Meet the 25-year-old ethical hacker who is going to guard your money transactions

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The Unified Payments Interface (UPI), an app through which RBI and major banks are creating a mini-bank on your smartphones, is in safe hands now.

Ethical hackers have been roped in to protect the UPI from any cyber threats. One such person is a 25-year-old who is going to make sure no criminal fiddles with the app.

Meet Saket Modi, whose company Lucideus Tech has been hired as one of the cyber security specialists.

“UPI isn’t a step but a leap forward. It will set a new benchmark for the world to follow. We feel proud and privileged to contribute our bit and be a part of this revolution,” Modi, CEO of Lucideus, told ET from London.

He has been working on the UPI for three months and will continue to do for next couple of years.

Through UPI, which is developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), customers will be able to transfer money from one account to another without adding the beneficiary, also saving themselves from punching in IFSC code, account number or bank’s branch name.

“There are multiple layers of security checks implemented when any transaction occurs on a bank’s mobile application using UPI. This is not just in between the user and the app but also between the banks, merchant and the UPI engine,” Modi told ET.

Not only is he assisting the UPI project, Modi is also working with many billion-dollar startups in India.

Around 19 banks will join the UPI platform.

N Rajendran, Chief Technology Officer, NPCI told ET, “NPCI systems are secured with state of the art security infrastructure with continuous monitoring and best practices. NPCI follows integrated approach to protect various NPCI product’s infrastructure and engages with various external information security industries for building secured products for the payments ecosystem.”

Source:http://www.businessinsider.in/Meet-the-25-year-old-ethical-hacker-who-is-going-to-guard-your-money-transactions-on-UPI-from-cyber-criminals/articleshow/51822674.cms

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White House Announces Commission to Enhance National Cybersecurity

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The White House on Wednesday announced a new non-partisan commission designed to gather input from experts in order to strengthen cybersecurity across both the public and private sectors in the United States.

The new Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity will be expected to recommend “bold, actionable steps” that the U.S. government and private sector can take to strengthen cybersecurity.

“The Commission is tasked with making detailed recommendations on actions that can be taken over the next decade to enhance cybersecurity awareness and protections throughout the private sector and at all levels of Government, to protect privacy, to ensure public safety and economic and national security, and to empower Americans to take better control of their digital security,” Michael Daniel, Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator, explained.

President Obama said that the following individuals would be appointed to the newly formed commission:

• Tom Donilon, former Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor (Chair)

• Sam Palmisano, former CEO of IBM

• General Keith Alexander, CEO of IronNet Cybersecurity, former Director of the National Security Agency and former Commander of U.S. Cyber Command

• Annie Antón, Professor and Chair of the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech.

• Ajay Banga, President and CEO of MasterCard

• Steven Chabinsky, General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer of CrowdStrike

• Patrick Gallagher, Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh and former Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology

• Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Research

• Herbert Lin, Senior Research Scholar for Cyber Policy and Security at the Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation and Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution

• Heather Murren, former member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and co-founder of the Nevada Cancer Institute

• Joe Sullivan, Chief Security Officer of Uber and former Chief Security Officer of Facebook

• Maggie Wilderotter, Executive Chairman of Frontier Communications

The first public meeting will be held on Thursday at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where commission members will be joined by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco, and others.

“I have charged the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity with the critically-important task of identifying the steps that our nation must take to ensure our cybersecurity in an increasingly digital world,” President Obama said in a statement. “These dedicated individuals bring a wealth of experience and talent to this important role, and I look forward to receiving the Commission’s recommendations.”

The commission is expected to report back to the White House by the beginning of December.

“To identify the individuals to take on this task, the President and his team consulted closely with leaders in the fields of national security, cybersecurity, business, technology, academia, and elsewhere,” Daniel said. “In addition, members of the bipartisan Congressional leadership each selected one individual to serve on the Commission, to ensure that there is broad support for the recommendations that are ultimately delivered to the nation.”
Source:http://www.securityweek.com/white-house-announces-commission-enhancing-national-cybersecurity

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Are You Using Projects or Project-Based Learning?

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Magic Leap buys Israeli NorthBit to enhance their cyber security

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Florida-based Magic Leap, one of the companies considered to be at the forefront of augmented reality, is reported to have scooped up NorthBit, an Israeli software solutions provider.

