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 Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Four U.S. senators want Facebook to make it easier for its more than 400 million users to protect their privacy as the website develops new outlets to share personal information. It marks the second time in the past three days that Schumer has expressed his misgivings about a series of changes that Facebook announced last week. The new features are designed to unlock more of the data that the online hangout has accumulated about people during its six-year history.

Schumer sent a letter Sunday to the Federal Trade Commission calling for regulators to draw up clearer privacy guidelines for Facebook and other Internet social networks to follow. The political pressure threatens to deter Facebook's efforts to put its stamp on more websites, a goal that could yield more moneymaking opportunities for the privately held company. Facebook's expansion "raises new concerns for users who want to maintain control over their information," the senators wrote in their preliminary draft.


(Source: AP)

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Tuesday, 27 April 2010 15:13:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

This paper presents the findings from the 2nd Global Annual Symposium on DNS Security, Stability and Resiliency, conducted 1-3 February 2010 at Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan. Program committee members chose to focus this year's conference on the theme of measuring the health of the DNS. As the entire Internet relies daily on the DNS, understanding its health – both at a given instant and as it changes over time – is critical for being able to reasonably predict the DNS's health outlook and to decide whether to take corrective measures.

The Symposium endeavored to analyze the state of understanding DNS health, the key vital signs for the DNS and how the community might approach improving measurement and assessment of DNS health.


(Source: ICANN)

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Tuesday, 27 April 2010 15:03:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 26 April 2010

"A hacker who calls himself Kirllos has obtained and is now offering to sell 1.5 million Facebook IDs at astonishingly low prices — $25 per 1,000 IDs for users with fewer than 10 friends and $45 per 1,000 IDs for users with more than 10 friends. Looking at the numbers, Kirllos has stolen the IDs of one out of every 300 Facebook users. Quoting: 'VeriSign director of cyber intelligence Rick Howard told the New York Times that it appeared close to 700,000 had already been sold. Kirllos would have earned at least $25,000 from the scam. Howard told the newspaper that it was not apparent whether the accounts and passwords were legitimate, but a Russian underground hacking magazine reported it had tested some of Kirllos' previous samples and managed to get into people's accounts.'"


(Source: Slashdot)

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Monday, 26 April 2010 17:08:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

History was made the other evening when the UK's three wannabe prime ministers took centre stage for a TV debate. This was the culmination of weeks of rehearsals, practice runs and body language training. But what if I then tell you that every mobile phone call made by one of the campaign teams preparing for this TV event was secretly recorded and analysed, enabling their rival to understand everything from the campaign strategy through to the likely rebuttal to a particular question? Illegal? Of course. Farfetched? No longer. The past few months has seen the mobile phone industry thrown into turmoil as the computer hacking community has carried out successful attacks against mobile phone call security. I wrote an article about such a hack a while back, but at that point it remained a theory rather than a practical way to listen into mobile phone calls.


(Source: IT Director)

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IT Director

Monday, 26 April 2010 17:05:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 23 April 2010

Facebook brings families closer together. But as with any medium, Facebook is sometimes abused, occasionally to damaging effect. The Facebook Privacy Settings options let you control who has access to your personal information. The page includes a Block List that prevents contact with the people and e-mail addresses you specify without their knowledge.

The Safety for Parents section of the Safety Center describes what to do if your child views inappropriate content on a Facebook page, how to help a child report abusive conduct, and how to delete an account of a child under the age of 13. Much of the information in this section parrots the entries on the Safety for Teens page, but it does include links to in-depth articles by Common Sense Media on security for teens online.


(Source: CNet News)

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CNet News

Friday, 23 April 2010 12:37:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Attackers have begun exploiting a design flaw in Adobe's PDF format to spread the Zeus botnet, only days after the publication of a proof-of-concept exploit for the flaw, according to security researchers.

On Wednesday, researchers at M86 Security said they had discovered emails claiming to originate from Royal Mail with PDF attachments exploiting the flaw. The attachment attempts to run an executable file that installs the Zeus Trojan on a user's system. Zeus attempts to steal banking information by logging a user's keystrokes. It also attempts to make a user's system part of the Zeus botnet.


