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Category Archives: PC Security

NSA Takes Step Toward Protecting World’s Computers, Not Just Hacking Them

The New York Times: “The National Security Agency has taken a significant step toward protecting the world’s computer systems, announcing Tuesday that it alerted Microsoft to a vulnerability in its Windows operating system rather than following the agency’s typical approach of keeping quiet and exploiting the flaw to develop cyberweapons. The warning allowed Microsoft to develop a patch for the problem and gave the government an early start on fixing the vulnerability. In years past, the National Security Agency has collected all manner of computer vulnerabilities to gain access to digital networks to gather intelligence and generate hacking tools to use against American adversaries. But that policy was heavily criticized in recent years when the agency lost control of some of those tools, which fell into the hands of cybercriminals and other malicious actors, including North Korean and Russian hackers. By taking credit for spotting a critical vulnerability and leading the call to update computer systems, the National Security Agency appeared to adopt a shift in strategy and took on an unusually public role for one of the most secretive arms of the American government. The move shows the degree to which the agency was bruised by accusations that it caused hundreds of millions of dollars in preventable damage by allowing vulnerabilities to circulate…”

Major US companies breached, robbed, and spied on by Chinese hackers

WSJ via FoxBusiness: “The hackers seemed to be everywhere. In one of the largest-ever corporate espionage efforts, cyberattackers alleged to be working for China’s intelligence services stole volumes of intellectual property, security clearance details and other records from scores of companies over the past several years. They got access to systems with prospecting secrets for… Continue Reading

How to Protect Yourself From Unethical or Illegal Spying

MakeUseOf: “A quick Google search for “spy software” yields over 150 million results. There is a massive interest in spying software and gadgets. Irrespective of the motivation or justification, spying is illegal. It is a gross invasion of privacy in most countries around the world. You don’t have to suffer if someone is spying on… Continue Reading

Germany’s cyber-security agency recommends Firefox as most secure browser

ZDNet – “Firefox is the only browser that received top marks in a recent audit carried out by Germany’s cyber-security agency — the German Federal Office for Information Security (or the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik — BSI). The BSI tested Mozilla Firefox 68 (ESR), Google Chrome 76, Microsoft Internet Explorer 11, and Microsoft Edge… Continue Reading

State of Insider Threats in the Digital Workplace Report 2019

“While cybercriminals, hacktivists, and ransomware often make a big splash in the news headlines, the reality is that the biggest security threat is often right in front of you. Insiders—people already in your organization—pose a pervasive security risk, whether their behavior is malicious or accidental. In fact, according to the 2016 U.S. State of Cybercrime… Continue Reading

The perilous life of computer virus cracker making powerful enemies online

BBC: “Fabian is world renowned for destroying ransomware – the viruses sent out by criminal gangs to extort money. Because of this, he lives a reclusive existence, always having to be one step ahead of the cyber criminals. He has moved to an unknown location since this interview was carried out…Ransomware is a particularly nasty… Continue Reading

IBM X-Force Intelligence Threat Index 2019

“As the cyber threat landscape evolves, what we saw in 2018 is organisations across all industries are facing unmanageable levels of cyber threats brought on by the changing threat landscape, the risk of exposure and an ever-growing attack surface. The IBM X-Force Research team is a crack team of security professionals who run thousands of… Continue Reading

Nine Steps That Companies Should Take To Protect You

EFF: “Today we are announcing Fix It Already, a new way to show companies we’re serious about the big security and privacy issues they need to fix. We are demanding fixes for different issues from nine tech companies and platforms, targeting social media companies, operating systems, and enterprise platforms on issues ranging from encryption design… Continue Reading

Paper – Perceptions and Reality of Windows 10 Home Edition Update Features

In Control with no Control: Perceptions and Reality of Windows 10 Home Edition Update Features, Jason Morris, Ingolf Becker, Simon Parkin – University College London Workshop on Usable Security (USEC) 201924 February 2019, San Diego, CA, USAISBN 1-1891562-53-3 http://dx.doi.org/10.14722/usec.2019.23008 – www.ndss-symposium.org: “Home computer users are regularly advised to install software updates to stay secure. Windows… Continue Reading

Half of all Phishing Sites Now Have the Padlock

Krebs on Security – “Maybe you were once advised to “look for the padlock” as a means of telling legitimate e-commerce sites from phishing or malware traps. Unfortunately, this has never been more useless advice. New research indicates that half of all phishing scams are now hosted on Web sites whose Internet address includes the… Continue Reading

How to Tell if Your Account Has Been Hacked

Motherboard – How to check if your Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other accounts have been hacked. “Hackers routinely target high profile victims like politicians or wealthy cryptocurrency investors. But you could become a target too. Maybe an abusive former partner wants to stalk you, or a run-of-the-mill cybercriminal wants to get into your bank… Continue Reading