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Data protection news, software and solutions, and analysis for IT professionals
  • NSA: Anonymous may take down U.S. power grid in two years

    Posted February 21, 2012 - 3:12 pm

    The NSA is warning top government officials that hacktivist collective Anonymous may be developing the ability to attack the SCADA systems in electric utilities, may be able to cause limited blackouts within two years. Main evidence is bogus Operation Global Blackout.
  • SOPA replacement uses child porn as excuse to spy on 99.7 percent of Americans

    Posted February 20, 2012 - 4:37 pm

    Stymied on the Internet-censoring SOPA and PIPA, of which he was primary author, Texas Rep. Lamar Smith is pushing a bill labeled as anti-child-porn that actually creates a comprehensive network to track all Internet activity by everyone in the U.S., keep it available 18 months.
  • European Commission cloud data rules 'may drive away business'

    Posted February 20, 2012 - 8:01 am

    The European Commission's draft changes to the existing EU Directive on Data Protection are likely to "drive business away from Europe" and not fully work in a cloud environment, according to cloud legal experts.
  • JotForm takedown shows anti-SOPA hysteria wasn't alarming enough

    Posted February 17, 2012 - 2:20 pm

    Real-world example of how the Internet works under the sway of pro-SOPA factions: Online service business JotForm is shut down by the Secret Service Wednesday with no explanation, by an agent "too busy" to tell JotForm's founder why he was out of business. Thursday JotForm was back, with no idea what it did wrong, how to avoid doing it again or any explanation at all.
  • Why is IT so bad at cloud computing?

    Posted February 17, 2012 - 1:00 am

    It's no secret IT is ambivalent about cloud computing's potential to steal jobs and user loyalty. That's no excuse for sloppy security negligence of apps in the cloud. That attitude doesn't come from hostility; it comes from overwork and the desperate wish that something new could happen without incremental additions to every headache IT ever had and never cured.
  • Is Anonymous making empty threats to (briefly) kill the Internet?

    Posted February 16, 2012 - 1:34 pm

    Since early January someone wearing Anonymous drag on Twitter and Pastebin has been threatening to take down big parts of the Internet: first Facebook, then the root DNS servers that would 404 the whole 'net. Is it a realistic threat? An overreach? Or a complete fake from either radical factions of Anonymous, or opponents trying to make it look foolish?
  • Rooting Android phone bypasses Google Wallet security; just one of many remaining flaws

    Posted February 15, 2012 - 7:57 pm

    Google was quick to correct a flaw in Google Wallet that would let strangers delete your login, type in their own and take over accounts Wallet was supposed to guard. Data stores are still insecure, rooting the phone bypasses all Wallet security.
  • What's the big deal about Hadoop?

    Posted February 14, 2012 - 11:49 am

    Hadoop is all the rage, it seems. With more than 150 enterprises of various sizes using it -- including major companies such as JP Morgan Chase, Google and Yahoo -- it may seem inevitable that the open-source Big Data management system will land in your shop, too.
  • Anonymous took down CIA.gov Friday, then didn't, then did, then did it again today

    Posted February 13, 2012 - 1:47 pm

    Anonymous first took credit for the DDOS attack that downed CIA.gov Friday, then said it was just reporting the outage, before discovering it had, actually, been behind the attack. CIA.gov is down again today, though it would be wise to wait to give credit this time.
  • Netflix pays $9M to settle user-data misuse charges; aims to misuse more data with Facebook

    Posted February 12, 2012 - 12:24 pm

    Netflix has agreed to pay $9 million to settle a suit over its illegally long retention of customer rental records. It is now redoubling efforts to get law changed that keeps it from posting to Facebook lists of the things its customers are renting right now.
  • Anonymous takes down CIA.gov

    Posted February 10, 2012 - 5:01 pm

    Members of Anonymous are claiming credit for a DDOS attack that took down CIA.gov about 3:10 p.m. ,Eastern time. Few other details are available, but it's likely the attack is related to the massive retaliatory strike Anonymous launched in the wake of the MegaUpload raids.
  • Study: Movie studios can fix their own box-office losses to piracy without SOPA

    Posted February 10, 2012 - 2:37 pm

    Box office losses in U.S. are negligible and would be overseas if movie studios were quicker about shipping out copies of new movies. Like the music industry, movie execs wanted new laws that reduce the rights of others when they had the tools to fix the problem themselves.
  • RIAA chief hits new heights of hypocrisy in pro-SOPA NYT op-ed