(Source: ZDNet)

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Friday, 23 April 2010 12:33:24 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 22 April 2010

The government is expanding its scholarship program for students in cybersecurity fields. About 108 universities participate in the 9-year-old Scholarship for Service program, which covers up to two years of tuition in exchange for two years of federal service. More schools, including community colleges, will be added in June, White House cybersecurity coordinator Howard Schmidt said Tuesday at the Interagency Resources Management Conference.

The expansion will be announced at the annual Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education — a conference that brings together academic, government and industry cybersecurity professionals — in June in Baltimore, Schmidt said.


(Source: Federal Times)

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Federal Times

Thursday, 22 April 2010 14:06:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Patients whose medical identities are stolen face serious lingering effects. Fraudulent healthcare events can leave erroneous data in medical records. This erroneous information–like information about tests, diagnoses and procedures–can greatly affect future healthcare and insurance coverage and costs. Patients are often unaware of medical identity theft until a curious bill or a surprising line of questioning by a doctor exposes the issue. Then, the burden of proof is often with the patient and it can be difficult to get the patient’s legitimate medical records cleaned up. The consequences can also be life threatening and can lead to serious medical errors and fatalities.

1. Get a credit freeze and follow the steps for your particular state. This is an absolutely necessary tool to secure your credit. In most cases, it prevents new accounts from being opened in your name. This makes your Social Security number useless to a potential identity thief.

2. Invest in Intelius identity theft protection and prevention. Not all forms of identity theft can be prevented, but identity theft protection services can dramatically reduce your risk.


(Source: Infosec Island)

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Infosec Island 

Thursday, 22 April 2010 14:01:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Google is investigating a growing number of reports that hackers are breaking into legitimate Gmail accounts and then using them to send spam messages. The problem started about a week ago but seems to have escalated over the past few days.

"The Gmail team takes security very seriously and is investigating the reports we've seen in our user forums over the past few days," Google said Tuesday in an e-mailed statement. "We encourage users who suspect their accounts have been compromised to immediately change their passwords and to follow the advice at the following page:" Gmail accounts are often compromised after phishing attempts or via malicious programs, which can seek out and log online credentials from a hacked computer.


(Source: ComputerWorld)

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Wednesday, 21 April 2010 10:51:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Text messaging rises sharply among teens and is now their most frequent form of communication with friends. 72% of those ages 12-17 now are texters and the average young text user exchanges 1,500 texts per month.

Cell phones are mixed blessing to American families, bringing safety and connection along with disruption and irritation. Daily text messaging among American teens has shot up in the past 18 months from 38% of teens texting friends daily in February of 2008, to 54% of teens texting daily in September 2009. In fact, text messaging has become the most frequent way that teens reach their friends, surpassing face-to-face meetings, email, instant messaging and voice calling as a daily communications tool. However, cell phone calling is still the preferred mode that teens use to connect with their parents.


(Source: Pew Research Center)

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Pew Research Center

Wednesday, 21 April 2010 10:25:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 20 April 2010

A new type of malware infects PCs using file-share sites and publishes the user's net history on a public website before demanding a fee for its removal. The Japanese trojan virus installs itself on computers using a popular file-share service called Winni, used by up to 200m people. It targets those downloading illegal copies of games in the Hentai genre, an explicit form of anime. Website Yomiuri claims that 5500 people have so far admitted to being infected.

"If you find you are getting pop-ups demanding payments to settle copyright infringement lawsuits, ignore them and use a free online anti-malware scanner immediately to check for malware," said Mr Ferguson.


(Source: BBC)

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Tuesday, 20 April 2010 10:45:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Police hunting a hacker who had attacked a US school's systems found themselves cornering a "very intelligent" 9 year old instead, it has emerged. When passwords for teachers at Spring Hill Elementary, Virginia, were changed without authorisation the school board initially thought a hacker had broken into the school district's Blackboard system. Police were called in to investigate in mid-March and were quickly able to trace the incident back to a PC at the home of a 9 year-old school student.

The youngster's mother was initially chief suspect in the hack but after speaking to her and and her son police came to the surprising conclusion that they were dealing with a 'kindergarden' hacker.


