Ian Barker

Why hackers love the holiday season [Q&A]

Credit card gift bow

Recent high profile security breaches involving retailers like Target and Neiman Marcus mean that people are increasingly aware they may be vulnerable when shopping online. Yet many don't fully understand the landscape that lies behind hacking and why it’s such a lucrative business.

With Christmas and its associated e-commerce peak fast approaching we spoke to Kelly Yee, Vice President of secure email provider Penango who has a wealth of security systems experience in both the public and private sectors. Here are her views on how hackers work and how we can guard against becoming victims over the holiday season.

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Dropbox passwords held to ransom after third-party leak

Cloud box

Hackers claim to have stolen the login details of almost seven million Dropbox users. Having released a teaser file on Pastebin with details of around 400 accounts they’re offering to release more in exchange for a Bitcoin ransom.

Like the Snapchat photo leak it seems that this information has come from insecure third-party services rather than from Dropbox itself.

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100,000 mostly dull photos leak online -- behind the 'Snappening' hype


After all of the recent stories related to the Fappening you could be forgiven for thinking that stories about leaks of nude photos were becoming passé.

That didn't stop the media going into overdrive at the weekend when news emerged of 100,000 (or 200,000 depending on where you read the story) images from disposable message service Snapchat being leaked online.

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Free tablets for UK pensioners as Argos promotes digital skills

Argos digital skills workshop

We're increasingly becoming a digital society, yet almost one in five people in the UK lack digital skills and 52 percent of those are aged over 65.

In an effort to provide practical skills and access to technology, catalog retailer Argos has partnered with digital skills charity Go ON UK to offer workshops to 10,000 adults.

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SAP and Birst team up to deliver cloud analytics for the enterprise

Enterprise data

Enterprise software specialist SAP has announced a partnership with business intelligence company Birst to deliver faster analytics on the SAP HANA cloud platform.

The tie up will allow organizations to use a single cloud platform which can deliver instant analytics giving managers the ability to more quickly turn insight into action. It brings together SAP's next-generation cloud platform and Birst's comprehensive two-tier data architecture to provide instant access to business data.

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Is it the end of the line for the password?


In an era of increasing security threats the password is often the weakest link that allows attackers a way into a system posing as a legitimate user.

A new infographic from security company Ping Identity looks at the problem of poor passwords and how in the future they may give way to more sophisticated forms of authentication.

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New public cloud backup cuts the cost of protecting data

cloud computing backup

Backups have traditionally involved removable media, whether tape or disk, to allow copies of essential information to be held off site for safety.

The cloud has changed all that but companies still have concerns about security and retention of data, as well as expense. A new product released today by Druva is aimed at delivering a long-term storage solution with less complexity and lower cost.

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The Thing from the Internet -- and why we’re scared of it

Monster and PC

According to a new survey UK consumers increasingly fear the pace of change they face and are particularly cynical about the need for connected, "Internet of Things" devices.

According to the survey of over 1,600 consumers by UK-based audit and accounting specialist KPMG, more than half of people (58 percent) resent the idea that computers seem to run their lives. Also 70 percent suggest that with the marketplace flooded by inter-connected devices, it's too easy for things to go wrong. The survey reveals a hankering for a return to 'simple' technology. Many, for example, mainly want their phone to make calls (54 percent) and the majority think that more advanced internet-based products such as smart fridges which self-order food or cookers reminding owners about recipes aren't needed.

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Big data helps with detection of cyber attacks

cyber attack

The main problem that organizations face when combating cyber attacks is that they don't know what to look for and find it difficult to interpret all the data they get from their networks.

Big data analytics company Exabeam has a new product that can cut through the forest of data to make it easier to detect attacks and insider threats in real time using existing security information and event management (SIEM) details.

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Professionals believe their Java apps are secure despite relying on third-party code

Java code

Almost two-thirds of senior IT professionals say that their enterprise Java applications contain 50 percent or more third-party code.

These are findings from application security company Waratek based on a survey of attendees at last week's JavaOne conference. However, despite recent high profile vulnerabilities in third-party code, like Shellshock and Heartbleed, nearly 80 percent of respondents still believe their java apps are secure.

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How US organizations are losing the cyber war

Cloud missiles

Cyber crime, hacking and data breaches have seldom been out of the news in 2014, but just how well are organizations coping with it?

Not very well, according to a new infographic released by security solutions company CSO that's based on the results of a survey of over 500 private and public sector executives and security experts.

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New dedicated tool makes for easier Spark monitoring

Data search

The Apache Spark framework is a popular add on to Hadoop for handling big data, particularly for building machine learning algorithms.

Until now though it's been hard to effectively monitor Spark performance. That's about to change as Brooklyn-based performance management company Sematext is launching its SPM for Spark.

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New partnership makes it easier for merchants to accept bitcoin payments

Bitcoin mobile

Whilst virtual currency bitcoin has soared in popularity in recent times it still isn't an option when it comes to buying goods and services from many mainstream merchants.

That could be about to change thanks to a new partnership between SaaS mobile marketing and customer service provider Acromobile and ecommerce platform Bitnet.

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Cloud-based management allows parental control of multiple devices

Parental Control

As we saw last week, parental control products are a bit of a mixed bag and are only part of a protection strategy that includes effective education.

If you have several different devices in the family you may also end up using multiple products to protect them. That is unless you use the latest version of Remo Software's MORE which offers cloud-based management across multiple platforms.

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Prelert cuts big data down to size for real-time analysis

zip compression keyboard

Identifying complex anomalies that show up the presence of a persistent threat or pinpoint the cause of network and IT performance problems is the sort of thing big data analysis was made for.

The problem though is that big data is often just too big. This means it's usually necessary to transfer the information before doing any work on it which makes real-time analysis impossible and means valuable insights aren't available when they're most needed.

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