Articles about Security

Dashlane's Project Mirror aims to kill off the password in 2018

password on tablet

Most digital services still rely on passwords for security, but recent breaches have shown that they are far from a perfect solution.

Password management specialist Dashlane has set an ambitious goal to kill off the password in 2018 with the launch of its Project Mirror.

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McAfee grabs Skyhigh to boost cloud security

Cloud data security

With more and more businesses storing data in the cloud, protecting and controlling it as it travels back and forth has become a major concern.

To address this McAfee is acquiring Skyhigh Networks, one of the pioneers of the cloud access security broker (CASB) model of protection.

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Google knew about Spectre and Meltdown processor bugs last year, so its products are (mostly) protected

Google logo

When news broke of the security flaw affecting Intel chips, the tech world was more than a little surprised. And things just got more surprising as more details of Meltdown and Spectre emerged.

Perhaps most surprising is the fact that Google -- via Project Zero -- was aware of the problem in June of 2017. The company even went as far as informing Intel, AMD and ARM about the issue. But for Google customers, the good news is that the early detection of the security flaw means that Google Cloud, G Suite and Chrome users are fairly safe.

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Meltdown: Microsoft issues an emergency fix for Windows 10 to address processor bug

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

News of an enormous security bug affecting millions of processors can't have escaped your attention over the last 24 hours or so. While Intel goes into a panicked meltdown, desperately pointing out that there's another bug affecting other processors too, software fixes are starting to emerge.

macOS has already been patched, and fixes have started to roll out to numerous Linux distros as well. Now Microsoft has pushed out a rare, off-schedule emergency fix for Windows 10 users which should be automatically installed. Users of Windows 7 and Windows 8 will have to wait until next week for a patch.

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Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities bring the computing apocalypse, and yes, you are screwed

Earlier today, we reported on some shocking news -- there is a serious vulnerability that affects Intel processors. To make matters worse, patching that vulnerability -- now known as "Meltdown" -- would cause an up-to 30 percent performance degradation. Yikes!

If you have an AMD processor, you are safe, right? Yes, but not really. You see, yet another vulnerability has been revealed that impacts all modern processors, such as those from Intel, AMD, and yeah, even ARM chips. This vulnerability is called "Spectre," and it has the potential to put the entire technology industry into a tailspin. Seriously, folks, this is very bad -- it is like the computing apocalypse. What's the worst that could happen? Well, your data and passwords could leak and you are almost powerless to stop it.

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'Alexa, nick him!' -- Amazon Echo joins the fight against crime

British policeman

We're used to digital assistants controlling more and more aspects of our daily lives, but a UK police force is looking at how Amazon Echo could help in fighting crime.

Police in Lancashire, north west England, are looking at how Alexa could relay information about missing persons or updates on local crime to citizens. It could also be used in the reporting of minor offenses, freeing up police call centers to deal with more serious issues.

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Intel chips have a huge security flaw, and the fix will slow down Windows and Linux machines

A design flaw has been discovered in Intel chips that will require major changes to be made to the Windows and Linux kernels. While patches are being worked on -- and in the case of Windows Insiders, have already rolled out -- users of both operating systems can expect to experience something of a performance hit. macOS machines running on Intel chips are also affected.

Intel is -- for the moment -- remaining tight-lipped about the specifics of the flaw that has been unearthed, but it is believed to affect processors produced in the past decade. Developers are currently estimating that systems could experience slow downs of between 5 and 30 percent.

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Hundreds of Android and iOS apps use your mic to check what TV shows you are watching

Cellphone recording audio

Advertisers are keen for their ads to be seen, that goes without saying. But it's more important to be seen by the right people, hence the explosion in targeted advertising. Social media is a great way to gather massive amounts of data about people and deliver ads accordingly, but some mobile games take things further.

There are a large number of games for both iOS and Android which include Alphonso software. This uses smartphones' microphones to record audio which is then used to determine which TV shows and commercials you're watching -- and then deliver targeted ads accordingly. Is this being done in secret? Not really. Details of the activities are included in Alphonso software's privacy policy.

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Privacy: Kodi's remote access could be used to spy on you

There's no denying the massive popularity of Kodi, and the streaming media center has become infamous as well as famous. While the negative press concerning the software tends to focus on the potential for piracy, there's also the question of privacy and security.

Kodi includes -- as does the likes of Plex -- a remote access feature. While wonderfully useful for when you're away from home, it also poses a security risk and represents a serious privacy concern if not correctly configured.

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Ancient unpatched IOHIDeous vulnerability allows root access to macOS

Apple logo on MacBook

Apple has a tendency to pride itself on security, but a researcher has released details of a macOS vulnerability that allows for complete system control by an unprivileged user.

A self-described "hobbyist hacker," Siguza, has published details of the exploit which is thought to have existed, undetected and unpatched for at least a decade. As well as details of the security flaw, Suguza has also published proof-of-concept code for the IOHIDeous vulnerability on GitHub.

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John McAfee and the strange Twitter hack

In a cautionary tale for the festive season, unorthodox security guru John McAfee claims to have had his Twitter account hacked.

The account sent out a number of 'coin of the day' Tweets on December 27th encouraging followers to buy some lesser known crypto currencies. Nothing especially strange in that as McAfee has himself sent this type of message in the past.

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Edward Snowden's Haven app turns a smartphone into a security device

Haven app logo

The name Edward Snowden will always be associated with the NSA, but the man has fingers in many other pies. His latest venture is an app called Haven which can turn a smartphone into a security device that keeps an eye on your possessions.

Haven is an Android app, currently in beta, designed to be installed on an "extra" phone that you wouldn't mind losing. Placed with your belongings, it uses a phone's sensors -- microphone, camera, gyroscope, accelerometer, and so on -- to detect and record theft and tampering.

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Security burnout: Avoidable or inevitable?

The biggest threat facing cybersecurity is not advanced attackers or evolving technology. It is the lack of people able to defend networks.

Cybersecurity experts predict that by 2021 there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs. That number is up from one million in 2016. The reasons behind this global issue are complicated, but many of them stem from the overarching issue of security burnout and the difficulty of new individuals entering the cybersecurity workforce to reduce the overall workload.

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An AI arms race and attacks on cryptocurrency among cyber security predictions for 2018

Crystal ball with key

It's the time of year when industry experts like to dust off their crystal balls, examine the pattern of tea leaves in the bottom of their cups and try to predict what the coming year is going to hold.

As far as security is concerned most commentators think we can expect the increase in numbers and sophistication of attacks we've seen in 2017 to continue, but there are some new things to worry about too.

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Cybersecurity tips that are cost-effective and efficient

business security

Cybersecurity experts are in agreement: enterprises simply cannot afford to skip investing in protections that safeguard their networks, systems and data. But with budgets straining, even as attacks are more prolific and powerful than ever, they need security that doesn’t break the bank. Fortunately, there several steps enterprises can take to cost-effectively bolster their cybersecurity.

In 2017, there were plenty of high-profile attacks to put people on edge. It’s been reported that there have been millions of records stolen using ransoms and extortion attempts. Who can forget WannaCry, the massive cyberattack in mid-May that spread around the world in days, crippling businesses in 150 countries by hijacking more than 230,000 computers, locking up data and demanding money to set them free? The attack used ransomware, a type of malware that encrypts data until you pay a ransom. Then there were other ransomware attacks like Petya and NotPetya. And of course, there’s always the steady drumbeat of viruses and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

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