• HIPAA audits and what you need to consider to keep your organization compliant

    HIPAA has long been a regulation which has been confusing, in many aspects requiring a legal degree to understand the complexity and exactly how to become and remain complaint.HIPAA was enacted in 1996, and it has taken twenty years for it to become the elephant in the room it is today.The regulation has become more sophisticated based on the overwhelming increase in data breaches with the medical industry experiencing the greatest impact.

  • Security risks in the age of smart homes

    Smart homes, an aspect of the Internet of Things, offer the promise of improved energy efficiency and control over home security. Integrating various devices together can offer users easy programming of many devices around the home, including appliances, cameras and alarm sensors. There are great benefits to gain from smart homes, and the Internet of Things in general, that ultimately lead to an improved quality of living. However, given the security weaknesses in today’s systems, caution is appropriate.

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  • It’s easier to defend against ransomware than you might think

    Ransomware – malicious software that sneaks onto your computer, encrypts your data so you can’t access it and demands payment for unlocking the information – has become an emerging cyberthreat. Several reports in the past few years document the diversity of ransomware attacks and their increasingly sophisticated methods. Unfortunately, the use of advanced cryptosystems in modern ransomware families has made recovering victims’ files almost impossible without paying the ransom. However, it is easier to defend against ransomware than to fight off other types of cyberthreats, such as hackers gaining unauthorized entry to company data and stealing secret information.

  • What Machiavelli can teach us about cybercrime and e-commerce security

    Online poker offers new insights into the mind-set of scheming Machiavellians, researchers have found. The researchers show that the card betting game can be used as a novel way to better understand the psychology of strategic deception. The research is part of a broader project looking at break-through research on deception, a basic problem at the heart of cybercrime affecting sectors such as e-commerce and financial services, to deepen our fundamental understanding of how deception works particularly in online settings.

  • Maritime vessels at risk of cyberattack because of outdated systems

    Maritime vessels are under significant threat of cyber-attack because many are carrying outdated software and were not designed with cyber security in mind, according to new research. But operators could easily mitigate against such dangers by updating security systems, improving ship design and providing better training for crews.

  • Presidential campaigns spied on by foreign hackers with “a variety of motivations”

    National Intelligence Director James Clapper said that the campaigns of all the candidates for president are being spied on by foreign hackers with “a variety of motivations.” Clapper said that the acts of espionage against the campaigns may only just be getting started. “As the campaigns intensify we’ll probably have more of it,” Clapper noted.

     

  • We know where you live

    Researchers have shown that the location stamps on just a handful of Twitter posts — as few as eight over the course of a single day — can be enough to disclose the addresses of the poster’s home and workplace to a relatively low-tech snooper. The tweets themselves might be otherwise innocuous — the location information comes from geographic coordinates automatically associated with the tweets.

  • Cybersecurity cracks the undergraduate curriculum

    In a time when million-dollar security breaches of household name corporations regularly make headlines and complicate lives, computer science undergraduates at America’s universities remain surprisingly underexposed to basic cybersecurity tactics. the Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP), a national cybersecurity facility housed at the Morgridge Institute for Research in Madison, Wisconsin, has been working to address this skills gap by offering a suite of software security tools that Bowie State has been integrating into undergraduate coding courses, giving students a way to examine and rid their code of security weaknesses.

  • Building security into cyber-physical systems

    We are immersed in a cyber-physical world. Information technology is deeply embedded in traditionally non-IT systems, including automobiles, the electric grid and emergency response. But in many of these systems, security is largely incorporated as a last step, like a suit of armor over a vulnerable body. To help bake security into the very core, a new draft NIST publication recommends ways to incorporate time-tested security design principles and concepts into these systems at every step, from concept to implementation.

  • Security software can put computers at risk

    Is the antivirus program running on your computer really making your computers safer to use, say, for online banking? Is the parental control software you bought to keep your 13-year-old off porn sites downgrading the overall safety of your computer? New research from Concordia shows security software might actually make online computing less safe.

  • Cybersecurity’s weakest link: humans

    There is a common thread that connects many of the recent hacks which captured the headlines. They all employed generic – or what is now considered “old school” – phishing attacks which typically took the form of the infamous “Nigerian prince” type e-mails, trying to trick recipients into responding with some personal financial information. “Spearphishing” attacks are similar but far more vicious. They seek to persuade victims to click on a hyperlink or an attachment that usually deploys software (called “malware”) allowing attackers access to the user’s computer or even to an entire corporate network. Yes, people are the weakest links in cybersecurity. But they don’t have to be. With smarter, individualized training, we could convert many of these weak links into strong detectors – and in doing so, significantly strengthen cybersecurity.

  • “Internet of Things” increases threat to infrastructure

    According to former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, a simple Web search can reveal information from thousands of unsecured devices. Even the casual browser can access camera data from Sweden, video game server activity in Eastern Europe, or the output of American wind turbines. He said this information is as easily accessible to terrorists and other criminals. And more will become available as the “Internet of things” — the collection of physical systems and devices connected to the Internet — grows in size.

  • “Smart home” security flaws found in popular system

    Cybersecurity researchers were able to hack into the leading “smart home” automation system and essentially get the PIN code to a home’s front door. Their “lock-pick malware app” was one of four attacks that the cybersecurity researchers leveled at an experimental set-up of Samsung’s SmartThings, a top-selling Internet of Things platform for consumers. The work is believed to be the first platform-wide study of a real-world connected home system. The researchers did not like what they saw.

  • Defending encrypted data from quantum computer threat

    If an exotic quantum computer is invented that could break the codes we depend on to protect confidential electronic information, what will we do to maintain our security and privacy? This is the overarching question posed by a new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), whose cryptography specialists are beginning the long journey toward effective answers.

  • FBI does not know how the $1m iPhone hack works

    The  FBI does not know how the hack which was used to unlock the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone 5C works, even though the agency paid about $1 million for the technique. The identity of the hackers who sold the technique to the agency is a closely guarded secret, and the FBI director himself does not know who they are.