Articles about Security

Exclusive: Get AMC Security Premium FREE for 6 months

AMC mobile

IObit has an excellent free Android app called AMC Security - Clean & Booster which comes packed with features designed to improve your phone or tablet’s security and boost performance. You can run an all-in-one scan, or access individual features including Antivirus, Privacy Locker, Security Zone, App Manager and Game Speeder. There’s a bunch of additional tools available too, such as Task Killer, Privacy Advisor, Call/SMS Blocker, Battery Saver, Anti-Theft and Cloud backup.

While the free version is very good, there’s a paid edition called AMC Premium available as an in-app purchase which offers some powerful additional features. AMC Premium currently retails for $9.99 a year (although a 7-day trial is available) but BetaNews readers can try it absolutely free for six months.

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You better watch out -- online retailers' security practices under the spotlight

Santa naughty or nice

This time of year sees a spike in online shopping activity, but that also means added worries about how well our information is being looked after when we buy online.

Password management company LastPass has put together an infographic 'naughty and nice' list looking at how online retailers store information when we shop.

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Cloud-based tracking creates an internet of lost things

Linquet_App

Electronic tags to help stop you losing stuff are nothing new. But usually they rely on Bluetooth or similar to sound an alarm when an object goes out of range.

A new solution from Canadian company Linquet mixes the cloud and the sharing economy to track tagged devices in a kind of internet of lost things.

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Are you scared to shop online for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? You're not alone

scared

For many of us, online shopping is now second nature. We've been at it for years. Hell, I try to buy most of my stuff from retailers like Amazon.

With that said, many people are still afraid of online shopping, and it is not a phobia that is totally devoid of logic. When buying on the web, your credit card number could be compromised; especially if the retailer is not trustworthy, or simply not focused on security. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are almost here, so the results of a new study are quite timely -- 77 percent of people in the world do not feel safe shopping online.

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GreatFire.org and BBC punch uncensored news through the Great Firewall of China

GreatFire.org and BBC punch uncensored news through the Great Firewall of China

The Great Firewall of China is renowned for the restrictions it places on what Chinese citizens can access online. Free speech advocates have long called for the Chinese government to allow access to the wider web, so people in China can get a better idea of what is going on elsewhere in the world. Now GreatFire.org, working with the BBC, has found a way to deliver uncensored Chinese language news to those on the wrong side of the firewall.

GreatFire.org is an anti-censorship group that monitors web blocking in China and campaigns against censorship. Various techniques for getting around the Great Firewall of China have been publicized in the past, but they have relied on VPNs and other tools that can be complicated to set up. The latest method requires no special tools.

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CryptoLocker: the comeback -- malware reemerges ready to steal your money

cybercrime cyber terrorism hacker gun malware security

CryptoLocker has now been around the block a few times -- it's been locking people's data and demanding money for sometime. The threat finally (mostly) disappeared. However, it seems to be experiencing a resurgence, as a new strain of the virus has been detected.

If you aren't familiar, and honestly, you don't want to be, CryptoLocker encrypts the files on your computer and then holds you for ransom -- pay or lose your data.

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Thousands of WordPress, Joomla and Drupal sites threatened by CryptoPHP backdoor

Thousands of WordPress, Joomla and Drupal sites threatened by CryptoPHP backdoor

A large proportion of websites are built on a CMS rather than raw HTML. Three of the most common are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, and security researchers at Fox-It warn that site administrators are at risk of being socially engineered into installing the CryptoPHP backdoor on their server.

Distributed through pirated themes and plugins, CryptoPHP's spread is thanks to the light-fingeredness of site admins. It was first detected in 2013 and is still actively spreading. The capabilities of the "well developed" backdoor include remote control of an infected server, and Blackhat SEO -- a form of illegal search engine optimization.

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E-cigarettes can damage your PC's health

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Using e-cigarettes, or vaping, is widely touted as being healthier for you than smoking tobacco, however, it may not be so healthy for your PC.

