NSA's Keith Alexander Private Online Security

Want to make $1 million per month? Retire from the NSA

By about 11 hours ago.

Want to make $1 million per month? Retire from the NSA

Former NSA director Keith Alexander will charge companies up to $1 million a month to keep them safe from online hackers, Foreign Policy reports. Apparently Alexander and business partners from IronNet Cybersecurity have founded a new firm after leaving the government and military in March. The company supposedly offers a new technology that has a “unique” approach when it comes to detecting hackers online. More →

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NSA, GCHQ YouTube Facebook Spying

There may be a ‘Squeaky Dolphin’ permanently snooping on your YouTube, Facebook habits

By on January 28, 2014 at 11:59 PM.

There may be a ‘Squeaky Dolphin’ permanently snooping on your YouTube, Facebook habits

More documents released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden detail another bulk data collection spying initiative that consists of monitoring services like Facebook and Google’s YouTube and Blogger in order to accurately observe trends with the general, worldwide population, and even predict certain events. NBC News has obtained a copy of a presentation delivered by GCHQ to the NSA in 2012 that details a “Squeaky Dolphin” mass surveillance program – a real-time user and data collection initiative that monitors YouTube views, Facebook likes and Blogspot or Blogger visits for analysis. More →

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Stop Mobile Location Tracking

App looks to block mobile location tracking, but it won’t stop the NSA

By on December 10, 2013 at 10:45 AM.

App looks to block mobile location tracking, but it won’t stop the NSA

Security firm AVG on Tuesday updated its PrivacyFix security app for Android devices to include mobile location tracking features that would prevent stores and advertisers to track users by monitoring their Wi-Fi connectivity habits. According to Forbes, the app, which also allows users to manage privacy settings across websites, will henceforward block Android devices from transmitting their MAC address when their owners are out and about, by blocking Wi-Fi access to untrusted hotspots. More →

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NSA Reform

Apple, Google and others demand NSA spying reform

By on December 9, 2013 at 8:30 AM.

Apple, Google and others demand NSA spying reform

Eight tech giants have joined forces demanding NSA reform in a “Global Government Surveillance Reform” campaign, including AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo, The Hill reports. The companies have expressed their requests in an open letter to Obama and members of Congress, and listed five governing principles that should be used for surveillance reform on the campaign’s website. More →

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Audio Malware

Terrifying new malware uses sound to spread, doesn’t need networks

By on December 3, 2013 at 1:25 PM.

Terrifying new malware uses sound to spread, doesn’t need networks

Computer scientists have developed an audio malware prototype that’s capable of establishing communication between devices that do not have an active network connection, Ars Technica reports. Instead, the lab-created malware uses the built-in microphones and speakers to send out a high-frequency signal from an infected computer to a different source. While it has limited use and can only send 20 bits of data per second to up to 65 feet the audio malware concept can still be used to send out significant data, including user and passwords for certain systems. Additionally, the distance can be increased by adding more attacker-controlled devices to repeat the audio signal.

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NSA PRISM Europe Lawsuits

Europeans plan to fight back against PRISM

By on June 11, 2013 at 1:50 PM.

Europeans plan to fight back against PRISM

Finnish communications minister Pia Viitanen has stated bluntly that the NSA may be breaking the laws of Finland. According to the Finnish Constitution, capturing and reading emails or text messages without privileges is illegal. Viitanen plans to take up the issue with the European Comission. Several European countries are apparently considering unleashing Neelie Kroes, the feared European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, in an effort to fight back against the NSA’s PRISM program. More →

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Featured
PRISM NSA Spying

How to avoid NSA spying

By on June 6, 2013 at 7:00 PM.

How to avoid NSA spying

The latest Guardian bombshell reveals that NSA has gained access to several leading U.S. tech giants in a massive dragnet hoovering email, photo, filesharing and chat info from Yahoo, Google, Skype, Apple, AOL and YouTube services. According to Guardian, DropBox will follow soon. However, the government spying program seems to have a fatal flaw: It’s really unhip. More →

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Former Google engineer builds service to stop companies from tracking people online

Former Google engineer builds service to stop companies from tracking people online

By on April 17, 2013 at 9:50 AM.

