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September 13, 2017
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It started off as a fake invitation to a New Year’s Eve party, emailed to energy section employees. It ended with hackers taking screen shots of power grid control computer screens. Well, we can only hope it ended there.

Symantec Corp. released an ...

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August 16, 2017
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A California mom is suing Disney and some of its software partners for allegedly collecting personal information about her kids through mobile phone game apps.

This case hinges on a novel legal argument that I’m going to watch with great interest; an “Intrusion Upon Seclusion” claim that I hadn’t seen before in this kind of case. If the mom—and potentially others, if class-action status is granted—succeeds at winning such a ...

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July 23, 2017
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No matter how many criminal complaints you read, the expression “JV” always sends chills down your spine. But this line, from a complaint filed April 27 in a California federal court, stands out.

“Petersen stated that he recently received via email from JV#1 a video of JV#1’s younger brother…masturbating in a bathroom. Petersen stated that JV#1 told Petersen he had recorded JV#2 without (his) knowledge. Petersen believes JV#2...

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July 4, 2017
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Every time there’s a large credit card breach, you’ll hear some expert say risks for consumers are low, because it’s easy to cancel a credit or debit card and get a new one. Not so fast. If fraud appears on your bill, but you don’t notice it, you’ll pay for it. More...

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June 9, 2017
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Vladimir Putin has been far more visible lately with statements on the Russian-U.S. election story. Well-schooled in the art of Russian linguistic vagary, he alternately has said that Russian freelance hackers may have been involved, or that a 3-year-old may have been involved, all with a taunting...

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May 2, 2017
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The premature release of the new season of “Orange is the New Black” by hackers is no big deal. Really. You can see why producers made the calculation that stopping the “hack” was not even worth the alleged $66,000 or so the hackers demanded as “ransom,” according to TorrentFreak.

Why?

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March 1, 2017
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Despite years of battling by the financial industry and a massive change in the way Americans use debit and credit cards, the rate of identity theft soared during 2016, a new report has found. In fact, it hit an all-time high.

An estimated 15.4 million consumers were hit with some kind of ID theft last year, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, up from 13.1 million the year before.

...

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February 27, 2017
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Germany has taken steps to allay concerns about how the “Internet of Toys” could put children in harm’s way.

This past December, consumer groups concerned with child safety petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to look into a hot new doll, named My Friend Cayla, and its counterpart marketed to boys, i-Que Intelligent Robot. Privacy advocates expressed concern about the dolls’ capacity to spy on children.

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January 7, 2017
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More troubling evidence that banks and retailers push convenience on consumers to boost profits—while knowingly making it easier for criminals to steal—arose this week. Case in point: the terribly bungled rollout of newfangled “eATM” cash machines by Chase. Last year, you may recall, Chase promised to upgrade all its ATMs to this fun new technology.

The so-called eATMs use smartphones instead of debit cards to authenticate...

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December 2, 2016
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Long live the payment card magnetic stripe! You won’t need those chip cards at gas stations for a looong time.

The march toward protecting consumers from credit and debit fraud with newfangled chip cards is slow, but steady. How slow became apparent Thursday, when Visa and Mastercard announced they were giving gas stations an extra three years to comply with new liability rules that essentially force merchants to upgrade their...

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