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Can the U.S. prevent a digital sneak attack?

How vulnerable is America's tech infrastructure? Security experts gathered in New York City to discuss cyber threats — and how to stop them.

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BSc (Hons) Digital Forensics

Award formally known as BSc Forensic Computing. This award provides a solid grounding in the skills you would need to follow a career in forensic investigation of computer systems and related areas of security. The same skills that enable you to track down evidence also equips you with the skills necessary to help organisations and individuals recover data/information that may have been lost or corrupted as a result of accidental or malicious activity. To find out more about studying at Staffordshire University visit: www.staffs.ac.uk

Article source: http://video.hackerjournals.com/?p=7045&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bsc-hons-digital-forensics

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Digital forensic report finished for Plunkett case

Although no one has talked about the reason why Nacogdoches County commissioners requested an investigation of Exposition Center Manager Bill Plunkett eight months ago, at least the matter has moved one small step closer to a resolution.

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Digital River Hosts Leading Cyber Security Experts at Globalocity 2012

Digital River, Inc. , the revenue growth experts in global cloud commerce, will host leading cyber security experts at the Digital River® Globalocity™ commerce conference.

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FTC’s Digital Privacy Report Has Welcome Recommendations

This article first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News

by Larry Magid

The Federal Trade Commission’s final report on digital privacy contains some very welcome recommendations.

The recently released report, title “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change,” looks at challenges consumers face in “today’s world of smart phones, smart grids, and smart cars,” as “companies are collecting, storing, and sharing more information about consumers than ever before.” It sets out a framework that would allow consumers to control whether they are tracked online, have better visibility into how information is used by mobile apps and have access to their information being held by data brokers.

The commission isn’t calling for “do not track” legislation similar to the “do not call” law that, in theory, protects us against unwanted marketing calls. Rather, it calls for voluntary industry compliance, which it says is starting to happen through browser-based tools and cooperation from the Digital Advertising Alliance and other players.

Ironically, this voluntary approach may actually work better than the “do not call” law, which makes it a crime for businesses to cold call phone numbers registered at DoNotCall.gov. I’ve registered all my phone numbers, but I still get annoying robocalls trying to sell me carpet cleaning, car insurance and a new mortgage.

The commission’s focus on mobile apps is right on target. Between Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS there are now about a million smartphone apps capable of doing virtually anything with your phone, including tracking who you know (your contact list), where you go (your geolocation) and even who you’re calling and what you’re texting. There have already been several reported cases of both deliberate and accidental disclosure, so government attention to this is certainly warranted.

One area where the commission did call for “targeted legislation” is to address consumers’ lack of control over how data brokers collect and use our information. The amount of information floating around about each of us is staggering. Anyone with a phone, a bank account or a “loyalty” card, such as the one I use to get fairer prices when I shop at Safeway, is giving up information every time they shop, make a call or get on an airplane.

Many years ago — even before the explosion of the Internet — I made a quick and unexpected trip to Los Angeles and realized that I hadn’t told anyone, not even my wife, where I was. But I realized that my cellular company, the car rental company, my credit card companies and the airline knew exactly where I was, as did all the networks and clearinghouses that transmitted and stored data. My credit and debit card companies even knew what I bought and where I was staying and my bank and the bank whose ATM I used had a pretty good idea of how much cash I had in my wallet.

Much of the information from our lives is stored in computers, and some of that is for sale to marketers, insurance companies, employers and even law enforcement — anyone with the money.

The FTC wants Congress to pass a law that would “provide consumers with access to information about them held by a data broker.” The agency is calling for a “centralized website where data brokers could identify themselves to consumers and describe how they collect and use consumer data,” as well as to “detail the access rights and other choices they provide with respect to the consumer data they maintain.”

That strikes me as more than reasonable. Some data brokers (along with all credit bureaus) will sell you access to your own information, but that feels a bit like extortion to me. If it’s my information, it should be available to me at any time, as often as I want, for no cost and without any strings, gimmicks or sales pitches.

I hope the law is more consumer friendly than the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA), which gives consumers the right to an annual free copy of their credit reports from the three major bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. It’s a great law but when you ask for your annual report, you’re likely to get a sales pitch, such as the one I got with my free TransUnion report. It offered me “instant access to my FREE credit score” that would cost me $29.95 a month after my “free trial.”

It seems to me that a government mandated program should be devoid of any commercial offers, especially deceptive ones that claim to be “free” but actually cost money if you fail to cancel in time. And why should I have to pay for my “credit score,” which in some ways is more important than the report itself? It’s about me, so it should be completely free and available at any time — not just one report per year per bureau.

So, thank you FTC for outlining a broad approach to transparency when it comes to accessing our own data. Now it’s time for Congress to enact legislation that truly benefits consumers, not just those who profit from our information.

