security

New security technology allows emoji for passwords

New security technology allows emoji for passwords

Imagine instead of having to type four digits as a security PIN, you could just type the sunglasses smiley, blue heart, top hat, and thumbs up emoji? Well, new security software from the UK's Intelligent Environments could soon allow just that. The company says they have developed a system that would allow symbols, namely emoji, to be used instead of numbers in a PIN code. This makes PINs easier to remember, but, even better, data shows they can actually be more secure than just digits.

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US Navy caught soliciting for 0-day security bugs

US Navy caught soliciting for 0-day security bugs

The US government seems to really have a thing about backdoors, which doesn't sound good whether or not you have an overactive mind. It is almost understandable that the CIA and the NSA and the FBI would want such kind of access to software, but now even the Navy seems to be in on the scheme. Advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation or EFF discovered that the Navy posted, and later took down, an online solication that, in essence, was trying to buy zero or N day security bugs from widely used software.

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Amazon patents ear-scanning technology for unlocking smartphones

Amazon patents ear-scanning technology for unlocking smartphones

Forget typing in a four-digit code, or drawing a specific shape as a passcode, and even using your fingerprint to unlock your smartphone. Amazon thinks that the next great way to secure your digital device is by scanning the shape of you ear. The company has just received a patent for technology that would scan your ear with a phone's front-facing camera, unlocking it as you hold the device to the side of your face when answering a call.

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US officials reveal second massive hack: security clearance forms grabbed

US officials reveal second massive hack: security clearance forms grabbed

The recent hack of government data, at least according to those who know of the matter, is far worse than previously revealed. At least 4 million people were comprised, it was originally reported, but a recent letter to the OPM indicated that every single federal employee might have had some data stolen, including former federal workers. Now a second hack has been disclosed by sources, and it is said to have involved the theft of data related to intelligence employees and military personnel.

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FCC urges carriers to turn on kill switch by default

FCC urges carriers to turn on kill switch by default

It looks like the kill switch debates will be back in business again. FCC chair Tom Wheeler has come out once again to call on the wireless industry to arms against smartphone theft. And his favorite solution, which is a point of contention for many players in the smartphone industry, is the kill switch. And again, Wheeler urges carriers to make that feature "opt out" instead of the current "opt in", meaning it should be turned on by default in all cases instead of the optional status quo.

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Oracle’s Ask Toolbar gets the malware treatment from Microsoft

Oracle’s Ask Toolbar gets the malware treatment from Microsoft

Microsoft security tools will now be treating the Ask Toolbar that comes alongside Oracle's Java installations as "unwanted software" (a category that also includes malware). For a while now, when Windows users install Java, they have to opt out of getting the Ask Toolbar installed in their browser. Opting out is a small task, but it's enough to give Java users a bad impression of Oracle.

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How HomeKit embraces Siri, Apple Watch and iCloud

How HomeKit embraces Siri, Apple Watch and iCloud

Apple is bolstering HomeKit, bringing more smart home kit under the automation umbrella and adding Apple Watch, Siri, and iCloud integration to boost usability both when at home and away. The new functionality, based on iOS 9, will see HomeKit potentially take on a more serious role thanks to integration with security systems, while improvements to the setup process should make home automation installation less of a headache. However, there’s good news for those with existing gadgets they don’t want to replace.

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Be wary of pop-ups in iOS Mail, bug leads to phishing attacks

Be wary of pop-ups in iOS Mail, bug leads to phishing attacks

Hacking and phishing are ever-evolving cat and mouse games. As soon as one attack method is quashed, another leaps to fill its place. A new type of phishing attack has been brought to attention and iOS users should take heed. This specific phishing attack launches a pop-up window when a user is checking his iOS mail. The pop-up appears to be genuine, asking to verify iCloud login information.

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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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