In short order, three major outages occurred morning. First United Airlines reported a system wide grounding of all flights due to "technical difficulties" with little details to follow. Following that, the New York Stock Exchange reported "technical difficulties" while suspending all trading. And now the Wall Street Journal's website is in limited operations due to "technical difficulties". While initial reports on NYSE state that there is no malicious activity as a result of the outage, few details have been released at this time.
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From the article...
Some of the contractors that have helped OPM with managing internal data have had security issues of their own—including potentially giving foreign governments direct access to data long before the recent reported breaches. A consultant who did some work with a company contracted by OPM to manage personnel records for a number of agencies told Ars that he found the Unix systems administrator for the project "was in Argentina and his co-worker was physically located in the [People's Republic of China]. Both had direct access to every row of data in every database: they were root. Another team that worked with these databases had at its head two team members with PRC passports. I know that because I challenged them personally and revoked their privileges. From my perspective, OPM compromised this information more than three years ago and my take on the current breach is 'so what's new?'
As a Microsoft Doomsayer, I'm not immune from jumping on this article to predict the future of how new zero day's will result in the mass pwning of Grandma's computers everywhere. That being said, I'm not blind to the fact that Apple is gaining an increased market share and that as time goes on, they will become an increasingly targeted platform as the profitability (be it in information or money) increases. Microsoft does have what appears to be a more responsive patch process than Apple. Apple is very slow at responding to reported exploits (albeit, Microsoft has been known to half-ass patch and to sit on patches as well). In any case, my biggest issue with this report is I'm curious how much community involvement Microsoft had with the development of this new protocol. In the past, they just create crap in-house without the involvement of industry partners (sometimes even closing them out of those conversations). The problem with this is there is less industry oversight on potential weaknesses and less input on modifications that can strengthen the underlying protocol. Protocols in particular are not something that needs to be developed by a small team of engineers without support of the industry as a whole, less you get protocols like SMTP (who's author is on record of apologizing profusely for not building in security). So, as a Microsoft doomsayer, I shall sit back and wait with my "I told you so" in my back pocket. In the meantime, IE/Edge/whatever the hell they want to call it can stay off my computer thank you very much.
If you want the security of knowing your voice, text and picture messages can’t be intercepted, direct peer-to-peer communication with end-to-end encryption is the gold standard: and that’s what BitTorrent offers with its Bleep app. Every conversation is between you and your friends. There is no cloud to hack because messages are never stored in the cloud. For text messages and photos, Bleep offers the choice of Whispers – where both text and images disappear when they’ve been read – and Messages, which stores them locally on the device. You can also make voice calls with the same peer-to-peer encrypted technology
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