Article source: http://www.safekids.com/2012/03/30/ftcs-digital-privacy-report-has-welcome-recommendations/

View full post on National Cyber Security

FTC’s Digital Privacy Report Has Welcome Recommendations

This article first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News

by Larry Magid

The Federal Trade Commission’s final report on digital privacy contains some very welcome recommendations.

The recently released report, title “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change,” looks at challenges consumers face in “today’s world of smart phones, smart grids, and smart cars,” as “companies are collecting, storing, and sharing more information about consumers than ever before.” It sets out a framework that would allow consumers to control whether they are tracked online, have better visibility into how information is used by mobile apps and have access to their information being held by data brokers.

The commission isn’t calling for “do not track” legislation similar to the “do not call” law that, in theory, protects us against unwanted marketing calls. Rather, it calls for voluntary industry compliance, which it says is starting to happen through browser-based tools and cooperation from the Digital Advertising Alliance and other players.

Ironically, this voluntary approach may actually work better than the “do not call” law, which makes it a crime for businesses to cold call phone numbers registered at DoNotCall.gov. I’ve registered all my phone numbers, but I still get annoying robocalls trying to sell me carpet cleaning, car insurance and a new mortgage.

The commission’s focus on mobile apps is right on target. Between Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS there are now about a million smartphone apps capable of doing virtually anything with your phone, including tracking who you know (your contact list), where you go (your geolocation) and even who you’re calling and what you’re texting. There have already been several reported cases of both deliberate and accidental disclosure, so government attention to this is certainly warranted.

One area where the commission did call for “targeted legislation” is to address consumers’ lack of control over how data brokers collect and use our information. The amount of information floating around about each of us is staggering. Anyone with a phone, a bank account or a “loyalty” card, such as the one I use to get fairer prices when I shop at Safeway, is giving up information every time they shop, make a call or get on an airplane.

Many years ago — even before the explosion of the Internet — I made a quick and unexpected trip to Los Angeles and realized that I hadn’t told anyone, not even my wife, where I was. But I realized that my cellular company, the car rental company, my credit card companies and the airline knew exactly where I was, as did all the networks and clearinghouses that transmitted and stored data. My credit and debit card companies even knew what I bought and where I was staying and my bank and the bank whose ATM I used had a pretty good idea of how much cash I had in my wallet.

Much of the information from our lives is stored in computers, and some of that is for sale to marketers, insurance companies, employers and even law enforcement — anyone with the money.

The FTC wants Congress to pass a law that would “provide consumers with access to information about them held by a data broker.” The agency is calling for a “centralized website where data brokers could identify themselves to consumers and describe how they collect and use consumer data,” as well as to “detail the access rights and other choices they provide with respect to the consumer data they maintain.”

That strikes me as more than reasonable. Some data brokers (along with all credit bureaus) will sell you access to your own information, but that feels a bit like extortion to me. If it’s my information, it should be available to me at any time, as often as I want, for no cost and without any strings, gimmicks or sales pitches.

I hope the law is more consumer friendly than the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA), which gives consumers the right to an annual free copy of their credit reports from the three major bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. It’s a great law but when you ask for your annual report, you’re likely to get a sales pitch, such as the one I got with my free TransUnion report. It offered me “instant access to my FREE credit score” that would cost me $29.95 a month after my “free trial.”

It seems to me that a government mandated program should be devoid of any commercial offers, especially deceptive ones that claim to be “free” but actually cost money if you fail to cancel in time. And why should I have to pay for my “credit score,” which in some ways is more important than the report itself? It’s about me, so it should be completely free and available at any time — not just one report per year per bureau.

So, thank you FTC for outlining a broad approach to transparency when it comes to accessing our own data. Now it’s time for Congress to enact legislation that truly benefits consumers, not just those who profit from our information.

Article source: http://www.safekids.com/2012/03/30/ftcs-digital-privacy-report-has-welcome-recommendations/

View full post on National Cyber Security

Fake YouTube site targeted Syrian activists, digital watchdog EFF says

A fake YouTube site purporting to show videos supporting the opposition in Syria has been taken down after it tried to infect visitors with malicious software, according to digital watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

The EFF is “deeply concerned about this pattern of pro-government malware targeting online activists in authoritarian regimes,” wrote Eva Galperin and Morgan Marquis-Boire.

Syria, which has been sternly criticised for its brutal treatment of anti-government protestors since an uprising began about a year ago, is known to heavily censor the internet and monitor users.

The fraudulent YouTube page tried to get users to enter their username and password, which in some cases is linked with a person’s Gmail account. The site also tried to get the victim to download a bogus update for Adobe Flash, which was actually Windows malware, the EFF wrote.

The malware then “connects back to an address in Syrian IP space and downloads additional malware, which gives the attacker administrative access to your computer,” the EFF wrote.

The EFF detailed how a user can tell if he has been infected. The organisation recommended reinstalling the operating system if the computer has been infected, since an attacker could have installed other kinds of malware on the machine as well. The EFF said all passwords should also be changed for services accessed while the machine was infected.