At this point, the sale price does not appear to have been made public.

NorthBit was co-founded in 2012 by CEO Gil Dabah and CTO Ariel Shiftan. While not strictly a cyber security firm like many other companies in the Startup Nation, NorthBit garnered some press last month when they announced that they had successfully hacked Android’s OS using the Stagefright exploit, highlighting the risk of remote hacks on over 95% of devices running the software.

Not much is known about the secretive Magic Leap other than the fact that they are laying the groundwork for the next generation of augmented reality. Despite this ambiguity, they have raised a significant amount of capital. Their Series C round that was finally announced back in February brought in $793.5 million worth of funding, bringing them to a very impressive valuation of $4.5 billion.

Perhaps equally as impressive is their list of investors. In the Series C round, they pulled into their roster of backers big names like the Alibaba Group out of China, along with return investments from Google Inc. and Qualcomm Ventures. Other new investors for that round included Warner Brothers, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, and Andreessen Horowitz.

It makes a significant amount of sense that Magic Leap would look to bolster their cyber security capabilities, given the massive potential for the multiple uses of augmented reality technology.

Beyond the basic need to protect the account information of folks using the technology for games, augmented reality is already being spoken about in the future of commerce, medical technology, and communication just to name a few of its possible uses.

As Magic Leap continues to hone in on their final product, we can expect more acquisitions that will help the company to augment their capabilities. One company that is building relevant technology is DeepOptics with their liquid crystal lenses that can adjust their composition to meet the needs of the wearer. This helps deal with issues in AR and VR where the brain has difficulty making sense of what it sees in front of it through images, conflicting with its other senses.
Source:http://www.geektime.com/2016/04/14/augmented-reality-leader-magic-leap-buys-israeli-northbit-to-enhance-their-cyber-security/

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Microsoft, Uber execs and MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga named to US cybersecurity panel

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The White House released a list of names that US President Barack Obama has appointed to the new Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity panel. The panel was formed earlier this year as part of Obama’s $19bn (£13bn) proposal to boost the US government’s cybersecurity system.

The panel includes top members of the tech, intelligence and academic communities. Among others appointed is CEO and president of MasterCard Ajay Banga; Microsoft Research’s Peter Lee, Uber chief security officer Joe Sullivan, former NSA director General Keith Alexander and Stanford cyberpolicy and security researcher Herbert Lin.
In a statement, Obama said: “I have charged the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity with the critically-important task of identifying the steps that our nation must take to ensure our cybersecurity in an increasingly digital world. These dedicated individuals bring a wealth of experience and talent to this important role, and I look forward to receiving the Commission’s recommendations.”

The commission will have an advisory-only role and will be tasked with rehauling the US government’s current tech policies to develop and provide new long- and short-term suggestions on cybersecurity, privacy, safety and collaborative initiatives between government agencies and private tech firms.

Coincidentally, the announcement of the panel members came with a new encryption bill. The bill proposed by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr would compel tech firms to decrypt consumer data at the government’s request.

The Obama administration has indicated that the bill does not have the president’s support. However, the mere existence of such a bill brings to light how divided and undecided the current US government is on cybersecurity and tech policies.

Here is the list of members appointed to the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity:

General Keith Alexander, USA (Retd)
Annie I. Antón
Ajay Banga
Steven Chabinsky
Patrick Gallagher
Peter Lee
Herbert Lin
Heather Murren
Joe Sullivan
Source:http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/microsoft-uber-execs-mastercard-ceo-ajay-banga-named-us-cybersecurity-panel-1554772

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A Fifth Nuclear Test at Punggye-ri?

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A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu. News reports suggest the possibility of an impending fifth nuclear or mobile ballistic missile test to celebrate the birthday of Kim Jong Un’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, on April 15. Recent commercial satellite imagery shows little evidence that Pyongyang is planning a nuclear test in the […] A Fifth Nuclear Test at Punggye-ri? is an article from 38 North: Informed Analysis of North Korea, published by the US-Korea Institute at SAIS. View full post on 38 North: Informed Analysis of North Korea

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Donald Trump’s Rhetoric Has Made Some Students Feel Unsafe, Report Says – Rules for Engagement – Education Week

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Long-Run Gains Seen for Charter Grads – Education Week

