Tracks

By Valdis Krebs | Who is mining & mapping the tracks you leave on the Internet?

Massive ransomware cyber-attack hits nearly 100 countries around the world

More than 45,000 attacks recorded in countries including the UK, Russia, India and China may have originated with theft of ‘cyber weapons’ from the NSA<p>Global cyber-attack – live updates ‘Accidental hero’ finds kill switch to stop spread<p>A ransomware cyber-attack that may have originated from the …

Cybersecurity

Google revises app review process following phishing attacks

In the wake of the Google Docs phishing debacle last week, Google has added a few new safeguards to better protect us from these types of attacks. The Gmail app for Android scans for suspect links and Google has tightened up its policies on third party authentication to help keep phishing scams …

Conspiracy Theorists May Really Just Be Lonely

Conspiracy theorists are often portrayed as nutjobs, but some may just be lonely, recent studies suggest. Separate research has shown that social …

What you need to know about the massive hack that hit the British health-care system and elsewhere

It was first reported in England — hackers gained access to the National Health Service computers, effectively shuttering the entire system. Patients were told to stay home; doctors and nurses were unable to access email or medical records and had to take notes by hand. The hackers demanded a …

NHS

Secure Messaging App Wire Stores Everyone You've Ever Contacted in Plain Text

The decision is seemingly a trade-off for usability across multiple devices.<p>The secure messaging marketplace is pretty saturated right now. You've got apps like Signal, that typically put privacy first, and then giants like WhatsApp, that have added end-to-end encryption to its already established …

How Peter Thiel’s Palantir Helped the NSA Spy on the Whole World

Donald Trump has inherited the most powerful machine for spying ever devised. How this petty, vengeful man might wield and expand the sprawling …

American Spies: how we got to mass surveillance without even trying

Review: law prof explains how the road to bad law is paved with good intentions.<p>While <i>American Spies</i> was written prior to Donald Trump winning the …

The ACLU Is in Dublin, Ireland, Today Defending the Right to Privacy for Europeans and Americans Alike

Facebook is cross-examining an ACLU privacy lawyer about U.S. government surveillance.Today, lawyers for Facebook will cross-examine ACLU Staff …

Privacy

Man jailed 16 months, and counting, for refusing to decrypt hard drives

He’s not charged with a crime. Judge demands he help prosecutors build their case.<p>Francis Rawls, a former Philadelphia police sergeant, has been in …

A US-born NASA scientist was detained at the border until he unlocked his phone

Two weeks ago, Sidd Bikkannavar flew back into the United States after spending a few weeks abroad in South America. An employee of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Bikkannavar had been on a personal trip, pursuing his hobby of racing solar-powered cars. He had recently joined a Chilean …

Immigration

Cellphone Spy Tools Have Flooded Local Police Departments

Major cities throughout the U.S. have spent millions on mobile surveillance tools—but there are still few rules about what happens to the information they capture.<p>A little after midnight on November 28, 2014, hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters filled the streets of downtown Chicago. The …

String of Baffling Arrests Shakes Cyber Division of FSB

On January 12, 2017, several prominent Russian media outlets reported the imminent dismissal of Andrei Gerasimov, the head of the Federal Security …

Russia

Your Browsing History Alone Can Give Away Your Identity

Researchers have found a way to connect the dots between people’s private online activity and their Twitter accounts—even for people who have never tweeted.<p>Advertisers would give just about anything to be able to lurk over your shoulder as you browse the internet. They want to know what sites you …

Privacy

What Vizio was doing behind the TV screen

By Lesley Fair<br>Consumers have bought more than 11 million internet-connected Vizio televisions since 2010. But according to a complaint filed by the …

Privacy

The art of the troll: New tool reveals egg users’—and Trump’s—posting patterns

When an account makes 500 posts a day, that's a sure sign that there’s something amiss.<p>President Donald J. Trump loves his Twitter account. Much has …

Weapons of Math Destruction: invisible, ubiquitous algorithms are ruining millions of lives

Discussions about big data's role in our society tends to focus on algorithms, but the algorithms for handling giant data sets are all well …

Who Will Own Your Data If the Tech Bubble Bursts?

Corporations, data brokers, and even criminals might buy failed companies just for their users’ personal information.<p>Imagine that Silicon Valley’s nightmare comes true: The bubble bursts. Unicorns fall to their knees. The tech giants that once fought to attract talented developers with mini-golf …

Privacy

Transparency: Watching and Watchers

Veering back to more important issues...<br>We are increasingly surrounded by “always-on” devices with microphones that listen for our voice commands. …

Transparency International

China’s plan to organize its society relies on ‘big data’ to rate everyone

BEIJING — Imagine a world where an authoritarian government monitors everything you do, amasses huge amounts of data on almost every interaction you make, and awards you a single score that measures how “trustworthy” you are.<p>In this world, anything from defaulting on a loan to criticizing the …

China

Dancing the Bunny Hop with the NSA

According to an NSA executive, 2-3 hops/steps is the social distance that the NSA uses to <i>look outward,</i> into social space, from a known terrorist …

Networking

Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking

Updated (Oct. 21, 2016):After we published this story, Google reached out to say that it doesn’t currently use Gmail keywords to target web ads. …

Privacy

Civil liberties groups ask for ‘moratoriums’ on face recognition tech

Armed with new research, civil rights organizations are urging the Justice Department to investigate law enforcement’s excessive use of face recognition technologies.<p>A coalition of more than 50 civil rights organizations asked the Department of Justice today to investigate the use of face …

Surveillance

Cops have a database of 117M faces. You’re probably in it

It’s no secret that American law has been building facial recognition databases to aide in its investigations. But a new, comprehensive report on the …

Russian propaganda on WikiLeaks makes its way into a Donald Trump speech in record time

The Russian outlet Sputnik briefly published a misleading article, but Trump had it before it was taken down<p>Republican nominee Donald Trump was awfully defensive during Sunday’s debate about the fact that Russian intelligence is almost certainly behind the Democratic National Committee hacks, which …

The Election Won’t Be Rigged. But It Could Be Hacked.

In my old workplace, right next to the comfortable couches where we would take breaks, we kept a voting machine. Instead of using the screen to pick our preferred candidate, we played Pac-Man. We sent Pac-Man’s familiar yellow chomping face after digital ghosts with the same kind of machine that …

Democracy

Facebook has repeatedly trended fake news since firing its human editors

<i>The Intersect ran a little experiment a few weeks ago: During the work day, we’d check in with Facebook each hour, on the hour, and record which topics were trending for us on the platform. The resulting daily pop-up newsletter gave us some interesting insight into the world according to Facebook.</i> …

Facebook

We Need to Save the Internet from the Internet of Things

Long term, we need to build an internet that is resilient against IoT-based attacks. But that's a long time coming.<p>Brian Krebs is a popular reporter on the cybersecurity beat. He regularly exposes cybercriminals and their tactics, and consequently is regularly a target of their ire. Last month, he …

Internet of Things

Why online privacy matters — and how to protect yours

Christopher Soghoian of the ACLU talks privacy, security and why you should put a sticker on your webcam right now, in conversation with …

Privacy