    Posted February 9, 2012 - 1:43 pm

    Confusing censorship of digital content with import of fake pharmaceuticals? Saying site owners wouldn't be responsible for policing copyrights even though they could lose their sites because of it? RIAA's CEO twists reality in sour-grapes parting shot at lost SOPA/PIPA fight.
  • Even after rewrites, Google Wallet retains gaping security holes, mainly due to Android

    Posted February 9, 2012 - 12:13 pm

    A report from viaForensics makes clear that Google Wallet, despite efforts by Google to tighten up security after a poor evaluation in December, still stores data in too many places and could make it available too easily to be a secure way to buy things using smartphones.
  • MegaUpload takedown didn't slow pirate downloads, just moved them offshore

    Posted February 7, 2012 - 5:16 pm

    Between 30 percent and 40 percent of all file-sharing traffic went through MegaUploads until it was shut down. Since then the number of files being downloaded has remained steady, but from different sites, many of which use data centers in the EU or Asia rather than the U.S.
  • Symantec may have tried to bribe hackers, but definitely betrayed its own customers

    Posted February 7, 2012 - 2:02 pm

    Anonymous is laughing it up at Symantec's reputed attempt to bribe hackers to not release source code. Symantec calls it extortion. That question is trivial compared to the reality that Symnantec broke trust with its customers and left them at risk for six years following the hack.
  • 4 keys for IP protection

    Posted February 6, 2012 - 4:03 pm

    Do you think data breaches are up or down in 2011 compared to 2007 or 2008? The official answer may surprise you. According to DatalossDB and the 2011 Data Breach Investigations Report [PDF link] by Verizon, the number of records compromised per year has been decreasing since its 2008 peak. But these reports are missing something very important. It all comes down to what is reported. Last year I met with more than 450 CIOs and CSOs, and almost all of them said that incidents are way up. New breaches are constantly making headlines, so why is there a discrepancy between our perception and what these reports are finding?
  • Review

    Online backup services keep your data safe

    Posted February 6, 2012 - 3:26 pm

    It's a fact of modern life that archiving data is essential to prevent a data disaster. Still, something like one-third of computers are never backed up, according to 2,257 respondents in a recent Backblaze poll carried out by Harris Interactive. The survey came to the dismal conclusion that a scant 7% of users practice safe computing by archiving their systems on a daily (or nightly) basis.
  • The in-depth guide to data destruction

    Posted February 6, 2012 - 3:21 pm

    A key part of any information security strategy is disposing of data once it's no longer needed. Failure to do so can lead to serious breaches of data-protection and privacy policies, compliance problems and added costs.
  • Reddit makes gross mistakes trying to write bill to replace abusive SOPA, PIPA

    Posted February 1, 2012 - 11:14 am

    Unlike most successful factions in American politics, on the heels of success in opposing the Internet-censoring SOPA and PIPA bills, members of Reddit are developing a solution they can propose to address the content piracy problem without SOPA's no-rights-for-pirates approach to enforcement.
  • Bad news about cloud computing: it doesn't exist; Good news: New tech makes it easier

    Posted January 31, 2012 - 5:54 pm

    Would you rather buy expensive technology that gets a lot of buzz or one that gets less buzz but is the technology that makes the sexier approach possible?
  • Online marketplace offers low, low, low prices on stolen Web traffic

    Posted January 30, 2012 - 3:07 pm

    If you're into malware or selling dodgy schemes through deceptive advertising, the new site offering to sell traffic stolen from other sites might be a good source of business. But, if you're legit, it's a good way to contact people guaranteed to already be mad at you.
  • Terabytes of legit data headed for deletion as feds keep MegaUpload from paying bills

    Posted January 30, 2012 - 2:34 pm

    The FBI raided MegaUpload's servers, copied data for evidence and now says it has no further right to access the data, essentially handing it back to MegaUpload. But MU's funds are frozen so it can't pay its hosting bills, even as it faces suits from users who lost legitimate data.
  • FTC Commissioner talks online privacy, puts data brokers on notice

    Posted January 30, 2012 - 8:25 am

    On the heels of high-profile settlements with Google and Facebook, Federal Trade Commission head Julie Brill signals that lower-profile members of data economy can expect heightened scrutiny.
  • 4 ways to manage your online reputation

    Posted January 28, 2012 - 8:34 am

    How do we become better digital citizens? Here are some steps you can take.

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