Government Surveillance By Data

from NYTs This is the ultimate example of what’s broken in digital life: The locations of people who used apps to pray and hang their shelves wound up in U.S. military databases. Vice’s Motherboard publication this week reported that data on people’s movements collected by seemingly innocuous apps passed through multiple hands before being bought by U.S. defense contractors and military agencies. It’s not clear what the military is doing with the information. This isn’t an isolated case of government authorities buying commercially available databases containing the movements of millions of people. U.S. law enforcement agencies and the Internal Revenue […]

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We Built A Fake Toaster, And It Was Hacked In An Hour

from Business Insider Last week, a massive chain of hacked computers simultaneously dropped what they were doing and blasted terabytes of junk data to a set of key servers, temporarily shutting down access to popular sites in the eastern U.S. and beyond. Unlike previous attacks, many of these compromised computers weren’t sitting on someone’s desk, or tucked away in a laptop case—they were instead the cheap processors soldered into web-connected devices, from security cameras to video recorders. A DVR could have helped bring down Twitter. Great, I thought as I read the coverage last week. My DVR helped bring down Twitter. (Probably not, […]

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In Case Anybody Hadn’t Noticed, The Internet Is Very Vulnerable

From Medium Yesterday’s DDoS attacks on key US internet infrastructure made one thing clear: since its supposed origins in the 1960s as a distributed and thus resilient military network, it has take five decades to find relatively simple and inexpensive ways to topple it. From a European standpoint, yesterday’s attacks were apparently no big deal: Medium remained up and running the whole time, and my Spanish homepage was difficult to access for about two hours, a problem I accepted philosophically knowing that the causes were nothing to do with my server and that there was therefore nothing I could do […]

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First Known Hacker-Caused Power Outage Signals Troubling Escalation

from ars technica Highly destructive malware that infected at least three regional power authorities in Ukraine led to a power failure that left hundreds of thousands of homes without electricity last week, researchers said. The outage left about half of the homes in the Ivano-Frankivsk region of Ukraine without electricity, Ukrainian news service TSN reported in an article posted a day after the December 23 failure. The report went on to say that the outage was the result of malware that disconnected electrical substations. On Monday, researchers from security firm iSIGHT Partners said they had obtained samples of the malicious code […]

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Hacked vs. Hackers: Game On

from NYTs Paul Kocher, one of the country’s leading cryptographers, says he thinks the explanation for the world’s dismal state of digital security may lie in two charts. One shows the number of airplane deaths per miles flown, which decreased to one-thousandth of what it was in 1945 with the advent of the Federal Aviation Administration in 1958 and stricter security and maintenance protocols. The other, which details the number of new computer security threats, shows the opposite. There has been more than a 10,000-fold increase in the number of new digital threats over the last 12 years. The problem, […]

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