Articles about Security

Don't fall for phone phishing scams

stock broker panic phone

Yesterday, I received an automated call from Barclays Bank warning about suspicious purchases. The number: 877-935-2427. The message asked for the card number to proceed. This morning, my wife received a call from 800-888-8804 indicating our AT&T account had been breached and asking to provide the last four digits of her social security number. We don't have accounts with either company.

Both calls phished for personal information -- something I'm used to by email but not to our cell phones. The proximity -- less than a day apart -- and the first of them ever disturbs me. I don't recall receiving these kinds of bogus calls before. To be clear: You should never give out personal information to automated systems. When there is a legitimate security breach, the service provider will ask for verification information already on file, not request account numbers or any portion of a social security number.

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Top 10 Facebook scams to avoid

Facebook-thumbs-down-dislike-400px_original

With Facebook's popularity rocketing, the social network became a target for scammers and malware peddlers, and social engineering attacks have only increased massively since it became a phenomenon.

So it's always handy to be aware of what current major scams are doing the rounds, so there's no danger of you being tempted into clicking and ending up with something nasty on your machine.

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Internet of Things devices open up new avenues for hackers

Attack route

We're constantly being told that the internet of things is set to revolutionize the world we live in. Gartner has predicted that it will have around 26 billion units by 2020, but with this rapid growth comes added risk.

A new study from HP shows that 70 percent of the most commonly used internet of things (IoT) devices contain vulnerabilities, these include password security, encryption and personal data issues.

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Microsoft announces Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, Cortana coming to new markets

Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1

Today, Microsoft announces the first major update for Windows Phone 8.1, called Update 1. It introduces new features and improvements over the version which the software giant unveiled earlier this year at Build 2014, and makes way for Cortana to arrive in new markets.

In Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, Microsoft adds Live Folders, allowing users to group live tiles on the Start screen. Like the name suggests, it is able to display updating information on its tile, coming from the items it contains. A live folder can be created by dragging a live tile on top of another.

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Cleaning up after viruses -- which antivirus solutions are best?

Virus detection

In an ideal world there wouldn't be any viruses at all but, since there are, the next best scenario is to have an antivirus program to protect you. But what happens once it's too late? If you get a virus infection how good are antivirus and clean up tools at repairing your system?

Independent testing organization AV-TEST set out to resolve this question with a comprehensive 10-month test using 17 different software packages.

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Millions of Android devices could be at risk from Fake ID flaw

AndroidFakeID_icon-300x300

A newly uncovered flaw in Google's Android OS could leave large numbers of mobile devices at risk from malicious apps that appear to be from trusted developers.

Named 'Fake ID' by Bluebox Security who uncovered it and notified Google of its presence, the vulnerability lets malicious applications impersonate specially recognized trusted applications without any user notification. Although a patch was issued in April it's likely that many devices are still at risk.

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Post Target many retailers continue to leave data at risk

Credit card theft

More than six months on from the Target breach hitting the headlines retailers are still not properly protecting their data according to risk management specialist BitSight.

Writing on the company's blog CTO and co-founder Stephen Boyer says, "BitSight has continued to observe evidence of system compromise inside hundreds of retailers over the course of the year. Based on our data and analysis, we observed that there were many retailers with poor performance and that this downward trend has continued into the second half of 2014".

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Dating site OkCupid freely admits lying to its customers

Dating site OkCupid freely admits lying to its customers

There was widespread condemnation of Facebook when it was revealed that the social network had been manipulating users' newsfeeds as part of a social experiment. Official complaints may have been made but it doesn’t seem to have served as a lesson for other websites. Now it transpires that OkCupid -- the dating website whose slogan is "We use math to get you dates" -- has been fiddling the figures in a series of experiments on its users. The weird thing is, the site is openly bragging about it.

In a blog post unashamedly titled "We Experiment On Human Beings!", founder Christian Rudder writes that "OkCupid doesn’t really know what it’s doing". Seems like something of an odd admission. The blog post details three experiments the dating site conducted on its subscribers. There must have been more because the post is prefaced with the words "Here are a few of the more interesting experiments OkCupid has run". Does "interesting" just mean "less controversial"? Who knows?

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One in four IT professionals aren't aware of virtual security options

Security alert

Securing IT is essential for any modern business, but according to a new study carried out for security company Kaspersky Lab around one in four IT security experts have little or no understanding of the security options for virtual environments.

Almost half of respondents (46 percent) said that virtual environments can be adequately protected by conventional security solutions and 36 percent believe that security concerns in virtual infrastructures are significantly lower than in physical environments.

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Top 10 cyber security tips

cyber security

High profile hacking incidents continue to make headlines around the world. The Target data breach that compromised 40 million customer accounts is still reverberating around the retail universe, and earlier this month a hacker organization targeted CNET, the popular technology and consumer electronics site. The group claims it obtained over a million usernames, passwords and email addresses.

If you run a business and have valuable customer data to protect or even if you just enjoy visiting sites online and shopping at ecommerce hubs and want to keep your personal information safe, you may worry about hacker attacks. But there are steps you can take to reduce the risk. Here are 10 ways to keep your personal or business information safer.

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Fake Googlebots used to drive DDoS and other attacks

botnet

Googlebots are essential to the smooth running of the search engine, ceaselessly probing websites to ensure that Google stays up to date with the latest developments and site changes.

But for every 25 genuine Googlebots that visit your site you'll also be visited by a fake Googlebot -- more than 23 percent of which are used for DDoS attacks, hacking, scraping and spamming. This is among the findings of security company Incapsula's 2014 Search Engine Study.

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Data is like currency and should be treated as such

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Cyber security woes continue to burden the minds of organizations of all sizes. This has been further exemplified by the announcement from C5 Capital to launch the first cyber security-focused venture capital fund in Europe, as concerns about leaks and digital technology securities grow.

The London-based firm is looking to raise $125 million  to invest in security and data companies Europe, and highlights that the cyber security threat has certainly become a boardroom issue. Even previously well protected and "secure" industries such as the public sector have realized that they must take extra steps in order to secure their data.

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Zettaset offers simpler big data security for the enterprise

Big data

Companies are increasingly keen to take advantage of the insights that big data can offer. But this does lead to problems with controlling access and keeping the data secure in a way that works with existing systems.

Big data security specialist Zettaset is now making its Orchestrator product available as a standalone offering. This will allow customers to take the whole offering or individual applications as required to customize and secure their environment.

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Virtual smart card solution offers improved security at an affordable price

security

Traditional authentication methods like passwords are vulnerable to data breaches as well as being difficult to remember and manage. But although tokens and physical smart cards provide better protection they're expensive to implement and maintain.

Security company Wave Systems Corp has a new virtual smart card solution that emulates the functionality of physical smart cards or tokens, but offers greater convenience to users, lower total cost of ownership, and a reduced risk of unauthorized use.

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Honesty is the best policy when it comes to security

hacker

It has never been harder for businesses to build and preserve a relationship of trust with their customers. The rise of increasingly sophisticated, and targeted, cyber-attacks means there are more threats to watch out for than ever before. But letting just one slip through the net could spell disaster and damage even the strongest of partnerships, beyond repair. Just ask any major organization that has lost confidential customer data through a security breach.

When online retailer eBay reported that its network had been compromised earlier this year, it's no wonder that its message to customers was "the trust and security of eBay members is our top priority". The need to maintain trust in the face of a successful hack is critical.

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