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The Podium

Blog posts tagged with 'Cybsersecurity'

Monday, March 04

Number of the Day

By Brad

19, which is the number of financial institutions that reported a “cyberassault” last year. As Ellen Nakashima and Danielle Doulas of the Washington Post report:

Almost all reported that they were targeted in last year’s highly publicized “distributed denial of service attacks” (DDOS) — efforts to disrupt access to Web sites by barraging servers with computer traffic. The assaults, which are ongoing, made headlines in the fall when U.S. officials said they believed they were launched by the Iranian government in retaliation for sanctions imposed because of Tehran’s nuclear program.

Nakashima and Doulas go on to say that some analysts calculate the cost of dealing with these attacks in the “hundreds of millions.”

Thursday, September 09

Fifty-Seven Thousand

By Brad

That’s how many fake websites are created by cybercriminals each week, according to a new investigation (via Security Week). The top site mimicked in order to bilk consumers? eBay, with Western Union close behind.

Wednesday, May 20

Not So Secret

By Brad

Those secret questions websites ask you to answer in order to retrieve forgotten passwords? You know, questions like “What’s your mother’s maiden name?” and “In what city were you born?” Well it turns out that they might no be so secret after all. Technology Review reports:

In research to be presented at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy this week, researchers from Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon University plan to show that the secret questions used to secure the password-reset functions of a variety of websites are woefully insecure. In a study involving 130 people, the researchers found that 28 percent of the people who knew and were trusted by the study’s participants could guess the correct answers to the participant’s secret questions. Even people not trusted by the participant still had a 17 percent chance of guessing the correct answer to a secret question.

“Secret questions alone are not as secure as we would like our backup authentication to be,” says Stuart Schechter, a researcher with software giant Microsoft and one of the authors of the paper. “Nor are they reliable enough that their use alone is sufficient to ensure users can recover their accounts when they forget their passwords.”

Tuesday, May 12

Planning for a Cyberwar

By Brad

With the Obama administration making cybsersecurity a national priority (and with hackers from China and elsewhere trying to steal our nation’s secrets every day), preparedness drills are up and running. From the New York Times:

These are the war games at West Point, at least last month, when a team of cadets spent four days struggling around the clock to establish a computer network and keep it operating while hackers from the National Security Agency in Maryland tried to infiltrate it with methods that an enemy might use. The N.S.A. made the cadets’ task more difficult by planting viruses on some of the equipment, just as real-world hackers have done on millions of computers around the world.

Cyber attacks often place America in the unfamiliar position of playing catch-up in technology, making these sort of drills all the more necessary.

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