security

CareFirst health insurer hacked: up to 1.1m customers affected

CareFirst health insurer hacked: up to 1.1m customers affected

Recently we reported that the number of health care providers that have suffered some sort of breach sit at the 90-percent mark (over the last two years), and though some have taken steps to protect their networks, many are still vulnerable. Today it was announced that the health insurer CareFirst had been breached, making it the third in the United States to suffer such an attack (or, at least, to disclose as much). The attack took place in June of last year, and is said to have been sophisticated, affecting up to 1.1 million of the insurer’s customers. The company is based in Maryland but services the Washington DC region.

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High schooler hits entire school district with week-long cyberattack

High schooler hits entire school district with week-long cyberattack

Teenagers regularly make poor decisions when it comes to technology, and too many of them in recent times involve swatting pranks. This latest episode of poor teenage judgement comes in the form of an alleged cyberattack, however, and now that high school student is facing a possible felony charge, according to KTVB. The unnamed 17-year-old is said to have instituted a DDoS attack against the West Ada school district in Idaho — it’s the largest school district in the state, and for one miserable week students and faculty across dozens of schools suffered because of it.

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Experts say researcher’s in-flight hacking claims are dubious

Experts say researcher’s in-flight hacking claims are dubious

Making headlines yesterday, security researcher Chris Roberts is being investigated by the FBI for claiming the ability to mess with a plane's flight systems from onboard. An ill-received tweet started it all, as Roberts claimed he could hack his flight's oxygen regulation. Roberts went on to tell the FBI that he hacked en-route 15 to 20 times over the several years using his laptop, modified cables, and the in-flight entertainment systems. He even claimed to be able to access engine commands and make his plane move sideways. Industry experts are calling Roberts out on his claims, citing a range of reasons why his claims are dubious, if not impossible.

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Flare: an all-in-one home security system shaped like a UFO

Flare: an all-in-one home security system shaped like a UFO

You're away from home and though you've a housesitter to keep the planets from dying, the place sits empty night after night and you've no way to know whether ne'erdowells will stay away. There are various smart home security systems on the market that offer peace of mind, mostly through connected alerts and access to video feeds. They typically involve placing sensors around the house, however, something the maker behind Flare decided to avoid. With Flare, the entire home security setup is promised to be available in a single UFO-shaped device.

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The simple Smart Home: Where to start

The simple Smart Home: Where to start

Controlling lights, appliances, and keeping an eye on home security has never been easier, but as smart home technology proliferates, picking the best place to start can be tough. I’ve been upgrading my apartment for the past few years, now, and I know that the first step needn’t be too risky, however. Since home automation can be intimidating, I’m going to focus on products that require the minimum of installation effort. I’m a big fan of non-permanent options: it makes a lot of sense if you’re renting, but it also gives you flexibility to change things up as you get used to your newly-smart home.

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Penn State says it was hit with pair of “sophisticated” cyber attacks

Penn State says it was hit with pair of “sophisticated” cyber attacks

Penn State has revealed that it was hit with two major cyber attacks, one of which it determined originated from China. The announcement was made today, with the university saying that it first became aware of the threats on November 21, 2014 after being alerted by the FBI. According to the statement, the FBI alerted the university of a cyber attack taking place on its College of Engineering network. The university is saying that “advanced persistent threat actors” conducted the two cyber attacks, with “at least” one being based in China. The oldest discovered date of intrusion was September of 2012.

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United Airlines is offering 1 million miles in bug bounties

United Airlines is offering 1 million miles in bug bounties

Bug bounty programs are a great way for white-hat security researchers--hackers-- to earn extra cash. The best programs incentivize finding security flaws with cold, hard cash. On the other end of the spectrum, some companies only offer swag in return for finding flaws. A new set of bounties from United Airlines falls squarely in the middle. The company is offering airline miles in return for hunting security flaws. These miles aren't a measly upgrade from economy; you could earn some real travel time for uncovering a serious system flaw.

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Robots are about to replace lockpicking kits

Robots are about to replace lockpicking kits

If you're protecting treasured first edition comic collection with a combination lock, you may want to upgrade your security. traditional combo locks are about to be toast thanks to this new robot. The contraption is the creation of Samy Kamkar, the same hacker who brought us the pocket-sized KeySweeper, capable of sniffing keystrokes from wireless keyboards. With a little help from a 3D-printer and Arduino, Kamkar's device exploits a trick he discovered which allows anyone to crack a Masterlock in eight tries or less. The programmable motor is more efficient than any lock picker, opening the lock in seconds.

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Starbucks blames poor passwords for app hack

Starbucks blames poor passwords for app hack

I’ve ordered coffee via the Starbucks app — even paid for it without so much as showing the barista my phone. Some unlucky souls are buying more coffee than they bargained for, as the Starbucks app has been outed as vulnerable to hackers. Starbucks has confirmed some users of their mobile app had funds from a linked card taken without their knowledge, which were then sent to a mystery recipient in the form of a gift card. Starbucks has yet to issue a fix for the problem.

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