(Source: The Register)

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The Register

Tuesday, 20 April 2010 10:29:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 19 April 2010

A computer security researcher has released a plugin for Firefox that provides a wealth of data on Web sites that may have been compromised with malicious code. The plugin, called Fireshark, was released on Wednesday at the Black Hat conference. The open-source free tool is designed to address the shortcomings in other programs used to analyze malicious Web sites, said Stephan Chenette, a principal security researcher at Websense, which lets Chenette develop Fireshark in the course of his job. Hackers often target legitimate Web sites with code that can either infect a machine with malicious software or redirect a user to a bad Web page.


(Source: InfoWorld)

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Monday, 19 April 2010 13:40:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Is it cyberbullying if kids post mean comments and then say they were “just joking”? Is it wrong for a boy to pressure his girlfriend to send racy text messages? For teenagers, these questions don’t necessarily have clear answers. Associated Press MTV is trying to get teens themselves to support each other in standing up to behavior that crosses over into “digital abuse” — use of technologies such as texting and social networking to bully, harass and intimidate people.

The network introduced a new online tool called Over the Line this week that allows young people to post about their problem and have peers say whether the behavior is acceptable. The posts and comments are moderated, to make sure bullying doesn’t become a problem in the tool itself.


(Source: The Wall Street Journal)

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The Wall Street Journal

Monday, 19 April 2010 13:23:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 16 April 2010

The report, from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania, is among the first quantitative studies looking at young people's attitudes toward privacy as government officials and corporate executives alike increasingly grapple with such issues.

Among the findings:

• Most people — 86 percent — believe that anyone who posts a photo or video of them on the Internet should get their permission first, even if that photo was taken in public. Among young adults 18 to 24, 84 percent agreed — not far from the 90 percent among those 45 to 54.

• Forty percent of adults ages 18 to 24 believe executives should face jail time if their company uses someone's personal information illegally — the same as the response among those 35 to 44 years old.


(Source: AP)

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Friday, 16 April 2010 10:39:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Africa's spending in IT security has risen and is expected to continue growing as more people access affordable connectivity and companies embrace smartphones and social media in work places. According to IDC, Africa's IT spending is high compared to the GDP, with South Africa leading with IT security spending of 3.8 percent of its GDP. Mauritius, Morocco spend 1.1 percent of GDP on IT security while Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Ethiopia spend less than 1 percent.

"The focus from criminals is to steal data and monetize that; they blend their attacks across multiple vectors; URL lists and signature based security mechanisms cannot keep up with zero-day threats," said Mike Hibbert, director for Websense in Africa.


(Source: IDG Magazines)

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IDG Magazines

Friday, 16 April 2010 10:30:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 15 April 2010

Microsoft today patched 25 vulnerabilities in Windows, Exchange and Office, including nine marked "critical," the company's highest threat ranking. But researchers were unanimous in urging users to immediately apply two of the 11 updates, which address major bugs in Windows Media Player and an important video file format, to block drive-by attacks that will quickly spread on the Web.

The patches also fixed eight flaws pegged as "important," the next-lowest step in Microsoft's four-stage scoring system, and another eight tagged as "moderate." Five of today's 11 update packages were marked critical, while five were labeled important and the remaining one as moderate. Security experts directed users' attention to a pair of updates that addressed issues in Windows' media infrastructure.


(Source: ComputerWorld)

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Thursday, 15 April 2010 13:20:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Facebook is employing aggressive legal means in combination with technical measures in order to stop hackers from abusing its social-networking site, according to its chief security officer, Max Kelly. Facebook Chief Security Officer Max KellyThe company is constantly under fire from hackers trying to spam its 400 million registered users, harvest their data or run other scams. Facebook's security team started off with just a few people, said Kelly, who began working at Facebook in 2005 after a stint as an FBI computer forensic analyst.

As many as 10% of Facebook's 1,200 employees are involved in security-related functions for the site, Kelly said. Its core security team consists of 20 people, a site integrity team of around 15 people and 200 others who are part of a user operations team that monitors illegal activity.


(Source: ComputerWorld)

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Thursday, 15 April 2010 13:17:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Two senators yesterday introduced a bill that seeks to build a multilateral framework to mitigate and respond to disrupting cyber attacks.

