October 31, 2014 |
When documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras was approached by an anonymous whistle-blower calling himself Citizenfour, he warned her to upgrade her computer security substantially if she wanted to evade government surveillance. "Assume your adversary is capable of 3 billion guesses per second," he wrote her. If anyone was familiar with U.S. officials' formidable capabilities for data mining, it was Edward Snowden, the cynosure of Poitras' alarming film, Citizenfour . It's a rather claustrophobic documentary, made up largely of Snowden - whom Poitras had lobbied strenuously to film - holed up in a hotel room in Hong Kong for eight days.
October 11, 2013 |
The city's Department of Human Services needs to improve security for the computer system that keeps records on troubled children and youth, City Controller Alan Butkovitz said Wednesday in a report on the department's Family and Child Tracking Systems. DHS did not perform security background checks on employees of the software contractors that developed and maintain the system, Butkovitz said, and former city social workers have continued to have access to it - including one who left about 15 years ago. "Unauthorized access increases the risk that confidential data could be compromised and abused," Butkovitz said in a news release.
February 22, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - When Kevin Mandia, a retired military cybercrime investigator, decided to expose China as a primary threat to U.S. computer networks, he did not have to consult with American diplomats in Beijing or declassify tactics to safely disclose government secrets. He pulled together a 76-page report based on seven years of his company's work and produced the most detailed public account yet of how, he says, the Chinese government has been rummaging through the networks of major U.S. companies.
September 24, 2012 |
BARRE, Mass. - Working from a beige house at the end of a dirt road, Jeff Bardin switches on a laptop, boots up a program that obscures his location, and pecks in a passkey to an Internet forum run by an Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda. Soon the screen displays battle flags and AK-47 rifles, plus palm-lined beaches to conjure up a martyr's paradise. "I do believe we are in," says Bardin, 54, a computer security consultant. Barefoot in his bedroom, Bardin pretends to be a 20-something Canadian who wants to train in a militant camp in Pakistan.
July 13, 2012 |
How secure are your Internet communications and phone calls? How private are your travels with a cellphone in your pocket or purse? "Privacy is dead" earned the status of an Internet meme long before Facebook and other social media showed how willingly some of us would sacrifice our personal information for connection, celebrity, or even just the lure of free stuff. But commercial intrusions such as ads based on our Web surfing aren't the only risks we face in the age of the Internet, cellphones, and ubiquitous electronics.
June 10, 2012 |
Hackers attacked Wawa's website Friday afternoon, replacing images of hoagies and smoothies with a cartoon Hitler. A hacker group called UGNazi announced that it had defaced the website. The group replaced Wawa's promotional content with a portrait of "Kawaii Hitler," an obscure Internet meme. A spokeswoman for Wawa initially denied that the Delaware County company's website had been compromised. But late Friday, Lori Bruce issued a statement acknowledging that visitors were being redirected to a "non-legitimate Web page.
June 8, 2012 |
FORT MEADE, Md. - The U.S. State Department took extraordinary steps to limit harm to foreign relations and individuals after an Army private allegedly sent more than 250,000 classified diplomatic cables to the secret-sharing website WikiLeaks, two agency officials testified at a court-martial hearing Thursday. One group of up to 25 high-ranking officials worked around the clock to try to get ahead of the problem before WikiLeaks began publishing the cables on Nov. 28, 2010, said Rena Bitter, director of the agency's operations center.
May 31, 2012 |
TEHRAN, Iran - Computer technicians battling to contain a complex virus last month resorted to the ultimate firewall measures - cutting off Internet links to Iran's Oil Ministry, rigs, and the hub for nearly all the country's crude exports. At the time, Iranian officials described it as a data-siphoning blitz on key oil networks. On Wednesday, they gave it a name: A strike by the powerful "Flame" malware that experts this week have called a new and highly sophisticated program capable of hauling away computer files and even listening in on computer users.
January 13, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - An Army officer recommended a general court-martial Thursday for a low-ranking intelligence analyst charged with causing the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history. Lt. Col. Paul Almanza's recommendation to try Pfc. Bradley Manning on all 22 counts, including aiding the enemy, now goes up the chain of command for a final determination. Almanza sent his report to Col. Carl Coffman, garrison commander of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall near Washington.
September 22, 2011 |
Viruses, worms, Trojans, phishers, bots. The list of computer threats never shrinks, and the number of devices at risk only grows. Now we have to worry about security on smartphones and tablets along with personal computers and laptops. But could one of the biggest threats to your online safety have two legs, a smart mouth, and a carefree attitude? That's one implication of a recent survey conducted for Trend Micro, a leading computer security company. Forty percent of respondents said they suffered damage from clicking on links "leading to an unexpected place" online, at a cost that averaged about $42. More than a third of those blamed a child for the error.