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 

Instagram vulnerability: Anyone can add you, see your photos
by Emil Protalinski for
July 11, 2012

A new security flaw has been discovered in Instagram that allows a perpetrator to add anyone as a friend and see their private photos and profile information.

Spanish security researcher Sebastián Guerrero has discovered a flaw in Instagram which he has dubbed the "Friendship Vulnerability." In short, it allows anyone to add themselves as a friend to your Instagram account. As a result, they can then view photos you have set to Private as well as profile information. Guerrero blames the bug on Instagram's "lack of control on the logic applied to authorization feature." He explains that both the iPhone and Android apps are affected by the remote vulnerability.

Five reasons DNSChanger victims deserve to lose the internet
by Michael Lee
July 6, 2012

The FBI's shut-down of temporary DNS servers will rid the internet of those infected by DNSChanger, and it will be a better place because of it.

Six thousand Australians infected with DNSChanger malware are set to be cut off from the internet on Monday, when the FBI shuts down the temporary servers that are keeping them online. In my opinion, they deserve to lose the privilege to connect to the internet. DNSChanger tricks computers into connecting to rogue DNS servers, which point certain domain names to IP addresses of their choosing.

ASUS to preinstall Bluestacks on PCs: Android on Windows | ZDNet
by James Kendrick
June 4, 2012

ASUS will be offering the ability to run Android apps on its Windows PCs due to a deal with Bluestacks. This has implications for Windows 8 as it allows Android apps to run out of the box.

PC-maker ASUS has signed a deal with Bluestacks to include its Android app player on ASUS PCs as reported by AllThingsD. Bluestacks makes it possible to run top Android apps on the Windows desktop. This deal has major implications for ASUS, Bluestacks, and even Microsoft with Windows 8 on the horizon. The deal gives ASUS customers six months of free access to Android apps on their new Windows PCs.

Medicaid hacked: over 181,000 records and 25,000 SSNs stolen
by Emil Protalinski
April 9, 2012

The Utah Department of Health has been hacked. 181,604 Medicaid/CHIP recipients have had their personal information stolen. 25,096 have had their Social Security numbers (SSNs) compromised.

The Utah Department of Technology Services (DTS) notified the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) on Monday the server that houses Medicaid claims was hacked. On Wednesday, the UDOH publicly announced the breach. On Friday, DTS revealed the damage: 181,604 Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) recipients had their personal information stolen. Of those, 25,096 appear had their Social Security numbers (SSNs) compromised. The agency is cooperating with law enforcement in a criminal investigation. The hackers, who are believed to be located in Eastern Europe, breached the server in question on March 30, 2012.

New Apple antivirus signatures bypassed within hours by malware authors
by Ed Bott
June 1, 2011

After a month-long Mac Defender/Mac Guard malware attack, Apple has finally released the security update it promised last week.

The bad guys have wasted no time. Hours after Apple released this update and the initial set of definitions, a new variation of Mac Defender is in the wild. This one has a new name, Mdinstall.pkg, and it has been specifically formulated to skate past Apple's malware-blocking code.

Ohio University suffers massive security breach
by Greg Sandoval
May 15, 2006

More than 200,000 people may have been affected, including past and present students as well as school employees.

Data thieves may have plundered Social Security numbers and other private information â€" including health records â€" belonging to students and faculty at Ohio University, following three separate computer intrusions at the school. According to a message posted on the school's Web site, more than 200,000 people may have been affected, including past and present students as well as school employees. Administrators also suggested that more thefts may be uncovered as investigators continue to review computer systems campuswide.

Publishing exploit code ruled illegal in France?
ZDNet Australia
by Munir Kotadia
July 16, 2011

Researchers that reverse engineer software to discover programming flaws can no longer legally publish their findings in France after a court fined a security expert on Tuesday.

In 2001, French security researcher Guillaume Tena found a number of vulnerabilities in the Viguard antivirus software published by Tegam. Tena, who at the time was known by his pseudonym Guillermito, published his research online in March 2002.

Denial of service attackers face 10 years in jail
ZDNet Asia
by Andy McCue
November 13, 2006

Denial of service attackers in the U.K. now face up to 10 years in jail with updated computer crime laws coming into force this week, as part of the new Police and Justice Act 2006.

The long-overdue updating of the 1990 Computer Misuse Act also increases the sentence for hacking a computer from a maximum of six months to two years' imprisonment.

Google stands up to government porn probe
ZDnet (UK)
by Declan McCullagh and Elinor Mills
January 20, 2006

Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo have all handed the US government a selection of search requests and indexed Web sites, but Google is standing firm

A subpoena dated August 2005 requests a complete list of all Internet addresses that can "be located" through Google's popular search engine, and "all queries that have been entered" over a two-month period beginning on June 1, 2005. Later, prosecutors offered to narrow the request to random samples of indexed sites and search strings. It's unclear what version of the request AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo complied with.

EFF on Zune: Risk of DRM/DMCA checkmate no longer a risk. It's reality
by David Berlind
September 18, 2006

Critics of DRM have long warned of the risks of strategy, policy, and technology shifts amongst the various DRM stakeholders.

In the US, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) has, with few exceptions (none of which apply here), outlawed circumvention of content copy protection. So, with Microsoft's Zune, now comes proof that these were not Chicken Little warnings.


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