Gulp. This isn’t good. The Associated Press reports that the Internal Revenue Service admitted on Tuesday that thieves had hacked into one of its systems and had managed to swipe tax information from more than 100,000 American taxpayers. According to the AP, the IRS says that the thieves “used an online service provided by the IRS to gain access to information from more than 100,000 taxpayers.” More →
We mostly think of hackers as people who use their knowledge of coding to virtually break into computer systems. It turns out, however, that hackers can be pretty good at breaking into physical locks as well. Via Ars Technica, hacker Samy Kamkar this week posted a video that shows how you can crack the code of a Master Lock combination in eight tries or fewer. More →
Given the myriad of security mechanisms and technologies tech companies have developed, it’s easy to fall into a sense of complacency and think that what you’re doing is safe from prying eyes.
Truth be told, if skilled attackers really want to see what you’re up to online, there’s not really much you can do to stop them.
Case in point: Last week at the annual Pwn2Own hacking competition, all 4 major browsers were exploited.Safari, Firefox, IE, Google Chrome — none of these browsers can provide safe refuge from hackers.
Malicious hackers spend much of their time developing sophisticated attacks and complex new ways to steal people’s credit card numbers, bank account information and other private data. It’s getting more and more difficult to protect ourselves from these hacks, especially when just about anyone can go online and hire a hacker these days.
But for many people, all of the hard work these hackers put into ruining our lives is a waste of time, because they make things remarkably easy for hackers by using the worst passwords on the planet. More →
The latest scheme by Lizard Squad makes the Xbox Live and PSN service disruption look like child’s play. CNN reports that the hacker group launched the Lizard Stresser website this week, allowing anyone who pays the low price of $5.99 to launch a potentially devastating DDoS attack on a website of their choosing. More →
Imagine a world where a sleazy hacker can make your toilet overflow on a daily basis unless you pay him a daily fee. That’s the kind of nightmare scenario that researchers at Chicago security firm Trustwave are trying to prepare us for, as Bloomberg reports that they’ve figured out how to hack “a Bluetooth connection that controls toilets made by Japan’s Lixil Group,” which could “allow hackers to open or close the lid and even squirt a stream of water at the user’s behind.” More →
Nefarious hackers are lurking around every corner of the Internet, constantly working on new ways to beat Web security and steal our data. Some methods they employ involve remote digital attacks that utilize security flaws to steal data from corporate servers. And sometimes they perpetrate physical breaches, as was the case with the major Target attack we saw last year. Large corporations aren’t the only targets though, and one reporter recently found out firsthand what it’s like to be an Internet spy. More →
Snapchat now has to deal with yet another potentially large security vulnerability as Gibson Security released a new report reiterating that it is possible for hackers to obtain Snapchat users’ phone numbers. They initially revealed this hack four months ago and it went ignored by Snapchat. Now, after multiple app updates, Gibson Security says the exploits detailed in its initial report have still not been addressed. More →
The next time you take a seat in front of your laptop, keep in mind that the only thing standing between you and a serious invasion of privacy is a little warning light that signals that your webcam has been activated. Without that light, there wouldn’t be any way to tell if you were being watched or not, and now researchers have disclosed just how vulnerable our computers truly are. More →
It looks as though hackers have managed to swipe user names and passwords from some of the world’s biggest social networking and email platforms… again. Per CNN, security firm Trustwave claims that hackers have stolen more than 2 million Facebook, Google, Twitter and Yahoo user names and passwords through malicious keylogging software that’s been installed in an unknown number of computers. Facebook users have been the biggest victims of the malware so far, as an estimated 318,000 Facebook accounts have been compromised so far along with 70,000 Google-related accounts, 60,000 Yahoo accounts and 22,000 Twitter accounts. Trustwave says that it’s notified all affected companies about the security breach.
The United States government has accused five men from Russia and the Ukraine of masterminding the largest hacking scheme in U.S. history, The Wall Street Journal reported. The group allegedly hacked NASDAQ, Visa, J.C. Penney, 7-Eleven and JetBlue, among other companies, from 2005 until early last year. The men are accused of illegally obtaining roughly 160 million credit and debit card numbers, and allegedly stealing more than $300 million from at least three of the companies they attacked. The men are said to have scouted various retail locations to discover any vulnerabilities in their payment-processing systems. They are also accused of installing unauthorized software on corporate computers that granted them back door access to the systems at a later date. Two of the men are in police custody, while three others are on the loose and considered fugitives.
Here’s something that should sober enthusiasts of self-driving cars. Forbes reporter Andy Greenberg has been hanging out with hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, who have come up with their most terrifying hacking target yet: a car’s software. Greenberg says that the two hackers have “reverse-engineered enough of the software of the Escape and the Toyota Prius (both the 2010 model) to demonstrate a range of nasty surprises: everything from annoyances like uncontrollably blasting the horn to serious hazards like slamming on the Prius’ brakes at high speeds.” Even worse, Miller and Valasek have shown they’re able to take control of a car’s steering functionality so they can drive it into a ditch, a wall or just about anywhere they choose. In other words, they’ve found a way to transform cars into their own personal weapons. Greenberg says that the two hackers will present their unsettling findings to Defcon in Las Vegas next month.