ethics

Guarding against password reset attacks with pen and paper

With the recent announcements of password breaches at LinkedIn, and warnings from Google about state-sponsored attacks on Gmail accounts, it seems like a good idea now to review some password security basics.  In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at a rather low-tech solution to a decidedly high-tech problem:  How to guard

Facebook/app data privacy – sharing gone wild

So you browse your favorite restaurant review site and settle on a great Mediterranean restaurant, and “magically” a variety of preferences get fed back to your Facebook profile, to be shared, re-shared and re-shared, ricocheting around the internet to form purportedly value-added experiences elsewhere you visit. That’s great news if you want your preferences bounced

Anonymous and the Megaupload Aftermath: Hacktivism or Just Plain Ugly?

Yesterday’s announcement by the US Department of Justice that the operators of file-sharing site Megaupload had been indicted for operating a criminal enterprise that generated over $175 million by trafficking in over half a billion dollars of pirated copyrighted material has sent shockwaves across the Internet. The accuracy of those figures may be questionable, but

Ransomware stoops to new lows – fake law enforcement

Ransomware, the practice of providing fake notifications that “you’re infected” and then selling a fake solution that removes the fake malware they just installed, has been a boon for scammers. Now, they’re taking it a step farther, throwing in a law enforcement scare. In this latest scam, an official-looking banner appears on infected machines, purporting

Are Government/Schools responsible for your security – (or is it all up to you)?

Awhile back we posted findings of a Harris poll showing public perception of Internet security, with some interesting results. This time we take a look at whether respondents perceive the Government and/or their schools have an implicit responsibility, or whether it lands squarely on their shoulders in the end (or should). Both schools and government

Kids’ computer game malware – Scammers stoop to new lows

There’s a new batch of malware making the rounds, this time directed at spreading banking malware through childrens’ games. Though it’s hard to imagine, the scammers are taking advantage of the naivete of kids, who may not be as skilled at detecting scams as their more seasoned parents. According to an article in Softpedia, the

Should you hire a hacker to prevent data breaches?

With all the recent headlines about data breaches, should your organization hire a “thief to catch a thief?” That’s a question Kevin Mitnick, sitting near the top of the hacker hall-of-fame for famous hack sprees in decades past, has been contemplating. He’s not alone – many companies are wondering the same thing. There is a

‘Anonymous’ NATO data breach?

2 days ago, the FBI announced a series of raids resulting in arrests of alleged members of the hacking group ‘Anonymous’. Hoping to deal a critical blow to the organization, they swept up more than a few potential members, and a tidy stash of computers to boot. So we’re done with ‘Anonymous’, right? Today, we

Rental laptops: We can SEE you

Finally scraped up enough money to rent a laptop? Turns out the rental company may be getting a little more of your information than you thought. Seems they have the ability to secretly turn on the webcam and take a look around, especially if they suspect shenanigans on your part, like maybe not returning their

North Korea’s Overseas Cyber Warrior Training

It appears North Korea is expanding their cyber warrior savvy in a plan that includes sending the best and brightest of young programmers abroad to bone up on hacking, with the alleged goal of holding their own in cyber warfare. On the heels of the recent Pentagon announcement where cyber terrorism acts may be met

An ethical dilemma

Update: It seems like the initial article is inaccurate and that Paul Rellis never made any such comments about a 14 year old breaking into the X-Box live servers and have not offered to mentor him http://kotaku.com/5805742/microsoft-is-helping-an-xbox-live-hacker-develop-his-talent TekGoblin reports (http://www.tekgoblin.com/2011/05/27/14-year-old-call-of-duty-hacker-hired-by-microsoft/) that a teenager who broke into the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 gameservers last

Social engineers don’t care about your OS: and nor should you

Security companies in general and, unfortunately, anti-malware companies in particular, are often accused of ‘hyping’ threats because of a perceived self-interest. However, in the main, legitimate vendors and researchers like those at ESET typically try to resist overhyping or playing up threats where possible, in favor of more balanced discussion that can help customers take

SC Magazine: Cybercrime Corner

You may not be aware that ESET writers have been supplying blogs to SC Magazine for a while now. Recently, Randy Abrams and I were drafted in after the original contributors moved on, and we started contributing this week: Poachers and Gamekeepers considers whether there is a conflict of interest when AV companies work with

Privacy: Lawsuit Alleges School Used Webcams to Lurk in Students’ Homes

Wow. File this under ‘how stupid thoughtless can any one person in a position of absolute power be…’ One school official abuses the built-in webcam access used with anti-theft software [legal malware] which they had packaged onto school laptops… to their own detriment. What sparked the discovery was Assistant Principal Lindy Matsko's assertion in early November that

Is Net Neutrality a legit beef against Senate Bill 773?

After posting the article regarding this new legislature I continued my research into the objections which have been raised by many cyber activists. Some of the concern is about ‘Net Neutrality’ and the potential for abuse of power. Let’s look first at the issue of content-neutral or client-neutral packet routing. Net Neutrality – A Deeper

Cybersecurity Awareness Month – Awareness for the Next Generation

"Now may I suggest some of the things we must do if we are to make the American dream a reality. First, I think all of us must develop a world perspective if we are to survive. The American dream will not become a reality devoid of the larger dream of brotherhood and peace and

How Embarrassing

I wondered why a newsletter from “Windows Secrets” got flagged as spam. It is because they have reduced themselves to as much. Near the top of the newsletter it proclaimed: Remove the Conficker worm: register now Conficker is one of the worst viruses in history and has infected over 15 million PCs. We are offering

BBC Botnet Revisited

[update] Commentary by Larry Seltzer for eWeek:   http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/The-British-Botnet-Corporation-324874/ I don’t promise that this is my last word on the subject, but, having now seen the full Click programme and the BBC’s response to some of the criticism they’ve received, I found I had a few more things to say on the topic. If you aren’t

BCS Blogs

As a Fellow of the British Computer Society (is that the sound of a self-blown trumpet I hear? ) I get daily emails that I often don’t have time to read. Which is a pity, because when I do, I often find an interesting nugget. Sometimes I even get a paper magazine (remember those?) through the

What an Honor

I recently received an email stating “It is a privilege to inform you that you are being considered for inclusion into the 2009/2010 Princeton Premier Honors Edition Registry. This recognition is an honor shared by only the most accomplished professionals who have demonstrated excellence within their careers and communities.” I had always assumed these were

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