Must-read articles on computer security, including virus alerts and much more!
Here’s what the Internet might look like in 2025
- The World Wide Web turned 25 on Wednesday, and what better way to commemorate the occasion than by envisioning the Internet of the future? The Pew Research Center asked a group of what The Wall Street Journal refers to as “thinkers in science and technology” about what the Internet might look like in 2025. Their responses carry forth many of the concept of the Internet of Things we have seen so often recently, but they also take things much further. What follows below is a collection of responses compiled by WSJ, and the full report can be found on Pew’s website, which is linked below in our source section. David Clark, senior research scientist at MIT: “Devices will more and more have
Tokyo lawsuit raised red flags on Mt. Gox funding, compliance
- Two months before Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy it was sued by a customer seeking the return of funds in a case that highlights some of the red flags raised in the run-up to the collapse of what was once the world's biggest bitcoin exchange. New York resident Marko Simovic filed a civil action at the Tokyo District Court on December 24, seeking to recover $105,000 he had on deposit at Mt. Gox and about $14,000 in interest, court filings show. Simovic, who described himself as a software developer who previously managed the bitcoin operations for a hedge fund, said Mt. Gox dodged repeated requests to withdraw funds from his account, which as of July 1 was credited with $935,000 in cash. Simovic could not be reached for comment.
California pushes to finish driverless car rules
- LOS ANGELES (AP) — California is trying to do something unusual in this age of rapidly evolving technology — get ahead of a big new development before it goes public.
California mulls how to regulate driverless cars
- LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sooner or later, consumers will be able to buy cars that rely on computers — not the owner — to do the driving.
Navy admiral relays concerns about NSA changes
- WASHINGTON (AP) — If the U.S. government turns over the bulk collection of telephone data to an independent third party, higher costs and delays in identifying potential threats could result, the Navy admiral nominated to be the next head of the troubled National Security Agency said Tuesday.
Obama's NSA nominee aims to build trust in beleaguered spy agency
- By Patricia Zengerle and Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's pick to lead the National Security Agency pledged on Tuesday to look for ways to build confidence in the beleaguered spy agency and, in a possible shift, stopped short of calling former contractor Edward Snowden a traitor. Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, now the Navy's top cyber warrior, was cautious during often terse exchanges at a Senate hearing on his confirmation to also lead the U.S. Cyber Command that saw critics and supporters prod him about the NSA's bulk collection of phone records, a program exposed by Snowden. Rogers spoke about the need for NSA transparency and accountability. But he did not signal a departure from the kinds of reforms already announced by President Barack Obama, including moving storage of telephone metadata - records of U.S. phone calls, their length and time - out of government hands.
This is iOS 7.1′s most incredible secret feature
- Apple released iOS 7.1 to the public on Monday afternoon and it came right on time, as per BGR’s exclusive report from back in December of last year. The new software update brings with it a wide range of visual changes, bug fixes and feature additions such as support for Apple’s new CarPlay and new Siri capabilities. There is plenty of great new functionality to look through and we posted a solid video walkthrough that highlights almost all of it. There is one iOS 7.1 feature in particular, though, that isn’t exactly new but you still really have to check out. As noted by The Loop, iOS now includes a feature that allows users to control the iPhone with head-based motion
Awesome video walkthrough shows you everything new in iOS 7.1
- So let’s say you’ve downloaded iOS 7.1 but you don’t have time to figure out all the new features it has. Fear not! A handy video posted by iTwe4kz breaks down everything that’s new with iOS 7.1, from major changes to minute details that you probably never would have noticed. The most important thing to know about iOS 7.1 is that you should not download it if you’ve got a jailbroken iPhone — Apple has patched all the holes that allowed for the iOS 7 jailbreak and you’ll have to wait a bit before there’s another jailbreak update for 7.1. Other features detailed in iTwe4kz’s video include a new slide-to-power-off button that will slowly dim your smartphone’s display as you move it
Apple taunts jailbreak hackers by thanking them for making iOS 7.1 more secure
- It could be quite some time before Apple’s latest mobile software release, iOS 7.1, is jailbroken. And to make matters worse, Apple just had a bit of a laugh by taunting the team of hackers responsible for jailbreaking Apple’s previous mobile software version, iOS 7. “Jailbreaking” is a procedure that exploits security vulnerabilities identified in Apple’s iOS software and opens up the platform to unauthorized third-party apps. Each time hackers find a new vulnerability to exploit, however, Apple addresses it in a future update and leaves hackers searching for a new security hole. Such is the case in iOS 7.1, but Apple had a little extra fun this time around: It thanked the evad3rs jailbreaking team by name for finding several
The Future of the Internet: Dark and Ubiquitous
- At least, that's the vision many experts gave to researchers in a recent survey by the Pew Research Center Internet Project. The survey, done on the 25th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web, asked 1,867 experts in privacy, technology and cybersecurity what the future of the Internet will look like in 2025. The Pew Research Center conducts a survey on the future of the Internet every two years, although unlike this survey, those typically asked more directed, less open-ended questions. "It feels like there's even more certainty in the expert community about the direction of technology change," said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center's Internet Project.