Last week, the EFF blogged about a remote access tool called “XTreme RAT,” which was spreading through email and chat programs. The malware could take screenshots and log keystrokes on a victim’s computer, sending the data to a Syrian IP address.

The organisation also noted another remote access tool, Darkcomet RAT, which was reportedly infecting the computers of Syrian activists a few weeks before. That tool could disable antivirus programs, record keystrokes and steal passwords, also sending the data to the same IP address in Syria as “XTreme RAT,” the EFF explained.

Article source: http://rss.feedsportal.com/c/270/f/3551/s/1d76e3a6/l/0Lnews0Btechworld0N0Csecurity0C33446650Cfake0Eyoutube0Esite0Etargeted0Esyrian0Eactivists0Edigital0Ewatchdog0Eeff0Esays0C0Dolo0Frss/story01.htm

View full post on National Cyber Security » Computer Hacking

Digital Forensics Leader AccessData Cites Industry Report Underscoring Dramatic Rise in Forensics Service Demand

On the heels of an industry report detailing a nearly 14% annualized increase in demand for digital forensics services over the past five years, AccessData Group, one of the largest computer forensic technology companies in the U.S., today affirmed the unprecedented growth in digital forensics as a key component of enterprise security.

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What’s next for the Digital Economy Act?

Last week, British internet service providers BT and TalkTalk lost their court appeal against the Digital Economy Act, meaning that they will have to send warning letters to customers suspected of illegal file-sharing.

Following a failed appeal against the Act last year, in which four out of five grounds for appeal were rejected, the two ISPs argued that the anti-piracy measures were “inconsistent with European law” and would breach the privacy of their customers, as well as driving up costs for providers and consumers.

However, Lord Justice Arden, Lord Justice Patten and Lord Justice Richards dismissed these objections on 6 March, saying that the DEA is proportionate in dealing with illegal file-sharing and that the costs incurred are justified.

In response to the ruling, BT said it was “considering its next steps” and TalkTalk said that it would “continue fighting to defend its customers’ rights against this ill-judged legislation”. But what options are open to the ISPs now that their appeal has been rejected?

ISPs are running out of options

“They are running out of options,” said Ian De Freitas, IP partner at law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP). “They can ask the Supreme Court for another appeal, but I would be surprised if the Supreme Court would agree to hear it, although there are quite a lot of public interest arguments. Nevertheless the Court of Appeal judgement is pretty strong.

“They can’t go to the Court of Justice for the European Union – they tried that in the Court of Appeal, but the Court of Appeal said no. You can only really get permission to go to the Court of Justice if the European law is in doubt. The Court of Appeal said the position was so clear that they didn’t need to ask the Court of Justice for any guidance on this one.”

In order for the DEA to be implemented, two pieces of legislation have to be passed. The first establishes the cost-sharing element – who will pay for the operating fees, the running and setting up of an appeals body, and case fees charged by the proposed appeals body. The second is Ofcom’s Initial Obligations Code, which sets out the practicalities of how the Act will be enforced.

Both these pieces of legislation have to be submitted to the European Union for approval – which involves a three-month consultation – before the Act can be passed and become law.

A spokesperson for the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) explained that, before the appeal by BT and TalkTalk, the cost-sharing legislation had been scrutinised by the EU and been approved. However, the latest judicial ruling states that, although ISPs will still have to pay 25 percent of operating fees, and 25 percent of the cost of setting up an appeals body, they will not have to pay 25 percent of case fees, as was previously stipulated.

This means that, even though this piece of legislation has already been approved, the government has to withdraw it, rewrite it and re-submit it to the EU before proceeding.

A new Initial Obligations Code?

This will have a knock-on effect on the second piece of legislation – Ofcom’s Initial Obligations Code. Ofcom published its initial draft of this code in 2010, generating a great deal of criticism from organisations that campaign for freedom of access to the Internet, such as the Open Rights Group.

For example, the draft code does not necessarily target the person using a system to infringe copyright; it targets the person who has the computer, or controls it. This means that the reports about infringement could be directed at cafés, museums and libraries that offer free WiFi access, putting the burden of responsibility on those outlets.

“One of the challenges to the Act was that it was so burdensome that some of these organsiations will think that it’s simply not worth offering free WiFi. This means that people who found the access useful for lots of things will no longer have access, and that has a chilling effect on use of the internet.”

Article source: http://rss.feedsportal.com/c/270/f/3551/s/1d5c21d7/l/0Lfeatures0Btechworld0N0Csecurity0C33436910Cwhats0Enext0Efor0Edigital0Eeconomy0Eact0C0Dolo0Frss/story01.htm

View full post on National Cyber Security » Computer Hacking

49 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

This has been quite a week in digital culture. Between Apple's revealing of the new iPad and the beginning of the 2012 SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, Mashable has a multitude of new digital media resources for you. Don't worry if you've fallen behind — here's our weekly features roundup.

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