• The 25 worst passwords of 2011

    SplashData, a password management application provider, has released its annual list of the worst Internet passwords. The list was prepared from files containing millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers. The worst password of 2011: “password.”

  • Government offers free cybersecurity protection tool for small businesses

    To help small businesses guard themselves against hackers and computer criminals, the U.S. government is offering a free online tool that helps business owners bolster their cyber defenses; the Small Biz Cyber Planner will help business owners create their own customized cybersecurity plans by answering basic questions about their company and its online presence

  • Greatest cyber vulnerabilities are people, says cybersecurity expert

    Dr. Cedric Jeannot, the founder and president of I Think Security, recently sat down with Eugene K. Chow, the executive editor of Homeland Security NewsWire, to discuss the latest rash in cyberattacks on companies, why hackers have been so successful, and the fallout from the RSA SecurID attacks

  • IBM acquires security threat, fraud detection software developer

    Acquisition extends IBM’s menu of offerings for governments, law enforcement, retail, insurance, and healthcare clients in what the company describes as “the Era of Smarter Cities”

  • Penn State offers online minor in homeland security

    Penn State is the latest to join the handful of educational institutes offering a minor in homeland security; the degree is available online and is designed to provide students with the skills needed to enter the homeland security field

  • Japanese pharmaceutical crippled by insider cyberattack

    Last week a disgruntled former contract employee pleaded guilty for severely disrupting the networks of Shionogi, a Japanese pharmaceutical firm; the attacks were so severe that they crippled Shionogi’s operations for “a number of days, leaving employees unable to ship products, to cut checks or even communicate via email,” according to court documents

  • Hong Kong arrests stock exchange hacker

    Last Friday authorities in Hong Kong announced that they had arrested a man for hacking into the city’s stock exchange and disrupting the trades of seven companies; two weeks ago the Hong Kong stock exchange’s website was hit with a malicious attack that caused several firms including global banking giant HSBC and the international airline Cathay Pacific to suspend trading for half a day

  • Anonymous retaliates against BART

    The hacking collective Anonymous released personal data on Sunday belonging to more than 2,000 public transport customers in the San Francisco area in retaliation for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system’s shutdown of mobile phone service on Thursday night

  • Attackers have advantage in cyberspace, says cybersecurity expert

    Homeland Security NewsWire’s executive editor Eugene Chow recently caught up with Bruce Schneier, a cybersecurity expert and the author of several bestselling books, including “Applied Cryptography,” “Secrets and Lies,” and “Beyond Fear”; in the interview Schneier discusses the recent politically motivated cyberattacks by Anonymous and AntiSec, securing U.S. networks against counterfeit computer chips, and President Obama’s proposed cybersecurity plan

  • Cost of cyberattacks on the rise

    A new study shows that cybercrime is costing corporations 56 percent more than last year; the study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by ArcSight, an HP company, found that the median cost of cybercrimes for the fifty companies surveyed was $5.9 million; the increase in costs were largely due to hackers using stealthier techniques

  • Researchers show how to unlock, start a car remotely

    Two researchers at the Black Hat event in Las Vegas demonstrated they could send commands from a laptop to unlock the doors of a Subaru Outback — and then start the car; they said that in addition to vehicles, many other GPS-tracking devices, 3G security cameras, urban traffic control systems, SCADA sensors, and home controls and systems are also telephony-enabled and, as a result, susceptible to attack

  • Better than SecurID?

    The man who invented the two-factor authentication SecurID token has just unveiled a more secure authentication system using voice biometrics; Kenneth Weiss, the founder of Universal Secure Registry, says his latest invention is more flexible and secure than SecurID tokens as they can be used to authenticate individuals on mobile phones, payments, and cloud computing; by adding a voice biometric component, the new device offers three-factor authentication

  • Cybercrime statistics wildly inaccurate, says researcher

    A cybersecurity researcher is questioning the various statistics that government officials and IT companies use as evidence of the rampant and deleterious effects of hackers; Cormac Herley, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, argues that the existing data on the estimated losses from cyberattacks is wildly inaccurate to the point that analysts have no idea what the problem’s economic impacts are; one expert, noting that estimates of the annual cost of cybercrime range from $560 million to $100 billion to $1 trillion, asks: “How can this be? How can you have estimates of the same problem ranging across three orders of magnitude?”

  • Data breaches compromise nearly 8 million medical records

    The revelation that millions of people have had their personal medical records stolen could slow the Obama administration’s efforts to digitize the nation’s health care records; in the last two years alone nearly eight million people have had their medical records stolen or compromised; 1.7 million patients, staff members, contractors, and suppliers at several New York hospitals had their information stolen when thieves removed them from an unlocked van; to ensure that medical records are safe, HHS has begun imposing penalties on health care providers who compromise their patient’s records; but some health care experts wonder if enforcing HIPAA alone will be enough to address the problem

  • U.S. intelligence sets up cyber defense office in Estonia

    Since gaining its independence in 1991, Estonia has become one of the most cyber-focused nations in the world; it also has its own experience with cyberwar: in 2007 Russian government-inspired hackers launched a massive cyber attack on Estonia after the Estonian government decided to move a statue commemorating the Red Army from the center of the capital to a more modest location; now the U.S. intelligence community has decided to open an office in the Estonian capital Tallinn to help bolster the fight against cyber-crime