Apr 21, 2009 | 13
An unknown cyber criminal (or group of them) has broken into computer systems housing information about the U.S. Defense Department's $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project, the Wall Street Journal reports today, citing a number of "current and former government officials familiar with the attacks."
It's unclear how much damage the attacks have caused to the jet-fighter project, given that the cyber intruders were able to download "sizable amounts of data" related to the aircraft's (also called the F-35 Lightning II) in-flight maintenance diagnostics but weren't able to access the most sensitive information, related to flight controls and sensors (which is stored on computers not hooked up to the Internet), according to the Journal. The Air Force is currently testing prototypes of the aircraft, said to be the most expensive ever commissioned by the Pentagon.
Jan 13, 2009 | 3
A new report warns that your computer software is probably less secure than you think. The SysAdmin, Audit, Network, Security (SANS Institute), a cooperative research and education organization in Bethesda, Md., that also provides computer security training, Monday released a reporting outlining the top 25 most dangerous errors that programmers make that may lead to security breaches and open the door to cyber crime and espionage.
Nonprogrammers probably won't glean much from the list, given that the errors listed have techy titles such as, "Improper Input Validation" and "Cleartext Transmission of Sensitive Information." Regardless of whether you understand what they mean, these problems affect much of the software that you use and potentially expose sensitive personal information to hackers.
Dec 16, 2008 | 2
As the feds increase the amount of its business conducted online (ostensibly to save on the costs of paper and even help the environment), government information becomes more of a target for hackers. This is evident in Brazil, where the government's push to issue logging permits via the Web backfired, allowing logging companies to secure bogus work permits and illegally clear areas of the Amazon.
"Logging companies intent on plundering [the Amazon rainforest] for timber have been using hackers to break into the Brazilian government's sophisticated tracking system and fiddle the records," Greenpeace U.K. reported last week on its blog.
Sep 19, 2008 | 18
Details (as well as plenty of rumor and speculation) continue to emerge about how messages and images from Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's Yahoo! e-mail account were made public earlier this week. The FBI and U.S. Secret Service are investigating the incident, but several news outlets and blogs report the attack was a multi-step process made possible by weaknesses in the password reset feature (found on many Web sites—not just Yahoo!) as well as proxy servers that allow people to cover their tracks as they navigate the Web.
The hackers may have exploited the password resetting system of Yahoo's e-mail service using details about Palin's life—her birth date and zip code, for example—pulled from sources freely available on the Web, BBC News reported today.
Sep 18, 2008 | 6
While it's hard to imagine President Bush, Vice President Cheney or Republican presidential candidate John McCain spending much time on (or even having) a personal e-mail account, the newer generation of politicians are as plugged in as the rest of us. In fact, just how much they use e-mail for official business is fast becoming an issue in this election as the campaigns head into the homestretch.
To wit: hackers broke into the Yahoo! e-mail account of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and plastered personal photos, several messages, and Palin's e-mail contact list on a site called Wikileaks.org, the site reports. This is the same site that a federal judge in San Francisco in February wanted to disable to prevent it from continuing to publish confidential information.
Aug 26, 2008 | 1
Do you have an affinity for technology? Did you do well in civics class? Are you free on November 4? If you meet all of these criteria, then you might feel compelled to take a temporary job on Election Day this year as a volunteer election site worker or an electronic voting machine technician.
That's the message being sent out by groups concerned about the integrity of the upcoming presidential election as well as the e-voting technology some states will rely on to cast votes. Election watchdog Black Box Voting, based in Renton, Wash., this week issued a press release pointing out that voting machine vendors—including Election Systems & Software, Premier Election Solutions, Sequoia Voting Systems and Hart Intercivic—will hire and train thousands of technicians staffed around the country.
Aug 14, 2008
The annual Defcon computer security conference might be relabeled as the Woodstock of corporate paranoia.
It seems like almost every year one or more academic researchers gets in trouble with the law for presenting a paper that corporations contend will result in security breaches that will bring on Armageddon. A few days ago, a U.S. District Court in Massachusetts issued an injunction to prevent three MIT students from presenting “Anatomy of a Subway Hack” at Defcon in Las Vegas, a chronicle of how the students demonstrated numerous vulnerabilities in the Boston subway system that would enable, for instance, someone to change a $1.25 fare card to one worth $100.
Aug 5, 2008 | 9
In a move that could backfire, according to one security expert, Apple pulled out of a prominent hackers' convention taking place this week in Las Vegas.
Apple abruptly canceled what would have been its first appearance at Black Hat, an annual event in Las Vegas that features presentations from the world's most preeminent security researchers – a.k.a. hackers – according to Computerworld. Speakers typically highlight security shortcomings in a number of different technologies, including operating systems, e-mail and the Internet itself. Taking one's lumps at Black Hat is a rite* of passage in a technology's security evolution, as companies like Microsoft and networking equipment maker Cisco will attest.
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