security

Stuxnet malware child hits Kaspersky with “zero-day trampoline”

Stuxnet malware child hits Kaspersky with “zero-day trampoline”

While you don't hear the words "trampoline" and "malware" in the same sentence very often, today it's entirely warranted. Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, a research organization that concentrates on hackers and hacking activity, have discovered a second state-sponsored group of hackers that've created malware derived from Stuxnet. A second, that is, after the USA and Isreali group discovered in 2012, creators of the Stuxnet malware used for hacking international groups, the same malware this new group used to create their own sophisticated worm.

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Sony’s new My Xperia Theft Protection digs deep

Sony’s new My Xperia Theft Protection digs deep

Smartphone theft is a never ending problem and manufacturers and carriers are always scrambling to implement the best solution to both solve it as well as prevent it in the first place. Both iOS and Android have varying solutions, but, in the case of the latter, most of it is moot once the device has been subjected to flashing. Sony's new anti-theft feature, similar to Android 5.1's Device Protection, tries to plug up that hole, making it impossible to use a stolen device without the proper credentials, even after it has been wiped clean.

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US government to have all its websites begin using HTTPS

US government to have all its websites begin using HTTPS

As part of a new initiative to maintain security and privacy on its websites, both for users and itself, the U.S. government has announced a plan to make HTTPS a standard for all its public federal sites. The goal is to have all sites using HTTPS encryption by December 31, 2016. The White House is even sharing its proposed and final versions of the policy, posting both on Github, allowing the public to compare for themselves.

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Apple watchOS 2 will have Activation Lock to deter theft

Apple watchOS 2 will have Activation Lock to deter theft

With Apple's mantra on privacy at WWDC, it's a bit surprising that it managed to leave this relevant detail out of its on-stage spiel. Perhaps there wasn't just enough time to cram all the juicy features coming in the next iteration of the Apple Watch platform, but a mere mention would have been enough for journalists to pick it up. That said, Apple did sneak it in the update web page for its Apple watchOS 2 preview, confirming once and for all that, yes, the Apple Watch will require your passcode to re-activate.

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More iOS 9 tidbits: 6-digit passcode, Move to iOS Android app

More iOS 9 tidbits: 6-digit passcode, Move to iOS Android app

Apple definitely unloaded a lot of stuff, from Apple Pay to Apple Music to, of course, iOS 9, which itself it chock full of new stuff. We condensed some of those in four points, but truly, there is a lot more hidden in the newly minted iOS 9 Preview page. Apple has definitely stepped up security, requiring passcodes iOS 9 to be 6 digits long instead of only four. And it is also giving Android defectors a hand with what would probably be its first Android app: Move to iOS.

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Apple on privacy: “You’re in control”

Apple on privacy: “You’re in control”

Privacy. It's a big deal, yes? The answer is yes, and Apple knows this. The numerous whistleblower leaks and government documents that have been raised over past years -- not mention all the instances of hacking -- have raised big concerns in consumers about their privacy and how big companies are handling it. And, again, Apple is reassuring its users that they don't have to worry. Apple understands privacy is a big deal, and it has detailed how your information is handled.

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Dropbox boosts business cred with 2-factor security

Dropbox boosts business cred with 2-factor security

Dropbox is bolstering its business security credentials, adding two-factor authentication among other things to lure companies into the cloud. The updates to Dropbox for Business will make managing several administrators more straightforward, the company claims, as well as giving IT departments the ability to remotely install the Dropbox desktop client, albeit only on Windows machines rather than Macs.

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Brainprints may replace passwords for securing systems

Brainprints may replace passwords for securing systems

A group of researchers has published a research paper that outlines a new biometric security procedure that might one day be used to replace passwords, retinal scans, and fingerprint data for securing systems. The paper is called "Brainprint" and according to the study, the way your brain reacts to certain words could be used to replace passwords in the future. The study was conducted by researchers from Binghamton University.

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Huge hack spills data of 4m US federal employees

Huge hack spills data of 4m US federal employees

A huge data breach exposing personal information of 4m current and former federal employees has been revealed, with insiders already blaming Chinese hackers. The attack focused on the IT systems at the Office of Personnel Management, the agency responsible for the civil service, and was spotted in April this year. Among the data believed to have been taken are individual employeee job assignments, along with their performance ratings and information on what training they had received.

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Nano-spirals may bring on unbreakable, unfakeable security scans

Nano-spirals may bring on unbreakable, unfakeable security scans

Students and faculty at Vanderbilt University have fabricated arrays of ultra-tiny spirals that may well be the key to card-based security. This team of researchers created spirals that are around six million times smaller than a dime, recording data about them then with ultrafast lasers at both Vanderbilt and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. What they discovered was a number of unique properties that would be perfect for digital security measures on physical objects. Identification cards, credit cards, and security cards of all sorts could be improved by these micro-spirals.

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