Sony has once again commented on the PSN outage and hacking incident. But this time we got a little more technical information than previous disclosures offered. Contrary to past reports, Sony claims that passwords were not stored in plain text, or in any easily accessible form. They were not encrypted, but were rather "transformed using a cryptographic hash function." Well, it's better than nothing.
Over the course of the next four weeks, the U.S. Department of Justice will put into effect an initiative to remotely uninstall the Coreflood botnet Trojan from infected Windows PCs. The way it will go down is the DOJ will identify owners of infected rigs and then submit an authorization form to the FBI. It's the latest step in an effort to stomp out the botnet that's managed to seize control of some 2 million PCs.
German software maker Ashampoo offers a wide range of system utilities and applications ranging from DVD burning software to 3D CAD tools. The only problem is some Ashampoo customers might be getting more than they bargained for. In a letter posted on its website, Ashampoo said that hackers gained access to one of its servers, stole customer names and email addresses, and have been sending out malware infected files to said customers.
The popular file sharing and synching service known as Dropbox has been receiving some heat lately for changes the company made to its Terms of Service (TOS). For many, the point of concern was a section about compliance with law enforcement, in which Dropbox outlined situations where it would feel compelled to fork over personal data about its users. This sparked a bit of outrage among fans of the service, so Dropbox decided to set the record straight in a lengthy blog post explaining the changes.
Everyone from Congressional heavyweights to Joe Internet on the street is concerned about privacy these days. So it's a fitting time for the EFF to release their updated Privacy Score Card. This handy document tells you which companies are looking after your online privacy, and which aren’t. You might be surprised by the standings.
Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz is holding Google's feet to the fire for the lack of a "Do Not Track" feature in the company's Chrome browser. It's the only major browser that has yet to jump on board with this specific privacy trend, which the FTC back in December recommended that all browsers adopt.
A privacy flaw in Skype's mobile application for Android could give cybercriminals access to user information from smartphones, private details such as the user's name, email address, contacts, and even chat logs, the VoIP service confirmed in a recent blog post. It's not something you should be overly concerned with, as unfettered access to cached profile information and instant messages does require the installation of a malicious third-party application, but definitely something you should be aware of, especially if you tend to install apps from outside the Android Market.
Ever feel like somebody’s watching you? Good because they are. Without proper protection, your internet usage habits are left out in the open; vulnerable to anyone to exploit. By simply navigating to a page, mousing over a given pixel or clicking through an advertisement or other link, most computer users give data brokers, advertising companies and other nefarious types enough to information to work with to tailor ad content to your needs. Creepy. While we love the look and fit of a good tin foil hat as much as anyone else, Ghostery, our Browser Extension of the Week, is really the better choice for putting an end to all that unwanted tracking.
A German court last month declared street-level photography by Street View's car-mounted cameras to be legal when it dismissed a lawsuit alleging personal and property rights violations on the part of Google's Street View service. Despite the legal victory, and contrary to what most people might have expected, the company has decided against returning to the streets of Germany with the camera-toting vehicles it uses to collect street imagery for its popular Google Maps and Google Earth services.
Fair warning for anyone who plans to travel outside the country. Upon re-entry into the U.S., border agents have full authority to seize your laptop, netbook, tablet PC, and other electronic components without a warrant, but that's not all. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that border agents also have the power to send your confiscated electronics to an offsite location for forensic inspection.