Doug Vitale Tech Blog

Latest IT news and commentary

Ransomware: the enterprise’s boogeyman

Security Intelligence, 21 Jul 2015 – Eight out of 10 security leaders surveyed in the IBM 2014 CISO Assessment see the challenge posed by external threats rising to include not only financial and intellectual property theft but also ransomware. That’s because successful ransomware such as CryptoLocker and CryptoWall is now costing organizations millions globally. [More]

Hackers remotely compromise vehicles in transit

Wired, 21 Jul 2015 – Though I hadn’t touched the dashboard, the vents in the Jeep started blasting cold air at the maximum setting, chilling the sweat on my back through the in-seat climate control system. Next the radio switched to the local hip hop station and began blaring at full volume. [More]

Cybersecurity Professionals: The Government Wants You

IEEE Insight, 20 Jul 2015 – Just as the U.S. military needed soldiers at the start of World War I, now the U.S. government requires an army for a new war, one fought not with bullets and bombs but with zeros and ones. By all accounts federal, state and local government agencies needs tens of thousands of cybersecurity employees just to fill existing job slots. [More]

UCLA Health Data Breach Affects 4.5M Patients

Health IT Security, 20 Jul 2015 – UCLA Health System reported last week that it was the victim of a cyber attack, leading to a health data breach potentially compromising the information of approximately 4.5 million patients. Exposed information includes names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, medical record numbers, Medicare or health plan ID numbers, and some medical information. [More]

The 2015 Top Ten Programming Languages

IEEE Spectrum, 20 Jul 2015 – The big five — Java, C, C++, Python, and C# — remain on top, with their ranking undisturbed, but C has edged to within a whisper of knocking Java off the top spot. The big mover is R, a statistical computing language that’s handy for analyzing and visualizing big data, which comes in at sixth place. Last year it was in ninth place, and its move reflects the growing importance of big data to a number of fields. [More]

Phishing attacks targeting government agencies

CSO Online, 17 Jul 2015 – In an alert on Friday, the FBI has issued a warning about an active phishing campaign targeting various government agencies in the U.S. The alert says phishing emails in July and those from June targeted an Adobe Flash vulnerability discovered in the Hacking Team files. [More]

Watch what it takes to lay Google’s super-fast submarine Internet cable

Network World, 17 Jul 2015 – The FASTER cable linking the U.S. and Japan will have a peak capacity of 60 terabits per second when it starts operating next year. [More]

Researchers smash the fiber optic long-distance record

Tech Republic, 15 Jul 2015 – The distance record was trounced by a team of electrical engineers from the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego). In their paper the researchers describe how they bested a different set of challenges to once again double the distance (12,000 kilometers [7,456 miles]) traveled before optical-signal regeneration is required. [More]

Ex-employees Have “Easy” Access to Corporate Data: Survey

SecurityWeek, 15 Jul 2015 – A little over half of United States-based IT leaders and a third United Kingdom-based leaders believe it would be “easy” for an ex-employee to log in and access systems or information with old passwords, Centrify found in its recent State of the Corporate Perimeter survey. Even though half of the respondents said ex-employees and contractors are “off-boarded” the day they are terminated, but it can take up to a week or more to completely remove access rights and passwords to sensitive data for those individuals. [More]

An Identity Thief Explains the Art of Emptying Your Bank Account

Bloomberg, 15 Jul 2015 – From 2007 to 2010, Naskovets was an identity thief—the voice on the phone that explained questionable purchases to banks and gave final approval for fraudulent wire transfers. He didn’t convince every agent; about a third of the time, the scam didn’t work, he says. Hang up, move on. But he was successful enough to smooth the way for more than 5,000 instances of fraud, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. [More]

Why the NSA is the Biggest Loser of the Hacking Team Incident

InsideSources, 8 Jul 2015 – This week, hackers apparently thoroughly infiltrated the Hacking Team corporate network and published internal records, invoices, and technical documents detailing the extent to which Hacking Team was consciously seeking to circumvent law and regulation. Additionally, it appears that their surveillance technology is being furiously examined by global security researchers and privacy advocates seeking direct and targeted countermeasures. [More]

Huge Increase in Cyber Security Attacks Against Federal Agencies

U.S. Government Accountability Office, 8 Jul 2015 – Threat actors use a variety of attack techniques that can adversely affect federal information, computers, software, networks, or operations, potentially resulting in the disclosure, alteration, or loss of sensitive information; destruction or disruption of critical systems; or damage to economic and national security. These concerns are further highlighted by recent incidents involving breaches of sensitive data and the sharp increase in information security incidents reported by federal agencies over the last several years, which have risen from 5,503 in fiscal year 2006 to 67,168 in fiscal year 2014. [More]

M-Disc optical media: Your data, good for a thousand years

PCWorld, 2 Jul 2015 – You’re done with optical discs as a means of data and media delivery, or soon will be. But when done right, as it has been with Millenniata’s M-Disc, optical has a particular advantage — longevity. Hard disk mechanisms fail, and the data stored on them can be erased by magnetic fields. Tape stretches and is also magnetically vulnerable. That leaves M-Disc looking pretty good in the media preservation, aka archiving role. [More]

XKEYSCORE: NSA’s Google for the World’s Private Communications

Intercept, 1 Jul 2015 – One of the National Security Agency’s most powerful tools of mass surveillance makes tracking someone’s Internet usage as easy as entering an email address, and provides no built-in technology to prevent abuse. Today, The Intercept is publishing 48 top-secret and other classified documents about XKEYSCORE dated up to 2013, which shed new light on the breadth, depth and functionality of this critical spy system — one of the largest releases yet of documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. [More]

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Written by Doug Vitale

July 31, 2013 at 12:13 PM

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