Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Google considers warning internet users about data risks

Google is proposing to warn people their data is at risk every time they visit websites that do not use the "HTTPS" system.
Many sites have adopted the secure version of the basic web protocol to help safeguard data.
The proposal was made by the Google developers working on the search firm's Chrome browser.
Security experts broadly welcomed the proposal but said it could cause confusion initially.
Scrambled data
The proposal to mark HTTP connections as non-secure was made in a message posted to the Chrome development website by Google engineers working on the firm's browser.
If implemented, the developers wrote, the change would mean that a warning would pop-up when people visited a site that used only HTTP to notify them that such a connection "provides no data security".

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It will be a good thing for the whole web in the long run”
Paul MuttonNetcraft
The team said it was odd that browsers currently did nothing to warn people when their data was unprotected.
"The only situation in which web browsers are guaranteed not to warn users is precisely when there is no chance of security," they wrote.
HTTPS uses well-established cryptographic systems to scramble data as it travels from a user's computer to a website and back again.
The team said warnings were needed because it was known that cyber thieves and government agencies were abusing insecure connections to steal data or spy on people.
Rik Ferguson, a senior analyst at security firm Trend Micro, said warning people when they were using an insecure connection was "a good idea".
"People seem to make the assumption that communications such as HTTP and email are private to a degree when exactly the opposite is the case.

T-Mobile vows to cover 300M people with LTE next year

The company said on Tuesday that its 4G LTE network covers 260 million people and it plans to cover 300 million people by the end of the year. In comparison AT&T and Verizon Wireless, the nation's two largest carriers, both reach more than 300 million people with their own 4G LTE networks.
In the battle for wireless supremacy, strong coverage -- or even the reputation for strong coverage -- is paramount to winning and keeping customers. While Verizon and AT&T jumped out to a large lead with their 4G networks essentially done, T-Mobile has steadily gained ground and rebuilt the perception of its network.
"We've come a long way this year," said Neville Ray, chief technology officer of T-Mobile.

The Bellevue, Wash., wireless carrier has greatly improved its coverage in major cities and densely populated areas, but it still has a ways to go before it reaches parity with the larger carriers. In less populated areas, T-Mobile's coverage often lags, and the network is particularly weak inside buildings, a result of the kind of spectrum it employs.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sony Pictures to blame cyberattack on North Korea

Sony Pictures will officially name North Korea as the source of hacking incident that has wreaked havoc on the company’s network, according to tech website Re/code.
Citing two sources close to the investigation, Re/code reports that an announcement could come sometime Wednesday.
The FBI has already launched a probe into the attack, and has sent out an “FBI alert” to companies in the entertainment sector, describing the characteristics of the so-called “wiper malware” used in the attack. The agency, however, has not provided details of the hack’s possible perpetrators.
The finger of suspicion has already pointed at North Korea over the attack. Earlier this week a source familiar with the FBI alert told Fox News that the highly destructive malware was written in Korean, further fueling suspicions that Pyongyang launched the cyber attack.
However, the Korean-written malware also may have been an attempt to confuse investigators about its origin, according to the source.
Sony Pictures’ forthcoming film “The Interview,” starring Seth Rogen and James Franco as journalists enlisted to assassinate dictator Kim Jong-un, has outraged North Korea.
In June North Korea submitted a letter of complaint to the U.N., urging the U.S. to prevent the film’s release. U.N. officials released the letter on Wednesday.
“To allow the production and distribution of such a film on the assassination of an incumbent Head of a sovereign State should be regarded as the most undisguised sponsoring of terrorism as well as an act of war,” wrote North Korea's U.N. ambassador, in the email.
On Nov. 24 a hacking group called Guardians of Peace, or GOP, took over Sony Pictures’ corporate network and vowed to release sensitive corporate data if certain demands were not met. Variety reports that screener copies of at least five Sony movies were downloaded freely online following the hack. In a further twist, a spreadsheet appeared on a text sharing site Monday purportedly showing the salaries of top Sony Pictures executives.
Sony Pictures’ top brass have already voiced their anger over last week’s “brazen” cyberattack that wreaked havoc on the studio’s network. Cyber thieves, they warn, now have their hands on “a large amount” of the company’s confidential data, according to an email obtained by TheWrap website
Sony Pictures has reportedly hired FireEye’s Mandiant forensics unit to clear up the cyberattack.
The Culver City, Calif.-based company has not yet responded to a request for comment on this story from

Monday, December 1, 2014


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