security

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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TSA put to the DHS undercover test, fails 67 out of 70

TSA put to the DHS undercover test, fails 67 out of 70

Some posit that the events of 9/11 has made America paranoid, and that the security measures applied at airports are over the top, invasive, and excessive. Now, they might be adding "ineffective" to that litany. The US' own Department of Homeland Security went undercover to put these airport security checkpoints to the test, seeing if they can beat the system that the government has put in place. The results might be shocking for some while expected for others, but worrying nonetheless. Out of 70 undercover tests, the TSA failed 67.

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Macs older than 1 year may be vulnerable to security exploit

Macs older than 1 year may be vulnerable to security exploit

A security researcher has just, reportedly, found a way to gain control of Macs using OS X. The exploits allow attackers to remotely overwrite firmware responsible for booting up the device. Once attackers isolate the flaw in a targeted machine, they could control the computer as soon as it boots up. The specific exploit discovered by Pedro Vilaca is explained in detail in an article on his blog. This attack can give a user continuous, low-level control of a Mac without any initial physical access; therefore, hackers from the other side of the globe can exploit your system.

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China debuts world’s first ATM with facial recognition tech

China debuts world’s first ATM with facial recognition tech

It's not all that often that technology "firsts" come out of China, but here is an interesting one. A technology company has built the world's first ATM to rely on facial recognition technology for security. The machine is described as only letting users withdraw money from their accounts if a scan of their face matches with the data stored on their bank card. It's certainly a unique twist on preventing banking fraud, but it's still far from being proven foolproof.

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Hola makes Steve Jobs defense over VPN botnet

Hola makes Steve Jobs defense over VPN botnet

VPN-under-fire Hola has issued a mea-culpa after fears the service had turned users' computers into a botnet. Concerns about the way the company's P2P virtual private network had been utilized for potentially nefarious purposes kicked off last week, after users realized that their idle bandwidth was being sold off under a secondary brand, and possibly used to commit distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on servers.

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Google launches go-to hub for lost phones and privacy

Google launches go-to hub for lost phones and privacy

Let's face it, even with all the remote locking, wiping, and tracking tools in the world, when your phone gets stolen you want one simple place to handle it. Google has launched just that, and with bells on it, in the shape of My Account, a centralized hub from which device security can be managed and account passwords changed, in the case of an emergency. However, it's for more than just emergencies, with Google also using the hub as an interface for all of its personalized tools and services.

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Google wants to make your life the password

Google wants to make your life the password

Our digital lives are punctuated by an increasing number of PINs, fingerprint scans, and other security hurdles, but an Android project could end all that. The Google ATAP team has been working on a new authentication system, publicly revealed at I/O 2015 this week for the first time, which bypasses explicit codes and biometrics, and instead uses ongoing user-recognition to figure out who you are simply by how you use your phone.

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Google Project Vault bakes super-security into microSD

Google Project Vault bakes super-security into microSD

How much trust can you squeeze into a microSD card? If you're Google ATAP, the search giant's outlandish research arm, it turns out the answer is "a huge amount." Today at I/O the ATAP team revealed Project Vault, a full security computer packed into a microSD form-factor, and which if plugged into a phone, PC, or even an Internet-of-Things device could allow for entirely encrypted communications without the host device ever seeing what's being discussed or worked on. Best of all, Google is releasing the whole thing as an open-source project.

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