News & Analysis

August 7, 2015
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Russia launched a “sophisticated cyber attack” against the Pentagon’s Joint Staff unclassified email system, which has been shut down and taken offline for nearly two weeks. According to the officials, the “sophisticated cyber intrusion” occurred sometime around July 25 and affected some 4,000 military and civilian personnel who work for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It appears the cyber attack relied on an automated system that rapidly gathered massive amounts of data and within a minute...

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August 6, 2015
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LAS VEGAS—Hacking the daily stuff of life is one theme emerging at this year’s Black Hat computer security conference. More than 10,000 computer security professionals, researchers and government workers are expected at the conference, which features 290 sessions describing network security flaws, attacks past, present and future, and how to guard against them. Black Hat is known as a conference where security types present the fruits of research that’s necessary, but at...

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August 5, 2015
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Drones could help hack into personal computers, and, according to emails posted by WikiLeaks, military contractors may want to do that. Boeing and Hacking Team were in talks earlier this year to plant malware on drones to perform such activities, according to emails stolen from Hacking Team in July. How this could work: An al-Qaeda operative is hiding in the foothills of another country, which may or may not be protecting him from U.S. detection. The U.S. military could try hacking into that...

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August 4, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

In a move that could set a precedent for service providers, Google pushed back against the expansion of what’s become known as the Right to be Forgotten ruling, and refused to comply with a notice issued by French data protection agency Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertes mandating the company remove links from its domains worldwide (as opposed to removal by country only). “We respectfully disagree with the CNIL’s...

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August 3, 2015
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A government contractor, several of whose employees were caught on video drunk while on a sensitive security mission in Afghanistan, now is being used to help fix the security breach at the Office of Personnel Management. “What are they thinking?” asked Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who wants to know how the company got its contract from the OPM with no competitive bidding. “What in this company’s background gave them assurances that they are the company that can handle this incredibly...

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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 28, 2015
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Greece’s former finance minister was ready to hack into the country’s tax-collection system as part of contingency planning for a possible exit from the euro. The hacking was part of a “Plan B” hatched by Yanis Varoufakis to create a parallel currency in case Greece was unable to agree on a new bailout with its creditors. Varoufakis resigned on July 5 as the financial crisis spiraled out of control. He described the plan during a teleconference with investors earlier this month. A recording...

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July 27, 2015
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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will recall 1.4 million vehicles that can be cyber-hacked remotely, the first-of-its-kind callback. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it will look into the recall to ensure all vehicles that could be affected are covered. “Opening this investigation will allow NHTSA to better assess the effectiveness of the remedy proposed by Fiat Chrysler,” NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said, acknowledging the agency had urged the move. Owners will get a...

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