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Technology News


Angry Birds 2: Freemium Clips Its Wings - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

Angry Birds 2 -- the 13th installment of Angry Birds and the original game's first proper sequel -- on Thursday became available for iOS and Android. The free-to-play model is a call to players beyond its base. However, those new players may slip through developer Rovio's fingers if the game's features fail to motivate them to play with real money

Mozilla Gripes at Microsoft for Giving Edge an Edge - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

Mozilla CEO Chris Beard has published an open letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, calling on him to offer Windows 10 users an easier way to set their browser preferences. Beard characterized the lack of choice in the Windows 10 experience as "very disturbing." It appears to have been designed to force users into an experience Microsoft wants them to have instead of one they want, he charged.

Hackers Make Smart Rifle Go Rogue - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

Security researchers Runa Sandvik and Michael Auger have hacked a TrackingPoint smart rifle that was designed to deliver sharpshooter results, even for novices. They demonstrated their feat for Wired and will present their findings at the week-long Black Hat 2015 security conference in Las Vegas, which begins Saturday. The two purchased a pair of $13,000 rifles and spent a year working on them.

Commerce Dept. Caves on Security Export Rules - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

Some proposed federal rules on the export of security tools created a tumult in cybersecurity circles -- a tumult that's pushed the rules into limbo. The comment period for the rules, which the U.S. Department of Commerce first aired in May, ended July 20 -- and although the regulations have noble intentions, they also could have dire consequences.

OpenDaylight Project Picks Up Steam - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

The OpenDaylight Project this week announced that AT&T, ClearPath Networks and Nokia Networks have joined, bringing its membership total to 359. OpenDaylight is a collaborative open source project hosted by the Linux Foundation. Its goal is twofold: accelerate the adoption of software-defined networking; and create a solid foundation for network functions virtualization.

Microsoft Fans Embark on Windows 10 Migration - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

Microsoft on Wednesday began offering Windows 10 as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and 8 users in 190 countries. Eligible users began receiving taskbar notifications, beckoning them to begin the migration to Windows 10. To encourage migration, Microsoft has asked the first flock of digital pilgrims to use the hashtag #UpgradeYourWorld and to tag a nonprofit organization to their posts.

Consumers Fret Over Health Wearables Security - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

Collecting health and fitness data through wearable devices is raising concerns among consumers about the security of that information. Twenty-five percent of more than 3,500 consumers who participated in a recent survey did not believe their personal health data was safe on fitness trackers or in health-tracking apps, reported Healthline -- and that number could be low.

Motorola Promises Its Smartphones Will Love You Back - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

Motorola, on Tuesday launched three new handsets -- Moto X Style, Moto X Play and a refreshed Moto G -- designed to end the "one-sided relationships" between smartphones and consumers. People have been living with phones that nag during drives, make outbursts during meetings, and run out of juice just when they're most needed, the company said. Motorola promised its new suitors will change that.

AI, Robotics Wonks Urge Autonomous Weapons Ban - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

Leading artificial intelligence and robotics experts have issued an open letter arguing against the development of autonomous weapons. Its publication coincides with the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, which ends Friday in Buenos Aires. If any major military power pushes ahead with AI weapon development, a global arms race is "virtually inevitable," the letter says.

Nintendo's Sleep Monitor Is More Than a Dream - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

A patent application published last week has revealed more information about Nintendo's plans to build out its hardware ecosystem with contactless sleep monitoring technology. The device will assess individuals' emotions by using array of microphones and cameras to keep track of the noises and movements they make while getting some shuteye, according to the description in the patent application.

The Key to Apple Watch Success: Getting Enough Right the First Time - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

I still find wry joy in all the "Apple Watch Tanks" headlines from early July. There are some great gems, like "Apple Watch is a FLOP: Sales of the gadget have fallen by 90 percent since April, report claims" or "Analyst: Apple Watch selling worse than thought." Trouble is, the reports and estimates were based on a tiny slice of reality. In fact, Apple Watch sales in June exceeded April or May.

Super-Scary Android Flaw Found - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

Zimperium on Monday revealed a stunning discovery by researcher Joshua Drake -- a flaw in Android's Stagefright media playback engine that could expose millions of mobile device users to attack without their having done anything. Stagefright, which processes several popular media formats, is implemented in native code -- C++ -- which is more prone to memory corruption than some other languages.

What To Do if Your Car Tries to Kill You - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

The scary news last week was that a couple of guys demonstrated they could hack into a Jeep and take control of it. Later, more details came out that suggested you might want to avoid Chrysler cars altogether. The industry appears to be waiting for the first major catastrophic accident before putting resources into fixing this problem at the proper level.

