Illegal transactions on the internet have long been conducted in the cryptocurrency bitcoin. But underground vendors are accepting new kinds of virtual currency that may be safer to store and offer more privacy protections, according to a new study of 150 dark web markets and forums.
Google is prepping its Chrome browser to brand as "not secure" every site a user tries to visit that does not use HTTPS encryption by default. The move is meant to push more sites to use HTTPS to secure communications and help block eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks.
Apple and Cisco say they've partnered with insurers Aon and Allianz to offer cyber insurance policies for organizations that meet best security practices and use products from the technology companies. The partnership follows increasing interest in cyber insurance as a hedge against hacking risks.
Blockchain technology already underpins the boom in cryptocurrencies, but it is also being rigorously tested and developed for other applications, including identity and access management. Such projects could make personal data easier to secure and less vulnerable to data breaches.
Orwell got it wrong: People are less likely to surrender their privacy to a totalitarian state than to the lure of sharing holiday snaps, cat videos or the route and time they took for their latest cycling, jogging or kiteboarding outing, as captured by a wearable fitness device.
As a long-time security leader, Qualys CISO Mark Butler has watched the evolution of security tools and platforms. The best-of-breed approach still has value, but also has failed us, he says. How can automation and orchestration provide new business value?
On cybercrime forums and darknet marketplaces, there's an abundant supply of cybercrime products and services and lots of demand, plus prices remain low, says Flashpoint's Liv Rowley. All that's needed to leverage the products and services to make a profit, she says, is a bit of knowledge.
Fitness app and website developer Strava has landed in hot water after publishing a global heat map that shows users' workout routes in aggregate. By doing so, the firm has inadvertently revealed military installation layouts and other sensitive information.
How effective are nation-backed trolls at influencing individuals via social media? An analysis of Russian trolls' accounts suggests they're designed for "causing havoc by pushing ideas, engaging other users or even taking both sides of controversial online discussions."
The White House, fearing China is spying on phone calls, has suggested that the U.S. government take a primary role in marshaling the development of secure 5G networks. But would nationalizing 5G networks make them more secure?
How bad does a third-party fix have to be for Microsoft to issue a rare, weekend update that helps IT administrators disable it? A security update from Microsoft allows users to disable a faulty Intel firmware update that can lead to frequent rebooting as well as lost or corrupted data.
How much does it cost to buy cybercrime-enabling products or services? Just $5 and up, security researchers say. Law enforcement agencies warn that small-time players as well as "serious and organized" crime rings are using cybercrime as a service to make illicit profits.
Technology giants are still struggling to identify what's at risk from the Spectre and Meltdown flaws in modern CPUs, never mind getting working security updates into users' hands. In the meantime, expect a rush by researchers to find more flaws in microprocessor code.
In separate cases, two hackers have either pleaded guilty or been sentenced to serve jail time in part for launching or facilitating DDoS attacks. One defendant, John Kelsey Gammell, was unmasked after taunting a former employer over the "ongoing IT issues" his DDoS attacks were causing.