How Israel balances cyber security, privacy

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Despite the warnings of lawyers and experts in data security, on Feb. 15, the outgoing government authorized the creation of a national cyber defense authority. In a strongly worded letter to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, the opponents argued against the authorization of the program, because the agency to be created will hold many powers that could impinge on citizens’ privacy, without checks and balances. Among the signatories of the letter are Boaz Dolev, formerly the head of Project Tehila, attorney Yoram Hacohen, the former head of the Law, Technology and Information Authority at the Ministry of Justice, and many lawyers and legal experts in the field of cyber security. According to them, the government’s proposal lacks “the creation of a civil mechanism for inspection and control over the authority’s activity — starting from periodic reports to the government and the public, to representing the objects of inspection and monitoring — in the private and business sectors — in the central decision-making processes.” Preceding this decision was a year of fighting between the Shin Bet and the National Cyber Bureau at the prime minister’s office over the question of who will be responsible for the creation of the new agency. In […]

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First on CNN: U.S. data hack may be 4 times larger than the government originally said

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Washington (CNN)The personal data of an estimated 18 million current, former and prospective federal employees were affected by a cyber breach at the Office of Personnel Management – more than four times the 4.2 million the agency has publicly acknowledged. The number is expected to grow, according to U.S. officials briefed on the investigation. FBI Director James Comey gave the 18 million estimate in a closed-door briefing to Senators in recent weeks, using the OPM’s own internal data, according to U.S. officials briefed on the matter. Those affected could include people who applied for government jobs, but never actually ended up working for the government. The same hackers who accessed OPM’s data are believed to have last year breached an OPM contractor, KeyPoint Government Solutions, U.S. officials said. When the OPM breach was discovered in April, investigators found that KeyPoint security credentials were used to breach the OPM system. Some investigators believe that after that intrusion last year, OPM officials should have blocked all access from KeyPoint, and that doing so could have prevented more serious damage. But a person briefed on the investigation says OPM officials don’t believe such a move would have made a difference. That’s because the […]

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‘Come at me Aussie police': Hacker behind posts of hundreds of pictures of naked Queensland women taunts authorities and vows to keep uploading them

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

A hacker responsible for sharing nude images of up to 700 Brisbane women on a New Zealand-based file-sharing service online, has taunted police after they ordered for the photos to be removed. The freely available images, which showed ‘girls from Brisbane and surrounding areas’ in various states of undress, first emerged on a forum on Friday before being removed on Monday morning and reappearing again later that night, Fairfax reports. A police request led to their removal for a second time on Tuesday, which was followed by the hacker vowing to upload the photos again, posting: ‘come at me Aussie police’. The uploader allegedly named the women in the photos and even shared some of their locations. However, officers are limited in their ability to investigate the cybercrime due to a lack of complaints. ‘The thing is, we don’t have a complaint and the focus has to be on harm minimisation to try and get these things down so people’s lives aren’t ruined,’ Detective Superintendent Brian Hay told Faifax. ‘When you’ve got a complaint then you’ve got an offence.’ The news comes just days after hackers stole and posted scantily clad photos of up to 500 Adelaide women on a […]

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TOSHIBA PURSUING HACKER-RESISTANT ENCRYPTION

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Toshiba is working on an Internet-based communication encryption system, which industry analysts say will be unbreakable, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday (June 22). Engineers believe one of the best ways to ensure communication stays secret is to create a one-time key to decide the encrypted data, but difficulty in finding ways to transfer this key without risk of interception remains a challenge. Toshiba’s system bypasses this risk by providing a foolproof method of distributing secret digital keys through a custom-made fiber optic cable that is not connected to the Internet. In a company release, Toshiba explained: “Quantum cryptographic communication uses quantum physics to ensure that genomic data encrypted with digital keys remains secret. Standard optical communications can be intercepted and read by measuring a part of the optical signal. However, in quantum communications, bits are carried and sent by individual photons, which cannot be tampered with without leaving a trace of the intrusion. As a consequence the secrecy of untampered encryption keys, and the genome data they protect, can be guaranteed.” Verification testing will begin on Aug. 31, marking the first time a quantum cryptographic communication system will be used to test actual data in Japan. “In a two-year verification […]

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Take these 6 security measures to protect your IoT devices from hackers

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

BI Intelligence estimates that by 2020 there will be more than 23 billion IoT devices connected to the internet. One of the biggest challenges in connecting so many devices will be in securing them to prevent hackers from controlling them or using them to infiltrate networks and databases. Many low-power IoT devices don’t have the computing power to run antivirus software like a computer. A recent blog post on EETimes discussed six measures that can be used to protect IoT devices from hackers: Use a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) for authentication. A TPM is a dedicated microprocessor that integrates cryptographic keys into devices to uniquely identify and authenticate them. Each device then has its own identifier that is encrypted by the keys. This will prevent hackers from hacking and impersonating a device to gain access to home, enterprise, or government networks. Use the Trusted Network Connect (TNC) standards to check for malicious software or firmware. The TNC standards offer a way to check devices for malicious software or firmware whenever they try to access networks or other devices. This would help prevent hackers from using hacked devices to upload spyware or other malicious software to networks or other devices. Isolate […]