Japanese bitcoin exchange files US bankruptcy case
- The collapse of Japan's Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange is spilling into U.S. bankruptcy court as the company scrambles for legal cover after losing digital currency valued at $473 million. Mt. Gox's bankruptcy ...
Mt. Gox files U.S. bankruptcy, opponents call it a ruse
- Mt. Gox, once the world's largest bitcoin exchange, received U.S. bankruptcy protection on Monday to temporarily halt U.S. legal action against the Japanese company by traders who allege the operation was a fraud. Judge Harlin Hale in Dallas granted temporary bankruptcy protection to Mt. Gox, which had filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan in February. Attorneys for Mt. Gox said without bankruptcy protection the company would be irreparably harmed by a proposed class action in Chicago federal court and a breach of contract case in Seattle federal court.
Hackers call Mt. Gox CEO a liar, say he still controls ‘stolen’ bitcoin
- Anonymous hackers on Sunday claimed to have published evidence that Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles lied about the theft of more than $500 million worth of bitcoin. According to the hackers, Karpeles still controls all of the cryptocurrency he says was stolen recently in the biggest heist of bitcoin’s brief history. Mt. Gox was the world’s largest bitcoin exchange until about 850,000 bitcoin were allegedly stolen during a breach, forcing the exchange to shut down and file for bankruptcy protection. According to new claims from anonymous hackers, however, the heist never occurred and Karpeles still controls nearly 1 million bitcoin worth approximately $596 million at Monday’s exchange rate. According to a report from Forbes, the anonymous hackers took over Karpeles’s blog and published
BAE report says Ukraine has faced cyberattacks
- LONDON (AP) — Ukraine was repeatedly attacked by sophisticated cyberspies as tensions between pro-Russian and Western-leaning factions escalated in recent months, according to a report from U.K.-based defense contractor BAE Systems.
Warning shots fired to turn monitors back from Crimea
- By Peter Graff and Andrew Osborn KIEV/SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) - Shots were fired in Crimea to warn off an unarmed international team of monitors and at a Ukrainian observation plane, as the standoff between occupying Russian forces and besieged Ukrainian troops intensified. Russia's seizure of the Black Sea peninsula, which began 10 days ago, has so far been bloodless, but its forces have become increasingly aggressive towards Ukrainian troops, who are trapped in bases and have offered no resistance. President Vladimir Putin declared a week ago that Russia had the right to invade Ukraine to protect Russian citizens, and his parliament has voted to change the law to make it easier to annex territory inhabited by Russian speakers. Tempers have grown hotter in the last two days, since the region's pro-Moscow leadership declared it part of Russia and announced a March 16 referendum to confirm it.
Ukrainian authorities suffer new cyber attacks
- Ukraine's top security body said on Saturday that it and the national news agency had been hit by cyber attacks, the latest suffered by state organizations since the start of the crisis over Crimea. The Ukrainian authorities said last week the country's telecommunications system had come under cyber attack, with equipment installed in Russian-controlled Crimea used to interfere with the mobile phones of members of parliament. "There was a massive DoS-attack on communication channels of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, which was apparently aimed at hindering a response to the challenges faced by our state," the Security and Defence Council said.
