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Sharding: What it is and why many blockchain protocols rely on it

Computer World Security - Mon, 01/28/2019 - 04:00

As blockchains are being rolled out in an increasing number of pilot programs for everything from cross-border financial transactions to supply chain management, one persistent issue remains: a lack of scalability.

As more computers join the peer-to-peer network, the efficiency of the whole system typically degrades.

[ Further reading: What is FinTech (and how has it evolved)? ]

Scalability has already been identified as an issue with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and Ethereum's Ether. If a distributed ledger is to achieve adoption by financial technology (FinTech) companies and compete with payment networks hundreds of times faster, it must find a way to boost scalability and throughput and address latency problems.

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Categories: Latest Security News

Get 3 Years of NordVPN Service for Just $2.99 Per Month - Deal Alert

Computer World Security - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 08:47

NordVPN promises a private and fast path through the public internet, with no logs, unmetered access for 6 simultaneous devices and access to 5,232 servers worldwide. They are currently running a promotion, but you'll have to use this link to find it. Its typical price has been discounted for 3 years of service -- a good deal at just $2.99 per month.  See the $2.99/month NordVPN deal here.

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Categories: Latest Security News

'We need new privacy laws' urges Apple CEO, Tim Cook

Computer World Security - Thu, 01/17/2019 - 05:25

In a sidelong slap at the business model of Facebook, Google and others, Apple CEO Tim Cook has published an article in which he urges the U.S. government to put surveillance capitalists/data brokers under transparent legal oversight.

Stand up for your rights

“In 2019, it's time to stand up for the right to privacy - yours, mine, all of ours.” Cook writes in an article for Time Magazine.

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Categories: Latest Security News

Start-up Devvio claims its blockchain can handle 8M transactions a second

Computer World Security - Thu, 01/17/2019 - 04:00

A start-up firm claims its highly efficient distributed ledger protocol can address all the major problems facing blockchain networks, including being able to scale for global financial business by executing up to eight million transactions per second (TPS).

The new blockchain protocol, called Devv, was unveiled and demonstrated at CES in Las Vegas last week.

If the claims prove true, Devv would be able to compete with traditional financial networks in terms of scalability, be far less expensive to use and would address fraud, theft and privacy issues. Like many blockchain protocols, Devv is not just a peer-to-peer (P2P) database technology but also a digital currency or cryptocurrency called Devcash.

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Categories: Latest Security News

Exploring the economic realities of cybersecurity insurance | Salted Hash Ep 43

Computer World Security - Thu, 01/10/2019 - 22:00
Guest host Juliet Beauchamp talks with senior writer J.M. Porup about the newly created cybersecurity insurance industry, and how a policy could fit into an organization's overall security strategy to help minimize risk.
Categories: Latest Security News

How to create and open compressed files on iPhone, iPad

Computer World Security - Thu, 01/10/2019 - 08:27

Many enterprises rely on zip files to exchange data, particularly confidential data – compression helps keep information safe, even against inquisitive ads trackers lurking inside “free” email or online storage services. How do you handle these things on iPad or iPhone?

How to handle zip files on iPhone

While it isn’t especially obvious, iOS provides some limited features that let you archive and decompress zip files. You can even create a nice little Shortcut to do this for you:

  • Open Shortcuts, Tap Create Shortcut
  • In the search bar, type Extract Archive: That shortcut should appear in the list below, tap it to add it to your workflow.
  • Returning to the search bar, type Save File. When it appears tap it to add it to the workflow you are building.
  • Tap the switch button at top right of the shortcut name
  • In the next pane you can name the shortcut and give it an icon. The most important change you should make is to enable Show in Share Sheet (flick to green).
  • You can create a second Shortcut to make archives. Just tupe Make Archive to find the relevant flow and then add Save File and Show in Share Sheet as decribed above. Don’t forget to give it a name, such as Make Archive.
  • Shortcuts can work with multiple compression formats, including .tar, .zip and .iso.

How to use it:

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Categories: Latest Security News

Enterprise iPhones will soon be able to use security dongles

Computer World Security - Wed, 01/09/2019 - 08:25

Enterprise security professionals will be pleased to learn that it will soon be possible to enhance the already considerable device security of Apple’s iPhones with hardware-based physical authentication dongles using the Lightning port.

