Cybersecurity

July 31, 2015
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Security researcher Samy Kamkar posted a YouTube video of an OwnStar device that he says let him monitor and intercept communications between General Motors’ OnStar RemoteLink app and any OnStar-equipped car. GM worked to quickly issue a fix, but Kamkar told CNET that the fix was not successful. With the OwnStar device, Kamkar indicated he was able to issue commands through OnStar’s RemoteLink app—which lets drivers control some features of their cars such as locking doors and turning on...

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July 30, 2015
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TrackingPoint makes a smart rifle that lets novices hit targets a half-mile away. Shooters digitally “tag” a target, then lock the trigger until the gun is positioned to nail it. It can connect to smartphones or tablets so someone can see what the shooter sees. But security researchers have found software flaws that would let anyone near enough for a Wi-Fi connection to remotely tinker with controls. In the worst case, a hacker could force a police sniper to miss while shooting at a criminal...

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July 29, 2015
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The hackers who stole data on tens of millions of U.S. insurance holders and government employees in recent months breached another big target at around the same time — United Airlines. The world’s second-largest airline detected an incursion into its computer systems in May or early June, said several people familiar with the probe. According to three of these people, investigators working with the carrier have linked the attack to a group of China-backed hackers they say are behind several... Read More
July 21, 2015
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Federal regulators want tighter controls on the export of cyber weapons, with the Commerce Department seeking to ensure that software that can attack a network—the kind that can break in, bypass encryption and steal data—can’t be shipped overseas without permission. According to human rights reports, government agencies in Bahrain, Turkmenistan, Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates have used spyware to monitor and crack down on activists. Leaders from about 40 countries, including the...

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July 15, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

The personal data for 21.5 million people was stolen in the Office of Personnel Management hack, but for national security professionals and cybersecurity experts, the more troubling issue is the theft of 1.1 million fingerprints. Unlike a Social Security number, address or password, fingerprints cannot be changed—once they are hacked, they’re hacked for good. And government officials have less understanding about what adversaries...

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July 10, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

All federal employees soon could get free credit- and identity-theft monitoring services. The Office of Personnel Management said it would propose providing the benefit to all federal workers, whether or not they were affected by breaches that together affected millions of employees, contractors and other individuals. OPM said it will “work with federal employee representatives and other stakeholders” to develop the plan. Source:...

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July 2, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Some of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s luxury hotels have been hit by a credit card hack, according to data shared by several banks, which traced fraudulent debit and credit card charges to accounts that had been used at Trump hotels. “We have been alerted to potential suspicious credit card activity and are in the midst of a thorough investigation to determine whether it involves any of our properties,” a Trump Organization...

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July 1, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

An analysis from Vocativ has discovered that some of the information taken in the Officer of Personnel Management breach might be for sale on criminal dark net websites such as Agora, Alpha Bay and Nucleus. Vendors were charging between 50 cents and $10 per data set, Vocativ reported, meaning that if the entire trove of data went on sale, it would be worth $140 million, though only a fraction of the stolen files appear to be available...

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June 30, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Three weeks after officials said foreign hackers may have stolen sensitive government records tied to tens of millions of people, the Office of Personnel Management has shut down a system tied to the breach, essentially stopping background checks for new federal employees, contractors and others. The Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing system “will be down for an extended period of time for security enhancements.”...

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June 29, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Chinese hackers have penetrated some FBI agents’ personnel files in a breach with potentially dangerous national security implications. The FBI, along with the Department of Homeland Security, is not only responsible for investigating the breach of the Office of Personnel Management by suspected Chinese cyber thieves, but is principally responsible for detecting domestic terrorist plots and foreign spies. The extent of the FBI...

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