• In FBI versus Apple, government strengthened tech’s hand on privacy

    The ongoing fight between Apple and the FBI over breaking into the iPhone maker’s encryption system to access a person’s data is becoming an increasingly challenging legal issue. This case is very specific, and in this narrow case, Apple and law enforcement agencies will likely find a compromise. However, this question is not going away anywhere. With the “Internet of things” touted as the next big revolution, more and more devices will capture our very personal data – including our conversations. This case could be a precedent-setting event that can reshape how our data are stored and managed in the future.

  • Hackers hold hospitals’ medical data hostage

    Hackers attacked several hospitals in Germany with ransomware – locking medical files and demanding ransom payment for releasing the encrypted data. The blackmailing of hospitals by encrypting their medical file has become a growing problem around the world. In California, for example, a Hollywood hospital earlier this month had to pay about $17,000 in the digital currency bitcoins to hackers in order to regain access to medical files.

  • “Magic wand” to improve healthcare, cybersecurity

    Wireless and mobile health technologies have great potential to improve quality and access to care, reduce costs. and improve health. But these new technologies, whether in the form of software for smartphones or specialized devices to be worn, carried or applied as needed, also pose risks if they’re not designed or configured with security and privacy in mind. Researchers have developed a digital “magic wand” to improve home healthcare and to prevent hackers from stealing your personal data.

  • Pro-ISIS hackers issue threats to Facebook, Twitter founders

    Pro-ISIS hackers have released a video threatening the founders of Facebook and Twitter in retaliation for the two social media giants’ campaign to take down ISIS-related accounts. The threat was issued in a 25-minute video, uploaded on Tuesday to social networks by a group calling itself “Sons Caliphate Army” – which experts say is the latest “rebrand” of ISIS’s supporters online.

  • Cybersecurity “Rosetta Stone” marks two years of success

    Two years ago this month, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a document designed to help strengthen cybersecurity at organizations that manage critical national infrastructure such as banking and the energy supply. Produced after a year of intensive collaboration with industry, the Cybersecurity Framework is now a tool used by a wide variety of public and private companies and organizations, from retail chains to state governments.

  • How mobile ads leak personal data

    The personal information of millions of smartphone users is at risk due to in-app advertising that can leak potentially sensitive user information between ad networks and mobile app developers, according to a new study.

  • Detecting hidden malicious ads hidden in apps

    The danger of acquiring a computer virus or spyware used to come with the risk of visiting the dark, sketchy corners of the Internet. But now trusted and harmless smartphone apps like MyFitnessPal and Candy Crush carry their own risks. As more and more people own smartphones, the number of malicious ads hidden in apps is growing — tripling in just the past year.

  • Sharing password data safely to bolster cybersecurity

    An unfortunate reality for cybersecurity researchers is that real-world data for their research too often comes via a security breach. Now computer scientists have devised a way to let organizations share statistics about their users’ passwords without putting those same customers at risk of being hacked.

  • Russian govt. behind attack on Ukraine power grid: U.S. officials

    Obama officials said that Russian hackers were behind a December 2015 cyberattack on Ukraine’s power grid. The attack caused power outages and blackouts in 103 cities and towns across Ukraine. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, deputy Energy Secretary, made the comments to a gathering of electric power grid industry executives.

  • Intelligence agencies could use Internet-of-things to spy on people

    James Clapper, the director of U.S. national intelligence, told lawmakers the other day that the Internet of things — baby monitors, TV set, home security devices, voice recognition dolls – may be used by intelligence services to spy on people. Clapper, testifying yesterday before a Senate panel, said that intelligence agencies might be able to use this new generation of household devices to increase their surveillance capabilities.

  • U.S. officials: DHS, DOJ hack not serious

    Informed U.S. officials have downplayed the impact of the latest breach of government data in the wake of a hack of the employee information of 29,000 Department of Justice and DHS staff. Unidentified hackers on Sunday claimed that they had stolen personal information of about 20,000 DoJ employees — including FBI officials — and 9,000 DHS employees. Observers note that while the DHS breach is less severe than the one at OPM, it is still embarrassing for a department designated as the point of entry for all corporate data shared with government agencies in the information sharing program between industry and government created last year by the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act.

  • Vulnerability found in in two-factor authentication

    Two-factor authentication is a computer security measure used by major online service providers to protect the identify of users in the event of a password loss. Security experts have long endorsed two-factor authentication as an effective safeguard against password attacks. But what if two-factor authentication could be cracked not by computer engineering but by social engineering?

  • Hyperion cyber security technology receives commercialization award

    The commercial licensing of a cybersecurity technology developed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been recognized by the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) as a good example of moving technology to the marketplace. Hyperion, which has the capability automatically to analyze executable programs and recognize behaviors that signal malicious intent and vulnerabilities, was licensed to Virginia-based R&K Cyber Solutions, LLC, in late 2014.

  • Realistic data needed to develop the 21st century power grid

    Say you have a great new theory or technology to improve the nation’s energy backbone — the electric grid. Would it not be great to test it against a model complete with details that would tell you how your ideas would work? But it is a challenge, because existing sets of data are too small or outdated; and you do not have access to real data from the grid because of security and privacy issues. To overcome this problem, is helping to create open-access power grid datasets for researchers and industry.

  • Building cyber security testbed to help protect the power grid

    It is easy to think of the electrical grid as the power plants, the high voltage lines, the transmission towers, the substations, and all the low-voltage distribution lines that bring power to our homes and businesses. An attack on that grid would involve getting out and cutting lines or dropping towers. But there is another, less visible piece to the grid — all the computers and communication networks that make it work. Attackers can go after the cyber grid, too. They can do it from a desktop. At no real cost. Potentially from anywhere in the world. With few if any clues left behind.