A highly secure proposition

Announced at CES 2019, the key fits on a keyring and comes from the authorization experts at Yubico. The hardware connects to iOS systems using the Lightning connection and is also equipped with USB-C for Macs. This is quite a big deal.

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Categories: Latest Security News

Details, details

Computer World Security - Wed, 01/09/2019 - 04:00

It's a few years after Y2K when the IT security team at this university gets a rude awakening, reports a pilot fish in the know.

"They discovered that persons unknown had hacked into a university server," fish says. "It was being used to launch denial-of-service attacks against a victim somewhere outside the university."

The team's first job is finding the server -- which turns out to be in the alumni office -- and taking it offline.

Then they start digging into the security logs. That's when they find out that the attackers have been making use of the server for more than a year.

And once they start checking on the IP addresses of whoever it is that has accessed the server, they discover it's not just one or two hackers. It seems people from all over the world have been using this server to launch attacks.

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Categories: Latest Security News

Mingis on Tech: As blockchain hype cools, a 'trough of disillusionment' for 2019?

Computer World Security - Wed, 01/09/2019 - 04:00

Ok, so maybe blockchain isn't ready yet to become the biggest new technology since the internet.

But the distributed ledger technology clearly made strides in 2018, when it was embraced by companies from Walmart to shipping bigwig Maersk to top tech venders like IBM, SAP, Oracle and Microsoft who see potential in blockchain-as-a-service. (Walmart's vice president in charge of food safety, Frank Yiannas, compared his embrace of blockchain to a "religious conversaion.")

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Categories: Latest Security News

Top 4 enterprise tech trends to watch in 2019

Computer World Security - Mon, 01/07/2019 - 04:00

If 2018 was the year of the data breach, the thinking among IT pros is that this will be the year companies take concrete steps to prevent future breaches.

That was the sentiment among tech professionals who took part in a recent @IDGTechTalk Twitter chat about enterprise tech trends for 2019.

In fact, a recent @IDGTechTalk poll found privacy and security to be the top enterprise tech issue for 2019 (45 percent), followed by artificial intelligence (30 percent), cloud computing (16 percent), and blockchain (9 percent).

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Categories: Latest Security News

In 2019, look for AI-enabled mobile devices – and a UEM push

Computer World Security - Mon, 01/07/2019 - 04:00

This year, artificial intelligence will continue its push into mobile hardware and enterprise communication devices, challenging IT shops' enterprise mobility management (EMM) capabilities while at the same time offering potential security benefits.

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(Insider Story)
Categories: Latest Security News

Apple wants to stop you from using dangerous USB-C devices

Computer World Security - Fri, 01/04/2019 - 08:16

Apple wants to make it harder for its customers to use cheap USB-C cables — and it’s for your own good.

The risks of USB-C cables

Cables are complicated, and that’s why friends don’t let friends connect cut-price or otherwise unverified USB-C cables to their systems — and soon, you won’t be able to.

Apple has warned its users to avoid using low-quality equipment for years. It was only in 2016 that it was revealed that hundreds of chargers at that time sold on Amazon and advertised as being made by Apple were in fact dangerous fakes.

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Categories: Latest Security News

Apple wants to stop you using dangerous USB-C devices

Computer World Security - Fri, 01/04/2019 - 08:16

Apple wants to make it harder for its customers to use cheap USB-C cables – and it’s for your own good.

These are the risks of USB-C cables

Cables are complicated and that’s why friends don’t let friends connect cut-price or otherwise unverified USB-C cables to their systems –and soon, you won’t be able to.

Apple has warned its users to avoid using low-quality equipment for years. It was only in 2016 that it was revealed that hundreds of chargers at that time sold on Amazon and advertised as being made by Apple were in fact dangerous fakes.

To read this article in full, please click here

Categories: Latest Security News

New year, same old users

Computer World Security - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 04:00

IT support pilot fish takes a call to help a user change a password on a webpage form -- and it reminds fish of just how much help-desk techs love password resets.

