Monday, January 27, 2014

Identity thieves, Tax refunds

Caveat Emptor Taxpayers! --

  • If you file by mail, do it at a post office, not from an unlocked mailbox in front of your house.
  • If you file electronically, use a secure computer on a secure network. It's OK to check the weather using a Wi-Fi hot spot, but don't do anything financial or tax-related on a public Wi-Fi network.

Identity thieves gear up to steal your tax refund: " . . . Most victims find out there's a problem when they get a letter from the IRS that says they've filed more than one return or that they earned wages from an unknown employer, which likely means someone stole your Social Security number to get a job. If you get such a notice, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit right away at 800-908-4490, extension 245. There's paperwork you need to file and things you should do as quickly as possible because you are now vulnerable to all types of identity theft. "The Social Security number is the Holy Grail," Velasquez said. "Once you have enough information to file a phony tax return, you have enough information to open new lines of credit, commit medical identity theft and take over financial accounts." The refund thieves may also try to claim your tax refund next year, so if you're a victim get a verification PIN code from the IRS that you must use to file future returns. Do not respond to an unexpected email or text message that claims to be from the IRS. The IRS does not do business that way. Its initial contact is always by mail...."

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Monday, January 20, 2014

How Companies Can Prevent Hackers (video)

How Companies Can Prevent Hackers: Video - Bloomberg: "Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Sophos Senior Security Advisor Chester Wisniewski discusses cyber security with Deirdre Bolton on Bloomberg Television's "In The Loop. (Source: Bloomberg)"

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

NSA Has Back Doors for Numerous Devices

Catalog Reveals NSA Has Back Doors for Numerous Devices - SPIEGEL ONLINE: "These NSA agents, who specialize in secret back doors, are able to keep an eye on all levels of our digital lives -- from computing centers to individual computers, from laptops to mobile phones. For nearly every lock, ANT seems to have a key in its toolbox. And no matter what walls companies erect, the NSA's specialists seem already to have gotten past them...." (read more at link above)

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Secret NSA contract, Government Misled Security Firm RSA

Exclusive: Secret contract tied NSA and security industry pioneer | Reuters: "The RSA deal shows one way the NSA carried out what Snowden's documents describe as a key strategy for enhancing surveillance: the systematic erosion of security tools. NSA documents released in recent months called for using "commercial relationships" to advance that goal, but did not name any security companies as collaborators. The NSA came under attack ... in a landmark report from a White House panel appointed to review U.S. surveillance policy. The panel noted that "encryption is an essential basis for trust on the Internet," and called for a halt to any NSA efforts to undermine it. Most of the dozen current and former RSA employees interviewed said that the company erred in agreeing to such a contract, and many cited RSA's corporate evolution away from pure cryptography products as one of the reasons it occurred. But several said that RSA also was misled by government officials, who portrayed the formula as a secure technological advance. "They did not show their true hand," one person briefed on the deal said of the NSA, asserting that government officials did not let on that they knew how to break the encryption."

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

NSA Can Easily Break Cellphone Encryption

NSA Can 'Easily' Break Cellphone Encryption, Report Says: The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has the technical capacity to crack the most commonly-used cellphone encryption technology, and in doing so it can decode and access the content of calls and text messages, according to a Washington Post report . . . Citing a top-secret document leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the report states that the agency can easily break a technology called A5/1, the world's most common stream cipher used to encrypt cellular data as it transmits to cell towers....

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hotspot Security (video)

Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) – Anchorfree Founder & CEO David Gorodyansky discusses how his company’s Hotspot Shield can help you to secure your personal information online with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television’s “Money Moves.” (Source: Bloomberg)

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Holes in DHS cybersecurity

Think ANY government is secure? Think again. . . .

IG finds holes in DHS’s cybersecurity - Tony Romm - "The Department of Homeland Security is leading the charge to bolster the country’s porous digital defenses, but it’s also struggled this year to safeguard its own systems against hackers and spies, according to its top watchdog. A report Monday from the DHS inspector general reiterated that the agency for months failed to patch its systems regularly against known cybersecurity threats or scan its networks consistently, in real time, to keep out digital malefactors...."

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Cybersecurity - Google News

Malware - Google News

National Security - Google News

"Security Threats" - Google News

Maritime security - Google News

The State of Security

TSA - Google News

Homeland Security - Google News