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Using zero-day exploit revealed by professional hackers, FBI reportedly hacked San Bernardino iPhone

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After several weeks of demands, and on the eve of the trial, the FBI said it no longer required Apple’s help to crack the San Bernardino iPhone last month after the government firm was aided by a “third-party.”
According to the Isreali media, this unnamed entity was Cellebrite, a mobile forensic company based in the Middle Eastern country. But according to a report from the Washington Post, this wasn’t the case.
The site claims that the FBI paid a group of professional hackers for providing information regarding a previously unknown security flaw that helped the government agency break into Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone.
The Post claims that the hacking group, which hasn’t been identified, brought the government agency “at least one” zero-day exploit capable of circumventing the iPhone’s brute-force protection features: the automatic wipe function that activates after 10 failed pin entries, and the gradual increase in the delay between pin attempts.
It appears that the vulnerability was specific to the iPhone 5c when running iOS 9, and wouldn’t have worked on later models/operating systems. We don’t know the exact nature of the vulnerability, and the government is still debating whether to reveal it to Apple.
Once the FBI had the new information, it was able to use custom-built hardware to brute-force the four-digit password and access the contents of the phone without the risk of triggering the security measures.
Source:http://www.techspot.com/news/64434-fbi-reportedly-hacked-san-bernardino-iphone-using-zero.html

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Credit Cards with Chips Are Still Not Safe from Fraud

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — When it comes to stealing credit card information, it’s unfortunately as easy as swiping your card in any skimming device.

Credit card fraud is now a $16 billion a year problem in the United States alone, and every hour, thieves with skimmers are stealing Americans’ credit card numbers.

“When the magnetic stripe was created, identity theft wasn’t an issue. And so the data was never properly encrypted,” Robert Siciliano, a cyber-crime expert, told ABC News’ Nightline.

Credit card thieves can use a skimming device to swipe data through credit cards’ magnetic strips.

“[Thieves] can use those 16 digits over the phone to place a phone order. They can use them online to plug it into a website, or they can actually clone a card. They can burn the information onto a blank ATM or credit card and use that out in the wild,” said Siciliano.

The latest weapon in the U.S. to fight against credit card crime is the newly issued chip technology and signature card, which is supposed to eliminate the cloning of your credit card. You may have recently received a new card with a chip, which holds your encrypted data, from your bank.

But even with the added protection of a chip, Siciliano says credit card fraud is still possible.

“Skimming is still alive and well, and it will continue to be alive and well as long as that magnetic stripe is still on the back of our cards,” Siciliano said.

Because it’s taking a lot of time and money for businesses to make the switch, most cards now have a chip and a magnetic strip that still contains personal data on it, making you still susceptible to thieves with skimmers.

“[Thieves] could easily have what’s called a wedge-type device, a small skimming device. They could grab all the information off of it and they could actually create a whole other credit card, so watch them closely,” Siciliano said.

With that magnetic strip still in place on cards with chips, the ATM could even be a potential danger.

“Be aware that at any given point in time there could be a skimming device on that ATM,” Siciliano warned. “Make sure to cover up the keypad with your other hand as you’re punching your pin code, because there could be a camera anywhere recording your pin number.

Thieves can even use a phone app to steal credit card details by placing the phone on another person’s wallet for just a few seconds. And as cards with chips catch on, thieves will move increasingly to so-called “card not present” transactions where the chip means nothing, such as with online shopping.

To protect yourself from credit card thieves, you can use a wallet that blocks scanning devices or the Signal Vault, which looks like a credit card but has the same blocking powers as a shielded wallet.

Siciliano also says to beware of making purchases on public WiFi.

“The problem with free WiFi is that it is unencrypted and unprotected. Make sure you have a VPN, a virtual private network, that encrypts and locks down your information on free public WiFi,” he said.

It also helps to make your passwords complex, to check your statements for suspicious activity to know if you’ve been skimmed, and to sign up for alerts that notify you every time your card is used.

However, Siciliano says that no one has yet seen thieves be able to hack credit cards with just chips.

“Researchers in a controlled environment have been able to get information off of chip cards. Whereas, out in the wild, criminal hackers haven’t actually been able to crack the code as far as we know,” Siciliano said.
Source:http://wfin.com/why-credit-cards-with-chips-are-still-not-safe-from-fraud/

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