"I spent 25 minutes talking to him," fish groans. "There were only two buttons to press, Submit and Reset.

"You’d think that after pressing Reset three times and having it erase the passwords he typed in, he would try Submit -- right?

"But no -- our customer tried a fourth and then a fifth time, until he got the idea to hit the other button.

"This person was by all accounts a functional, employed adult..."

Sharky needs a new year's worth of stories of users, management and IT gone off the rails. So send me your true tales of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google+ community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.

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Categories: Latest Security News

If the CTO says it's OK, what could go wrong?

Computer World Security - Wed, 01/02/2019 - 04:00

Medical rehab facility is facing a compliance deadline for HIPAA privacy regulations, and that could be a problem, says a cybersecurity pilot fish working there.

"The HIPAA regulations are strewn with potential issues," fish says. "When some aspect isn't followed and a patient's data privacy is compromised, the fines can be substantial."

And that's the headache fish faces because of his facility's use of Gmail. As the site's cybersecurity engineer, fish knows that ordinary Gmail isn't HIPAA compliant.

Fortunately, there's a fix -- one that involves additional paperwork and agreements, along with some added security verification. But that's still easier and less complex than moving everyone off Gmail.

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Categories: Latest Security News

Q&A: Experian exec says biometrics won’t save you from mobile hacks

Computer World Security - Mon, 12/31/2018 - 04:01

If you think your new iPhone's Face ID facial recognition feature or your bank's fancy new fingerprint scanner will guarantee privacy and block hackers from accessing sensitive personal or financial data, think again.

In the coming year, cyberattacks will zero in on biometric hacking and expose vulnerabilities in touch ID sensors, facial recognition technology and passcodes, according to a new report from credit reporting agency Experian Plc. While biometric data is considered the most secure method of authentication, it can be stolen or altered, and sensors can be manipulated, spoofed or suffer deterioration with too much use.

Even so, as much as 63% of enterprises have implemented or plan to roll out  biometric authentication systems to augment or replace less-secure passwords, Experian said in its report. The push toward biometric systems dates back to the turn of the century in the financial services industry.

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Categories: Latest Security News

Tech luminaries we lost in 2018

Computer World Security - Thu, 12/27/2018 - 04:00
Remembering our industry’s innovators

Image by FreedomMaster / Getty Images

They were the founders of such household names as Atari and Microsoft. They built the hardware and software that powers the Internet. They used computers to give voice to the young and the disabled. And they rarely did so in the spotlight. Whether they ever achieved fame or fortune, these 13 women and men deserve a place in the history books for their lives, accomplishments, and contributions to science and information technology around the world.

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Categories: Latest Security News

Microsoft Patch Alert: Mystery patches for IE and Outlook 2013 leave many questions, few answers

Computer World Security - Fri, 12/21/2018 - 09:21

Just when you’re ready to settle in for some egg and nog and whatever may accompany, Windows starts throwing poison frog darts. This month, a fairly boring patching regiment has turned topsy turvey with an unexplained emergency patch for Internet Explorer (you know, the browser nobody uses), combined with an Outlook 2013 patch that doesn’t pass the smell test.

Mysterious bug fix for IE

Microsoft set off the shower of firecrackers on Dec. 19 when it released a bevy of patches for Internet Explorer:

Win10 1809KB 4483235 – build 17763.195

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Categories: Latest Security News

Microsoft delivers emergency patch for under-attack IE

Computer World Security - Wed, 12/19/2018 - 18:26

Microsoft rarely mentions Internet Explorer (IE) anymore, but when it does, it usually means bad news.

So it was Wednesday, when Microsoft issued a rare emergency security update to plug a critical vulnerability in the still-supported IE9, IE10 and IE11. The flaw was reported to Microsoft by Google security engineer Clement Lecigne.

[ Related: Microsoft Windows 10 vs. Apple macOS: 18 security features compared ]

According to Microsoft, attackers are already exploiting the vulnerability, making it a classic "zero-day" bug. Because of that, the company released a fix before the next round of security updates scheduled for Jan. 8.

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Categories: Latest Security News

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