Elite security posse fostered founders of WhatsApp, Napster
- By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A few days after selling WhatsApp to Facebook for $19 billion, Jan Koum stepped into a suite at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco to celebrate with old friends, including CEOs, reformed hackers and a few people who fell into both those camps. Conducted over snacks and beer, the late-night festivity was a spontaneous reunion of a security super-group that had come to Koum's aid in 2000 as he grappled with a denial-of-service attack that knocked Yahoo offline when Koum was responsible for security there. The two most famous exceptions are WhatsApp, the messaging service that Koum co-founded, and Napster, the pioneering file-sharing company that was shut down by the music industry in 2001. Napster Co-founder Shawn Fanning was one of several members still in high school.
Suspected Russian spyware Turla targets Europe, United States
- By Peter Apps and Jim Finkle LONDON/BOSTON (Reuters) - A sophisticated piece of spyware has been quietly infecting hundreds of government computers across Europe and the United States in one of the most complex cyber espionage programs uncovered to date. Several security researchers and Western intelligence officers say they believe the malware, widely known as Turla, is the work of the Russian government and linked to the same software used to launch a massive breach on the U.S. military uncovered in 2008.
Target breach puts corporate tech execs under fire
- Hackers are putting top technology executives under severe pressure. And this week's sudden departure of Target's chief information officer in the wake of the company's massive pre-Christmas data breach ...
Target exec's departure puts spotlight on CIOs
- NEW YORK (AP) — Hackers are putting top technology executives under severe pressure. And this week's sudden departure of Target's chief information officer in the wake of the company's massive pre-Christmas data breach has only ratcheted up the stress.
Google exec bashes Facebook for $19 billion WhatsApp buy
- Google wanted to acquire WhatsApp but it couldn’t get the deal done. Now, Google is apparently venting some frustrations that Facebook beat it to the punch. While speaking at the Morgan Stanley technology conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Google’s chief business officer Nikesh Arora voiced his opinion that the huge $19 billion sum Facebook is paying to acquire WhatsApp is exorbitant. “$500 million per employee? Is that a good use of our money?” Arora replied to Morgan Stanley’s Scott Devitt when he asked if Google might be interested in another big mobile messaging market player following the WhatsApp deal. As The Wall Street Journal noted, Facebook’s acquisition of the 55-person cross-platform messaging startup WhatsApp actually works out to roughly $345 million
Is Windows 9 Microsoft’s secret weapon to get people to dump XP?
- As we mentioned earlier this week, Microsoft has a problem because a huge chunk of Windows XP stragglers still aren’t upgrading to Windows 7 or Windows 8 even though there’s just over a month to go until XP support ends. Tom’s Hardware writes that Microsoft does have one more card to play that it hopes will finally convince XP diehards to switch: Windows 9. Microsoft knows that Windows 8 is a nonstarter for many XP users, which is why it’s apparently designed Windows 9 with the desktop user much more in mind. The company began its efforts to appease desktop PC users with Windows 8.1 — which added back a Start button and the option of booting up to desktop
Charges may be dismissed against Dallas activist
- Federal prosecutors moved on Wednesday to dismiss most of an indictment accusing a Dallas man linked to the hacking collective Anonymous of posting an Internet link to stolen information. Barrett Lancaster ...
CEO in apparent suicide was bitcoin fan, had other issues, too
- By Jeremy Wagstaff and Rujun Shen SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A young American CEO who apparently committed suicide in Singapore was involved in the world of the bitcoin, but was also struggling with other issues prior to her death, friends and colleagues said. Autumn Radtke, chief executive of virtual currency exchange First Meta Pte Ltd, was found dead on February 26. Police said they were investigating her "unnatural" death, and "preliminary investigations showed no foul play is suspected." Neighbors said they thought Radtke jumped to her death from a residential apartment complex near her home. Friends and colleagues said Radtke, 28, was wrestling with professional and personal pressures, not least running a start-up that was struggling to gain traction.
Singapore police probe suspected suicide of digital currency exchange CEO
- By Rujun Shen and Saeed Azhar SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore police are investigating the apparent suicide of a 28-year-old American woman who ran a small exchange in the Asian city state trading virtual currencies. Autumn Radtke, chief executive of First Meta Pte Ltd, was found dead at her Singapore home on February 26. Police said they were investigating her "unnatural" death, and "preliminary investigations showed no foul play is suspected." Neighbors said they thought Radtke jumped to her death from a residential apartment complex. First Meta said in a statement on its website that its team was "shocked and saddened" by the tragic loss of its CEO, saying "Autumn was an inspiration to all of us." First Meta runs an exchange for virtual currencies and assets.
