Must-read articles on computer security, including virus alerts and much more!
Hacker sentenced to 21 months in U.S. prison for $15 million scheme
- By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Massachusetts man was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Friday for his role in a cybercrime scheme that hacked accounts at banks, brokerage firms and government agencies in an attempt to steal more than $15 million, U.S. prosecutors said. Robert Dubuc, 41, pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy, conspiracy to commit access device fraud and identity theft in federal court in New Jersey in April. U.S. District Judge Peter Sheridan in Trenton imposed the sentence on Friday. ...
Man who was part of cybercrime ring gets prison
- TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A Massachusetts man has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for his part in an international cybercrime ring that targeted more than a dozen financial institutions and the U.S. military's payroll service.
Hacker gets prison for cyberattack stealing $9.4M
- ATLANTA (AP) — An Estonian national who pleaded guilty to orchestrating a 2008 cyberattack on a credit card processing company that enabled hackers to steal $9.4 million from ATMs around the world was sentenced to 11 years in prison and ordered to repay most of the money, prosecutors said Friday.
Ericsson flags North America slowdown
- By Sven Nordenstam and Olof Swahnberg STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Mobile telecoms gear maker Ericsson said on Friday a slowdown in North America created uncertainty over fourth quarter sales as operators cut spending after big investments in high-speed networks. A build-out of the newest 4G/LTE networks by operators in North America, where Ericsson makes about a quarter of its sales and Chinese rival Huawei is effectively barred from doing business, has supported the Swedish firm at a time of stagnation in much of Europe. ...
Network gear maker Nokia tops market expectations
- By Jussi Rosendahl HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nokia delivered quarterly profits well above expectations on Thursday, six months after selling its struggling handset business to Microsoft in a 5.6 billion euros ($7.1 billion) deal that transformed it into a pure play network equipment maker. The Finnish company reported strong earnings from its core network gear unit and lifted the outlook for the business following large network roll-outs in North America and China. Despite concerns over lower-margin deals in China, Nokia's network unit showed a core operating profit margin of 13. ...
Check Point third-quarter profit beats estimates, raises 2014 forecast
- By Tova Cohen TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Network security provider Check Point Software Technologies reported quarterly profit that topped expectations and raised its full-year forecast on strong demand for its threat prevention and other software subscriptions. Check Point earned 93 cents a share excluding one-time items in the third quarter, up from 85 cents a year earlier. Revenue grew 8 percent to $370.4 million, the Israeli-based company said on Thursday. ...
Review: Another black comic blast of 'Borderlands'
- Like dozens of other video games, "Borderlands" is all about killing — people, robots, monsters, whatever. But "Borderlands" has a not-so-secret weapon in its arsenal: an acidic sense of black humor that's a welcome relief from the gung-ho war-is-hell cliches of competitors like "Call of Duty" and "Halo."
Huawei says third-quarter smartphone shipments jump 26 percent, strong demand for high-end devices
- By Yimou Lee HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd said third-quarter smartphone shipments jumped 26 percent year-on-year, doubling devices shipped to the high-margin premium market dominated by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc. Shenzhen-based Huawei, the world's third-biggest smartphone supplier after the dominant pair, shipped 16.8 million smartphones globally in the quarter ended Sept. 30, according to company data. About a quarter of those were mid- to high-end models, more than twice as many as the same period last year. ...
China's Xiaomi shifts some smartphone user data out of Beijing on privacy concerns
- By Gerry Shih BEIJING (Reuters) - Fast-growing Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc said on Thursday it is migrating some data on non-Chinese customers away from its servers in Beijing due to performance and privacy considerations. Data belonging to the privately owned company's non-Chinese users will be moved in several phases to Amazon Inc servers in the United States and data centers in Singapore, Xiaomi vice president Hugo Barra said in a Wednesday blog post on Google Plus. ...
