Russia claims it foiled a cyber attack from a foreign spy service

The Russian government claims to have foiled a "large-scale" cyber attack from foreign intelligence services meant to destabilize the country’s financial system.The government’s Federal Security Service made the statement on Friday without blaming a specific country, but said the attack was meant to be carried out on Dec. 5 against a number of major Russian banks.The hack would have also included the use of social media and SMS text messages to circulate posts claiming a crisis in Russia’s financial system. Several dozen cities in the country had been targeted, the Federal Security Service claimed, stating it had already neutralized the threat.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 4:25 pm

Intel's silence on Optane SSDs raises questions about launch and focus

There's a lot of excitement about Intel's superfast Optane SSDs, but products won't be on shelves this year as the chipmaker had earlier promised.Intel is currently making Optane in a factory in China, and production will "ramp" up next year, said Stacy Smith, executive vice president of manufacturing, operations, and sales at Intel.Smith declined to comment on when Optane products will hit the market, maintaining a consistent pattern of silence among Intel executives on the topic. He spoke at the Credit Suisse 20th Annual Technology, Media, and Telecom conference in Scottsdale, Arizona this week.Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said sample Optane products will ship to more testers next year, and that "it’s really a 2018 ramp for that product," according to a transcript of an October earnings call, posted on Seeking Alpha.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 3:30 pm

47% off CyberPower CSP600WSU Surge Protector 6-AC Outlet Swivel with 2 USB (2.1A) Charging Ports - Deal Alert

The CyberPower Professional Series CSP600WSU Surge Protector is ideal for Home/ Office protection with 1200 joules, 6 swivel outlets, 2 USB charge ports (2.1 Amp shared), and a convenient wall tap design. The surge protector is ideal for protecting personal computers, phones/ fax/ modems, printers, stereos, and other electronics. Its two USB are perfect for keeping tablets, smart phones, and other rechargeable electronics ready to use.  With Amazon's current discount of 47% you can buy it now for $9.86 (See it on Amazon). To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 2:56 pm

The NSA and Skilz: Turning spying on you into a video game

What could possibly be creepier than a government organization (such as the NSA) having nearly unlimited access to your private, personal information (including access to your webcam)? Turns out, the answer is: when it gets turned into a video game. And it appears, they have done this. On Dec. 1, 2016, Wikileaks released a collection of documents relating to the German parliament inquiry of the cooperation between the German foreign intelligence agency (the BND) and the United States’ NSA. One particular document (pdf) within that collection caught my attention. It appears to be a report from an official at the European Cryptologic Center (ECC) from April 13, 2012, detailing how they can improve usage of Xkeyscore (XKS) to collect information about people. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 1:51 pm

IDG Contributor Network: Solution to JIT-ROP cyber attacks: Scramble code quickly

A new software development technique promises to end destructive exploits from hackers. The concept is to continually, and repeatedly, rearrange the program’s code while it’s running—and do it very quickly. Doing that shuts down the hacker’s “window of opportunity” because he doesn’t know where to find bugs to hit with his poisonous attack. The scrambling occurs over milliseconds.Code reuse attacks are the kind of harmful exploits that can be stopped dead in their tracks, researchers say in an article on Columbia University’s website.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 1:09 pm

2016’s notable deaths in technology, science & inventions

Paying respectsImage by Network World staffThe worlds of networking, computing, science and inventions have lost pioneering and influential figures in 2016, from those who brought us networked email to the earliest PCs to movie icons. Here’s our modest tribute to these innovators worth remembering. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 12:30 pm

Researchers find a way bypass the iOS activation lock

Two researchers claim to have found a way to bypass the activation lock feature in iOS that's supposed to prevent anyone from using an iPhone or iPad marked as lost by its owner.The first report came Sunday from an Indian security researcher named Hemanth Joseph, who started investigating possible bypasses after being confronted with a locked iPad he acquired from eBay.The activation lock gets enabled automatically when users turn on the Find My iPhone feature via iCloud. It links the device to their Apple IDs and prevents anyone else from accessing the device without entering the associated password.One of the few things allowed from the activation lock screen is connecting the device to a Wi-Fi network, including manually configuring one. Hemanth had the idea of trying to crash the service that enforces the lock screen by entering very long strings of characters in the WPA2-Enterprise username and password fields.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 12:23 pm

40% off Corsair Waterproof Shockproof 256GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive - Deal Alert

Military-style data transportation. That's how Corsair describes their Flash Survivor Stealth series of USB flash drives. Its anodized, aircraft-grade aluminum housing is waterproof to 200 meters, vibration-resistant, and shock-resistant while small enough to fit on your keychain. USB 3.0 offers read speeds up to four times faster than traditional USB 2.0 drives, so it's fast enough to play most videos directly from it, without having to transfer to a hard drive first. The drive is backwards compatible to 2.0 as well. Just plug it in, and it works with Windows, Mac OS and Linux without any additional software or drivers. This product also comes with a limited 5 year warranty. It averages 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 210 people on Amazon (read reviews), many of which report it's still alive after years of hard use. The 256GB model's list price of $157 has been reduced 40% to $94.62. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 11:25 am

