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Posts Tagged ‘cybersecurity’


Pressure mounts for naming of a White House cybersecurity adviser with clout

Word is that Melissa Hathaway’s 60-day review of U.S. cybersecurity policy  will hit President Obama’s desk this Friday, April 17. Precisely when the White House makes it public will be an indicator of how high a priority this is with Obama, who certainly has his plate full with a few other weighty matters.

A leak of the executive summary of Hathaway’s review sometime in the next 48 hours — in time to make the all-day Friday news cycle — would  mean one thing. Official White House release of the review  late Friday afternoon, when major news operations are winding down for the weekend, means another.

All eyes of the tech security …more

Cybercrime thriller wins award, sequel coming to LastWatchdog.com

Zero Day Threat: The Shocking Truth of How Banks and Credit Bureaus Help Cyber Crooks Steal Your Money and Identity has just been awarded the prestigious Excellence in Financial Journalism Award for general audience books from the New York State Society of Certified Public Accounts.

Z DT is a digital true-crime thriller that chronicles the tumultuous transition from hacking for bragging rights to  the current world of cybercrime for pure profit.

ZDT reveals the role the financial services industry has played, aided and abetted by tech giants, in rapidly commercializing the Internet, without considering the consequences of opening Pandora’s box. As many of you know, the Internet began as  a…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

Lack of transparency surrounding data breaches not a good thing

In trying to secretly clean up after the series of data breaches of payment card processing companies, Visa and MasterCard are making ineffectual  the data- loss disclosure laws on the books in more than 30 states.  These hard-won laws were intended to put pressure on companies and organizations  to be more accountable for  sensitive consumer data they collect and store.  In a recent Last Watchdog interview, John Ottman, CEO Application Security, Inc., a leading database security firm, addressed some of the nuances, and explained  how the laws themselves are being undermined. Excerpts from L W’s interview with Ottman:

LW: Heartland Payment Systems, Visa, MasterCard and …more

Cybersecurity stimulus: $355 million

In moves that should help stimulate the economy, the Obama Administration this week took two big steps toward slowing, and perhaps ultimately reversing, the rapid growth of cybercrime. On Wednesday, Admiral Dennis Blair,  Director of National Intelligence, told Congress that he will assume a greater role in cybersecurity. Then on Thursday, the President released his proposed fiscal 2010 budget,  which included  $355 million in funding to make private- and public-sector cyber infrastructure more resilient and secure.

Above and beyond the $800 billion stimulus package approved by Congress, these developments should provide a sustained economic boost for  vendors who  supply security hardware, software and related services.

Codes of conduct …more

Banking trojans infest Internet

Banking trojans are inundating the Internet.

These malicious programs lay in wait on your hard drive for an opportune moment to crack your online banking account — usually just as you log on. You can get them by clicking on a viral link to a greeting card or video that arrives in e-mail spam. Or by clicking to a web page that’s been corrupted by hackers.

By now, most Internet users are savvy about “phishing” e-mail scams that try to trick them you into typing login information at fake bank websites. So cyber thieves have shifted to spreading invisible banking trojans, which can steal data mulitple ways and require no action by the …more

Instilling proper cyber consciousness in school-aged children

You’ve heard of the Three Rs: readin’, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic. How about teaching our kids the Three Cs: cyberethics, cybersafety and cybersecurity?

That’s exactly what the National Cyber Security Alliance has set out to do. It’s kind of like teaching a kid to look both ways before crossing the street, says Michael Kaiser, executive director of NCSA, whom I had breakfast with this morning. We don’t teach kids how to calculate the weight, distance, speed and stopping distance of the onrushing SUV.  Instead, we continually reinforce  how to use sound judgment in the context of daily life.

“My goal is to make cybersecurity second nature,” says Kaiser. …more