Former Google engineer builds service to stop companies from tracking people online

As advertising companies continue to push the boundaries of online tracking in an effort to woo clients with eerily accurate ad targeting techniques, online privacy is seemingly becoming a thing of the past. One startup is looking to stop third-parties from tracking users on the web, however, and one of the company’s co-founders may be in a better position than most to accomplish this lofty goal. More →

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Samsung Smart TV Hack

Samsung Smart TVs: The next frontier for data theft and hacking [video]

By on December 14, 2012 at 12:40 PM.

Samsung Smart TVs: The next frontier for data theft and hacking [video]

Smart TVs, particularly Samsung’s (005930) last few generations of flat screens, can be hacked to give attackers remote access according to a security startup called ReVuln. The company says it discovered a “zero-day exploit” that hackers could potentially use to perform malicious activities that range from stealing accounts linked through apps to using built-in webcams and microphones to spy on unsuspecting couch potatoes. Don’t panic just yet, though. In order for the exploit to be activated, a hacker needs to plug a USB drive loaded with malicious software into the actual TV to bypass the Linux-based OS/firmware on Samsung’s Smart TVs. But, if a hacker were to pull that off, every piece of data stored on a Smart TV could theoretically be retrieved.

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Relax, Facebook isn’t accidentally exposing old private messages

By on September 25, 2012 at 6:05 PM.

Relax, Facebook isn’t accidentally exposing old private messages

Facebook Security Breach Confirmed False

Facebook (FB) confirmed on Thursday that reports of users seeing old private messages displayed as public wall posts are incorrect. A Facebook spokesman told TechCrunch that users are confusing old public Wall posts as old private messages because “before 2009 there were no likes and no comments on wall posts. People went back and forth with wall posts instead of having a conversation [in the comments of single wall post].” The issues appears to have stemmed from the global rollout of Timeline. Facebook says it has conducted its own investigation and “is satisfied that there has been no breach of user privacy.” Despite Facebook’s official statements denying the reports, users are still reporting that their old messages are being exposed for all their friends to see. For those worried, TheNextWeb offers some advice on how to remove all old posts (public or private) from Timeline. More →

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New software aims to preemptively nab Wall Street crooks

By on August 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM.

New software aims to preemptively nab Wall Street crooks

Digital Reasoning Software

With so many big banks’ reputations in the toilet, one software vendor is betting that they’ll want to do a better job of cracking down on their more unethical employees before they become a public relations headache. MIT’s Technology Review blog reports that Digital Reasoning, a software company that has traditionally sold its data-combing software to intelligence agencies and the military, is marketing its wares to scandal-plagued financial institutions that are presumably tired of getting fined by assorted regulatory agencies on a regular basis. More →

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Court makes spying on Americans legal with new warrantless wiretap ruling

By on August 8, 2012 at 3:05 PM.

Court makes spying on Americans legal with new warrantless wiretap ruling

U.S. Wiretapping Legality

A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled in favor of President George W. Bush’s controversial Terrorist Surveillance Program, which allows the government to spy on Americans without a warrant. The court reversed an earlier decision in which two American attorneys were awarded more than $20,000 in damages and their lawyers $2.5 million in legal fees after they proved the government had spied on them without warrants. The earlier lawsuit was the first and only case that successfully challenged the controversial program. More →

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Your parents pick better passwords than you do

By on June 1, 2012 at 12:00 PM.

Your parents pick better passwords than you do

Password Security Study

Computer users over the age of 55 employ passwords that are twice as secure as passwords used by those under 25 years old. A recent study conducted by Joseph Bonneau, a computer scientist at the University of Cambridge, analyzed almost 70 million passwords belonging to Yahoo users around the world. Ensuring that data was kept anonymous and passwords could not be tied to individual accounts, Bonneau looked at password strength alongside other data such as age and locale. Beyond the relationship between age and security, the researcher found that German and Korea speakers generally use the strongest passwords, and the presence of credit card data on a user’s account seemingly does not prompt that user to avoid weak passwords such as “123456.” Bonneau’s study was the largest of its kind, and he unveiled his findings at the Symposium on Security and Privacy in San Francisco, California earlier this month. More →

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