Congress not likely to force iOS and Android decryption for the FBI
- Apple has more than once reminded customers it values their security and privacy and has been reassuring them that they won’t become the company’s “product” and that their data will be safely encrypted. Similarly, Google also said it will encrypt Android devices by default. Since then, the FBI and others have complained that Apple and Google will be basically helping bad guys get away with bad things thanks to encrypted devices. FROM EARLIER: The FBI ratchets up its scare campaign over smartphone encryption But, as Motherboard reports, Congress isn’t likely to order these companies to decrypt their phones for FBI or other governmental agencies. “To FBI Director Comey and the Admin on criticisms of legitimate businesses using encryption: you reap what you
The most disappointing video games of all-time, according to Redditors
- There is no feeling like when a highly anticipated game completely disappoints after it’s released. Months or even years of buildup can lead to a game that’s such a waste of time that you may end up selling your console because of it. Reddit users have sounded off on their most disappointing games ever and while there are few surprises, the reasons for their disappointment are nonetheless interesting. MORE FROM REDDIT: The 10 best tech toys under $200, according to Redditors One of the most upvoted comments in the Reddit thread is about the game Brink. One Redditor says, “Throwing my $60 out the window would have been a smarter decision than anything Brink’s AI ever did in the game.” Another adds,
Here’s how to make sure your iCloud data is safe from hackers
- After reports emerged from China detailing a sophisticated iCloud phishing attack, Apple has posted instructions on its support pages to help users figure out whether they’re actually on the real iCloud page, or on a fake page meant to steal iCloud credentials from unsuspecting victims. Additionally, Reuters reports, Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday met with China’s vice premier Ma Kai to discuss personal data security. FROM EARLIER: Apple falls victim to an iCloud attack from the Chinese government, servers not affected According to Greatfire’s initial report, a Chinese firewall had blocked all connections to iCloud.com, directing the traffic instead to a dummy site that mimicked Apple’s login page for the service. The same group later told Reuters that Apple rerouted
Fans go crackers for crazy Cheez-It creations
- Chocolate-covered Cheez-Its, wedding cake Cheez-Its, even a Cheez-It cocktail... They're all out there. Ditto for Cheez-It jewelry and even Cheez-It tattoos (would that be Cheez-tats?).
U.S. government probes medical devices for possible cyber flaws
- By Jim Finkle BOSTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is investigating about two dozen cases of suspected cybersecurity flaws in medical devices and hospital equipment that officials fear could be exploited by hackers, a senior official at the agency told Reuters. ...
Apple CEO discusses security with top Chinese official amid hacking claims: Xinhua
- BEIJING (Reuters) - Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook discussed user data security at a meeting on Wednesday with a top Chinese government official in Beijing, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The meeting comes days after a Chinese web monitoring group published a report saying Apple users in China have been targeted in a sophisticated and widespread attack by hackers seeking private user data stored on the iCloud service. The group, Greatfire.org, has alleged Chinese government involvement in the hack, a claim the government has strongly refuted. ...
New York financial regulator pushes banks to plug gaps in cybersecurity
- (Reuters) - Following the massive cyber attack on the biggest U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase & Co disclosed in August, and other financial institutions, government authorities in United States are pushing financial institutions and brokerage houses to close glaring gaps in cybersecurity. In a letter sent to many banks on Tuesday, the New York State Department of Financial Services superintendent, Benjamin Lawsky, expressed concern about the "level of insight financial institutions have into the sufficiency of cybersecurity controls of their third-party service providers. ...
Apple issues security warning for iCloud
- SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple has posted a new security warning for users of its iCloud online storage service amid reports of a concerted effort to steal passwords and other data from people who use the popular service in China.
FTC names privacy expert as chief technologist
- SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday named an outspoken Internet privacy expert, Ashkan Soltani, as its chief technologist in a move that signals the agency's focus on protecting consumers' online privacy.
Is Staples the latest retailer to get hit with a huge credit card breach?
- Brian Krebs, the man who originally reported the Home Depot data breach earlier this year, now believes that Staples has been subjected to a data breach of its own. Krebs says that at least six banks noticed a pattern of debit and credit card fraud in several Staples branches, indicating that card data might have been accessed. At Krebs on Security, Krebs notes that every card that has been connected to this potential breach was used in one of seven or so stores in the Northeast, so even if Staples has been infiltrated, it looks like the range is relatively limited. Interestingly, the cards were affected by other fraudulent charges as well outside of Staples, which Krebs believes could be a sign that Staples is a victim
China-backed hackers target Apple's iCloud users: blog
- By Jim Finkle, Gerry Shih and Ben Blanchard BOSTON/BEIJING (Reuters) - Apple Inc's iCloud storage service in China was attacked by hackers trying to steal user credentials, a Chinese web monitoring group said, adding that it believes the Beijing government is behind the campaign. Using what is called a "man-in-the-middle" (MITM) attack, the hackers interposed their own website between users and Apple's iCloud server, intercepting data and potentially gaining access to passwords, iMessages, photos and contacts, Greatfire.org wrote in its blog post. ...
