2017

August 16, 2017
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Following on the heels of the two globe-spanning ransomware worms, the HBO hack—with its distinctive blackmail component—rounds out a summer of extortion-fueled hacks and destruction and theft of valuable data at an unprecedented scale.

WannaCry and Petya raced around the planet demanding ransoms after locking up servers at hundreds of organizations. The HBO hackers pilfered 1.5 terabytes of intellectual property and business...

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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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August 10, 2017
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With the announcement of Verizon Up, a new wireless rewards program that provides users with customer incentives, first-dibs opportunities on things like VIP tickets and other exclusive deals, we thought it was time to review how reward marketing plans work.

First, the good news: Verizon Up is free!

Like their intrusive cousin the loyalty program, reward-based marketing schemes usually...

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August 10, 2017
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In the past couple of years, third-party risk has grown from a topic only discussed by cybersecurity circles to a companywide concern. The tipping point may have been in 2014 when Target’s point-of-sale (POS) system was compromised, and the details of 110 million in-store customers were stolen.

How did the hackers do it? They were able to embed ...

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August 9, 2017
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The current cybersecurity climate makes it hard not to be cautious of phishing attacks. Forget reclaiming lost family fortunes or assisting Nigerian princes, today’s phishing scams are targeted, complex and incredibly prevalent.

It feels like a new, high-profile phishing attack is getting reported every other month. In May, Google Docs users were being targeted with malicious invitations to edit fictional documents. Before that...

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August 7, 2017
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If you work in Maine, Arizona, Texas or Alabama, you have a greater chance of malware encounters than in other states. Researchers with Malwarebytes found that geographic location matters when it comes to who gets targeted for malware attacks. These states have a higher rate of industries most often targeted for malware, including aerospace, automotive, health care, technology and oil and gas.

What’s more, geographic location...

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August 4, 2017
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“These apps are brutal,” Ondrej Krehel told me during a conversation about spyware, or “spouseware” as the software is sometimes called.

“It doesn’t matter what ‘intended use’ these app developers claim in their sales pitches. They are increasingly being used by teens to spy on their love interests,” Krehel said. “It’s quite prevalent.”

Krehel is CEO and founder of LIFARS, a digital forensics...

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July 28, 2017
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Another summer is ready to come to a close, but there’s still time to squeeze in one last vacation before fall.

Here are some important travel tips that you can use at any time of year to keep your identity safe from scammers and thieves.

Plan with caution – A travel scam can start the minute you begin planning for a trip. Browsing online for airfare or accommodations can lead you to dishonest sites. Some... Read More
July 27, 2017
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As we have seen in the headlines, insider threats are a constant challenge for government agencies. But the problem comes with one silver lining. Each time a successful insider threat strikes, it pushes agencies to bolster their cybersecurity programs. The National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM) Change 2 is an example of just that...

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July 27, 2017
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When Apple announced a serious hardware flaw last week, and the critical security patch that addressed it, my first thought was perhaps arbitrary: “That exploit would work at the gym.” My next thought: what else would?

The discovery of a zero-day exploit affecting hardware—specifically a WiFi chip embedded in the main processors of Apple...

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