News

6 April, 2020

Emotat Malware Causes Physical Damage

Microsoft is reporting that an Emotat malware infection shut down a network by causing computers to overheat and then crash. The Emotet payload was delivered and executed on the systems of Fabrikam -- a fake name Microsoft gave the victim in their case study -- five days after the employee's user credentials were exfiltrated to the attacker's command and…

3 April, 2020

Friday Squid Blogging: On Squid Communication

They can communicate using bioluminescent flashes: New research published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences presents evidence for a previously unknown semantic-like ability in Humboldt squid. What's more, these squid can enhance the visibility of their skin patterns by using their bodies as a kind of backlight, which may allow them to convey messages of…

3 April, 2020

Security and Privacy Implications of Zoom

Over the past few weeks, Zoom's use has exploded since it became the video conferencing platform of choice in today's COVID-19 world. (My own university, Harvard, uses it for all of its classes. Boris Johnson had a cabinet meeting over Zoom.) Over that same period, the company has been exposed for having both lousy privacy and lousy security. My…

3 April, 2020

Bug Bounty Programs Are Being Used to Buy Silence

Investigative report on how commercial bug-bounty programs like HackerOne, Bugcrowd, and SynAck are being used to silence researchers: Used properly, bug bounty platforms connect security researchers with organizations wanting extra scrutiny. In exchange for reporting a security flaw, the researcher receives payment (a bounty) as a thank you for doing the right thing. However, CSO's investigation shows that the…

2 April, 2020

Marriott Was Hacked -- Again

Marriott announced another data breach, this one affecting 5.2 million people: At this point, we believe that the following information may have been involved, although not all of this information was present for every guest involved: Contact Details (e.g., name, mailing address, email address, and phone number) Loyalty Account Information (e.g., account number and points balance, but not passwords)…

1 April, 2020

Dark Web Hosting Provider Hacked

Daniel's Hosting, which hosts about 7,600 dark web portals for free, has been hacked and is down. It's unclear when, or if, it will be back…

31 March, 2020

Clarifying the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

A federal court has ruled that violating a website's terms of service is not "hacking" under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The plaintiffs wanted to investigate possible racial discrimination in online job markets by creating accounts for fake employers and job seekers. Leading job sites have terms of service prohibiting users from supplying fake information, and the researchers…

30 March, 2020

Privacy vs. Surveillance in the Age of COVID-19

The trade-offs are changing: As countries around the world race to contain the pandemic, many are deploying digital surveillance tools as a means to exert social control, even turning security agency technologies on their own civilians. Health and law enforcement authorities are understandably eager to employ every tool at their disposal to try to hinder the virus ­ even…

27 March, 2020

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Can Edit Their Own Genome

Amazing: Revealing yet another super-power in the skillful squid, scientists have discovered that squid massively edit their own genetic instructions not only within the nucleus of their neurons, but also within the axon -- the long, slender neural projections that transmit electrical impulses to other neurons. This is the first time that edits to genetic information have been observed…

27 March, 2020

Story of Gus Weiss

This is a long and fascinating article about Gus Weiss, who masterminded a long campaign to feed technical disinformation to the Soviet Union, which may or may not have caused a massive pipeline explosion somewhere in Siberia in the 1980s, if in fact there even was a massive pipeline explosion somewhere in Siberia in the 1980s. Lots of information…

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