The Internet of Things Brings Benefits, Risks and Public Policy

Consumer taste, technology development are two of the forces impacting the growth and direction of the Internet of Things. A group of experts focused on policy issues surrounding IoT’s evolution at CES. Moderator Alan Davidson, director of digital economy for the Department of Commerce, reports that, about seven years ago, the number of Internet-connected things surpassed the number of people on the planet. “By 2025, this is an area that will have an economic impact of $4 to $11 trillion on the global economy,” he said. Continue reading The Internet of Things Brings Benefits, Risks and Public Policy

EFF Designs a Scorecard to Help Measure Secure Messaging

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has developed a rubric designed to assess which social and communication apps and tools are best at keeping our messages secure. In an era of growing concern regarding our digital privacy, the EFF believes everyone is entitled to a practical and secure way to communicate via the Internet and mobile phones. This assessment of security, or scorecard for each app and tool, is the initial step of an ongoing campaign to educate and inspire. Continue reading EFF Designs a Scorecard to Help Measure Secure Messaging

China Creates Own OS to Kick Dependence on U.S. Systems

China could have its own operating system in place by October to take on imported systems currently offered by tech giants such as Microsoft, Google and Apple. Initial reports suggest the system would first appear on desktop computers and then later expand to smartphones and other mobile devices. According to Ni Guangnan, who heads a development alliance created in March, the domestically built software could replace desktop operating systems within 1-2 years and mobile systems within 3-5 years. Continue reading China Creates Own OS to Kick Dependence on U.S. Systems

Tech Firms Step Up Efforts on Digital Counter Surveillance

The “Snowden Effect” has caused a ripple among major tech companies trying to assure consumers that their personal information is secure and protected in data centers. Following the surveillance revelations by Edward Snowden, the question on everyone’s mind is whether their private and confidential data has been secured from prying eyes online. A number of companies, concerned by the National Security Agency’s actions, are working to protect their customers’ data.

Continue reading Tech Firms Step Up Efforts on Digital Counter Surveillance

Ethical Hacking: Going Undercover to Train Employees

Businesses have been training their employees to be more aware of potential cyberattacks. However, here’s the twist: the employees don’t always know they are being trained. So-called “ethical hackers” have been hired to lure employees with different tactics such as fake emails promising work bonuses and pictures of adorable cats with links or software that teaches workers how to avoid online dangers. Continue reading Ethical Hacking: Going Undercover to Train Employees

Cyber Command Outlines Strategy for Protecting Networks

The chief of the military’s new Cyber Command spoke to Congress on Tuesday, explaining that he is establishing 13 teams of programmers and computer experts that could potentially carry out offensive cyberattacks on foreign nations if the U.S. were hit with a major attack on its networks. This marks the first time the Obama administration publicly admitted to developing such a strategy. Continue reading Cyber Command Outlines Strategy for Protecting Networks

White House Demands China Put a Stop to Cyberattacks

The White House demanded this week that the Chinese government put an end to data theft involving American computer networks. The U.S. has called for China to agree to “acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace.” The demand was made during a speech by national security advisor Tom Donilon to the Asia Society in New York and represents the first public confrontation with China regarding cyberespionage. Continue reading White House Demands China Put a Stop to Cyberattacks

The New Digital Age: Book Warns of a Dangerous Future China

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has a book due in April, The New Digital Age, whichexplores the changing technology landscape and how authoritarian governments will seek greater control over Web content in the future. The book criticizes China as “the world’s most active and enthusiastic filterer of information” and mentions China’s state-led efforts to use hacking as a tool against other nations or corporations. Continue reading The New Digital Age: Book Warns of a Dangerous Future China

McAfee Researchers Claim to Discover Massive Hacking Attack

  • McAfee researchers say they have uncovered the biggest hacker attack ever, involving 72 governments and organizations around the world, including the U.S., Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, Canada and India — some dating back as far as 2006. Data compromised amounts to several petabytes of information.
  • The attack uses compromised remote access tools, or RATs, which allow system administrators to access systems from around the world and would allow an attacker to view and download confidential information. Some of those organizations and companies compromised still do not know it.
  • The attacker was not a hacker group but likely a “state actor” with very high skill levels (China is the “leading candidate”).
  • According to a blog post from Dmitri Alperovitch, McAfee’s VP Threat Research: “I am convinced that every company in every conceivable industry with significant size and valuable intellectual property and trade secrets has been compromised (or will be shortly), with the great majority of the victims rarely discovering the intrusion or its impact.”