cybersecurity

There's More to the Home Depot Data Breach That Will Really Boil Your Blood

Home Depot data breach

The Home Depot data breach is huge, and yet the general public seems frustratingly unconcerned about it.

Who should worry about data breaches? Everyone. You as an individual are at risk. Your bank account is at risk. Your credit is at risk. You're at risk in ways you never thought about.

We can't afford to ignore this threat any longer...

The 3 Biggest Scams Threatening Your Money Right Now

biggest scams

The biggest scams threatening your money are on the rise - and they're getting more sophisticated.

The absolute best way to avoid risk to your wallet is simply to be informed - by quickly picking up on the warning signs your money is under attack, you can take immediate action.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the three biggest scams targeting your money in 2014. Get to know these criminals before they get to know you...

The 8 Biggest Data Breaches in History

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As more of our lives go digital, the threat of data breaches becomes more of a concern to everyone - consumers, businesses, and the government.

While only a fraction of cyberattacks are successful - hundreds of thousands are made every day - the few that do succeed typically cause a lot of harm. Just ask Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT), which is still suffering from weaker sales resulting from its data breach last fall.

This infographic shows the eight biggest data breaches in history...

Facebook's (Nasdaq: FB) "Experiment" Is One More Freedom Slipping Away

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It's Independence Day tomorrow, so here's a story about your freedom to think about and act on.

News came to light this week that a Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) data scientist named Adam Kramer conducted an experiment on 689,003 users of the social network site over a seven-day stretch in January 2012.

Facebook wants us to believe it's all a big kerfuffle over nothing. But it's news for a few reasons...

Obamacare Cybersecurity Bill Not Enough to Protect Personal Info

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Today (Friday), the U.S. House of Representatives passed an "Obamacare cybersecurity bill" that helps protect people from the gaping security hole that is the Obamacare website.

The Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act, H.R. 3811, is a one-sentence bill that simply requires customers to be notified of any Obamacare website security breach no later than two business days after its discovery. It was passed in a 291-122 vote, with 67 Democrats breaking ranks in support.

Prior to this bill, there was no legal requirement for the Department of Health and Human Services to notify an individual if his or her personal information had been breached.

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How to Spot the Best Stocks to Buy in Tech's Fastest-Growing Sector

woman with magnifying glass This week saw San Jose, California networking giant Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq:CSCO) purchase Columbia, Maryland-based cybersecurity company Sourcefire, Inc. (Nasdaq:FIRE).

The purchase price was a rather steep $2.7 billion. That's $76 per share - a handsome 29% premium to the around $49 share price early Monday, before the deal was announced. Shares of FIRE are now trading at just under $76 a share.

If you're looking for stocks to buy, these shares have probably had enough fun for one night, but they may have found a decent support level.

Sourcefire has spurned suitors before, and dallied with its fair share of M&A activity - turning down a buy offer from Barracuda Networks, while acquiring antivirus companies Immunet and Clam AntiVirus in the last decade

An Ever More Urgent Need

Attacks on computer networks are, without exaggeration, ceaseless. There is at least one ongoing attack somewhere in the world at any given time. Sourcefire is one of many network security firms filling an increasingly vital niche.

Sourcefire's flagship product, FirePOWER, which is based on the open-source Snort intrusion detection system, is acknowledged to be among the best in the industry.

Snort itself is said to be the most widely deployed IDP technology on earth. One of the more interesting products is their Advanced Malware Protection, which analyzes malware attacks and works to predict and prevent even the very worst attacks.

It's this kind of killer, boutique technology that makes companies like Sourcefire so attractive to the big boys.

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Cybersecurity: See Who's On This Latest Hacker Hit List

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A group of mostly Middle East and North Africa based criminal hackers launched a cyber-attack campaign Tuesday that tested the cybersecurity of U.S. government agencies, financial institutions and commercial businesses.

Dubbed OpUSA, the effort is the latest in a string of cyber-attacks on crucial U.S. entities aimed at slowing down or blocking these heavily trafficked sites.

