. Operations at up to 1,233 individual schools potentially were affected.
New Windows 7 Bug a Real Turnoff
February 11, 2020
For the second time since Windows 7 reached the end of support on Jan. 14, a bug is causing trouble for users still clinging to the operating system. The first bug, related to setting a wallpaper image, turned desktops black. This new bug prevents Windows 7 users from shutting down or rebooting their computers. Microsoft's Windows 7 support now is limited to eligible paid plans.
Philips Hue Vulnerability Shines Light on Possible IoT Security Nightmare
February 6, 2020
A vulnerability in Philips Hue smart lightbulbs and their controller bridges could allow intruders to infiltrate networks with a remote exploit, Check Point Software Technologies has disclosed. The researchers notified the owner of the Philips Hue brand about the vulnerability in November, and it issued a patched firmware version through an automatic update.
Oops - Google May Have Sent Your Embarrassing Private Video to a Stranger
February 5, 2020
Google misdirected a number of private videos that users of its Google Photos app intended to back up to Google Takeout, sending them instead to strangers' archives. The company emailed affected users to inform them that a technical issue caused the error. Google recommended that affected users back up their content again and delete their previous backup.
Bridging the IoT Innovation-Security Gap
February 4, 2020
There is a problem with the Internet of Things: It's incredibly insecure. This is not a problem that is inherent to the idea of smart devices. Wearables, smart houses, and fitness tracking apps can be made secure -- or at least more secure than they currently are. The problem, instead, is one that largely has been created by the companies that make IoT devices.
From Personal to Planetary: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 4
January 30, 2020
We asked ECT News Network's roundtable of industry insiders to reflect on their own personal tech preferences, to speculate on what popular gadgets may vanish from use in the next decade, to consider the role of wearable health tools -- and then to expand the discussion to the health of the planet, tech advances in traveling on it, and the prospect of leaving it altogether.
COPRA May Be Coming, and It's Not Too Soon to Prepare
January 28, 2020
All eyes are on the West Coast as California reins in the unfettered collection, use and sale of the personal data consumers share as part of the bargain for "free" online services. For years this bargain has been explained in privacy policies that few people read, because there is not a lot of negotiating in the personal data market. The CCPA gives consumers revolutionary rights.
Saudi Hack of Bezos' Phone Shines Bright Light on Security Challenges
January 24, 2020
A digital forensic analysis conducted by FTI Consulting concludes with "medium to high confidence" that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' smartphone was hacked through a malicious file sent from the WhatsApp account of Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. The malware was in an MP4 file attached to a WhatsApp message. UN special rapporteurs released technical elements of the report.
Grabbing the Cybersecurity and Privacy Problems by the Horns: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 3
January 23, 2020
Cybersecurity and privacy threats aren't confined to the tech world. They've cast their pall on the world in general. Computer viruses, malware and data leaks have become commonplace, personal privacy has become a bad joke, and cyberwar looms like a virtual mushroom cloud. What sometimes gets lost in the gloom are the many ways security professionals have been working to shore up cyberdefenses.
Report: FBI Got Apple to Roll Over on iCloud Encryption
January 23, 2020
Apple shelved plans to give iPhone users control over encrypted backups stored on the company's iCloud service over concerns raised by the FBI and internal sources, according to a report. The company made the decision to retain control over iCloud encryption around two years ago, but it came to light just recently. The plan would have removed Apple's ability to decrypt users' backups.
Is Congress Finally Ready to Take On Cybersecurity?
January 23, 2020
The United States Congress made some significant progress this session when it comes to data privacy, but cybersecurity remains a blind spot for lawmakers. Congress currently is considering a national privacy law that mirrors legislation enacted in the European Union. It would allow people to access, correct and request the deletion of the personal information collected from them.
Google CEO Adds His Voice to AI Regulation Debate
January 21, 2020
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and parent company Alphabet, called for government regulation of artificial intelligence technology in a speech at Bruegel, a think tank in Brussels, and in an op-ed. There is no question in Pichai's mind that AI should be regulated, he said. The question is what will be the best approach. Sensible regulation should balance potential harm with potential good.
Cybersecurity 2020: A Perilous Landscape
January 17, 2020
Cybersecurity is a very serious issue for 2020 -- and the risks stretch far beyond the alarming spike in ransomware. In addition to the daily concerns of malware, stolen data and the cost of recovering from a business network intrusion, there is the very real danger of nefarious actors using cyberattacks to influence or directly impact the outcome of the 2020 U.S. general election.
Business/Customer Sweet Spots: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 2
January 16, 2020
If you're a small business owner or a key member of an enterprise executive team, you want your firm to succeed. If you're a customer, you want to be treated well. Those goals are not diametrically opposed, but very often it seems that companies and customers are at cross-purposes. ECT News Network recently gathered together five technology experts who did some hard thinking on the subject.
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Which technology has the strongest positive or negative impact on race relations?
Smartphone cameras, by holding people accountable.
Twitter, by reporting news as it happens.
Facebook, by providing a platform for discussing the issues.
YouTube, by exposing viewers to other cultures.
Twitter, by fueling antagonisms.
Facebook, by spreading fake news.
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