Gadget Ogling: Gritty Tablets, Wireless Storage Sticks, and Swapped-Out Speakers - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

Dell's Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet is designed for people who work in the field, for the military and explorers, for industrial work and first responders. This system can handle some harsh conditions, including temperatures between -20 and 145 degrees and drops from more than four feet, as well as spills, mud, dirt and sand. It boasts an 11.6-inch screen and fifth-generation Intel Core CPUs.

Tech Giants Boost Open Source Container Collaboration - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

The Linux Foundation this week announced the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a consortium dedicated to the development and adoption of common container technologies. CNCF aims to make it easier for businesses to deploy containerized cloud applications oriented to microservices. Open source container-packaged applications are easier to create, manage and deploy, said tech analyst Rob Enderle.

Stephen Hawking Kicks Off $100M Hunt for Alien Intelligence - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

Space fever seems to be catching on. Stephen Hawking and a group of other high-profile space scientists joined with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner this week to announce a new $100 million effort to search for intelligent alien life. The funding will go to the Breakthrough Initiatives' Breakthrough Listen program. Breakthrough Initiatives is a 10-year multidisciplinary effort.

Twitch Yanks Player Controls From Flash - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

Game-streaming service Twitch on Thursday joined Apple and other tech companies in swearing off its dependence on Adobe's Flash. The move away from Flash will happen in stages, but Twitch has promised its community that the gradual rollout will advance at a steady pace. Twitch began the transition to the more secure HTML5 and JavaScript by hybridizing its streaming video player.

Hackers Take Hijacked Jeep Cherokee for Joyride - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

White-hat hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek remotely took over a Jeep Cherokee, ran its controls, then cut the transmission as it sped at 70 mph along Interstate 64 in an experiment conducted with Wired. They turned on the air conditioning, switched radio channels, turned on the windshield wipers, activated the windshield washer fluid pump, and transmitted a photo of themselves.

OPM Director's Resignation Draws Mixed Reactions - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

The resignation of U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta is drawing mixed reactions from the cybersecurity community. Archuleta's departure on July 10, in the wake of a massive data breach resulting in the theft of the personal information of more than 22 million people, is being characterized by security pros as everything from "necessary" to "unfair."

Commodore's Ghost Lives in New Machine - Posted on Wednesday December 31, 1969

Yet another Android smartphone has hit the market -- but what's surprising is that it comes from Commodore. The Commodore PET smartphone is from Commodore Business Machines, a UK-based firm that has acquired the brand and trademark. It runs Android 5.0 Lollipop, and has a 5.5-inch full HD 1920 x 1080 display. Two preinstalled emulators let owners play games written for old-school Commodore PCs.

Security Alerts


IC3 Issues Alert on DDoS Extortion Campaigns - Posted on Friday July 31, 2015

Original release date: July 31, 2015

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has issued an alert to U.S. businesses about a rise in extortion campaigns. In a typical incident, a business receives an e-mail threatening a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack to its website unless it pays a ransom. Businesses are warned against communicating directly with attackers and advised to use DDoS mitigation techniques instead.

Users and administrators are encouraged to review the IC3 Alert for details and US-CERT Security Tip ST04-015 for more information on DDoS attacks.


This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.


Best Practices to Protect You, Your Network, and Your Information - Posted on Friday July 31, 2015

Original release date: July 31, 2015

The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) and its partners responded to a series of data breaches in the public and private sector over the last year, helping organizations through incident response actions, conducting damage assessments, and implementing restoration and mitigation actions.

During NCCIC’s recent work, following best practices proved extremely effective in protecting networks, the information residing on them, and the equities of information owners. The recently updated National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework highlights best practices.

Cybersecurity is a risk management issue. Our experience demonstrates that individuals and organizations may reduce risk when they implement cybersecurity best practices. The following are examples of best practices you should consider implementing today as part of your cybersecurity strategy:

  1. Implement Two-Factor Authentication: Two-factor authentication works to significantly reduce or eliminate unauthorized access to your networks and information.
  2. Block Malicious Code: Activate application directory whitelisting to prevent non-approved applications from being installed on your network.
  3. Limit Number of Privileged Users: System administrators have privileged access that gives them the “keys to your kingdom.” Limit system administrator privileges only to those who have a legitimate need as defined by your management directives.
  4. Segment Your Network: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket by having a “flat network”. Use segmentation techniques so that if one part of your network is breached that the integrity of the rest of the network is protected.
  5. Lock Your Backdoors: Third parties that share network trust relationships with you may prove to be an Achilles heel by serving as an attack vector into your network. Take action to ensure that all network trust relationships are well-protected using best practices. Have a means to audit the effectiveness of these defenses. Consider terminating or suspending these relationships until sufficient controls are in place to protect your backdoors.

