security

IRS successfully thwarted hack attempt (this time)

IRS successfully thwarted hack attempt (this time)

The IRS has announced it successfully blocked hackers who were attempting to steal electronic filing PINs belonging to taxpayers. The attack, which took place in the prime of tax season, is the latest attempt to steal data, but fortunately for tax payers was not successful this time around. Notably, the IRS announced last year that it had suffered a data breach, one that left hundreds of thousands of taxpayers vulnerable to identity theft.

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Sparkle app updater exposes many Mac apps to hacking

Sparkle app updater exposes many Mac apps to hacking

In the age before app stores, at least on Windows PCs and Macs, people got their software directly from vendors or third party download sites. App markets, however, gave birth to the idea of a single canonical repository where people can get not only their apps but also updates for said apps. However, not every single software on the planet has jumped aboard, even on Macs. Now those developers and users maybe be given a stronger reason to do so, thanks to a gaping security hole in the Sparkle update framework recently discovered.

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US intelligence director: IoT can be used to spy, recruit

US intelligence director: IoT can be used to spy, recruit

U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has testified to the Senate that Internet of Things devices could be used by unspecified intelligence agencies to perform a variety of snooping activities, including things like tracking, surveillance, and even finding targets to recruit. No single intelligence agency was named, though it no doubt refers to any and all of them, something far from surprising in light of the Snowden revelations.

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Google adds an encryption lock to Gmail

Google adds an encryption lock to Gmail

Google initiates an unlocked/broken lock icon system in Gmail in honor of Safer Internet Day, showing whether or not emails are encrypted or not. Gmail email has been encrypted for some time. Not all other email services share this level of protection. Google's initiative - starting today - shows a tiny un-locked icon to the right of your "to" or "from" bar in any given email. This broken or unlocked lock indicates whether or not the person on the other end of your email works with a service that supports TLS encryption.

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Google dangles 2 GB of Drive space to secure your account

Google dangles 2 GB of Drive space to secure your account

It's mid February again. While that time is usually associated with chocolates and sweet nothings, for Google, it's associated with keeping your online accounts secure, especially your Google account. In celebration of "Safer Internet Day", Google is encouraging everyone who accesses the Web to take concrete steps to make sure their identities and payment information are safe and sound. And to make that exhortation even more enticing, it is dangling once more the promise of free 2 GB storage on Google Drive to everyone who takes those steps.

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Hackers publish data on thousands of DHS and FBI workers

Hackers publish data on thousands of DHS and FBI workers

Following the publication of data belonging to about 10,000 Department of Homeland Security workers, hackers have now published the contact info belonging to 20,000 FBI workers, information they acquired by breaching a Justice Department database. The hackers also poked fun at Homeland Security, saying in a tweet that it took it a week to realize that it has been breached. As well, the hackers dropped a #FreePalestine hashtag into some of their tweets.

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DOJ and Homeland Security hacked by ‘impersonator’

DOJ and Homeland Security hacked by ‘impersonator’

Unfortunately, 2016 has brought news of another government data breach, this latest one affecting workers at both Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. Information on thousands of employees was accessed by an intruder, though a Justice Department spokesperson has said there is no evidence at this time that "personally identifiable information" was breached. When the hack took place is unclear, but it marks the latest in a growing number of federal security failures.

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Hands-on with Sensor-1, a smart Bluetooth watchdog

Hands-on with Sensor-1, a smart Bluetooth watchdog

Bluetooth trackers and IoT-style connected gadgets have given us tech that James Bond once could only dream about, but startup Metasensor has even broader ambitions than Q. Sensor-1 is a roughly coin-sized, motion-tracking Bluetooth puck that promises to secure your belongings, help you avoid forgetting your phone, and even hunt down objects without power-hungry GPS.

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What is “error 53” on my iPhone all about?

What is “error 53” on my iPhone all about?

Today Apple has confirmed that there is, indeed, a trackable reason why some unique users are receiving an "error 53" on their iPhones. It is, apparently, people who have gone out and gotten their devices repaired by non-certified Apple technicians or have DIY'ed their device repairs at home. Not just any repairs, mind you - repairs to their home button. In this home button, a button with Touch ID, is a failsafe that can brick your whole device (or at least disable it) upon software discovery.

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eBay aware of vulnerability allowing malware distribution, no plans to fix it

eBay aware of vulnerability allowing malware distribution, no plans to fix it

A security vulnerability was recently discovered on auction website eBay that allows hackers to embed code on their listings that in turn tricks users into downloading malware. Security researchers from Check Point Software found the loophole back in December, and even contacted eBay to make them aware of the exploit, which takes advantage of the site's rules on hosting JavaScript within listings. Unfortunately the company has said it has no plans to address the vulnerability, as they estimate the use of the exploit to be incredibly rare.

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Google rolls out February security update for Nexus devices

Google rolls out February security update for Nexus devices

Still holding on to its promise, Google has released updates for its most recent Nexus devices that carry within it the latest security patches for Android. Although no high profile security exploit has been reported for the past month, Google isn't letting its guard down. Factory images are already available on the Nexus developer web page and OTA links will soon follow. Users, on the other hand, are expected to wait for the update to land on their devices. Unless, of course, they intend to start fresh and flash the factory image themselves.

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Iran buzzed a US aircraft carrier to test its spy drone

Iran buzzed a US aircraft carrier to test its spy drone

Iran claims to have flown a reconnaissance drone over a US aircraft carrier, part of a war-games op the American Navy has blasted as "unprofessional". The incident is believed to have taken place in early January, with the drone part of a combined effort to surveil not only the USS Harry S. Truman but a French aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, which were both in international waters in the Persian Gulf at the time.

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