Must-read articles on computer security, including virus alerts and much more!
Linux creator says Windows, OS X, iOS and Android are all malware
- Richard Stallman, known for his instrumental role in the creation of Linux, has written an opinion piece arguing that nearly any operating system you might use today can be considered malware, and that goes for popular mobile platforms as well as desktop operating systems. DON’T MISS: Pirate’s paradise: cCloud TV streams HBO, ESPN and 50 other live channels for free According to Stallman’s post in The Guardian, any software that’s not distributed free of charge can be considered malware. “In the 21st century, proprietary software is computing for suckers,” he wrote. Stallman says OS software is currently designed to spy on users, shackle them via DRM and even have backdoors that can be used for malicious purposes. “What kinds of programs constitute malware? Operating systems, first of all,” he
What's hot? Life sciences challenge tech in global innovation
- By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - The life sciences industry is increasingly taking over from the tech sector in driving global innovation, according to a Thomson Reuters analysis of global patents. With more patents applied for or granted in 2014 than in any other year in history, humankind has never been more inventive, whether in designing driverless cars, discovering new drugs for cancer or building bionic limbs. While part of that may be due to tighter patenting rules in the United States, there are also signs of more fundamental shifts, with the volume of published scientific literature -- a precursor to patents -- down 22 percent across 12 industries.
Plane safe? Hacker case points to deeper cyber issues
- Security researcher Chris Roberts made headlines last month when he was hauled off a plane in New York by the FBI and accused of hacking into flight controls via his underseat entertainment unit. Other security researchers say Roberts - who was quoted by the FBI as saying he once caused "a sideways movement of the plane during a flight" - has helped draw attention to a wider issue: that the aviation industry has not kept pace with the threat hackers pose to increasingly computer-connected airplanes. It will force the hand of organizations (in the aviation industry)," says Jonathan Butts, a former US Air Force researcher who now runs a company working on IT security issues in aviation and other industries.
Alibaba's latest gambit in fighting fakes: foster local brands
- By John Ruwitch PUTIAN, China (Reuters) - Criticized and even sued by luxury brand Gucci and others for facilitating the counterfeit goods trade, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has been quietly piloting a scheme to try to curb fakes at source. In the coastal city of Putian, in Fujian province, Alibaba is working with 17 shoe manufacturers to cultivate home-grown brands online, revitalize a flagging industry and offer would-be counterfeiters an alternative source of livelihood. Critics say the scheme is misguided and Alibaba should instead focus on scrubbing its online marketplaces of widespread listings of fakes.
Sliver of Clinton emails hint at lingering political trouble
- WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton received information on her private email account about the deadly attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi that was later classified "secret" at the request of the FBI, underscoring lingering questions about how responsibly she handled sensitive information on a home server.
Clinton received sensitive info on private email account
- WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton received information on her private email account about the deadly attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi that was later classified "secret" at the request of the FBI, according to documents released Friday, underscoring lingering questions about how responsibly she handled sensitive information on a home server.
Adult dating site investigating breach of user data
- PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — The operator of a popular adult dating website said Friday it's investigating a data security breach following reports that hackers stole names, email addresses and information about the sexual orientation or habits of up to 4 million members.
Adult dating site investigating possible breach of user data
- The operator of a popular adult dating website said Friday it's investigating a potential security breach, following reports that hackers stole names, email addresses and information about the sexual preferences ...
3 new iOS 9 features were just revealed in a huge new leak
- 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman has been all over iOS 9 leaks this week and he’s back with a new report today that outlines more features the new software will deliver. In the preface to his article, Gurman makes clear that this is not going to be the most exciting iOS release. In fact, he says that Apple is putting most of its work into adding stability improvements for the platform, which went through several less-than-stellar releases with iOS 7 and iOS 8. That said, he did highlight three features we can expect to see at WWDC this year. DON’T MISS: Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why The first feature is something called Rootless
A major feature from Android M and the next-gen Nexus phone has leaked
- Google has already unwillingly confirmed that it’s going to unveil Android M at its I/O 2015 conference next week, and a few reports now claim to have knowledge of one of the major features that are going to be available to Android M users in the near future. DON’T MISS: Key iPhone 6s specs seemingly detailed in new report According to independent reports from BuzzFeed and ArsTechnica, Android M might be finally getting native support for fingerprint authentication. “The new functionality will allow users to log in to all of the supported applications on their Android devices without entering a password,” BuzzFeed has learned from its sources. Other details about the fingerprint functionality or Android M have not been shared.