Canadian police investigating after bitcoin bank Flexcoin folds
- By Julie Gordon and Leah Schnurr VANCOUVER/TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian police have launched an investigation after online bitcoin bank Flexcoin, which closed its virtual doors this week, said that it had lost about $600,000 worth of the digital currency in a hacker attack. The Edmonton, Alberta-based company reported the theft of 896 bitcoins on its website on Monday and said it "does not have the resources (or) assets ... to come back from this loss." It blamed the attack on hackers who had targeted its online wallet. Bitcoins stored in Flexcoin's cold storage facility, which is basically an offline bank, were not affected by the hack and will be returned to customers, the company said. The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) said on Wednesday they were investigating the issue.
Why Android users shouldn’t worry (too much) about malware
- So we know that malware developers absolutely love targeting Android since it’s not only the most widely used mobile operating system in the world but it’s also the least tightly controlled of all the other major mobile platforms. The Next Web points us to the latest study from F-Secure showing that, unsurprisingly, 97% of mobile malware found last year targeted Android phones. However, there’s some potentially good news here for Android users: As long as they’re smart, the chances of them ever encountering such malware are pretty slim. Of all the mobile malware threats that F-Secure found last year, only 0.1% came from Google Play, the official app store where Android users mostly go to get their app fixes. F-Secure
Target tech chief resigns as it overhauls security
- NEW YORK (AP) — Target Corp.'s executive ranks have suffered their first casualty since hackers stole credit card numbers and other personal data of millions of the retailer's shoppers last year.
Online sleuthing by Mt. Gox dispossessed throws up few clues
- By Jeremy Wagstaff SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Some of those who have lost bitcoins in the collapse of Mt. Gox have turned to internet sleuthing to find out where their money has gone - but they're unlikely to have much luck. Forum websites like Reddit and internet relay chatrooms have attracted hordes of users as the Mt. Gox debacle unfolded in recent weeks. "The crowdsourcing so far has been a miserable failure," said Emin Gun Sirer of Cornell University, who posted his own analysis challenging several theories about what may have happened at Mt. Gox. The problem, Gun Sirer and others say, is two-fold: users of such forums are not always methodical or disciplined in their research on one hand, and on the other, bitcoin's combination of transparency and complexity invites the unwary to draw false conclusions.
FreedomPop makes Galaxy S2 relevant again with exciting new privacy protection features
- FreedomPop on Wednesday unveiled the Privacy Phone, also known as the “Snowden Phone,” or essentially a Galaxy S2 model that has advanced privacy-guarding features, while being budget-friendly at the same time. The Privacy Phone costs $189 and for that price buyers will get unlimited text and voice as well as 500MB of free data for three months. Then, the privacy features and wireless plan will cost $10 per month. When it comes to software features, the Privacy Phone will offer 128-bit encryption for voice and text messages and a secure VPN for encrypting data. The privacy application will run in the background and can be terminated by the user. The phone will have custom FreedomPop dialer and text apps, and
Google promises fix for pesky Nexus 5 bug that eats into battery life
- Nexus 5 users who have noticed an annoying camera bug that often sees a software process called “mm-qcamera-daemon” eat up CPU resources and drain their handset’s battery can now rest assured that Google is on the case. As noted by Phandroid, Google has officially acknowledged the Nexus 5 bug on its Android issue tracker website and promised that a fix is in the works. That’s the good news. The bad news is that we still have no timeline as far as when the fix might be issued, since Google would only say that it will be implemented in a future Android software update. Users have noted that the bug is tied to apps that access camera processes while in the
The cost of online privacy: $2,200 a year
- Free apps and services have a high price for some users. Take Julia Angwin, a senior reporter at ProPublica who writes in The New York Times that she spent $2,200 last year to make sure that she could still use the web while avoiding all of the free services offered by companies such as Google and Facebook that harvest her data and use them to sell more targeted ads. What did she have to buy that cost so much money, you ask? Angwin says that among other things she bought “a $230 service that encrypted my data in the Internet cloud; a $35 privacy filter to shield my laptop screen from coffee-shop voyeurs; and a $420 subscription to a portable Internet service
Apple's new finance steward Maestri takes over $160 billion cash haul
- By Sruthi Ramakrishnan and Edwin Chan SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc's Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer will retire and hand the reins to Luca Maestri in September, entrusting to the Italian-born executive a cash pile the size of Vietnam's economy and the difficult task of guiding Wall Street's expectations. The 50-year-old born in Rome is taking over with Apple at a crossroads. ...
