Articles about Security

You can now grab Adobe Flash 19 beta from the Labs

Adobe Logo

Adobe Flash and other programs can be a security problem. There's a reason the company releases regular updates. It's advisable to install them, as it likely means you're vulnerable if you don't. Perhaps the biggest offender is Flash, which powers many things on the web.

Now Adobe is quietly testing a beta version of Flash 19. It is currently a Labs project, but anyone can grab a copy if they'd like to try it out.

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Mozilla takes on the problems with web content blocking


There's been a lot of talk lately about ad-blocking thanks to iOS 9. It's a tough call, given that some users don't want to see ads, but the sites they visit wouldn't exist without those ads -- block them and the sites go away, eventually. That makes for quite a conundrum, and Mozilla is trying sort it out. The Firefox maker refers to it more benignly as "content blocking".

Mozilla hasn't quite figured this all out and it is looking for users to help with the puzzle. The organization isn't interested in what the problem is, but is focusing more on why users choose to do this by utilizing blocking agents.

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Chinese talking cybersecurity means security is already lost


A longtime reader and good friend of mine sent me a link this week to a CNBC story about the loss of fingerprint records in the Office of Personnel Management hack I have written about before. It’s just one more nail in the coffin of a doltish bureaucracy that -- you know I’m speaking the truth here -- will probably result in those doltish bureaucrats getting even more power, even more data, and ultimately losing those data, too.

So the story says they lost the fingerprint records of 5.6 million people! Game over.

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MacLock lets you unlock a Mac using your iPhone or iPad's Touch ID

MacLock TouchID iPhone iPad Unlock Mac

Having to enter a password to unlock your Mac is recommended practice, as it helps keep your private data safe. But it is also annoying, especially if you are the security conscious type, who uses a longer, more complex password. So what can you do to make things easy, without exposing your Mac?

Well, if you have an iPhone or iPad that is equipped with Touch ID, or even an Apple Watch, you should take a look at MacLock. It lets you use your fingerprint to unlock your Mac. Here's how it works.

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Consumers want ISPs to offer simpler online protection

Online security

As the digital world expands with more and more connected 'things' from computers, tablets and smartphones to gaming systems, thermostats, cameras and smart TVs, many people feel less secure.

As a result consumers are looking for uncomplicated security solutions from their Internet Service Provider (ISP).

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DDoS attacks target online gambling sites


The online gambling industry is big business, estimated to be worth over $40 billion this year. But its success makes it a target for extortion and for DDoS attacks.

DDoS can prove particularly harmful for this type of site as around 60 percent of transactions are carried out in real time and are therefore sensitive to latency.

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People trust governments with their data, but not private companies


Here’s a plot twist: despite everything that’s been going on with governments spying on other governments and people, despite countries looking to ban encrypted communications apps and generally fighting against encrypted communications, people still trust the government with their data more than private service providers.

Those are the results of a survey made by secure Swiss-based data center provider Artmotion. It surveyed more than 1000 citizens in the US, Europe, Russia and Australia.

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India drops insane encryption policy


The Indian government has performed a U-turn on a proposed encryption policy. Draft papers showed that the plan was to require people to store non-encryption versions of any data they have encrypted.

The draft policy was an all-encompassing one, and this led to a vocal backlash from users of social networks and messaging tools. The Indian government was forced to backtrack somewhat, making it clear that social media would be exempt and indicating that there is still a great deal of work to be done on the policy.

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Apple sweeps aside App Store malware mess

Broom Sweep Clean

In the aftermath of the big App Store security breach, today Apple reminds developers where they should obtain Xcode. It's not rocket science—from sanctioned distribution sources. I received an email this morning from the company, dispatched to members of its developer program.

To recap: As the new week dawned, Apple rushed to remove content from its Chinese App Store loaded with XcodeGhost malware. Developers using a counterfeit version of Xcode caused the first, major, widespread security crisis for the seven year-old App Store.

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UK businesses warned of growing cyber risk

UK cyber risk

We reported back in July on the UK government's plans to help small businesses boost their cyber security. Today enterprises across the country are being urged to protect themselves by taking up the government's Cyber Essentials scheme.

Whilst £1 in every £5 earned by UK businesses now comes from the Internet, cyber attacks are considered a serious threat. The latest figures reveal that 74 percent of small businesses and 90 percent of major businesses have had a cyber breach of some sort in the last year.

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Gamers lack confidence in developers' security safeguards

Game saucepan

Despite the number of high-profile data breaches over the last year, many businesses and consumers are still not taking appropriate measures to ensure proper security online. The games industry is no exception, with several major game companies having been hit by significant breaches.

A survey by gaming industry backend service PlayFab of more than 500 users who play video games for more than four hours per week, reveals that 83 percent of respondents believe game developers should be responsible for securing players' personal data. However fewer than 40 percent say they feel confident in current safeguards.

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Your mother should know (how you use your computer at college)

Mother and son laptop

A new report by internet security specialist Webroot on the eve of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) asked over 500 mothers with kids leaving for college this year about the security of their offspring's computers.

Among the findings are that a worrying 24.45 percent of moms report that their child does not have a security solution installed on their laptop or computer. The reasons for this are interesting, with 37.4 percent not having thought about it, 34.15 percent because they said the machine came with security already, and 17.07 percent who don't believe security is necessary.

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BYOD adoption slowed by policy issues


Most employees are interested in participating in BYOD, but many are put off by their employer's device and application management policies which are seen as too restrictive or invasive to privacy.

This is among the findings of a survey by data protection specialist Bitglass which also reveals that 67 percent of employees would participate in BYOD programs if their employers had the ability to protect corporate data but couldn’t view, alter or delete their personal information and applications.

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Systems security in energy and utilities companies gives cause for concern

Cooling towers

Security ratings specialist BitSight Technologies has released a new report highlighting the differences in security performance across industries from August 2014 to August 2015.

Having analyzed security ratings of nearly 10,000 organizations across six sectors -- finance, federal government, retail, energy and utilities, healthcare and education. It reveals worrying performance trends in the critical energy and utilities sector, however, the federal government (despite recent headlines) is revealed as high performing and second only to finance.

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Imation IronKey Workspace W500: Secure Windows To Go drive for enterprise users [Review]


In the modern workplace there’s increasing demand for people to be able to work remotely or bring their own devices into the office. That presents a problem for IT departments who need to deliver secure access to corporate data and ensure that everyone is using approved applications.

One way of allowing employees and contractors to use their own PCs but still ensure they’re running the approved corporate software is the IronKey Workspace. It’s a bootable USB stick that can be loaded with a corporate Windows image including applications, security controls and access policies. It will work on any reasonably modern PC and on some Macs too.

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