GCHQ accrediting some university degrees

The NSA’s British counterpart, GCHQ, is now accrediting certain university degrees from some of the top colleges in the United Kingdom, including Oxford. The accreditations are provided with some online security degrees, and they are essentially the GCHQ’s stamp of approval which could help students find jobs at the government agency once they graduate.


China banning foreign security software

There are legitimate reasons for a country like China to worry about the NSA and other spy agencies, but the Chinese government is taking things quite far by banning the use of many foreign security programs. Software from Symantec and Kaspersky Lab has been added to a list of banned security software, meaning programs from either company can no longer be used by members of the Chinese government.

CIA apologizes to Senate for hacking its computers

The CIA seems to have issued a somewhat ambiguous confession that it covertly accessed Senate computers to carry out damage control in advance ahead of a report on supposed torture under its watch.

Russia to award £65k to any security expert capable of cracking TOR

The Russian Interior Ministry is offering a reward of 3.9m rubles, or £65,000, to any security expert who can crack the anonymous online network, The Onion Router (TOR).

Fox News crossed the listicle line

Kim Komando wrote a story on Fox News called “Divorcing? 5 Things to do Online Now.” Yeah! All casual, just like that. Almost as if the headline should be, “Thinking of taking up gardening? Here’s 5 Things to do Online Now.” But no, it’s about divorce.

Cyber attacks also affecting small, medium-size businesses

Large businesses are usually the ones that people think need to be heavily protected from cyber attacks, but a new report from Symantec shows that all businesses are at-risk. Cyber attacks against small and medium-sized businesses have been growing quickly, just as they have among large-scale businesses and government agencies. Symantec’s data shows that in 2013, the attacks rose significantly over 2012, and the same is expected to happen this year.

Report has proof of Chinese military cyber attacks

Countries in Europe and North America have long claimed that there is evidence of the Chinese government using hackers to attack Western targets but until recently, there was little public evidence to back up those claims. Last month, the US finally put a name on one of the Chinese groups allegedly involved in cyber attacks and a new report has named yet another group that is targeting governments and businesses in the West. A report from security company CrowdStrike says that a group nicknamed “Putter Panda” has been targeting American, European, and Japanese companies since at least 2007.

Hackers don’t use great passwords either

If there is one group of people who should understand basic web security, it’s hackers. A person who breaks into networks and steals information from unsuspecting victims on a daily basis would be expected to protect their own data but it turns out that they might just be like everyone else. Security firm Avast has found that most passwords used by hackers are no more secure than the average password and could be cracked or guessed.

GameOver Zeus botnet takes short-term blow from authorities

In a multinational operation, authorities from the US, UK, and EU were able to temporarily halt the GameOver Zeus botnet that has been stealing bank account information and infecting computers. By putting a stop to the botnet, authorities say that businesses and individuals will essentially have a two-week period to defend themselves and get rid of the botnet before the malware begins to spread once again.

NSA collects millions of images for facial recognition

Every single day, the National Security Agency (NSA) collects millions of photos from social media, text messages, emails, and other communications for its large facial recognition programs. NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden collected the documents that explain these spy programs and the documents were reported on in The New York Times.

Criminals are winning in the cybercrime battle

No matter how advanced or expensive an organization’s cybersecurity software is, criminals seem to be able to get around that security without much trouble. The 2014 State of Cybercrime Survey from PcW has found that hackers are breaking into US businesses at an unprecedented rate despite the emphasis that businesses now have on security. PcW gathered its data from 500 executives at companies, law enforcement agencies, and the government.

Snowden tells NBC that he is a spy

Edward Snowden, the man behind the NSA leaks, has told NBC News’ Brian Williams that despite all of the things that people have referred to him as in the media, he is actually a “spy”, or at least was trained like one. Snowden explains that he worked undercover for government agencies like the CIA and NSA. Since he was always pretending to be someone else and worked to implement security systems around the world, Snowden thinks that from a professional point-of-view, he is a spy and not just a system administrator.