Articles about Security

Hacker leaks millions of Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail usernames and passwords


A number of major webmail services have suffered one of the largest security breaches in recent years. The account details of Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, and are just four of the services affected.

Security firm Hold Security says that it has been contacted by a hacker in possession of 272 million unique pairs of email addresses and unencrypted passwords. This is far from an insignificant number, and the situation is made all the worse as the data is being freely shared for just about anyone to access.

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Messaging apps provide a false sense of security

Smartphone lock unlocked key

In the last couple of weeks we have seen consumer messaging giants WhatsApp and Viber retrospectively add end-to-end encryption technology to their communications platforms. The notion of providing users with improved security is certainly to be applauded, and seeing messaging apps adopt encryption as a necessity as opposed to simply a nice-to-have feature, is long overdue.

However, the manner in which providers are increasingly introducing encryption technology within apps as an afterthought is potentially providing a false sense of security to the billions of people that use them on a daily basis.

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Wearables are likely source for security breach


The Internet of Things (IoT) opens up a sea of new opportunities for revenue and growth, but it is also a security challenge, IT pros have said.

If the new Spiceworks IoT report is to be believed, 85 percent of IT professionals in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, Africa) believe IoT will create new security and privacy issues in the workplace.

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Just 30 percent of UK companies experienced a security breach in 2015

Security breach

Almost a half (43 percent) of UK companies did not experience a security breach in 2015, a new report suggests. Released by IT management software provider SolarWinds, it includes answers from 109 IT practitioners and managers from small, medium-sized and large UK companies.

According to them, just 30 percent suffered a breach last year. Quite surprising.

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The ransomware problem just keeps getting worse and worse


If it feels as though you've heard an awful lot about ransomware recently, that's because you have. It's a problem that just seems to be getting worse, and ESG -- the security outfit behind anti-malware program SpyHunter -- has released figures that shows April was the worst month ever recorded for ransomware in the US.

The rate of infection rocketed last month, with the numbers more than doubling when compared to March. While there have been a few high-profile cases of large businesses getting hit with ransomware, increasing numbers of ordinary people are also falling victim.

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Security needs monitoring to function

security eye

IT trends often come and go, some dominating the hype cycle for years, others exiting the mainstream with more of a whimper. Security is having a moment right now in which it is dominating the market in terms of press, thought leadership and excitement. But, in this case, it’s no trend, it’s reality.

As long as there have been networks, there have been concerns over security. That is true now more than ever, as networks have grown larger, more complex, and crucially, more critical to business function.

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Why automation and artificial intelligence are essential to cyber defense [Q&A]

artificial intelligence

With the ever increasing complexity and volume of cyber attacks, companies are increasingly turning to automated solutions and artificial intelligence in the quest for more effective protection.

But how effective is an automated approach and will it become the norm in future? We spoke to Eran Barak, CEO of incident response specialist Hexadite to find out.

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Samsung has a SmartThings security problem, according to UM and Microsoft Research


The Internet of Things, or IoT, has been both a blessing and a bain since it came into existence. Does convenience trump security concerns? That's the question each user has to ask his or herself. It's that security part that tends to make the news.

The latest to suffer a setback is Samsung SmartThings, with a new report claiming the platform has a security problem. The vulnerabilities reported are only hypothetical so far however.

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Online payment fraud set to grow over the next four years


Fraud is nothing new on the internet. From phishing scams to ransomware, we've seen it all. However, the fastest growing part of this dark market seems to be online retail payment fraud. There's a lot of money to be made in this segment of the economy.

According to a new report, online retail fraud accounted for a whopping $10.7 billion in 2015, but, even worse, it's an up and coming thing. Juniper Research claims it could grow as high as $25.6 billion by the year 2020.

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Think Privacy CEO launches site to name publishers who illegally detect and circumvent adblockers


Adblockers are, have been, and will continue to be a matter of some controversy. While sites rely on ad income to stay afloat, users are understandably irked by a barrage of flashy commercials and are increasingly turning to adblocking. To fight back, some sites are using various methods to detect the presence of an adblocker and then bypassing it.

This, in turn, upsets people once again, and the CEO of privacy and security consortium Think Privacy, Alexander Hanff, has come up with a solution. To fight back he has set up a website that names and shames those sites that "use illegal methods to detect that you are using an adblocker".

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Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto revealed to be Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright


For some time, the person who created the cryptocurrency Bitcoin has been known as Satoshi Nakamoto. We know that was nothing more than a pseudonym, and now Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has revealed that he is the man behind the mask.

It brings to an end years of speculation about the inventor's real identity, and Wright has been able to provide technical proof to the BBC to back up his claims. The IT and security consultant's home was raided in recent days as part of an investigation by the Australian Tax Office, and documents leaked from the inquiries pointed towards Wright. He has now confirmed his identity.

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Facebook Messenger to gain privacy-enhancing self-destructing messages


With the ongoing debate about privacy and encryption, the rollout of end-to-end encryption to Facebook-owned WhatsApp came as little surprise. Now Facebook Messenger is set to gain a couple of privacy-enhancing features including self-destructing messages.

Already found in other messaging tools such as SnapChat and Telegram, self-destructing messages have been unearthed in Messenger for iOS version 68.0. As you would expect, the feature makes it possible to place a time limit on how long messages are visible for, making it ideal for communicating sensitive information.

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Fitbit's Aria internet-connected scale can be hacked


These days more and more items around our homes are connected to the internet. In theory, this sounds like a great idea, and it can be -- providing it is implemented correctly, meaning in a secure way. In practice, however, that isn't always the case. We've seen endless stories of what can go wrong, even Barbie dolls turned bad.

Scales are probably one of the last things you'd expect to be connected. Actually, though, that innovation came several years ago with a scale that tweeted your weight -- a great way of shaming you into continuing that diet and exercise program.

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Qbot malware resurfaces with renewed powers ready to steal your banking credentials


Qbot -- also known as Qakbot -- is a form of malware that's been around for a number of years, but security researchers at Cisco Talos have noted that it has returned with a vengeance. Once installed the malware steals sensitive data stored in files and cookies, and also monitors live web sessions to grab login credentials.

Detection and immunization is made difficult thanks to the fact that Qbot uses random strings, code blocks, file names and encryption keys to slip under the radar, although it can still be detected by its behavior. Cisco Talos analyzed no fewer than 618 examples of the malware; Qbot was found to feature its own auto-update function and it appears that developers have been hard at work on it.

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Microsoft takes just 7 hours to patch colossal Office 365 vulnerability that exposed companies' data


Companies are often criticized for the length of time it takes them to patch security problems found in software. But this week Microsoft exceled itself, taking just 7 hours to patch a serious security hole in Office 365 that made it possible to gain unrestricted access to businesses' cloud accounts.

A problem with the SAML authentication system meant that it was possible to gain access to just about any Office 365 account, including accessing connected services like Outlook, OneDrive and Skype for Business. More than this, the exploit allowed an attacker to infiltrate companies and organizations such as Verizon, Georgia State University and British Airways who use Office 365. The researchers who unearthed the issue have praised Microsoft for dealing with it so quickly.

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