Do this now: Secure your adult dating profiles – a major site was just hacked
- In case you happen to have one or multiple adult dating website profiles, you might consider securing them right away, as one of the world’s largest such websites has been hit by hackers. The attackers managed to steal highly sensitive personal data for four million users, leaking them online in spreadsheet format. DON’T MISS: Key iPhone 6s specs seemingly detailed in new report According to Channel 4, the dating site in question is Adult FriendFinder which has more than 63 million global users. In addition to usual personal data including usernames, email addresses, dates of birth and addresses, the stolen data also contains more sensitive information regarding the user’s sexual orientation and preferences, and whether they’re looking for extramarital affairs
Audi will enhance Chinese connected-car services with Baidu
- Germany's Audi will enhance connected-car services in China to meet growing demand for driver-assistance systems and driverless technology in the world's largest auto market. Volkswagen's flagship luxury brand said on Friday it will jointly develop navigation map data, positioning algorithms and point-of-interest functions with China's web services provider Baidu. Chinese Internet companies and auto makers have been quick to team up to start developing partly self-driving and Internet-connected cars, following a path already trodden by U.S. tech giants Google Inc and Apple Inc. "We are now taking our next big step in China," Chief Executive Rupert Stadler said at the carmaker's annual shareholder meeting in Neckarsulm, Germany.
The NSA came up with a brilliantly sneaky way to hack your Android phone
- Once again, we have to tip our cap in grudging admiration for the lengths the National Security Administration will go to hack into our mobile devices. The Intercept has published some new documents leaked by Edward Snowden that show how the NSA and other spy agencies at one point planned to conduct man-in-the-middle attacks between end users and Android app stores to infect users’ phones with spyware. FROM EARLIER: Here are the most ridiculous questions al-Qaeda asks on its official job application “The agencies used the Internet spying system XKEYSCORE to identify smartphone traffic flowing across Internet cables and then to track down smartphone connections to app marketplace servers operated by Samsung and Google,” writes The Intercept. “As part of a pilot project codenamed
Hewlett-Packard sells stake in Chinese unit for $2.3B
- NEW YORK (AP) — Hewlett-Packard is selling a controlling stake in its China server and storage unit, a move that comes as the Chinese government, apparently worried about U.S. cyberspying, has encouraged the use of local companies.
Watch this immediately: The most amazing airplane safety video of all time
- With the advent of mobile devices, odds are pretty high that most people these days don’t pay attention to airline safety videos. Delta, however, is out to change that with a new Internet-meme themed video that splices together your standard flight safety instructions with an avalanche of Internet memes, both new and old. To top it all off, the video even features a few cameos worth keeping an eye out for. DON’T MISS: One simple trick could free up gigabytes of space on your iPhone While there are innumerable Internet memes to choose from, Delta did a good job picking some of the more recognizable ones when putting this video together. If this becomes the default safety video on Delta flights, well,
U.S. aims to limit exports of undisclosed software flaws
- (This story refiles the May 20 story to change "fund" to "find" in paragraph 13) By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The U.S. Commerce Department proposed new export controls Wednesday that would treat unknown software flaws as potential weapons, a move aimed at reducing the security industry’s aid to rival nations. The regulations are broadly written and cover what are known as “zero-day” flaws, or security vulnerabilities that the software vendors do not know about. Hackers and defense contractors often sell information about such flaws to government agencies or the maker of the software, and internal U.S. sales could continue.
Stuck in Gaza, hackers open lines to the world
- By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - With jobs scarce and time on their hands, some tech-savvy Gazans have found a new way to make money - hacking Internet-based phone lines and routing international calls for a fee. Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) hacking has been a phenomenon for years. There are various ways of hacking VoIP networks, but people familiar with the practice in Gaza say it involves using dedicated servers to scoop up as many telephone IP addresses as possible, especially from big corporations and businesses.
Tanzanian leader says aid conditions degrading
- By Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said on Thursday that Western donors are setting degrading conditions for aid to the east African nation and he could be forced in time to tell them: "keep your aid". Tanzania, one of Africa's biggest per capita aid recipients, has experienced repeated delays in payments due to donor concerns about corruption, poor governance and the slow pace of reforms. ...
U.S. Navy secretary says paying attention to cyber threats
- By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy is working hard to improve the cyber security of its computer networks and weapon and communications systems, while bracing for potential attacks on power grids and fuel supplies, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Wednesday. Mabus said cyber warfare was a clear threat given Russia's use of cyber attacks before its physical invasions of Crimea and Georgia. It's in every system because we are so networked." Mabus confirmed recent media reports that the Navy was looking at replacing IBM servers used for its Aegis combat system after International Business Machines Corp's $2.1 billion sale of its server division to China's Lenovo Group Ltd last year.
CareFirst says cyberattack stole data of 1.1 million users in U.S
- (Reuters) - CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, which sells health insurance in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, said on Wednesday that a cyberattack compromised the data of 1.1 million current and former members. In May, Premera Blue Cross said that 11 million customers' information may have been exposed in a hack. CareFirst said that the attackers accessed one database and could have potentially acquired member user names created by individuals to use CareFirst's website, names, birth dates, email addresses and member identification numbers.
