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Countdown to Conficker’s April Fools Day Climax

Two schools of thought exist about what the Conficker worm will do come the wee hours of April 1, 2009, GMT.

Some experts, like WinPatrol creator Bill Pytlovany, are sensing that the worm’s controllers will run circles around the Microsoft-led “cabal” of security groups trying to block some 3 million to 12 million Conficker-infected PCs from phoning home on April Fools Day.

CLICK HERE for consumer tips on combatting conficker.

“After a lot of research and debate I have been convinced that April 1st is not going to be a good day for the Internet,” says Pytlovany.  “How Conficker will mutate is anyones guess. It could be anything from turning …more

Beckstrom Q&A: Cybersecurity official explains how he was hamstrung by NSA

The sudden resignation  of Rod A. Beckstrom, the Department of Homeland Security’s senior  official tasked with unifying the federal government’s cybersecurity intiatives, bodes ill for a new age of transparency and collaborative problem-solving in government. Beckstrom was unable to maneuver around, much less partner with, the powerful National Security Agency (NSA).

In this stunningly frank March 5th resignation letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, Beckstrom, Director of the National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC) cites funding roadblocks and smothering controls imposed by the super-secret NSA.

“NSA effectively controls DHS cyber efforts through detailees, technology insertions, and the proposed move of NPPD and the NCSC to a Fort Meade NSA facility,” he …more

Secrecy shrouds breach of possibly a third payment cards processor

Visa and MasterCard are being circumspect about a new round of warnings they’ve issued regarding stolen credit and debit card numbers circulating in the criminal world — data  possibly stolen from another breach of a payment card processor. This follows major data thefts from Heartland Payment Sytems and RBS WorldPay,  for which precious few details have officially been made public.

Visa has issued a statement waffling about what prompted recent warnings to certain banks and credit unions about a fresh wave of stolen credit card and debit card account numbers being put to use by criminals. It took that action only after security bloggers, like Steve Ragan, …more