New Nexus 6 details emerge
- LG will continue its partnership with Google and launch a Nexus 6 smartphone this year alongside Google’s first Nexus smartwatch, Gizmodo.de has learned from a source during last week’s MWC 2014 event in Barcelona, Spain. LG has already made two Nexus devices including the 2012 Nexus 4 and 2013 Nexus 5 smartphones. The vendor also released a Nexus-like LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition tablet last year. So it’s not necessarily surprising to hear that the South Korean device maker may be involved in this year’s Google Nexus plans. According to the German publication, the Nexus 6 will be a “lightweight” version of the LG G3, although the device has not actually been detailed. Assuming the report is accurate,
DDoS cyber attacks get bigger, smarter, more damaging
- By Peter Apps LONDON (Reuters) - Crashing websites and overwhelming data centers, a new generation of cyber attacks is costing millions and straining the structure of the Internet. While some attackers are diehard activists, criminal gangs or nation states looking for a covert way to hit enemies, others are just teenage hackers looking for kicks. ...
China to trial telecoms value-added tax; could hit carriers' profits
- By Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) - China will trial a new value-added tax for telecommunication services providers as a replacement for business tax, Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday at the opening of the annual meeting of parliament, a change which could hit the companies' profits. The trial is part of a set of reforms aimed at state-owned enterprises such as China Telecom Corp Ltd, China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd and China Mobile Ltd, the world's biggest mobile carrier by subscribers. Li did not provide details, but some analysts expect VAT of around 11 percent and a start date in the first half of this year - just as China's three carriers are increasing spending on fourth-generation mobile and broadband networks. China Mobile's shares were down 0.34 percent in afternoon trade on Wednesday versus a 0.31 fall in the Hang Seng Index.
Bitcoin bank closes after high-tech heist
- SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A bank specializing in bitcoins says it has closed after computer hackers robbed its digital currency.
Google plans to make the world’s best mobile browser even better
- Google’s Chrome mobile browser is the best mobile web browser we’ve used and it looks like Google is about to make it even better. DroidLife flags a thread found in Reddit’s Android community that details how Google has added Chromecast support in its latest beta for the mobile version of its Chrome browser. The best thing about the added support, Redditor WhyYouPaul reports, is that it doesn’t just work with YouTube videos but also with other HTML5-based video sites such as Vimeo as well. Chromecasting over the mobile Chrome browser on an Android phone is apparently very buggy and inconsistent so far, but that’s to be expected from an experimental beta feature. Any Chromecast fans interested in trying out the new
Ukraine says communications hit, MPs phones blocked
- By Pavel Polityuk and Jim Finkle KIEV/BOSTON (Reuters) - Ukraine's telecommunications system has come under attack, with equipment installed in Russian-controlled Crimea used to interfere with the mobile phones of members of parliament, the head of Ukraine's SBU security service said on Tuesday. Some Internet and telephone services were severed after Russian forces seized control of airfields and key installations in Ukraine's Crimea region on Friday, but now lawmakers were being targeted, Valentyn Nalivaichenko told a news briefing. "I confirm that an...attack is under way on mobile phones of members of Ukrainian parliament for the second day in row," the security chief told a news briefing. "At the entrance to (telecoms firm) Ukrtelecom in Crimea, illegally and in violation of all commercial contracts, was installed equipment that blocks my phone as well as the phones of other deputies, regardless of their political affiliation," he said.
Another Bitcoin Site Gets Completely Wiped Out by Thieves
- Flexcoin, a relatively small Bitcoin bank, announced early Tuesday morning that it's shutting its doors in light of being completely robbed of its currency. All of it. Just days after a massive theft at another major Bitcoin depository, Flexcoin was completely cleaned out by hackers, leaving the site no choice but to shut down.