Cybersecurity

June 26, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Google has removed an extension from Chromium after privacy activists alleged that the extension allowed the tech giant to spy on users. The software uses a computer’s microphone to listen for the “OK, Google” phrase, which triggers voice searches. Open-source developers and privacy activists said Chromium was automatically downloading the “Chrome Hotword” extension, giving users no warning and making it impossible to stop the download...

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June 25, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

With 1.4 million people enrolled, California’s health insurance exchange plans to collect insurance data on prescriptions, doctor visits and hospital stays for every Obamacare patient. Covered California says the data-mining project is needed to measure the quality of care that patients get and to hold insurers and medical providers accountable. The plan raises questions about patient privacy and whether the state is doing enough to...

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June 22, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Ten planes and around 1,400 passengers of Polish airliner LOT were grounded June 21 after a hacking attack jammed the carrier’s systems, the company said. LOT’s computer system suffered an attack that left it unable to send flight plans to the aircraft before takeoff. Without this document—which details the route, weather and other important information—the planes were unable to fly. The issue, which took five hours to solve, meant...

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June 19, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

The PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (ticker symbol HACK), which offers investors exposure to the emerging cybersecurity industry, has surpassed $1 billion in assets under management only seven months after its inception. “Due to the steady stream of data breaches across the globe, cybersecurity remains a top-of-mind concern for corporate entities, governments and individuals,” said Andrew Chanin, CEO of PureFunds. “We believe that the increased...

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June 18, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Several Canadian government websites and servers were taken down in a cyber attack, with hacking group Anonymous taking responsibility in what it said was retaliation for a new anti-terrorism law. The general website for government services, canada.ca, as well as the site of Canada’s spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, were among those hit. The government said the attack also affected email and Internet access but...

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June 16, 2015
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By Bryon Acohido, ThirdCertainty

The FBI and Justice Department are investigating the St. Louis Cardinals for allegedly hacking into the internal networks of the Houston Astros. Cardinals officials are suspected of breaking into the Astros’ team databases to gain access to information on statistics, scouting reports and trades. The FBI has served the Cardinals and Major League Baseball with subpoenas. Authorities suspect that Cardinals employees hacked the Astros...

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June 15, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Amid word of a second major cyber breach at the Office of Personnel Management, the Office of Management and Budget gave agencies 30 days to fix their systems. Tony Scott, the federal chief information officer, told agencies to take immediate action to improve data security. He also announced the creation of a Cybersecurity Sprint Team to review federal policies and procedures and recommend a new cyber strategy for civilian agencies....

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June 12, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

The Associated Press is reporting that the cyber break-in at the Office of Personnel Management was much more damaging than initially reported. As many as 14 million current and former civilian U.S. government employees had their personal information exposed to hackers, according to two people who were briefed on the investigation, AP reports. The initial report from the Obama administration said hackers stole records for 4 million...

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June 11, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Minneapolis police say at least 36 people are the victims of a recently discovered identity theft ring in the metro area. The client of a personal care assistant reported her credit card was stolen and being used for fraudulent purchases, including $3,000 in gold necklaces. Surveillance photos from the jewelry store’s security cameras helped identify the suspects—the woman’s personal care assistant and her male friend. Search warrants...

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June 9, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

The official public Army website was hacked by unknown intruders demanding the U.S. stop training rebel fighters inside Syria. Officials say the website has no official classified information or private personal data of any personnel, military or civilian. It’s not clear yet whether the Army or the hackers shut down the website. The website is for general public access with general information about the Army, press releases and Army...

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