Data firms are proving gold mines for hackers looking to sneak in and steal hordes of customer data in one fell swoop. That's what happened to Epsilon, a firm that stores personal data for thousands of companies, including JPMorgan Chase, Kroger, TiVo, Best Buy, Walgreen, and Capital One. The security breach exposed email addresses and other private data for some 50 firms, including each of the above named outfits.
One of the many features included in the new Firefox 4 browser is support for the new HTTP "Do Not Track" (DNT) header. The browser broadcasts the header to all sites requesting that the server not install any tracking cookies on the machine. In what amounts to a solid endorsement of the standard, the Associated Press has decided to implement support for the DNT header.
If you placed your Samsung laptop safely in the corner yesterday, and have been eyeing it suspiciously, you can stop now. Reports that Sammy was installing a keylogger application called StarLogger on new laptops have been verified as false. Samsung points the finger at the VIPRE security program used by a Toronto-based security expert for the false alarm.
If you're a business owner living in Massachusetts, failing to keep your customers' personal information safe from virtual prying eyes isn't just bad for business, it's also illegal. This was underscored by a MA restaurant chain agreeing to pay a $110,000 fine to settle a complaint alleging that hackers were able to access customers' credit and debit card information. That's a big no-no in Massachusetts.
Google's semi-controversial Street View technology is once again making headlines, this time because of a heavy-handed fine imposed by France's data privacy regulator. According to an AFP report, France fined Google 100,000 euros today, or about $142,000 in U.S. currency, for collecting private information. It's the biggest fine ever handed out by the National Commission for Information Freedom (CNIL) since the organization obtained the power to do so in 2004.
A federal judge today has granted the Department of Justice access to Twitter accounts related to the whistleblower site WikiLeaks. The DOJ will be able to learn what IP addresses and email addresses are attached to the accounts when they start digging in. The request was part of a grand jury investigate to determine whether WikiLeaks members violated US criminal law by releasing the diplomatic cables last year.
Hot on the heels of a Chrome extension that lets you block sites from your search results, Google has added a similar ability to the main search page. When perusing results, users will now see an option labeled "Block all example.com results", where example.com is the site in question. All the settings for blocked sites are kept safe and sound in your Google account settings.
Anyone that has ever used the internet has experienced the scourge that is spam bots. If you want to protect your favorite site from spammers, the folks at Croatia's Ruđer Bošković Institute have the answer. It is absolutely guaranteed to keep non-humans out. The site presents visitors with a bit of advanced math they must work out.
Regional carrier MetroPCS managed to get its 4G LTE network up and running before Verizon, and now they are out the door with the first LTE smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy Indulge packs LTE data and a free copy of Iron Man 2 on the MicroSD card. How nice. Of course, that SD card is phoning home to the carrier, but what could go wrong?
Be careful of what you post online, those comments could come back and bite you in the backside, even if you post anonymously. Marion County's Superior Court Judge S.K. Reid set what could become a precedent by being the first Indiana judge to rule on whether or not media outlets are forced to disclose names and/or other personal information of anonymous posters on their websites. The ruling won't please privacy advocates.