security

2014’s popular passwords show security is still a joke

2014’s popular passwords show security is still a joke

We should be using crazy-strong passwords, but we're not. With online hacks seemingly making news every other week, companies large and small seeing their systems invaded, and the value of our digital data never more valuable, you'd think the passwords we commonly use would be getting stronger. New research into the most popular passwords discovered among the various leaks over the course of 2014 suggests that taking the simple - and thus easy to guess or brute-force crack - option is still the road most traveled for many netizens, with perennial favorites "123456" and "password" still topping the charts.

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New radar lets law enforcement peek into homes

New radar lets law enforcement peek into homes

Privacy is a growing concern for many as technology -- and the snooping it enables -- continues to grow. It's no surprise, then, that concerns have been raised about a new radar technology that provides law enforcement agencies with the ability to "see" through the walls of one's home from the outside -- something sensitive enough to pick up breathing and motion, and to identify the approximate location of anyone inside. Police have been silently acquiring and utilizing the technology for more than two years, spurring complaints.

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Microsoft survey shows we like online shopping, worry about security

Microsoft survey shows we like online shopping, worry about security

Each year, Microsoft surveys Internet users around the world. Each year, we get a pretty good sampling of what drives us as we grind through life, and an even better idea of what our concerns are on a large scale. Sourced from several digitally developed nations like South Africa, Brazil, China, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, Japan and the US, 12,002 respondents gave a good synopsis of what benefits and pitfalls the ‘net has, and how it helps — and hinders — us all.

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Obama backs Cameron’s fight against encryption

Obama backs Cameron’s fight against encryption

Flip-flopping somewhat on his earlier stance against putting backdoors in software, US President Barack Obama took UK Prime Minister David Cameron's side in telling tech companies to give government agencies access to encrypted devices and communication. Of course, all in the aid of the fight against terrorism and in the interests of national security. The calls from the world's top government leaders came after two recent incidents that are directly related or being linked to encryption: the hacking of Sony computers last year and the shooting at newspaper Charlie Hebdo this month.

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Branto connected orb can rotate, monitor your home

Branto connected orb can rotate, monitor your home

Imagine having a small orb on your bookcase or counter. This orb can be remotely accessed from your smartphone to, for example, turn up the heat in your home before you leave work. Likewise, the orb -- with its integrated camera -- can be rotated using a mobile device so that the user can take a peek around at whatever is going on nearby. Such are some of the features of Branto, another Internet of Things device that promises users home security, automation, and a slight cool factor.

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US and UK plan bank hack wargames as security fears grow

US and UK plan bank hack wargames as security fears grow

A war game exercise which will see US and UK banks simulate a huge and potentially devastating hack on their systems will be run later in the year, as the two countries ramp up their preparedness for cyber espionage. The practice will be run by representatives from the NSA and the FBI in the US, and MI5 and GCHQ in the UK, with a so-called "cyber cell" of experts collaborating on worst-case scenarios and the ways in which vital institutions can steel themselves. The news follows the high-profile hack of Sony Pictures late last year, and comes as security commentators warn that more online attacks are a case of "when" not "if".

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Arduino-based KeySweeper charger sniffs MS wireless keyboards

Arduino-based KeySweeper charger sniffs MS wireless keyboards

For geeks and professional typists, the choice of keyboard is like religion and some of them adhere to the religion of Microsoft's Wireless Keyboard line. These users, however, now need to be rather aware, if not paranoid, about their beliefs. Samy Kamkar, a hardware enthusiast and security buff, has just developed an Arduino-powered contraption that can sniff out any and every keystroke done on any Microsoft Wireless Keyboard within range, rendering even the most secure of passwords useless. And it even functions as a real USB wall charger to boot.

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Microsoft knocks Google’s vulnerability disclosure attitude

Microsoft knocks Google’s vulnerability disclosure attitude

We're used to rival companies trading blows, subtly or otherwise, to gain an upper hand, but there are times when the criticism becomes real and serious. Like the case of Microsoft Security Response Center senior director Chris Betz, who has taken to the company blog to slam Google's Project Zero vulnerability management. The heart of the issue is that Google publicly disclosed a serious security exploit two days before Microsoft could roll out its fix, even when Redmond explicitly asked Google to temporarily suspend its 90-day policy.

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President Obama calls for new federal laws on data security

President Obama calls for new federal laws on data security

President Obama thinks you should be protected if you’re connected. On Monday, the President called for the passing of the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act, which would require you to be notified within 30 days if a company you did business with as a consumer or professionally were breached. Secondly, the President wants access to your credit score to be simpler so you can manage your credit data should a hacker wreak havoc on your financial standing, giving you an early start on fixing the problems.

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