"We see this as a widening in the cyber war front and organizations may require new tactics or technical defenses to defend," Carl Herberger, VP of security solutions at Radware Ltd. (Nasdaq: RDWR) told FOX Business Network.

"We anticipate that today's [Tuesday] attacks will be against high impact targets, including government websites, law enforcement organizations, brand-name entities, financial services organizations and critical infrastructure providers," he added.

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI warned of the attacks weeks ago.

"The attacks will likely result in limited disruptions and mostly consistent of nuisance level attacks against publicly accessible web pages and possible data exploitation," read an unclassified memo from Homeland Security, first obtained by cybersecurity blog KrebsOnSecurity.com.

"Independent of the success of the attacks, the criminal hackers likely will leverage press coverage and social media to propagate an anti-US message," the alert said.

Indeed, the story made its rounds in the media, while cybersecurity personnel were on high alert.

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4 Stocks to Buy in the Exploding Cybersecurity Market

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There's a story out of England I heard recently that's one of the most ironic tales of how developments in technology - cybersecurity, in particular - need to be taken more seriously.

The story started in 2009, when 18-year-old Nicholas Webber was arrested for using fraudulent credit card details to pay for a penthouse suite at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, Central London.

When police examined Webber's laptop, they found details of 100,000 stolen credit cards linked to losses totaling 16.2 million pounds ($24.6 million)

Turns out Webber ran the Internet crime forum GhostMarket. The site allowed hackers to meet up virtually, create computer viruses and share stolen IDs and private credit card data.

In 2011 Webber was sentenced to five years in prison. Once in prison Webber was allowed to participate in a computer class.

And earlier this year, he hacked the prison computer system.

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The Cybersecurity Investment Opportunity Everyone Is Missing

Internet security With cyber-attacks on U.S. corporations hitting more and more frequently, many investors have already realized that cybersecurity companies have a bright future. But cybersecurity isn't the only business experiencing growth as a result of the rise in cyber-attacks. As the attacks have increased, so have losses, creating an opportunity for insurance companies. The Betterly Report, […]

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How to Invest in Cybersecurity

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More and more companies are asking how to invest in cybersecurity, as the industry looks to be the only area of U.S. defense spending that will escape the looming budget cuts slated for March 1.

As Money Morning Executive Editor William Patalon III explained in his recent report, "The Cyber-Hacking of America," the booming interest in cyber-defense stems from the increasing number of threats targeting the United States.

Patalon said the intelligence community's National Intelligence Estimate, used to brief lawmakers, found "the U.S. is the target of a massive, sustained, cyber-espionage campaign."

A separate report released last week by Virginia-based cybersecurity firm Mandiant Corp. found a Chinese military unit was behind cyberattacks on at least 141 organizations since 2006.

"We know that the U.S. Federal Reserve has been hacked, we know that The New York Times has been hacked, and that's just the beginning," said Patalon. "This is going to be a major, major story and something that investors need to watch."


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China's Cyber Attacks on the United States Will Only Get Worse

Sometimes the truth is scarier than fiction, like in the case of China's cyber attacks on the United States.

In what reads more like a crime novel than a true story, a report released today (Tuesday) from Virginia-based cybersecurity firm Mandiant, a specific Chinese military unit is likely behind one of the largest cyber attacks aimed at American corporations and infrastructure.

China's Unit 61398, housed in a 12-story building in Shanghai with a headcount in the hundreds, is being accused of stealing "hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations" since 2006. Some 115 targets in 20 different industrial sectors from energy and aerospace to transportation to financial institutions are said to have been violated.

The investigation tracked, for the first time, individual members of the savviest Chinese hacking group, dubbed "Comment Crew" and "Shanghai Group," directly to the military unit's headquarters. While Mandiant couldn't pinpoint the hackers' exact whereabouts inside the high-rise, the firm very convincingly makes the case that the building is where the attacks originated.

"Once [Unit 61398] has established access [to a target network], they periodically revisit the victim's network over several months or years and steal broad categories of intellectual property, including technology blueprints, proprietary manufacturing processes, test results, business plans, pricing documents, partnership agreements, and emails and contacts lists from victim organizations' leadership," the detailed 74-page report reads.

American officials also confirmed that digital forensic evidence presented by Mandiant leads to the Shanghai building as the prime source of the attacks, according to The New York Times, which first reported on Mandiant's findings Monday. Mandiant is the same firm The Times secured to investigate the cyber attacks that infiltrated their own systems in China last month.

The Chinese government adamantly denies the allegations. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said at a press conference the claims in the Mandiant report were unsupported.

"To make groundless accusations based on some rough material is neither responsible nor professional. Cyberattacks are anonymous and transnational, and it is hard to trace the origin of attacks, so I don't know how the findings of the report are credible," The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Fed Hack Attack Highlights Growing Need for Cybersecurity

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Not even the ultra-secretive U.S. Federal Reserve has been spared from aggressive cyberattacks - making cybersecurity an even bigger concern in 2013 than before.

The central bank acknowledged this week it was the victim of a "hack attack" after the group Anonymous claimed responsibility in a Tweet on Super Bowl Sunday.

"The Federal Reserve system is aware that information was obtained by exploiting a temporary vulnerability in a website vendor product," the Fed said in a statement. "Exposure was fixed shortly after discovery and is no longer an issue. The incident did not affect critical operations of the Federal Reserve system."

Anonymous claimed it had compromised 4,000 bankers' credentials on a private computer system the Fed uses to communicate with bankers in emergencies such as natural disasters and potential acts of terrorism.

Hackers also are believed to have accessed private information including data on banks the government agency oversees as well as Fed forecasts for future economic policy actions.

The Fed said all those affected by the breach had been contacted.

The cyberattack underscores the importance of cybersecurity at a time when high-profile attacks have grown more common.

Just a few days after the Super Bowl Sunday attack, Internet security company McAfee reported a hacking operation spanning at least five years had targeted 72 governments, corporations and organizations, 49 of them in the United States.

What McAfee dubbed "Operation Shady Rat" hit government agencies at the federal, state and county level and compromised classified government information.

Reuters reported organizations hacked in the attack included the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the International Olympic Committee.

Other targeted organizations included those in defense, electronics, computer security, information technology, news media, and communications technology sectors.

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How the Pentagon Aims to Stop China's Cyber-Hacking of America

Between deficit fears and budget skirmishes, it's tough to get excited about defense-related investments right now. Defense outlays are destined to shrink.
But there's one area where spending is slated to go up...
And I mean go way up.

Here at Money Morning, we've talked a lot about the massive surge in cybersecurity and cyber-terrorism spending that's destined to unfold in the years to come. Much of our focus has been on private-sector spending - although we also said the Pentagon and the rest of the federal government would also be factors.
Well, over the weekend, the Pentagon gave us a hefty reminder of why we're watching this sector so closely...

This "Massive" Cybersecurity Attack Targets Your Money

If you haven't yet been the victim of a cybersecurity attack, you might be soon depending on what bank you use.

Computer security firm McAfee issued a report yesterday (Thursday) alleging a "massive cyberattack" was being planned for next spring.

According to CNNMoney, a gang of criminals headed by a Russian cyber mafia chief known as NSD had developed a powerful "Trojan Horse" program designed to take money out of victims' bank accounts and channel it into their own.

The plan, called "Project Blitzkrieg," was aimed at 30 U.S. financial institutions, including online payment company PayPal, and was based on a malware program that would clone an account holder's computer to make it look like the accounts were being accessed from the owner's home computer, avoiding security questions that would deny the criminals access to the accounts. The idea was to then access thousands of accounts simultaneously to take out small amounts of cash from each one that would total millions of dollars.

Project Blitzkrieg first came to light when notices were posted on hacker Websites looking for hackers to join the group planning the attack. They offered a share of the loot for service.

Once the plan was discovered, it seems to have "gone dark."

It is impossible to know if Project Blitzkrieg has been cancelled or whether it is proceeding under much tighter security but security companies, including McAfee, have been working with banks to bolster their security.



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