Data Security

Obama hears panel: Stop NSA bulk phone data collection

Obama hears panel: Stop NSA bulk phone data collection

The White House has released a lengthy report written by a five-member panel recommending sweeping reforms of the NSA. Included among the 46 recommendations by the "Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies" is one to delete all bulk telephone metadata on Americans from the NSA's servers. The panel also suggested that the data should be allowed to be stored by the private telecoms for a capped length of time -- five years in most cases -- accessible by the NSA only through court order or other official third-party permission.

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NSA phone data-tapping ruled unconstitutional by federal judge

NSA phone data-tapping ruled unconstitutional by federal judge

This week in Washington a district judge by the name of Richard Leon has ruled that the NSA's data collection program on phone call data collection is unconstitutional. This ruling came amid a court case which had two American citizens filing suit against the National Security Administration to stop any and all data collection programs. The case was originally filed the day after Edward Snowden's avalanche of NSA leaks began to be revealed for the first time.

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Microsoft joins FIDO Alliance in effort to kill passwords

Microsoft joins FIDO Alliance in effort to kill passwords

The FIDO Alliance is a group of technology firms that are looking to make some new industry standards that aim at reducing the need for passwords. We are all familiar with passwords, most of us use them to secure our email, computers, and smartphones from prying eyes. The problem is security that relies on passwords is only as good as the password you make and they are often easy to guess or intercept.

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MetaPhone Stanford University crowdsourced project shows NSA’s three-hop reach

MetaPhone Stanford University crowdsourced project shows NSA’s three-hop reach

The NSA, through means by which the average citizen cannot tread, has been collecting vast amounts of phone metadata that is intended to help locate and track terrorists and related activity. Though not always keeping up to standard, what the NSA does is not illegal and has been the subject of intense criticism across the globe. In response, Stanford University launched a crowdsourced project to prove the extent of information that can be revealed through the collection of metadata, and using this information has posted a lengthy write up on the three-hops procedure.

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Hackers stole data from five European nations at September G20 Summit

Hackers stole data from five European nations at September G20 Summit

Network security company FireEye has reported a coordinated malware attack on five European foreign ministries. The attack took place last August just prior to the G20 Summit in September. It was achieved by sending the ministries email attachments bearing file names pertaining to the primary topic of the summit: military options in Syria. Once downloaded, the files allowed the hackers to monitor communications and steal data from the host machines. FireEye believes the hackers are from China, but it stopped short of alleging collusion with the Chinese government.

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Two million social media account credentials stolen and published

Two million social media account credentials stolen and published

The credentials for two million compromised accounts for social media sites and other websites have been posted online. They include credentials for Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, a payroll service, and many others. The security breaches are believed to have been made possible through malware installed on user computers, not weaknesses in the websites themselves.

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Syme social network offers encryption in a world full of spying

Syme social network offers encryption in a world full of spying

Online security is a topic that has never been as popular as it has since Snowden leaked a variety of documents revealing widespread spying by the United States government. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and other such networks have all been targeted by the NSA , and as such many users may no longer feel comfortable using them. This is where Syme, a new social network currently in beta, comes in.

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Microsoft reportedly boosting security efforts in light of suspected NSA spying

Microsoft reportedly boosting security efforts in light of suspected NSA spying

Earlier today, sources spoke to The New York Times about a suspected tapping of fiber optic cables as the means by which the NSA managed to gather vast amounts of Internet data. Following this, sources -- which may or may not be related to the NYT's sources -- told the Washington Post that Microsoft is rapidly boosting its encryption plans in light of concern that the NSA could be intercepting its traffic.

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NSA hackers compromised at least 50,000 networks in 14 years

NSA hackers compromised at least 50,000 networks in 14 years

A large team of NSA hackers known collectively as the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) department successfully hacked 50,000 computer networks between the years 1998 and 2012, according to a new examination of the Snowden documents. A PowerPoint presentation seen this week by Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad revealed the statistic along with other information about the agency's Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) activities.

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