• The worst database security breaches in the U.S., U.K.

    On 6 February 2010 AvMed Health Plans announced that personal information of current and former subscribers have been compromised by the theft of two company laptops from its corporate offices in Gainesville, Florida; the information was comprehensive, including Social Security numbers and protected health information; attempts the thwart the theft have been unsuccessful, leaving the identity data of nearly 1,100,000 vulnerable; this is only one of many cases of database breaches — and the number of cases is growing

  • Cybersecurity solution detects cyber attacks as they happen

    A winning entry in a cyber security competition gives analysts a way to look at computer network traffic and determine how a system was penetrated; it also supplies critical data that can be used to reduce system vulnerabilities and limit future attacks

  • Digital retaliation: Turkish hackers steal personal information of 122,000 Israelis

    A month ago Israel stopped several ships, sponsored by a Turkish fundamentalist Islamic organization, which tried to breach the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip; nine Turkish militants were killed after they had attacked Israeli soldiers; Turkish hackers launched a retaliatory attack on Israeli digital databases, stealing the e-mail addresses and credit card and PayPal account information of 122,000 Israelis; the hackers also attacked 2,100 Israeli Web sites; security expert advises affected Israelis to change passwords, and credit cards.

  • U.S. government to direct more to cybersecurity

    The three themes undergirding the Obama administration’s multi-billion dollar cybersecurity strategy: first, “tailored trustworthy spaces,” which means creating different security levels for different government and non-government Internet activities; second, “moving targets,” in which the search is for security systems that change constantly to increase uncertainty for hackers; third, “economic incentives,” which involves seeking to find ways to motivate users to adopt cybersecurity defenses

  • World's youngest known hacker caught

    A 9-year old student outwits Virginia school district’s cxybersecurity measures; the youngster used teacher’s login to access Blackboard, and then modify class enrollment lists, change the password login details of teachers, and modify homework assignments

  • Schmidt: private sector key to warding off cyber attacks

    White House cybersecurity coordinator says the private sector is where the best defense against cyberattacks and cyber warfare can be mounted; the government can do a lot to improve U.S. cyber defenses, but the key to warding off attacks remains private-sector vigilance; one major technology Web site agrees: “This is a battle every IT security professional must fight from the foxholes”

  • Cybercriminals exploit search engine optimization techniques

    Cybercriminals have another tool at their disposal: search engine optimization (SEO); hackers use automated kits to apply blackhat SEO methods — cynically exploiting tragic or salacious breaking news stories — to subvert searches in order to point surfers toward scareware download portals or other scams

  • Experts say smart meters are vulnerable to hacking

    In the United States alone, more than eight million smart meters have been deployed by electric utilities and nearly sixty million should be in place by 2020; security experts are worried that this rush to deployment of smart meters ignores serious security vulnerabilities: the interactivity which makes smart meters so attractive also makes them vulnerable to hackers, because each meter essentially is a computer connected to a vast network

  • Top U.S. cyber official: cyber threat poses existential threat to U.S.

    Senior Obama administration official: “I am convinced that given enough time, motivation and funding, a determined adversary will always — always — be able to penetrate a targeted system”; as a result: “The cyber threat can be an existential threat — meaning it can challenge our country’s very existence, or significantly alter our nation’s potential”

  • iPhone, IE8, Firefox, and Safari easily hacked at Pwn2Own contest

    Hackers gathered for an annual contest in Vancouver demonstrate easy hacking of iPhone and all major browsers; a non-jailbroken iPhone was also hacked and its SMS database stolen; security measures taken by Firefox, Safari, and IE8 no match for hackers

  • The Norton Top 10: Seattle is the riskiest U.S. city for cybercrime; Detroit is the safest

    A study of the cybercrime-proneness of fifty American cities finds that from the perspective of cybersecurity, Seattle is the riskiest city in America: If you live and work there and use the Internet, your are more vulnerable to cybercrime than in any other place; the cyber-safest cities: Detroit, Michigan, El Paso, Texas, and Memphis, Tennessee

  • A small industry emerges to support would-be credit card thieves, malware writers

    There is money to be made in credit card theft, so a small industry has emerged to help commercialize the business; a software kit, known as Zeus, epitomizes the commercialization of the malware services industry: as is the case with other malicious software, Zeus can easily be bought online, in this case for between $400 and $700; detailed instructions on how to use it are readily available, too; to check whether a piece of malware is on the security companies’ blacklists, hackers can send their creations to Web sites such as virtest.com, which for just $1 will try the code out on more than twenty antivirus products; if the malware fails the test, would-be criminals can simply upload their malware to another site that will tweak it to render it unrecognizable

  • Delay in start date for U.K. cyberdefense center

    The U.K. government’s Cyber Security Operations Center, charged with protecting Britain’s critical IT infrastructure, was supposed to become operational yesterday; the government said it would become operational by the end of the month

  • GAO: U.S. government not properly coordinating cybersecurity efforts

    The U.S. Government Accountability Office, in addressing the Obama administration’s Comprehensive National Cyber Security Initiative (CNCI), a secretive initiative inherited from the Bush administration, warned that “Federal agencies have overlapping and uncoordinated responsibilities for cybersecurity, and it is unclear where the full responsibility for coordination lies”

  • Private industry sees opportunities in cybersecurity

    Nadia Short, director of Strategic Planning and Business Development Information Assurance Division at General Dynamics: “The release of the [DHS] budgets earlier this month indicate a growth in cyberspending across all the services…. With that, as well as continuing the natural evolution of what cyber will mean for dot-gov and dot-mil, it will mean nothing but opportunity for private industry”