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Feds Violate Data Breach Reporting Requirements They Would Impose on Private Companies

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

The federal government’s Office of Personnel Management apparently discovered in April amassive security breach of its systems in which the personally identifiable information at least 4 million government employees was rifled through by Chinese government hackers. The OPMwaited at least two months – that would be more than 60 days – to begin notifying current and former federal employees of the breach. Now, CNN is reporting that the hackers may have accessed personal information of 18 millioncurrent and former government employees. Earlier this year the Obama Admininstration proposed the Personal Data Notification & Protection Act which, among other things, would require any business … …that uses, accesses, transmits, stores, disposes of or collects sensitive personally identifiable information about more than 10,000 individuals during any 12-month period shall, following the discovery of a security breach of such information, notify any individual whose sensitive personally identifiable information has been, or is reasonably believed to have been, accessed or acquired, unless there is no reasonable risk of harm or fraud to such individual. Unless the business can demonstrate reasons for delay, they must inform customers about the security breach within 30 days of discovering the intrusion. To be fair, the data protection act does […]

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Glitch in software allows hackers to watch Samsung owners

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Tampa, FL (NNCNOW.com) — It’s dangerous experts tell us, a software hack so malicious if you own a Samsung Galaxy someone may be watching you right now. Chances are your Samsung device has a security glitch on it. “It allows a hacker to take complete control of your phone. And that means they can delete all your pictures, photos, look at you, and that’s scary, someone could be looking at your through your camera,” says IT expert Mit Patel. It’s basically a bug in the software that is pre-installed on 600 million devices, and you can’t do a thing about it until Samsung releases a software update. Samsung says a security update will be created soon and offered via the Knox security platform that’s been installed in every model since the Galaxy S4. Source: NNCN Now

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Low-tech ways you can protect your privacy online

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

espite the seemingly endless hack attacks, and a recent Pew study showing that Americans feel powerless to protect themselves against intrusions on their online privacy, few Americans do much in the way of adopting privacy enhancing measures. But one privacy advocate has some advice: Do it. “Resistance is not futile if you are not aiming for 100-percent perfection,” says Nico Sell, co-founder of encrypted messaging service Wickr and organizer of hacker conference Def Con. Here are some low-tech tips to reduce your digital footprint and exposure. Self Censor: Search The problem: Search engines such as Google have built their business models on selling keywords from user searches to advertisers, so searches are never private. The solution: Don’t ask Google anything you would not be comfortable sharing publicly—with your boss, lover or worst enemy. By self-censoring, you limit the information Google can sell advertisers. For highly sensitive searches, for example, health queries, go offline and ask your doctor. Another option? Avoid searching on Google altogether, says Adi Kamdar, an activist with the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation. “You could also use search tools that don’t collect data about you, such as DuckDuckGo.” Looking for an alternative to Gmail? Protonmail is a freemium […]

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Connected cars: Are tomorrow’s drivers at risk?

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

The Internet of Things (IoT) aims to enhance the way we engage with devices around the home and we are now beginning to see the growth of this technology reach our driveways. Specifically, our automobiles. According to IHS Automotive, within five years there will be 152 million vehicles connected to the Internet via mobile apps that are now available with some car models. These apps can control your vehicle’s climate systems to providing Wi-Fi “hotspots” for mobile Internet access within the vehicle. However, the growth of connected cars has raised some concern. Following the hacking trend directed at IoT devices in the household, the question is being asked: How safe is the public from hacked automobiles? Imagine this scenario: you’re driving along a busy highway when without warning, your car’s brakes or steering wheel locks up. Or, you slow down as you approach a traffic light and your vehicle starts accelerating. Is this possible? If so, would this affect the car industry with determining culpability? Furthermore, what does this mean for public safety? As more automobiles connect drivers and passengers with onboard systems, the more similar these systems are to mobile computers and this evolution could very well carry hacking […]

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The cyber war no one talks about

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

For years, American cyber-warfare experts have argued that China and the U.S. were in a sort of Cold War standoff: That each country operated on the assumption that its opponent’s computer wizards already had infiltrated its systems and had deposited terrible bugs that would wreak vengeful havoc if they did anything really bad. Well, the Cold War has gone hot. China has stolen countless records, and has exposed the U.S. as hopelessly deficient in its cyber defenses, unable to retaliate.The Chinese data-thieves have said effectively that we can access what we want and there is nothing you can do about it. Stolen data, though, is not what most people think it means. The retired postal workers whose entire work and payment history now is in the hands of the Chinese do not have to worry much. The ones who should worry are the foreign workers and students — especially the Chinese students and workers in the U.S. — whose very ruthless government back home now knows everything about their contact with the U.S. government. Cyber-warfare expert James Carafano of the Heritage Institute in March detailed this threat in a speech at the South By Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Tex. […]

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