IDG Contributor Network: Levi's Stadium uses IoT to enhance 49ers' fan experience

The San Francisco 49ers are my home football team. They aren't doing too well in the NFC West standings these days. On the plus side, though, they do have a great stadium. Levi's Stadium is about 40 miles south of San Francisco in Santa Clara, California. It seats more than 65,000 spectators in two bowl-like structures. The logistics are daunting for a stadium that big. Consider the issues involved with getting thousands of fans to their seats quickly and securely in time to enjoy the game.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 11:03 am

Remote management app exposes millions of Android users to hacking

Poor implementation of encryption in a popular Android remote management application exposes millions of users to data theft and remote code execution attacks.According to researchers from mobile security firm Zimperium, the AirDroid screen sharing and remote control application sends authentication information encrypted with a hard-coded key. This information could allow man-in-the-middle attackers to push out malicious AirDroid add-on updates, which would then gain the permissions of the app itself.AirDroid has access to a device's contacts, location information, text messages, photos, call logs, dialer, camera, microphone and the contents of the SD card. It can also perform in-app purchases, change system settings, disable the screen lock, change network connectivity and much more.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 10:44 am

Post Black Friday 2016 deals: Best Buy Special Edition Tech Sale

Just in case you aren't spending enough already on tech products, Best Buy is offering a post-Black Friday 2016 Special Edition Tech Sale featuring super fancy laptops, tablet cases and computer mice. We're talking everything the fashionista or hardcore fanboy/fangirl on your holiday shopping list didn't know they needed. Best Buy's Special Edition Tech collection features 11 items and they'll be available while supplies last starting on Dec. 4 in select stores and online at BestBuy.com. MORE: 50-plus eye-popping Black Friday 2016 tech dealsTo read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 10:31 am

Trump cybersecurity dos and don’ts

President-elect Donald Trump ran a campaign focused on national security and making America great again through economic reform. Clearly both goals should include policies and programs to bolster the nation’s cybersecurity capabilities. This shouldn’t be an abstract concept to Mr. Trump after an election cycle featuring Russian hacks and WikiLeaks posts. To reinforce this priority, it is also worth noting that in a pre-election survey by ESG research, 49 percent of cybersecurity professionals said cybersecurity is a critical issue and should be the top national security priority for the next President, while 45 percent said cybersecurity is a very important issue and should be one of the top national security priorities for the next President. If those citizens on the front line see cybersecurity as a major priority, this should speak volumes to the President-elect. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 10:10 am

IDG Contributor Network: Cloud isn’t easy, but it needs to be

Over the past decade, I've witnessed a constant stream of IT executives and technology professionals view cloud as a threat to their careers. The business side of the organization has always been a captive customer of IT's services, and now IT feels threatened by the litany of low-cost solutions readily available in the public cloud.  Every once in a while IT begrudgingly agrees to implement a public cloud solution.  When the do, they carefully fence it off from the rest of IT—nominally to protect the company from hackers, but equally to protect the purity of IT. Treating cloud as a standalone point solution enables them to create a self-fulfilling prophecy, using the mixed results to demonstrate that cloud just can’t hack it in the real world. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 10:05 am

‘Distributed guessing’ attack lets hackers verify Visa card details

Add credit card fraud to the list of things that distributed processing can speed up. An e-commerce site will typically block a credit card number after 10 or 20 failed attempts to enter the corresponding expiry date and CVV (card verification value), making life difficult for fraudsters who don't have a full set of credentials. But there are plenty of e-commerce sites out there, and it's possible to obtain missing account details by submitting slightly different payment requests to hundreds of them in parallel. It takes less than six seconds to perform the "distributed guessing attack," according to the researchers at Newcastle University in the U.K. who figured out how to do it.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 9:42 am

28% off Bushbox Titanium Outdoor Pocket Stove - Deal Alert

This Bushbox is an ultra light Titanium multi-fuel pocket stove for the great outdoors. It can be used with wood, organic material, a standard alcohol burner or esbit tabs, and folds down so small and lightweight that you could fit it in your pocket (or a Christmas stocking!). It comes with two trivets for any pot size, and comes with an ash pan for soil/ground protection. It averages 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, where its list price of $69 has been reduced to $49.90. See the discounted titanium Bushbox on Amazon.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 8:51 am

How to find out if your iPhone 6s is eligible for free battery replacement

When my iPhone 6s started shutting down earlier this month even though it still had 20% or 30% battery life showing, I suspected maybe it was just getting too cold. After all, I've seen my iPhones be temperature sensitive in the past.But it turns out that the problem really stemmed from a bug in version 10.1 or 10.1.1 of Apple iOS, and now Apple is offering free battery replacement by those affected. The weird thing that those of us affected by this have experienced is that after charging the phone back in, it almost immediately turns back on, back at its 20% or 30% battery level.MORE: Best Black Friday 2016 deals on Apple iPhones, Macs & MoreTo read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 8:34 am

