Monthly Archive: June 2011

Data Breach Certainty: Survey Finds 90% of Companies Have Been Hacked in Past 12 Months

Is a data breach from hackers almost a statistical certainty these days? It sure feels that way, especially after checking out the stats from a recent Ponemon Research survey. It quizzed 357 information-technology and security executives in the United States, with 51% of respondents employed by organizations with more than 5,000 employees.

Man Steals Identity of Criminal Suspect, Becomes Flight Attendant

So much for background checks. An immigrant from Guyana allegedly stole a New York man’s identity and was hired as an airline attendant. He used the stolen ID to obtain a U.S. passport, a U.S. Department of Transportation ID card, and at least three Florida driver’s licenses, according to law-enforcement sources. The New York Post reports that spokespersons for several federal agencies couldn’t explain how the suspect “cleared the security checks needed to become a flight attendant — or why the airline didn’t realize the ID he had stolen belonged to a criminal suspect.”

Time to Abandon Passwords ‘Because People Are Stupid’?

An article on Gizmodo.com questions whether the time has come for people to abandon the use of passwords. In light of “a steady trickle of sites getting hacked, followed by their usernames and passwords being passed around publicly,” the article points out that it’s “incredibly common for people to have one password that they use pretty much everywhere. Because people are stupid.” Read the entire post here.

Skip a Website’s Terms of Service and Face Jail?

Ever skip over the Terms of Service and other legal contracts when you visit your favorite website? Admit it, we all do. Who has the time or energy to read those somewhat-boring documents? That’s why it was so startling to learn that you could potentially go to jail for violating the Terms of Service associated with the most popular consumer sites.

Identity Theft, Privacy Worries Prompt Regulation Changes Online

A new proposal in Alaska to put local officials’ forms online was struck from recent regulation updates. Despite more calls for transparency, this decision is an effort to balance the public’s “legitimate concern” for transparency and conflict of interest in public officials, versus the official’s right to privacy. This article in The Juneau Empire notes that there “is concern about identity theft risks should the filings be posted online. That was a question by a citizen — has any public official every had their identity stolen through this information being available online?”

Firesheep

Firesheep is a software program that uses a packet sniffer to intercept unencrypted cookies from certain websites (such as Facebook...

DNS Spoofing

Assuming the DNS (Domain Name System) name of another system by either corrupting the name service cache of a victim...

Promiscuous Mode

A mode of operation where a device is configured to receive all data on a network regardless of its destination...

Spam

Irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent via email to a large number of recipients.  

Network

Two or more computers which are connected.

WAN

Wide Area Network. A network that provides capabilities for a number of independent devices to communicate with each other over...