U.S. national security prosecutors shift focus from spies to cyber
- By Aruna Viswanatha WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department is restructuring its national security prosecution team to deal with cyber attacks and the threat of sensitive technology ending up in the wrong hands, as American business and government agencies face more intrusions. The revamp, led by Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, also marks a recognition that national security threats have broadened and become more technologically savvy since the 9/11 attacks against the United States. ...
7 awesome paid iPhone and iPad apps you can get for free right now
- We shared a terrific list of eight paid iPhone and iPad apps on Monday that were normally worth a combined $60 but were all on sale for free for a limited time. In fact, if you hurry, you can still download a few of them for free. Tuesday brings a new batch of software sales though, and this time we have another seven iOS apps regularly worth $18 all together, but each and every one of them is free for a limited time. DON’T MISS: The 10 best iPhone apps with iOS 8 Notification Center widgets These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no way to
The Tech Behind Apple Pay: Is Your Money Secure?
- Apple's new mobile payment system, Apple Pay, launches today (Oct. 20), and while some have questioned whether the technology is safe, security experts say it may actually be safer than swiping your credit or debit card. Apple Pay lets iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users make purchases in stores with their smartphones, using near-field communication (NFC) technology. A tiny antennain the phone transmits encrypted credit card data without consumers having to swipe their card. Apple Pay uses a security protocol — known as the EMV standard — that other mobile wallets don't use, Ferenczi told Live Science.
Apple Pay Q&A: What you need to know
- Apple's mobile payment system, Apple Pay, made its debut Monday. Now you can flash your new iPhone in the checkout line to pay for food, clothing and other goods. There's no need to pull out your credit ...
Obama’s new order: U.S. government’s credit card security must be improved
- In the wake of the numerous sophisticated cyberattacks that managed to steal credit and debit card data from various retail stores in the U.S., President Obama on Friday signed an executive order to improve security for credit cards and payment systems used by the government, The New York Times reports. FROM EARLIER: Home Depot didn’t take data security seriously, report reveals “You should be able to buy the things that you need without risking your identity, your credit score or your savings,” Obama said at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau before signing the order. Government agencies and offices will have to upgrade their systems to better protect user data, and move to more secure a chip-and-PIN credit cards that are more
China-backed hackers may have infiltrated Apple's iCloud: blog
- SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc's iCloud storage and backup service in China was attacked by hackers trying to steal user credentials and other information, a cyber security blog charged on Monday, saying it believes the country's government is behind the campaign. Unknown "Chinese authorities" interposed their own website between users and Apple's iCloud, intercepting instructions and messages while the user believes he or she is communicating directly with Apple's site, Greatfire.org wrote in its blog post. ...
Wall Street urges U.S. regulators' joint cybersecurity approach
- By Sarah N. Lynch and Douwe Miedema WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Wall Street's top trade group is calling for the creation of a new inter-agency working group of regulators and the White House that would be tasked with developing consistent cybersecurity rules for the financial industry. The recommendation by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) was one of several unveiled on Monday as part of a new paper that lays out proposed "principles for effective cybersecurity regulatory guidance. ...
EU and China end telecoms row as EU drops threats against Huawei
- By Robin Emmott BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union has ended a long-running telecoms row with China, the EU's trade chief said on Monday, dropping a threat to levy punitive tariffs on Chinese telecoms exports and easing tensions between two of the world's top trading powers. As Reuters reported exclusively on Oct. 8, the deal struck between Brussels and Beijing sets out a framework for China to address EU concerns about subsidies to Huawei , China's No. 2 telecoms equipment maker, and its smaller rival ZTE. ...
China says it's hard to resume cyber security talks with U.S.
- BEIJING (Reuters) - Resuming cyber security cooperation between China and the United States would be difficult because of "mistaken U.S. practices", China's top diplomat told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Cyber security is an irritant to bilateral ties. On Wednesday the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said hackers it believed were backed by the Chinese government had launched more attacks on U.S. companies, a charge China rejected as unfounded. ...