Windows 10 posts user-share gains after multi-month stall

After a two-month stretch of no growth, Windows 10 in November gained user share, powering more than a quarter of all Windows PCs for the first time, data published today showed.According to U.S. metrics vendor Net Applications, Windows 10 gained 1.1 percentage points of user share last month, ending with 23.7% of all personal computers. Windows 10 ran 26.1% of all Windows machines: The difference between the user share of all PCs and only those running Windows stemmed from the fact that Windows powered 91% of all personal computers, not 100%.User share is an estimate of the proportion of all personal computer users who run a device powered by a specific operating system. The analytics company measures OS user share by counting devices whose browsers reach websites of Net Applications' clients.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 7:28 am

Western Digital releases series of Raspberry Pi disk drives

Western Digital (WD) today introduced a new series of storage devices designed specifically for use with Raspberry Pi, a single-board micro PC.The WD PiDrive Foundation Edition drives include a microSD card preloaded with the custom New Out of Box Software OS installer.Raspberry Pi's official OS, Raspbian PIXEL, can be installed directly from WD's microSD card without an Internet connection, the company stated. In addition, the drives include Project Spaces, independent partitions of the drive with Raspbian Lite, which allows up to five separate projects to be developed on a single drive.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 7:26 am

22 wildly imaginative PCs that don't look like PCs at all

More than meets the eyeImage by Anshel SagFor many people, PCs are just a tool; a bland beige or black box shoved underneath a desk and physically ignored except for when you press the power button. But not for everyone. In the right hands, PCs can be transformed into works of art inside and out.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 7:25 am

AWS looks to take the drudge work out of data analysis

Amazon Web Services is looking to make it easier, and more efficient, for enterprises to analyze their data in the cloud."Eighty percent of what we call analytics is not analytics at all but just hard work," said Werner Vogels, chief technology officer at Amazon.com, speaking during a keynote speech this morning at the AWS re:Invent cloud conference in Las Vegas.Instead of digging down into a company's data to find patterns and insights that will give an enterprise a competitive advantage, too much time is spent on indexing, storage, security, and making sure the right access is set up.+ MORE FROM AWS RE:INVENT: Cool tech at AWS re:Invent +To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 7:23 am

Face-off: New Relic vs. AppDynamics for APM

Application performance management (APM) software must serve multiple masters -- developers, IT and business managers -- all of whom want visibility into the performance of corporate software to make sure it produces a great, reliable experience for the end-user.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here(Insider Story)

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 7:21 am

How Windows 10 data collection trades privacy for security

Windows 10’s aggressive data-collection capabilities may concern users about corporate spying, but enterprises have control that consumer-edition Windows users do not: Administrators can decide how much information gets sent back to Microsoft.But enterprises need to think twice before turning off Windows telemetry to increase corporate privacy. That’s because doing so can decrease the effectiveness of Windows 10’s security features.[ InfoWorld’s deep look: Why (and how) you should manage Windows 10 PCs like iPhones. | The essentials for Windows 10 installation: Download the Windows 10 Installation Superguide today. ] Microsoft isn’t merely hoovering up large amounts of data because it can. The company has repeatedly reiterated its stance that Windows 10 does not collect the user’s personal data, but rather anonymized file data that is then used to improve overall user experience and Windows functionality.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 7:20 am

AI will take some jobs, but no need to worry

The capabilities of artificial intelligence and machine learning are accelerating, and many cybersecurity tasks currently performed by humans will be automated. There will still be plenty of work to go around so job prospects should remain good, especially for those who keep up with technology, broaden their skill sets, and get a better understanding of their company's business needs.Cybersecurity jobs won't go the way of telephone operators. Take, for example, Spain-based antivirus company Panda Security. When the company first started, there were a number of people reverse-engineering malicious code and writing signatures.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 7:17 am

China cracks down on fake news

The current debate over fake online news has one country feeling vindicated: China. For years, its controversial censorship system has been cracking down on so-called "online rumors," and last week a state-controlled newspaper essentially told the U.S., "I told you so.""China’s crackdown on online rumors a few years ago was harshly condemned by the West,” wrote the Global Times. “Things changed really quickly, as the anxiety over internet management has been transferred to the U.S."To be sure, the two are very different.In the U.S., it’s private citizens and internet companies that are questioning the role of fake news while acknowledging freedom of speech. In China, the government itself is arresting people as part of its concerted effort to maintain control over all corners of the internet.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 7:03 am

IDG Contributor Network: How we got our tattered IoT insecurity blanket

In my last post—Your network, IoT, cloud computing and the future—I introduced a few trends that appear to be shaping the Internet we have today. This post is the first of two that detail my observations on the large-scale security picture on the Internet and what companies, network professionals and individuals need to take into consideration when addressing the new challenges presented by expanding trends such as the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT).Today’s installment outlines some fundamental architectural underpinnings of the security vulnerabilities we all face. The next installment will outline some near-term suggestions for things we each might do, as well as suggest some overall architectural moves that may make things safer for all users of the InternetTo read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted on: 2 December 2016 | 6:00 am