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Security News and Issues

Each day owning a computer and maintaining it online becomes more of a challenge. Security is a major concern to computer users. SaferPC brings you Security News and Issues of interest to security conscious PC users.

     
 Title   Date   Author   Host 

Your account will be closed in 24h!
safeandsavvy.f-secure.com
February 27, 2013

Thursday night and checking Facebook on my mobile before going to sleep. One of my friends is complaining about how hard it is to use Yahoo mail abroad. Problem logging in and now there's some problem with the account.

"Your E-mail account has exceeded its limit and needs to be verified, if not verified within 24 hours, we shall suspend your account. Click Here to verify your email account now." And when you try to resolve it, it doesn't even work. You just end up on the login page! Damn Yahoo! Stop! This message is not about a problem with the mail system, it's a very typical phishing mail. I responded with a warning, and yes, the link had indeed been clicked and the credentials entered on a page that looked like the Yahoo login page. That made my friend a phishing victim like so many other Internet users...

Your AT&T wireless bill may link to malware
Commtouch Cafe
by Avi Turiel
April 5, 2012

Large outbreaks of phony AT&T wireless emails have been distributed in the last 2 days. The emails include links to malware on 9 different sites!

The emails describe very large balances ($943 in the example below), that are sure to get aggravated customers clicking on the included links. Every link in the email leads to a different compromised site that has malware hidden inside.

Your Cellphone Is Spying on You
reason.com
by Ronald Bailey
December 17, 2012

How the surveillance state co-opted personal technology

Big Brother has been outsourced. The police can find out where you are, where you've been, even where you're going. All thanks to that handy little human tracking device in your pocket: your cellphone. There are 331 million cellphone subscriptions-about 20 million more than there are residents-in the United States. Nearly 90 percent of adult Americans carry at least one phone. The phones communicate via a nationwide network of nearly 300,000 cell towers and 600,000 micro sites, which perform the same function as towers. When they are turned on, they ping these nodes once every seven seconds or so, registering their locations, usually within a radius of 150 feet. By 2018 new Federal Communications Commission regulations will require that cellphone location information be even more precise: within 50 feet. Newer cellphones also are equipped with GPS technology, which uses satellites to locate the user more precisely than tower signals can. Cellphone companies retain location data for at least a year. AT&T has information going all the way back to 2008.

Your child's data is stored in the cloud
money.cnn.com
by Erica Fink and Laurie Segall
June 28, 2013

Your child's school knows just about everything about your kid. Now, many school districts are storing all that information in the cloud. InBloom, a cloud-based database system for schools, is storing students' data on their servers.

Non-profit inBloom offers an Internet database service that allows schools to store, track and analyze data on schoolchildren. If you think about it, that information is more than just test scores. It's whether kids receive free lunch -- a telling indicator of the family's finances. It's the time a student got into a fight in the schoolyard. And it could be a child's prescription medication. The upshot of storing all that data in one location is that it can be used to tailor specific curricula to each child. If Johnny's data suggests that he's a tactile learner and he's failing math, inBloom's analytic engine might suggest a particular teaching approach.

Your daily Biden: Who says we can't lead the world in making cars in the 20th century?
Michelle Malkin
by Doug Powers
August 15, 2012

Yesterday Joe forgot which state he was in. Not to be outdone, today in Virginia he forgot what century he's in.

Your Doctor Knows You're Killing Yourself. The Data Brokers Told Her
bloomberg.com
by Shannon Pettypiece and Jordan Robertson
July 5, 2014

You may soon get a call from your doctor if you've let your gym membership lapse, made a habit of picking up candy bars at the check-out counter or begin shopping at plus-sized stores.

That's because some hospitals are starting to use detailed consumer data to create profiles on current and potential patients to identify those most likely to get sick, so the hospitals can intervene before they do.

Your Domestic Drone News: Boeing Tested a Drone Capable of Staying in Flight For Four Days and the EPA is Using Drones to Observe Cattle (Hopefully)
bastiatinstitute.org
June 4, 2012

The Los Angeles Times notes that Boeing Co. recently tested a new kind of hydrogen-propelled drone capable of staying in flight for four days. Currently most drones can stay aloft for about 30 hours, which is obviously already superior to manned aircraft.

There's obviously nothing inherently scary about this sort of thing - technology, freedom, etc. It would be nice if this just meant a cool new piece of technology that humans are having fun with. But considering the still-shaky status of drones and safety and not crashing, not to mention the domestic repercussions for technology that can let this baby hang out in the air for four days...It's a bit unnerving. Until we all have our drones and nobody has any privacy, of course.

Your False-Equivalence Guide to the Days Ahead - James Fallows - The Atlantic
theatlantic.com
September 9, 2013

A kind of politics we have not seen for more than 150 years

Two big examples of problematic self-government are upon us. They are of course the possible partial shutdown of the federal government, following the long-running hamstringing of public functions via "the sequester"; and a possible vote not to raise the federal debt ceiling, which would create the prospect of a default on U.S. Treasury debt. The details are complicated, but please don't lose sight of these three essential points: Now a few details:

Your fast pass through security
Google Webmaster Central Blog
April 19, 2011

Security checks are nobody's cup of tea. We've never seen people go through airport baggage checks for fun. But while security measures are often necessary, that doesn't mean they have to be painful.

In that spirit, we've implemented several major improvements to make the Google Site Verification process faster, more straightforward, and perhaps even a pleasure to use-so you can get on with the tasks that matter to you.

Your friend has shared a Groupon malware coupon with you!
Commtouch Cafe
by Avi Turiel
August 9, 2012

A recent collection of malware emails borrows heavily from authentic mailings sent out by Groupon and LinkedIn.

The outbreak is different from the blended attacks that have featured regularly in the last few months since it relies on attached malware as opposed to a link to drive-by malware. Using email templates modeled on Groupon and LinkedIn increases the chances that recipients will consider the attachment genuine and worth opening. The example below shows a Groupon "deal" found by a friend. Recipients are invited to open the attachment to view the gift details and also to forward it on to friends. All the links within the "offer" point to genuine Groupon sites.

     

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