Tag: Computer Security

Anyone Can Hire a Team of Spies

The plan was simple: give the government of Uzbekistan the ability to monitor everyone’s communications. I first heard the story about five years ago from an American defense consultant. I had spoken to him over the years about arms sales, particularly those involving the former Soviet Union. He had been involved in overseeing foreign military […]

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5 Million Bulgarians Have Their Personal Data Stolen in Hack

An investigation into the theft of the personal information of nearly every adult in Bulgaria led to the arrest of a 20-year-old computer programmer, the police announced Wednesday, in connection with a breach that underscores the vulnerability of vast troves of digitized information. The authorities acknowledged that Bulgaria’s national tax agency was hacked after a […]

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FaceApp Lets You ‘Age’ a Photo by Decades. Does It Also Violate Your Privacy?

A developer could not have asked for better publicity. This week, two years after being widely panned for a filter that critics described as little more than “digital blackface,” FaceApp, a photo-altering smartphone app, found itself at the center of a popular social media challenge. A range of celebrities had been using the app’s age […]

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Hold ’Em or Fold ’Em? This A.I. Bluffs With the Best

In his 14 years on the professional poker circuit, Darren Elias had never faced anyone who played with so little fear. A typical poker player, when dealt two Jacks — one faceup, the other hidden, a hand neither good nor bad — would proceed with caution. But not Mr. Elias’s opponent, who seemed to know […]

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Your Inbox Is Spying on You

Call it the Five Stages of Privacy Erosion. Tech Company builds popular product. Product is exposed in the press for doing something shady behind the scenes. Tech Company apologizes/clarifies/signals a fix. Brief phase of collective rejoicing and moving on. It’s revealed (usually by the same people) that Product was never really fixed. That’s the rough […]

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A City Paid a Hefty Ransom to Hackers. But Its Pains Are Far From Over.

LAKE CITY, Fla. — Audrey Sikes, city clerk of Lake City, Fla., has a thing for documents: She does not like losing them. It falls to Ms. Sikes, as official custodian of records for this city of 12,000 people about an hour west of Jacksonville, to maintain Lake City’s archives. She keeps a log of […]

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‘Fingerprinting’ to Track Us Online Is on the Rise. Here’s What to Do.

If there’s one lesson to learn about digital privacy, it’s that we can never grow complacent. Even if we secure our data so we are not tracked online, the ad tech industry will find ways to monitor our digital activities. And so it is with the rise of so-called fingerprinting, which security researchers are calling […]

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The Worm That Nearly Ate the Internet

Just over 10 years ago, a unique strain of malware blitzed the internet so rapidly that it shocked cybersecurity experts worldwide. Known as Conficker, it was and remains the most persistent computer worm ever seen, linking computers with Microsoft operating systems globally, millions of them, to create a vast illicit botnet, in effect, a black-market […]

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Grieving People Gathered on a Facebook Support Group. Then a Hacker Showed Up.

A popular Facebook grief support page reclaimed control of its account Thursday after a hacking attack that page administrators say went unaddressed for seven weeks. The case is the latest knock on Facebook’s efforts to monitor content on its platform. The moderators of the page, Grief the Unspoken, which has more than 500,000 followers, said […]

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Another Hacked Florida City Pays a Ransom, This Time for $460,000

MIAMI — Even the phones went down in the government of Lake City, Fla., after hackers launched a cyberattack that disabled the city’s computer systems. For several days after computer systems were paralyzed by a ransomware attack, the staff of the small North Florida town worked with the F.B.I. and an outside security consultant to […]

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Huawei Chief Predicts Sales Will Flatline After Trump Crackdown

SHANGHAI — The chief executive of Huawei, the Chinese technology giant, said on Monday that he expected the company’s annual revenue to slip this year to about $100 billion as the Trump administration’s crackdown on the firm takes a bite out of its business. Huawei earned more than $105 billion in sales last year, helped […]

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You Care More About Your Privacy Than You Think

This article is part of a limited-run newsletter. You can sign up here. I hear this all the time: “This all sounds pretty troubling, but how much do we really, truly care about our privacy? After all, we don’t seem willing to stop using our phones or Facebook or Google.” This idea is popular enough […]

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They Just Won’t Die: Dark Web Drug Sellers Resist Police Crackdowns

SAN FRANCISCO — Authorities in the United States and Europe recently staged a wide-ranging crackdown on online drug markets, taking down Wall Street Market and Valhalla, two of the largest drug markets on the so-called dark web. Yet the desire to score drugs from the comfort of home and to make money from selling those […]

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How a Secret U.S. Cyberweapon Backfired

Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device: Via Apple Podcasts | Via RadioPublic | Via Stitcher A criminal group has held computer systems for the city of Baltimore hostage for nearly a month — paralyzing everything from email to the real estate market to the payment of water bills. But what residents […]

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N.S.A. Denies Its Cyberweapon Was Used in Baltimore Attack, Congressman Says

BALTIMORE — A Maryland congressman said on Friday that the National Security Agency had denied that one of its hacking tools, stolen in 2017, was used in a ransomware attack on Baltimore’s government that had disrupted city services for more than three weeks. The statement, made by Representative C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, came in response to […]

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In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen N.S.A. Tool Wreaks Havoc

For nearly three weeks, Baltimore has struggled with a cyberattack by digital extortionists that has frozen thousands of computers, shut down email and disrupted real estate sales, water bills, health alerts and many other services. But here is what frustrated city employees and residents do not know: A key component of the malware that cybercriminals […]

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