For more information on cybersecurity best practices, users and administrators are encouraged to review US-CERT Security Tip 13-003: Handling Destructive Malware to evaluate their capabilities encompassing planning, preparation, detection, and response. Another resource is ICS-CERT Recommended Practice: Improving Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity with Defense-In-Depth Strategies.


This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.


Cisco Releases Security Updates - Posted on Thursday July 30, 2015

Original release date: July 30, 2015

Cisco has released software updates to address a vulnerability in Cisco IOS XE Software for ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers. Exploitation of this vulnerability may allow a remote attacker to cause a denial-of-service condition.

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to review Cisco Security Advisory and apply the necessary updates.


This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.


Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) Releases Security Updates for BIND - Posted on Tuesday July 28, 2015

Original release date: July 28, 2015 | Last revised: July 29, 2015

ISC has released security updates to address a vulnerability in BIND. Exploitation of this vulnerability may allow a remote attacker to cause a denial-of-service condition.

Updates available include:

  • BIND 9-version 9.9.7-P2
  • BIND 9-version 9.10.2-P3

Users and administrators are encouraged to review ISC Knowledge Base Article AA-01272 and apply the necessary updates.


This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.


‘Stagefright’ Android Vulnerability - Posted on Tuesday July 28, 2015

Original release date: July 28, 2015

Android devices running Android versions 2.2 through 5.1.1_r4 contain vulnerabilities in the Stagefright media playback engine. Exploitation of these vulnerabilities may allow an attacker to access multimedia files or potentially take control of a vulnerable device.

Users and administrators are encouraged to review Vulnerability Note VU#924951 for more information. US-CERT recommends affected Android users contact their wireless carrier or device manufacturer for a software update.


This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Uconnect Vulnerability - Posted on Monday July 27, 2015

Original release date: July 27, 2015

A vulnerability affecting the Uconnect software from FCA has been reported. Exploitation of this vulnerability may allow an unauthorized user to take remote control of an affected vehicle, but the attack requires access to Sprint's cellular network, which connects FCA vehicles to the Internet. Sprint has blocked the port used for attacks. FCA and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) have also initiated a safety recall for all potentially affected Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram models. See the NHTSA recall announcement for a complete list.

US-CERT recommends that users review ICS Alert 15-203-01 and Vulnerability Note VU#819439 for more information. Uconnect users are encouraged to review the NHTSA recall announcement and apply the software update.


This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.


WordPress Releases Security Update - Posted on Thursday July 23, 2015

Original release date: July 23, 2015

WordPress 4.2.2 and prior versions contain critical cross-site scripting vulnerabilities. Exploitation of these vulnerabilities could allow a remote attacker to take control of an affected website.

Users and administrators are encouraged to review the WordPress Security and Maintenance Release and upgrade to WordPress 4.2.3.


This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.


Cisco Releases Security Updates - Posted on Thursday July 23, 2015

Original release date: July 23, 2015

Cisco has released security updates to address vulnerabilities in its Application Policy Infrastructure Controller, IOS software, and the Unified MeetingPlace Conferencing products. Exploitation of these vulnerabilities may allow a remote attacker to gain unauthorized access, cause a denial-of-service condition, or take control of the affected application.

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to review the Cisco Security Advisories cisco-sa-20150722-apic, cisco-sa-20150722-tftp, and cisco-sa-20150722-mp and apply the necessary updates.


This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.


Google Releases Security Update for Chrome - Posted on Tuesday July 21, 2015

Original release date: July 21, 2015

Google has released Chrome version 44.0.2403.89 for Windows, Mac, and Linux to address multiple vulnerabilities. Exploitation of one of these vulnerabilities may allow an attacker to take control of an affected system.

Users and administrators are encouraged to review the Chrome Releases page and apply the necessary update.


This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.


Microsoft Releases Security Update - Posted on Monday July 20, 2015

Original release date: July 20, 2015

Microsoft has released a security update to address a critical vulnerability in Windows. Exploitation of this vulnerability may allow a remote attacker to take control of an affected system.

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to review Microsoft Security Bulletin MS15-078 and apply the necessary update.


This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.


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