Panel OKs $51B for Justice, NASA over Democratic protests
- WASHINGTON (AP) — A GOP-controlled House panel Wednesday approved a $51 billion measure providing the Justice Department and NASA with modest budget hikes, but the legislation falls well short of what's needed to win President Barack Obama's signature.
Interpol seeks ways to dismantle foreign fighter networks
- BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — International police meeting in Romania are discussing measures to dismantle terrorist fighter networks which have become a major global security issue.
Huawei stakes claim in 'Internet of Things' market with new operating system
- BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world's biggest telecommunications equipment maker, on Wednesday became the latest tech giant to present its own take on the 'Internet of Things' (IoT), centered on an operating system designed to allow household and business appliances to communicate with each other online. At an event in Beijing, Huawei executives showcased its "Agile IoT" architecture, including an operating system called LiteOS to control basic devices. ...
Adblock Plus just released an ad-blocking Android browser – here’s how to get it
- Adblock Plus is the most popular desktop ad-blocking software on the planet, and the team behind the popular browser extension is now taking its talents to the mobile web. Meet the Adblock Browser, a mobile app for Google’s Android platform that focuses on delivering users all the content they want with none of the ads that support it. DON’T MISS: Android is about to get a new Google Maps update – download it here before it’s released Beginning Wednesday, users can join a special Google+ community that will give them access to an early beta version of the Adblock Browser for Android devices. The company says its browser will “block annoying ads automatically, saving users battery speed, keeping them safe and handing them control while
Top US regulators warn of new threats to financial system
- The panel created to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis said Tuesday that banks and other financial institutions are stronger now but regulators must remain alert to new risks including the ...
$10 gadget that looks like a harmless phone charger lets you spy on your coworkers
- The number of tools that nefarious hackers have at their disposal these days is positively frightening. Attacks seem to be growing more complex and more dangerous by the day, and we constantly see new stories emerge that cause us to rethink our own security practices. But as we are reminded constantly, it doesn’t always take complex machinery or even any real coding know-how to steal things using technology — in fact, people were recently caught using an iPod nano and a piece of plastic to steal cash from ATMs. Now, it looks like anyone can spy on others in the vicinity with a new gadget that is cheap, relatively easy to build, and looks just like a normal cell phone charger. DON’T MISS: The most infuriating thing about
This is the smartphone Google’s next Nexus phone might be based on
- The rumor frenzy surrounding Google’s upcoming new Nexus phone continues, as new details emerge about one of the two Nexus handsets that will supposedly launch this fall. Earlier rumors have suggested that both Huawei and LG are working on their own next-gen Nexus handsets, with the former model said to be the bigger handset of the two. A new report now states that the Huawei Nexus phone will be built on top of the design of the Mate 8, an upcoming high-end handset expected to be released in the coming months. DON’T MISS: The most infuriating thing about the Apple Watch Online Chinese publication MyDrivers reports that the Huawei Nexus phone will be built using the Mate 8 as a reference design, though the device might have a smaller 5.7-inch
Exclusive: Help us fight fakes, Alibaba's security chief tells global brands
- By John Ruwitch HANGZHOU, China (Reuters) - When it comes to fighting fakes, Alibaba's head of internet security says cooperation beats the courtroom any day. Ni Liang, who runs the Hangzhou, China-based company's anti-counterfeiting operations, was speaking to Reuters days after Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and other luxury brands owned by Paris-based Kering SA sued Alibaba in New York, alleging the e-commerce giant had knowingly made it possible for counterfeiters to sell fakes. Ni said brands had a better chance of succeeding in clamping down on the pervasive counterfeit trade if they talked to Alibaba, instead of suing it. The company has been dogged for years by accusations that it doesn't do enough to fight intellectual property rights violations and also listed counterfeits as a risk before its record-breaking $25 billion IPO in September.
Windows 10 for pirates: An ‘attractive’ upgrade offer is coming, but not a free upgrade
- It took Microsoft a while, but the company has finally clarified its stance on the Windows 10 upgrade for pirated copies. Previously, the company said the upgrade will be still available as a free of charge download for PC owners that have installed pirated copies of Windows 7 or later, and then further elaborated on the matter by adding that these Windows 10 copies will still be labeled as not genuine. In a new blog post, the company said that Windows 10 won’t be free for pirates. DON’T MISS: Incredible ‘bioconcrete’ can heal itself thanks to limestone-producing bacteria The company will watermark the desktop of non-genuine Windows 10 builds to notify the user. Those Windows pirates who will want to
No sign hackers got info in attack on German parliament system: spokeswoman
- The German Bundestag lower house of parliament is trying to repair its computer system after a hacking attack but there are no indications yet that hackers accessed information, a parliamentary spokeswoman said on Saturday. The Bundestag is analyzing what happened and experts from the Bundestag administration and the BSI (the German Federal Office for Information Security) are working to repair the system, the spokeswoman said. On Friday a German media report said that unknown hackers had been attempting to access the Bundestag's internal data network for several days.
