This is a bit disconcerting:
“In a speech at the University of Missouri on Thursday, former NSA director Mike McConnell revealed that China has been playing a major role in security breaches at US companies.
McConnell said that the malware used by Chinese hackers allows them to access information at will and steal critical information including business plans and blueprints. An indictment in May 2014 accused Chinese hackers of stealing proprietary information from a nuclear power plant, steel plant, and solar energy company.
For years, major Internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon have told the FCC and Congress that adopting strong Net Neutrality rules would harm investment and prevent companies from building out their broadband networks.
This is the central argument ISPs have made to prevent the FCC from adopting real open Internet protections.
And some legacy civil rights groups have echoed this claim, insisting that Net Neutrality would harm communities of color by deterring investment and widening the digital divide.
But over the past few weeks, this argument has been exposed as nothing more than a ruse meant to deceive lawmakers, regulators and the public.
Data collection and spying continues to make news with a never before seen complex surveillance software called Regin. A report released Monday by Symantec says, “The level of sophistication and complexity of Regin suggests that the development of this threat could have taken well-resourced teams of developers many months or years to develop and maintain.” This level of investment in software designed to stealthily collect data is indicative of a nation state.
“We are probably looking at some sort of western agency,” said Orla Cox, director of security response at Symantec to Financial Times. “Sometimes there is virtually nothing left behind – no clues. Sometimes an infection can disappear completely almost as soon as you start looking at it, it’s gone.”
Inbox by Gmail – the inbox that works for you.
Big changes are coming to your Gmail account. Right now it’s by invitation only. Check out the link below to find out more and to request your invitation.
After you get your invite, post back here on the comments and let us know whether you like the change or not.
Facebook Safety Check Keeps Track of You and Your Friends After Natural Disasters
Facebook has just unveiled a new feature called Safety Check, which allows people to identify themselves as safe following major disasters – as well as keep track of their friends who might’ve been in the affected area.
The feature is pretty simple. If Facebook thinks you’re in the area of a natural disaster – let’s say a tornado, hurricane, or tsunami – it’ll send you a notification asking if you’re safe. Facebook will know where you are based on your profile city, your last location, and the city where you’re using the internet.
For once, the law appears to be throwing the little guy a bone. Yesterday, the president signed a bill into law that again makes it legal to unlock your phone and free it from your mobile carrier overlord.
As we wrote previously: “The bill essentially revives a rule that the Library of Congress issued in 2010 but did not renew in 2012 exempting phone unlocking from the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.”
There are a handful of reasons you might want to unlock your phone, though if your first interest is some nebulous idea of freedom from The Man, you might want to hold off.
Instances in which unlocking a phone is useful:
Computer users pass around USB sticks like silicon business cards. Although we know they often carry malware infections, we depend on antivirus scans and the occasional reformatting to keep our thumbdrives from becoming the carrier for the next digital epidemic. But the security problems with USB devices run deeper than you think: Their risk isn’t just in what they carry, it’s built into the core of how they work.
That’s the takeaway from findings security researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell plan to present next week, demonstrating a collection of proof-of-concept malicious software that highlights how the security of USB devices has long been fundamentally broken. The malware they created, called BadUSB, can be installed on a USB device to completely take over a PC, invisibly alter files installed from the memory stick, or even redirect the user’s internet traffic. Because BadUSB resides not in the flash memory storage of USB devices, but in the firmware that controls their basic functions, the attack code can remain hidden long after the contents of the device’s memory would appear to the average user to be deleted. And the two researchers say there’s no easy fix: The kind of compromise they’re demonstrating is nearly impossible to counter without banning the sharing of USB devices or filling your port with superglue.
“These problems can’t be patched,” says Nohl, who will join Lell in presenting the research at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. “We’re exploiting the very way that USB is designed.”
Nohl and Lell, researchers for the security consultancy SR Labs, are hardly the first to point out that USB devices can store and spread malware. But the two hackers didn’t merely copy their own custom-coded infections into USB devices’ memory. They spent months reverse engineering the firmware that runs the basic communication functions of USB devices—the controller chips that allow the devices to communicate with a PC and let users move files on and off of them. Their central finding is that USB firmware, which exists in varying forms in all USB devices, can be reprogrammed to hide attack code. “You can give it to your IT security people, they scan it, delete some files, and give it back to you telling you it’s ‘clean,’” says Nohl. But unless the IT guy has the reverse engineering skills to find and analyze that firmware, “the cleaning process doesn’t even touch the files we’re talking about.”
Mobile devices are quickly taking over as the preferred medium. What has your business been doing to take advantage of this trend? Read on to find out why 2014 may be your last chance to get the jump on mobile optimization.
Have you heard all the talk about “going mobile” and making sure you are “mobile optimized?” Chances are that you have, but if you haven’t, don’t worry, I’m going to tell you all about it.
For those of you that know about mobile optimization but still haven’t taken advantage of it for whatever reason, you don’t have to worry either, there’s still time to get ahead of the game.
Amazon Web Services hosts more malware hosting sites than any other ISP or web hosting provider, according to a new report from security company Solutionary. In Q2 2014, AWS supported 41 percent of the identified malware hosts, up from 16 percent in Q4 2013.
According to the Security Engineering Research Team Quarterly Threat Intelligence Report for Q2 2014, the top 10 ISPs were the source of more than half (52 percent) of the malware identified in the second quarter.
In its report, Solutionary, an NTT Group company, identified the top 10 hosting providers that hosted malware out of more than 21,000 ISPs.
Regardless of whether you are attempting to build a company website, an affiliate marketing powerhouse, or the authority blog in your niche, SEO should be a core growth strategy.
A quick search of Google will turn up more SEO advice, tips and strategies than anyone could ever possibly read. As an SEO practitioner, I prefer to test variables and come up with facts about what works and what doesn’t. It appears that not everyone believes information needs to be true or correct to share and as such, we are left with a ton of misinformation, like these 21 myths, tips and terrible SEO advice.