A comprehensive guide to using 2014’s coolest new iOS and OS X feature
- The coolest new feature that spans across both iOS and OS X announced this year has definitely been the Handoff feature that will let you quickly move information and data between iOS devices and your Mac. 9to5Mac’s Sarah Guarino has put together a fantastic guide for how to use this new feature, which iPhone owners can finally use now that Apple has released OS X Yosemite. RELATED: Apple announces release details and pricing for OS X Yosemite The first thing you’ll need to do is obviously have a device with iOS 8 installed that you’ll pair to your Mac via Bluetooth. Guarino also lists all the Macs that you can use to run the Handoff feature: “A 2012 iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook
Kerry seeks to warm summit mood with dinner for China's top diplomat
- By David Brunnstrom BOSTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed China's top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, to his Boston home on Friday for talks aimed at warming the often strained U.S.-China relationship ahead of a summit between their leaders next month. Kerry stood outside his imposing townhouse residence in Boston's exclusive Louisburg Square to welcome Yang with smiles and handshakes. After their dinner on Friday night, the two will hold formal talks on Saturday, when Kerry also plans to show Yang some of the sights of his native city. Chinese and U.S. ...
Man sentenced for part in global cybercrime ring
- A Massachusetts man who was part of an international cybercrime ring that the government says hacked into the computers of more than a dozen financial institutions and the U.S. military's payroll service ...
Exclusive: NSA reviewing deal between official, ex-spy agency head
- By Warren Strobel and Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. National Security Agency has launched an internal review of a senior official’s part-time work for a private venture started by former NSA director Keith Alexander that raises questions over the blurring of lines between government and business. Under the arrangement, which was confirmed by Alexander and current intelligence officials, NSA's Chief Technical Officer, Patrick Dowd, is allowed to work up to 20 hours a week at IronNet Cybersecurity Inc, the private firm led by Alexander, a retired Army general and his former ...
Is Car Hacking the Next Big Security Threat?
- "It's not hypothetical at all," said Chris Valasek, director of vehicle security research at IOActive, a global security services company that has its North American headquarters in Seattle. Valasek has conducted research on remote car-hacking with Twitter security engineer Charlie Miller. Researchers at the University of Washington and University of California, San Diego, have also examined this type of security breach. Valasek and Miller said the automotive industry needs to better prepare for potential attacks.
FBI director warns against cellphone encryption
- WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI Director James Comey warned in stark terms Thursday against the push by technology companies to encrypt smartphone data and operating systems, arguing that murder cases could be stalled, suspects could walk free and justice could be thwarted by a locked phone or an encrypted hard drive.
FBI director warns new phone encryption could thwart probes
- By Aruna Viswanatha WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. FBI Director James Comey on Thursday made his strongest comments yet about encryption features built into new cell phones by Google Inc and Apple Inc , warning they could hurt law enforcement efforts to crack homicide and child exploitation cases. Speaking before an audience at the Brookings Institution think tank, Comey said the new phones, which limit the ability for the companies themselves to access data stored on the units, have "the potential to create a black hole for law enforcement. ...
'Malvertising' targets U.S. military firms in new twist on old web threat
- By Eric Auchard AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A surge in malware disguised as online advertisements aimed at unsuspecting web users has hit major U.S. military contractors in the past few weeks, marking a dangerous twist on a decade-old scourge for advertisers, security researchers said on Thursday. Researchers from Fairfax, Virginia-based security software company Invincea said they had documented new uses of so-called "malvertising" to carry out highly-targeted cyber espionage campaigns against three firms in the military-industrial arena. ...
FBI warns U.S. businesses of cyber attacks, blames Beijing
- BOSTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Wednesday that hackers it believes to be backed by the Chinese government have recently launched attacks on U.S. companies. The "flash" warning to businesses described tools and techniques used by the hackers and asked companies to contact federal authorities if they believe they are the victims of such attacks. The document said the agency recently obtained information regarding "a group of Chinese government affiliated cyber actors who routinely steal high-value information from U.S. ...
Amazon’s Fire Phone might be an even bigger flop than anyone imagined
- Amazon’s Fire Phone is definitely 2014’s version of the Microsoft Kin and the Facebook-centric HTC First — in other words, it will go down as one of the most spectacular mobile phone bombs the world has ever seen. RELATED: A flop for the ages — Fire Phone estimated to have sold 35,000 units at most Now Consumer Intelligence Research Partners passes on some new data that suggests the Fire Phone’s impact on the mobile market has been literally nonexistent as even dedicated Amazon customers have avoided the device like the plague. According to a recent CIRP survey of 500 Amazon Prime customers, literally none of them owned a Fire Phone. While you may just write this off as Prime customers only
Iran tips hand about structure of secret services
- TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran drew back the veil — if slightly — over its intelligence services on Wednesday, with its top nuclear security official crediting them for helping protect the Islamic Republic's atomic program from attempts at sabotage.