Unknown hackers attack German parliament's data network
- Unknown hackers have attacked the German Bundestag lower house of parliament's computer system, a parliamentary spokeswoman said on Friday. German news magazine Der Spiegel's online edition had earlier said that the internal data network had been subject to an attack. It said experts had noticed several days ago that unknown attackers had tried to get into the data network. "There was an attack on the Bundestag's IT system," parliamentary spokeswoman Eva Haacke said, giving no further details.
Hackers attack German Parliament's internal data system
- BERLIN (AP) — Authorities say hackers have tried to break into the internal data system of the German Parliament.
Limit ball carry and use more par-threes: Jacklin
- By Tony Jimenez LONDON (Reuters) - Former Ryder Cup captain Tony Jacklin has called on golf's ruling bodies to take action over what he describes as the biggest divide that has ever existed between professional players and weekend hackers. Jacklin believes more par-three layouts need to be built to encourage players back out on to the course and wants to limit the huge distances that top players hit the ball. "There's never been a bigger divide between professional and amateur golf and I think the golf ball's the issue," the 1969 British Open and 1970 U.S. Open champion told Reuters in an interview.
Golf-Limit ball carry and use more par-threes - Jacklin
- By Tony Jimenez LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) - Former Ryder Cup captain Tony Jacklin has called on golf's ruling bodies to take action over what he describes as the biggest divide that has ever existed between professional players and weekend hackers. Jacklin believes more par-three layouts need to be built to encourage players back out on to the course and wants to limit the huge distances that top players hit the ball. "There's never been a bigger divide between professional and amateur golf and I think the golf ball's the issue," the 1969 British Open and 1970 U.S. Open champion told Reuters in an interview.
Reddit enacts anti-harassment policy after user complaints
- NEW YORK (AP) — Reddit, the online discussion forum known for its free-wheeling ethos, is enacting an anti-harassment policy while still trying to keep its roots as a place for free expression.
From tycoons to state bosses: key people in Chinese business
- BEIJING (AP) — The most successful of China's entrepreneurs have created some of the world's biggest companies and amassed stunning fortunes. Often they are little known outside of China, but that is changing as they expand abroad and sell shares on Wall Street. Some of their counterparts in China's massive government-owned companies are making a mark as they try to instil innovation and efficiency in lumbering state giants. A look at key figures in Chinese business.
Android fans might finally get the Nexus 5 successor they’ve dreamt of this year
- It’s been nearly two years since Google and LG teamed up to create the highly acclaimed Nexus 5, and now a new report claims Android fans might finally get a proper sequel to the device later this year. DON’T MISS: The little red dot that saved me from my iPhone Recent rumors have stated that Huawei and LG may both be chosen to make new Nexus phones in 2015, which would mark the first time Google has released two flagship Nexus phones in the same year. Android blog Android Pit has added more fuel to these rumors by claiming that LG is indeed interested in making a new Nexus smartphone this year. According to the source, a new Nexus phone is “under consideration” at LG, although other details
China aims to boost Internet speeds, cut prices
- China will accelerate development of its high-speed broadband networks to raise Internet speeds and cut prices, long bugbears in a country where many people still have no access to the web. Telecoms firms should make rapid moves to cut prices and increase urban broadband speeds by around 40 percent, according to a statement issued late on Wednesday by China's State Council, the country's cabinet. China's investment in broadband could benefit global network equipment makers such as Ericsson and Nokia Oyj's Alcatel-Lucent, as well as home-grown players like Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] and ZTE Corp. The statement did not say how much investment would be needed, but officials have previously earmarked around 2 trillion yuan ($322 billion) to improve China's broadband infrastructure by 2020. The cabinet statement added that China would look to open up the telecoms market and encourage increased competition, including through expanding a pilot scheme for broadband services this year.
Hollywood filmmakers are calling the ‘six strikes’ anti-piracy policy a ‘sham’
- Ever since its inception, the voluntary “six strikes” Copyright Alert System has been one of the most controversial in the film industry… but maybe not for the reasons you think. In effect, the policy was meant to give pirates six warnings before throttling their download speeds or blocking their access to torrent sites, but many filmmakers believe it doesn’t go nearly far enough. DON’T MISS: The next Apple device I want Google to dominate TorrentFreak reports that a new organization called the Internet Security Task Force (ISTF) was established in April, consisting of several small studios that want the “six strikes” policy revoked altogether and replaced with something that could actually make an impact. “We’ve always known the Copyright Alert System (CAS) was ineffective, as it
Record number of Americans can register online, vote early
- WASHINGTON (AP) — Oh, how times have changed since the days of punch card ballots and hanging chads.