Data Security

Banking mobile apps largely vulnerable, reveals IOActive study

Banking mobile apps largely vulnerable, reveals IOActive study

Personal banking apps make managing a checking or savings account easy, eschewing the need for a laptop or firing up a browser. Whether they keep your personal data secure is another matter, however, one that IOActive Labs Research says needs more attention. In a recent study, the research group looked into forty different so-called home banking apps from what it says are the world's top 60 most influential banks, none of which were specified by name.

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Wickr founder details FBI request for backdoor

Wickr founder details FBI request for backdoor

In December, it was reported that security firm RSA -- according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden -- was paid millions by the NSA to put a back door into its encryption products. A couple days later, the company denied having a secret contract with the government agency, and said that it never knowingly put a back door in its offerings. That didn't stop some companies from gravitating away from RSA, however, and one such company was Wickr. The company's founder, Nico Sell, announced this change at an RSA Security Conference, during which she made it clear her company would not have a back door and that users' security was important. Immediately after, an FBI agent approached her with a request -- to add a backdoor on behalf of the agency.

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Target updates breach details: 70 million customers’ personal data stolen

Target updates breach details: 70 million customers’ personal data stolen

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping season, hackers silently managed to nab millions of instances of customer card data, the means and extent of which were unknown at the time. Shortly after Christmas, the company stated the hackers also got the encrypted PINs for the cards, a flip over their previous belief that none had been grabbed. Now another update has been pushed out, this one stating that the personal data -- separate from the card data -- was swiped on up to 70 million shoppers.

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LinkedIn files lawsuit over data-mining bots

LinkedIn files lawsuit over data-mining bots

LinkedIn has filed a lawsuit in the Northern California federal district court against unspecified individuals over the use of bots to mine data from users' profiles. According to the lawsuit, the bots were used to register "thousands" of LinkedIn accounts for the purpose of mining information from other -- real -- accounts. Such activities were reportedly going on since May of last year in violation of both the website's user agreement and, says the company, applicable computer security laws.

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NSA project working towards encryption-breaking quantum computer, reveals Snowden doc

NSA project working towards encryption-breaking quantum computer, reveals Snowden doc

According to documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the NSA dreams of a quantum computer that can break nearly every type of encryption -- one it is working towards (in part, at least) via a program called Penetrating Hard Targets, a $79.7 million project. The NSA isn't the only entity working on making a quantum computer reality, and such technologies would have widespread benefits beyond the cryptographically-oriented industry and various spy games.

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Laptop searches by U.S. border agents ruled legal

Laptop searches by U.S. border agents ruled legal

For most people, one's laptop is a like a trusted friend, packed full of data that one would not give out part and parcel to just anyone, particularly not strangers. Random laptop searches at United States borders have been taking place for years, and have been the subject of much outcry, particularly due to the complete lack of suspicion needed to perform the search. Civil rights attorneys filed a lawsuit against this activity, citing reasons of being unconstitutional, but a New York judge has dismissed their complaint, giving border agents the go-ahead.

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Target: never mind, they’ve got the PINs

Target: never mind, they’ve got the PINs

It would appear that the debacle Target is facing this holiday season is turning over as we speak. Though they’d previously suggested that findings showed no PIN data to have been stolen in their 2013 credit card breach, today’s update says otherwise. The positive side of this situation is the fact that these PIN numbers are wholly encrypted.

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