The bill, sponsored by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., would create an ambassador-rank coordinator position at the State Department that would advise the secretary of State on international cyberspace and cybersecurity issues. The coordinator would promote development of a strategy for international cyber engagement, including considering the utility of negotiating a multilateral framework that would provide internationally acceptable principles to mitigate cyberwarfare.


(Source: Federal Times)

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Federal Times


Wednesday, 14 April 2010 16:38:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cell phones, texting, IM, e-mail, Facebook, MySpace -- kids are interconnected today in ways hardly imagined two decades ago. But these technology-based communication platforms also enable new forms of an age-old parenting strategy: monitoring your kids.

Is it any easier to put the proper measures in place to ensure your child's security since you already have an expertise in this area? Or do you go overboard because of you are hyperattuned to risk? And what is the right balance of freedom and guidance to provide for kids? Turns out it was tricky issue before social networking, and remains tricky now. Here are views and strategies collected from an array of security professionals.


(Source: ComputerWorld)

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Wednesday, 14 April 2010 16:33:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 13 April 2010

A British child protection agency said it has pressed Facebook to add "panic buttons" to its pages after the murder of a teenager was linked to the site. Jim Gamble, chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), said the social networking giant did not agree to his demands outright at a meeting in Washington but he felt they were moving in the right direction. Speaking after a four-hour meeting Monday, Gamble said Facebook was close to "doing the right thing" but urged the website to turn "words into action."

Calls have since grown for the inclusion of the buttons -- which allow youngsters who feel threatened online to quickly contact a number of sources of help, such as CEOP or anti-bullying helplines. Politicians, police and anti-bullying groups have voiced outrage that the online giant will not bow to demands to include the system.


(Source: AFP)

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Tuesday, 13 April 2010 10:05:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 12 April 2010

The case of a teenager in Massachusetts who killed herself after a relentless, months-long bullying campaign shows how the common schoolyard behavior is evolving in dangerous new ways online.

Six students face felony charges in the death of Phoebe Prince, 15, who hanged herself in January after being subjected to verbal assault and threats of physical harm. Some harassment occurred online on Facebook, in text messages and in other high-tech forms, a contemporary development in the age-old practice, experts said.


(Source: Reuters)

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Monday, 12 April 2010 14:18:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In a decision that could set new ground rules for Internet privacy in the workplace, New Jersey's Supreme Court has ruled an employer was wrong in retrieving e-mails between a former employee and her attorney, even though they were sent from a company computer.

"Courts are looking more closely at privacy claims in the digital worklplace," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington, D.C.-based public-interest research group. "Just because a person is using a company computer doesn't mean they leave all their rights to privacy at the door."


(Source: AP)

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Monday, 12 April 2010 14:15:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 08 April 2010

Suing your parents isn't just for celebrities anymore--a 16-year-old Arkansas boy is suing his mother for hacking into his Facebook account and allegedly posting slanderous remarks. ATV-TV reports that Denise New of Arkadelphia is facing harassment charges from her 16-year-old. Her son, who lives with his grandmother, also requested a no-contact order. Prior to this issue, New and her son reportedly had a "great relationship," despite their living arrangements.

According to the boy, his mother hacked into his Facebook and email accounts, then changed both passwords. She also allegedly posted remarks that involved slander and information about his personal life. New admits to changing the passwords, but denies hacking--she claims he left his account logged in on her computer.


(Source: PC World)

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PC World

Thursday, 08 April 2010 15:38:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 06 April 2010

Link-shortening services such as TinyURL seem ideal for criminals because they can disguise the names of malicious sites. Yet on Twitter — one of the most popular places for them — they may not be nearly as malicious as many industry experts fear, according to new security research. Zscaler Inc., a company that sells security services, studied 1.3 million shortened links taken from Twitter over two weeks, before Twitter began in early March to examine such links for malicious content.

Just 773 of those links — a mere 0.06 percent — led to malicious content. Link-shortening services convert long Web addresses into shorter ones. They have become more popular as people spend more time on social-networking sites and share with their friends links to photos, news articles and other tidbits. They are especially important on Twitter, which restricts its posts to 140 characters.


(Source: AP)

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Tuesday, 06 April 2010 16:33:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |