Tax season 2014 is well underway, and while some of you likely have filed your taxes, most Americans are still digging through receipts, plugging away on spreadsheets, and hoping they file accurately to get some cash. Cybercrime levels spike during this period, as hackers and scammers prey on taxpayers frantic to try and file their taxes in peace.
Identity theft and phishing are the top threats facing people this tax season, according to the Protect Yourself from Tax Season Identity Theft Scams document from the Center for Internet Security (CIS). Taxpayers need to be especially aware of e-mails and phone calls from people claiming to be from the IRS - and security experts need to be careful when opening e-mails, receiving phone calls, or receiving unsolicited correspondence.
If paper documents are no longer needed, they should be disposed of properly:
"One of the easiest ways to prevent the crime is by immediately shredding no-longer needed confidential documents," said Nancy Heaton, Fellowes Director of Global Marketing. "Fellowes offers a variety of shredders to suit every home office need that are perfect for tax season."
Businesses and users are increasingly relying on mobile technologies for a wide variety of tasks, and that has created a market with untapped potential for cybercriminals.
As mobile banking, e-commerce, and similar sensitive activities rise further, it's important to adopt next-generation securities and understand the changing threat landscape, according to a recent study released by ThreatMetrix.
"Mobile device usage for e-commerce and banking will continue to rise and in order to prevent the associated risks, businesses must have the capabilities to effectively analyze mobile activity to detect returning authentic customers and device anomalies that indicate malicious behavior," said Mustafa Rassiwala, ThreatMetrix Director of Product Management, in a statement. "This includes differentiating between normal and jailbroken devices, as users with jailbroken devices are more likely to engage in criminal activity."
SolidFire, the Boulder, Colorado based manufacturer of all-flash storage systems has announced Q2 2014 availability of Carbon, Version 6 of its Element OS. Included in this upcoming release is a whole new set of enterprise class features such as real-time replication and integrated backup & restore.
SolidFire is providing this upgrade for free to existing customers including all the new enhancements. The new features included are:
- Native 16Gb Fibre Channel connectivity in an active/active scale-out configuration, which can be used simultaneously with existing 10Gbit iSCSI support
- Real-time remote replication for long distance data protection and disaster recovery, with integrated compression and deduplication
- Mixed-node cluster support, allowing customers to mix any current-generation SolidFire nodes in a single cluster, along with future systems, giving customers immediate access to the latest flash technologies and completely eliminating the forklift storage system upgrade
- Integrated backup and restore to secondary storage, including any object storage that supports the S3 or Swift APIs
Popular retailer Target had multiple warnings that a credit and debit card breach was underway, but still didn't do enough to try and stop the problem.
A recent series of interviews with more than 10 former Target employees, and a handful of people familiar with the attack indicate the company was aware of a data breach underway - and the alert system worked - signaling malware was installed before being publicly disclosed.
"I don't think it is about not paying attention to the technologies as much as fine tuning for actionable, relevant information from the technology," said Joe Schumacher, Neohapsis security consultant, in a statement to SCMagazine. "Many security systems (e.g. Web application firewall, log monitoring, intrusion Detection/Prevention Systems, etc.) correlate large amounts of data into a single repository. Unfortunately, a lot of companies and professional services stop here."
Six months before the successful data breach, Target installed a $1.7 million security platform, the report indicates.
Wearable technology products are increasing at a rapid pace, with manufacturers catering to a niche consumer market that is going mainstream - and will reach more than 250 million on the market in the next three years, analysts predict.
There are a number of different casual fitness wearables for consumers to choose from, including the Zackeers Turn Signal Gloves, Garmin Vivofit activity tracker, Sensoria Smart Shirt, FitBit, Scosche, and others crowding into the market.
Just a few years ago, GPS and heart-rate monitors were designed for sports enthusiasts, but now just walking around the block with your dog can be easily tracked and cataloged.
To show his displeasure over continued revelations of organized spying from the National Security Agency (NSA), Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently called President Obama to discuss the matter.
This was the first time that Zuckerberg expressed his concerns directly with Obama, while Facebook, Google and other companies improve encryption and security efforts.
"The US government should be the champion for the Internet, not a threat," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook blog post. "They need to be much more transparent about what they're doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst. I've called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future. Unfortunately, it seems like it will take a very long time for true full reform."
At some point, I am sure that most of us have fantasized about being the stereotypical mad scientist who spends his days in a lab filled with chemical experiments and electricity arcing from one source to the other. While most of us will never make it to this point in our scientific endeavors, we can have a cool device that sends arcs of electricity shooting from one electrode to another, and have it play music at the same time.
A new Kickstarter campaign from ExcelPhysics is offering kits that let backers build their own speakers that emanate sound by using nothing but the plasma generated when electricity arcs from one electrode to another. "A plasma speaker plays music just like your normal speaker but it uses an arc of electrical plasma running at 30,000 volts," the company said on its Kickstarter page. "Most people aren't aware that plasma arcs can be modulated to generate sounds so your friends will be in for a surprise when you explain to them that the plasma arc IS the speaker! Your typical speaker uses an electromagnet to vibrate small drums, but a plasma speaker uses an electrical arc to ionize and compress the air around it to play music, all with no moving parts!"
Today Plex made good on its promise to open up its Plex for Chromecast app to everyone, including those who are not PlexPass subscribers. Plex has been available for the Chromecast since the end of 2013, but has been limited to those who subscribe to the companies premium subscription called PlexPass. Today's announcement means that anyone can cast media straight from the Plex for Android or Plex for iOS applications as well as from their Mac or PC using the Plex web app.
Plex also added support for a new Camera Upload feature that will allow users to back up their smartphone's photos straight to their Plex Media Server. This positions the service to move into the personal cloud storage arena as well, making Plex Media Server a multi-position home storage solution the entire family can utilize. At the moment, the photo upload feature is limited only to the iOS app, but Android support wil come in the near future.
Of all the spying programs revealed by former IT contractor Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency (NSA) was quick to deny exploiting users by impersonating Facebook.
Shortly after reports surfaced accusing the NSA of mimicking a Facebook server to help infect user PCs, users were upset - and the NSA wanted to offer a public statement.
"Recent media reports that allege NSA has infected millions of computers around the world with malware, and that NSA is impersonating U.S. social media or other websites, are inaccurate," the NSA said via its Public Affairs Office. "NSA uses its technical capabilities only to support lawful and appropriate foreign intelligence operations, all of which must be carried out in strict accordance with its authorities."
Google has just finished rolling out its new online marketplace for third-party applications designed to enhance Google Drive. Google says that the marketplace is available from within Google Docs and Sheets, and can easily be accessed by clicking on the add-on tab at the top of a documents page. There have been chrome extensions that integrate into Docs before, but this is the first time that Google has released an official marketplace for apps that directly integrate.
Called Add-On's the apps are created by third-party developers and enhance the service by adding handy features such as the ability to sign documents, create custom templates, add images with annotations, and quickly generate macros for spreadsheets. Other apps allow users to quickly and easily cite sources, write footnotes, and build bibliographies by simply searching the web for the desired sources.