Correspondent, Boston
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Aug 4, 2014

Two more talks pulled from Black Hat hacking conference

BOSTON (Reuters) – Security researchers have pulled two scheduled talks in this week’s Black Hat internet-security conference in Las Vegas – one on breaking into home-alarm systems and the other on a sophisticated Russian espionage campaign known as “Snake.”

The withdrawals follow the cancellation late last month of a highly anticipated talk on how to identify users of the Internet privacy service Tor.

Aug 4, 2014

Hacker says to show passenger jets at risk of cyber attack

BOSTON, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Cybersecurity researcher Ruben
Santamarta says he has figured out how to hack the satellite
communications equipment on passenger jets through their WiFi
and inflight entertainment systems – a claim that, if confirmed,
could prompt a review of aircraft security.

Santamarta, a consultant with cybersecurity firm IOActive,
is scheduled to lay out the technical details of his research at
this week’s Black Hat hacking conference in Las Vegas, an annual
convention where thousands of hackers and security experts meet
to discuss emerging cyber threats and improve security measures.

Aug 3, 2014

Beijing to bar Symantec, Kaspersky anti-virus in procurement: report

BOSTON (Reuters) – China has excluded U.S.-based Symantec Corp (SYMC.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Russia’s Kaspersky Lab from a list of approved anti-virus software vendors, according to a Chinese media report suggesting Beijing is expanding efforts to limit use of foreign technology.

The state-controlled People’s Daily reported the news early Sunday on its English Twitter feed, saying that the government’s procurement agency “has excluded Symantec & Kaspersky” from a list of security software suppliers.

Jul 31, 2014

Hackers can tap USB devices in new attacks, researcher warns

BOSTON (Reuters) – USB devices such as mice, keyboards and thumb-drives can be used to hack into personal computers in a potential new class of attacks that evade all known security protections, a top computer researcher revealed on Thursday.

Karsten Nohl, chief scientist with Berlin’s SR Labs, noted that hackers could load malicious software onto tiny, low-cost computer chips that control functions of USB devices but which have no built-in shields against tampering with their code.

Jul 23, 2014

StubHub was victim of cyber fraud ring; arrests to be announced

SEATTLE/BOSTON (Reuters) – eBay Inc’s StubHub online ticket resale service said it was the victim of a massive international cyber fraud ring, the details of which authorities plan to disclose on Wednesday as they announce arrests in the case.

StubHub’s head of global communications, Glenn Lehrman, told Reuters late on Tuesday that his firm has been working with law enforcement around the world for the last year on the case.

Jul 22, 2014

Hacking experts build device to protect cars from cyber attacks

BOSTON (Reuters) – Two security experts who a year ago exposed methods for hacking the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape say they have developed technology that would keep automobiles safe from cyber attacks.

At last summer’s Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas, the two researchers, Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller, described ways to launch dangerous attacks, including manipulating the brakes of the moving Prius and the Ford Escape.

Jul 19, 2014

Snowden seeks to develop anti-surveillance technologies

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Edward Snowden, a former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of major U.S. surveillance programs, called on supporters at a hacking conference to spur development of easy-to-use technologies to subvert government surveillance programs around the globe. 

Snowden, who addressed conference attendees on Saturday via video link from Moscow, said he intends to devote much of his time to promoting such technologies, including ones that allow people to communicate anonymously and encrypt their messages.

Jul 9, 2014

Microsoft drops lawsuit against Vitalwerks after service cuts

BOSTON, July 9 (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp has
dropped a lawsuit against Vitalwerks Internet Solutions that
alleged the privately held Web services firm failed to take
proper steps to prevent its systems from being abused by
cybercriminals.

The two companies said on Wednesday they had settled the
lawsuit, which was announced by Microsoft on June 30 as it
launched an operation to wrest control over infected PCs from
cybercriminals. The software maker claimed the criminals were
using Vitalwerks servers for communications.

Jun 30, 2014

Microsoft says disrupts cybercrime rings with roots in Kuwait, Algeria

BOSTON, June 30 (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp launched
what it hopes will be the most successful private effort to date
to crack down on cyber crime by moving to disrupt communications
channels between hackers and infected PCs.

The operation, which began on Monday under an order issued
by a federal court in Nevada, targeted traffic involving
malicious software known as Bladabindi and Jenxcus, which
Microsoft said work in similar ways and were written and
distributed by developers in Kuwait and Algeria.

Jun 20, 2014

Medtronic says was victim of cyber attack, lost patient records

BOSTON, June 20 (Reuters) – Medtronic Inc, the
world’s largest stand-alone medical device maker, was the victim
of a cyber attack and lost some patient records in separate
incidents last year, it said in a regulatory filing on Friday.

“Medtronic, along with two other large medical device
manufacturers, discovered an unauthorized intrusion to our
systems that was believed to originate from hackers in Asia,”
the company said in a 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission.

    • About Jim

      "Jim works in the Reuters Boston bureau covering cyber security, hacking and technology privacy issues. He’s been with Reuters since 2005. He previously covered technology, media and biotechnology for Broadcasting & Cable, the Orange County Register and Bloomberg News out Tokyo, Taipei, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Ana, California."
      Joined Reuters:
      2005
      Languages:
      English, Mandarin
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