You've been hearing about a top-secret government program reportedly giving the NSA access to digital consumer information held by large tech companies. But what is it, really, and how does it affect you? Reports are changing fast, so we created this FAQ to let you know what is known so far. We will continue to update it as the facts become clear.
The U.K. government may have been complicit in secretly gathering intelligence from Internet companies, which were named on Thursday by a Washington Post report.
According to The Guardian, which has covered the brewing and ever-developing privacy saga extensively, the ability for the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) -- the U.K. government's electronic intercepts and listening station -- to tap directly into the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) PRISM database, may bypass mutual intelligence and information sharing treaties.
The London-based newspaper obtained documents allegedly confirming the suspicions. In the papers, the NSA included "special … Read more
President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, will have a serious discussion on cybersecurity at a summit they're holding today in California, according to a new report.
Speaking to an unidentified U.S. official, Reuters reported Friday that Obama will ask that Xi assures him that China takes seriously the gripes the U.S. has with its alleged hacking efforts. It's believed that for years, China has been hacking into U.S. government and company servers and gaining access to classified information. Over the last several months, however, more of the details on that alleged hacking … Read more
On the eve of President Barack Obama's high-level meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.S. intelligence officials have revealed that a slew of documents and e-mails were stolen during the 2008 presidential campaign from both the president and then GOP presidential candidate John McCain. Officials are accusing China's government for the hack.
According to NBC News, officials said that they first detected the major cyberattack in the summer of 2008 and were then able to trace the culprits back to China.
"Based on everything I know, this was a case of political cyberespionage by the Chinese … Read more
Noting the contribution made by those who try to hack its security, Google has once again increased the cash rewards it pays out for identifying vulnerabilities in its services.
The Internet giant, which began swapping security research for cash a couple of years ago, announced the higher payouts and new rules for the program Thursday on the company's Online Security Blog.
The bounty for cross-site scripting bugs on Google Accounts more than doubled from $3,133.70 to $7,500. The reward for reporting cross-site scripting bugs in other sensitive areas such as Gmail and Google Wallet more than … Read more
The White House is defending the decision to collect the telephone records of U.S. citizens by labeling it an anti-terrorist measure.
The move by the National Security Agency to gather the phone records of Verizon customers was revealed on Wednesday by U.K. newspaper The Guardian. A court's top-secret order forced Verizon to hand over information about domestic and overseas calls "on an ongoing daily basis."
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee are in the middle of proposing a new cybertheft law that would target hackers based in other countries, according to Reuters.
The bill, which doesn't yet have a name, is to be introduced on Thursday by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc). These lawmakers have said that the intent of the law will be to go after hackers from "offending nations" and deliver "real consequences and punishments."
Of those countries said to be cyber spying on the U.… Read more
Working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Microsoft on Wednesday moved to disrupt a massive cybercrime ring allegedly responsible for stealing online banking information and personal identities, leading to more than $500 million in losses.
In what the company described as its "most aggressive botnet operation to date," Microsoft acted on a court ordered civil seizure warrant from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina to take down 1,462 Citadel botnets. The company wasn't able to shut down all of the botnets using the Citadel malware.
"However, we do expect … Read more
Security researchers have found a proof-of-concept attack that appears to be the first true viral malware approach for compromising OS X.
The malware is called "Clampzok.A" and is a cross-platform malware package that alters the binary files on an affected system so when executed, the binary will infect neighboring binary files.
The malware is written in assembly code, and was originally released in 2006 for Windows and Linux systems, but was recently updated to affect 32-bit Mach-O binary files in OS X machines.
Unlike Trojan horses, spyware, and adware that hide in one location on the system … Read more
Windows 8.1 will have a couple of tricks up its sleeve for people who use fingerprint readers.
One of Monday's sessions at Microsoft's TechEd conference highlighted the support that Windows 8.1 will offer for fingerprint recognition, as described by The Verge. Prior versions of Windows handled fingerprint readers through third-party software. But Windows 8.1 will be the first edition of Windows to natively support the technology.
Users will be able to log into their PCs via a Microsoft Account, purchase apps, and open different programs with a swipe of the finger. They'll even be … Read more