Doug Vitale Tech Blog

Latest IT news and commentary

‘Share’ button may share your browsing history, too

Science Daily, 22 July 2014 – One in 18 of the world’s top 100,000 websites track users without their consent using a previously undetected cookie-like tracking mechanism embedded in ‘share’ buttons. The researchers traced 95 percent of canvas fingerprinting scripts back to a single company. [More]

Verizon FiOS getting faster upload speeds to match downloads

PC World, 21 July 2014 – In a rare show of generosity from an Internet service provider, Verizon plans to boost FiOS upload speeds to match customers’ download speeds at no extra charge. [More]

Leaked British Spy Catalog Reveals Tools to Manipulate Online Information

IEEE Spectrum, 17 July 2014 – No online communication is “for your eyes only” in the age of Internet surveillance by government spy agencies. But a leaked British spy catalog has revealed a wide array of online tools designed to also control online communication by doing everything from hacking online polls to artificially boosting online traffic to a particular website. [More]

Criminal Software, Government-Grade Protection

New York Times, 16 July 2014 – Researchers at a software security company say they have found a popular type of criminal software inside an extremely sophisticated “evasion code,” which they say was previously used by Russia to spy on one or more Eastern European governments. The researchers named the malware Gyges. [More]

The Changing Perception of Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the Hosting Industry

Web Host Industry Review, 15 July 2014 – Two years ago at HostingCon Boston, the majority of attendees dismissed AWS so I was excited to explore how opinions may have changed. Industry leader AWS accounted for 37 percent of the $9 billion infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market in 2013, according to analysts from equity research firm Evercore. The IaaS market is growing by 45 percent, but AWS has a growth rate of 60 percent. [More]

Critical flaw in Active Directory could allow for password change

CSO, 15 July 2014 – Aorato used public information to craft a proof-of-concept attack that shows how an attacker can change a person’s network password. The company’s research focuses on NTLM, an authentication protocol that Microsoft has been trying to phase out for years. [More]

Bell Labs Sets New Record for Internet Over Copper

IEEE Spectrum, 14 July 2014 – Traditional copper telephone lines can now run ultra-fast broadband service, at least in the lab. Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent, has developed a prototype technology that can deliver upload and download speeds of up to 10Gbps simultaneously. The technology, XG-FAST, is an extension of a new broadband standard,, which will be commercially available next year. [More]

Pentagon: Missile defenses vulnerable to cyber attack

Flash Critic, 14 July 2014 – The director of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency told Congress last week that U.S. missile defenses are vulnerable to cyber attacks that could disrupt its sophisticated networks of sensors and guidance systems use in targeting enemy missiles. [More]

Beware Keyloggers at Hotel Business Centers

Krebs On Security, 14 July 2014 – The U.S. Secret Service is advising the hospitality industry to inspect computers made available to guests in hotel business centers, warning that crooks have been compromising hotel business center PCs with keystroke-logging malware in a bid to steal personal and financial data from guests. [More]

‘Dragonfly’ Prompts Lockdown Of Windows-Based Industrial Control Systems

Water Online, 10 July 2014 – With the most recent cyber espionage campaign of the “Dragonfly” group publicly identified as having used various malware tools including Havex (Backdoor.Oldrea) and the Energetic Bear RAT (Remote Access Tool), now is the perfect opportunity to harden those Microsoft Windows-based industrial control systems (ICS). [More]

GameOver Zeus Mutates, Launches Attacks

Malcovery, 10 July 2014 – Today Malcovery’s analysts identified a new trojan based heavily on the GameOver Zeus binary. It was distributed as the attachment to three spam email templates, utilizing the simplest method of infection through which this trojan is deployed. [More]

Chinese Hackers Switched Targets to U.S. Experts on Iraq

CIO, 8 July 2014 – A sophisticated Chinese hacker group that had been stealing information from U.S. policy experts on nearby Southeast Asia suddenly changed targets last month to focus on the Middle East — Iraq, in particular — security researchers said. The group, called “Deep Panda,” switched from exploiting one area of expertise to another because of the march of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) towards Baghdad. [More]

How your local library can help you resist the surveillance state

Waging Nonviolence, 8 July 2014 – It’s often said that most people nowadays have given up on privacy and simply accept the loss of control over their data. But the fact is that 86 percent of adult Internet users in the United States have taken some sort of step to protect their identity or activity online. Libraries have also tended to take a strong stand on privacy. The third principle in the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics is, “We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.” [More]

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Written by Doug Vitale

July 31, 2013 at 12:13 PM

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