The Private WiFi Blog Blog

Online Security: Global Spam Email Levels Fall

BBC News reports on a a “precipitous decline” in spam messages, noting that one security firm detected around 200 billion spam messages being sent each day in August 2010, but just 50 billion by December. The majority of spam is sent by networks of infected computers known as botnets; the article points out that one botnet, called Rustock, was once responsible for almost 48% of spam, but by December it accounted for just 0.5% of global spam.

Online Privacy Diminishes with Facebook and Users Keep Coming Back For More: The Social Media Privacy Report

This week’s installment of the Social Media Privacy Report examines the discrepancy between growing online security concerns among experts and internet users’ apathetic attitude towards the threat to their internet safety and privacy. Meanwhile, Facebook remains at the pinnacle of the social media frenzy and despite web protection issues, it continues to thrive.

Hacked Database: Honda, Acura Drivers Warned of Possible Identity Theft

Cybercriminals hacked into an email database for 2.2 million new Honda and Acura owners that contained customers’ names and email addresses, as well as online login names and their 17-character Vehicle Identification Numbers. This MSNBC news article warns drivers to promptly change their passwords and be cautious of unsolicited emails requesting personal information because “if the hackers were able to present themselves as Honda, and reassured you that they were genuine by quoting your Vehicle Identification Number, then as a Honda customer you might be very likely to click on a link or open an attachment.”

net neutrality

Computer Privacy, Internet Freedom, and the ‘Open Internet’ Apps Challenge

The FCC has announced a challenge for researchers, inventors, and software developers to create apps that allow users to monitor and protect Internet openness. Some call this contest a mere side-note to the brouhaha over how net neutrality rules will either destroy capitalism as we know it or cement the power of the wireless oligarchs.

Privacy Protections and Computer Vision: Helpful Or Alarming?

Computer privacy is changing every day, and with new computer vision technology that can observe us and understand us better, the New York Times poses the question of whether that is helpful technology or an invasion of privacy. Among many other ways it will become part of our future, this new computer vision may be part of law enforcement, national security, and military operations, as well as how doctors and nurses will rely on extra patient safety measures in the operating room.

Next On Cyber Command’s Agenda: Working With Private Sector

NPR’s All Things Considered has a new podcast and article detailing cyberwar as an important foreign policy issue, especially after the director of National Intelligence “identified the danger of cyber attacks on the United States as the single, the number one greatest security threat facing the country.”

Prankster Tweets as New York Governor Cuomo

After discovering the State of New York had set up a @NYGovernor Twitter account for the governor — who was instead using @NYGovCuomo — an alleged prankster decided to pose as the governor. The New York Times reports that within days, he had several hundred followers corresponding with the fake identity, all oblivious to the ruse.

skype

Private Communication? The iPhone, iPad Meet Skype Video

Available on both 3G and WiFi networks, new Skype 3.0 upgrades support making video calls on the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and 4th-generation iPod touch. It also enables users to receive video calls on the iPad and the 3rd-generation iPod touch. But are you sure your privacy is protected on Skype?

online impersonation

‘Online Impersonation’ Banned in California

A new California state law has gone into effect that makes online impersonation — when it seeks to harm someone — a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and a year in jail. This Santa Cruz Sentinel article explains that Senate Bill 1411 allows district attorneys to prosecute if they think a crime has been committed.

VPN

What Is a VPN?: Ask the Expert

This is the first “Ask the Expert” column in which Private WiFi CEO and computer security expert Kent Lawson responds to readers’ questions. This column will be an ongoing, monthly series, and this inaugural column discusses VPNs and their importance in staying protected online.

hacking

Hacking Incorporated: The Target is Your Wireless Data

In the Wireless Age, hackers are becoming big time entrepreneurs, joining forces with others in multinational white collar organizations dedicated to cybercrime. Their target is your wireless data.