Many e-cigarettes offer a USB charging option but a story on social news site Reddit suggests that this is a potential source of malware attack. An executive's PC became infected after he'd recently given up smoking and the infection was traced to his e-cigarette charger.

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Pro-Hong Kong websites hit by massive cyber attacks

DDoS bombs

Websites supporting the Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong have been hit with what is being described as one of the largest cyber attacks ever recorded.

The two sites, Apple Daily and PopVote, have been covering and vocally supporting the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. The two even carried out spoof elections for a new chief executive in the region.

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Symantec uncovers Regin, a highly advanced stealth spying tool developed by a nation state

Symantec uncovers Regin, a highly advanced stealth spying tool developed by a nation state

Security firm Symantec has released details of an advanced cyberespionage it has discovered. Called Regin, the backdoor Trojan is described as having a structure that "displays a degree of technical competence rarely seen". Symantec goes as far as saying that the levels of resources required to create such a highly advanced tool indicate that it was created by a nation state -- although there is no suggestion about who it might be.

The report says that Regin has already been used in mass surveillance programs not by but against government organizations. Symantec estimates that the tool may have been years in development, as it delivers multi-stage attacks, and great lengths are taken to hide each stage. The framework was designed to facilitate long-term surveillance, and the concealment techniques used make Regin difficult to fully understand.

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Businesses are failing to take security seriously enough

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Companies are still failing to properly protect themselves from potential attacks and hackers, with security not being given enough weight of consideration -- and indeed, many firms haven’t even covered the fundamentals of keeping intruders out of their networks and data.

This is according to Neira Jones, a security expert who chairs the Global Advisory Board for the Centre for Strategic Cybercrime & Security Science, who criticized businesses for failing to "fix the basics" of protecting data, and lacking sufficient "cyber-security awareness programs".

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The security challenge of business mobile devices

photo by Slavoljub Pantelic, Shutterstock

The trend towards mobile devices and BYOD is great for productivity but it creates new challenges in terms of keeping information secure.

Identity and access management specialist Ping Identity has produced an infographic looking at the vulnerabilities introduced by letting employees use mobile devices.

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XSS vulnerabilities open the door to drive-by downloads

Web script

Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities allow attackers to inject script into web pages in order to infect client computers.

Security company High-Tech Bridge has released a report revealing that 95 percent of XSS vulnerabilities can be used to perform sophisticated drive-by-download attacks, which infect users who open harmless-looking URLs that they trust. More worrying is that 90 percent of vulnerabilities can be exploited in such a way that even advanced users and IT professionals won't suspect anything. The structure and architecture of more than 70 percent of web applications allows the creation of a sophisticated XSS exploit that can perform several fully-automated actions, ultimately giving full administrative access to the attacker. This access can then be used by hackers to compromise the entire website and even the web server.

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Free tool detects 'government surveillance spyware'

snoop spy eye

Free software that can detect the presence of surveillance spyware has been launched by a global coalition of human rights and tech organizations.

Organizations including Amnesty International, Privacy International, Digitale Gesellschaft and Electronic Frontier Foundation have teamed up to unveil the open source tool Detekt.

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Mozilla, EFF and others join forces to encrypt the web with free security certificates

Mozilla, EFF and other join forces to encrypt the web with free security certificates

It has been a long time coming, but the web is slowly transitioning away from HTTP to HTTPS. Google has done it with Gmail, and Yahoo did the same with its webmail service, and security advocates would like other websites to follow suit. The problem, for smaller sites at least, is the cost involved. But a new venture between Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Mozilla, Cisco, the University of Michigan and IdenTrust will eliminate the cost obstacle when it launches next summer.

The partnership has brought about the creation of Let's Encrypt, a new certificate authority that will provide free security certificates to those who need them. It is hoped that handing out cost-free certificates will encourage more sites to adopt the HTTPS protocol. But Let's Encrypt does not just eliminate the financial hurdle.

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