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Submission + - Microsoft Teams with Bank of America on Blockchain

wiredmikey writes: Microsoft and Bank of America Merrill Lynch said they are working together to make financial transactions more efficient with blockchain technology — the foundation of bitcoin digital currency.

Blockchains are considered tamper-proof registers in which entries are time-stamped and linked to previous "blocks" in a data chain. As expected, the technology that drives the shadowy bitcoin cryptocurrency is drawing interest from the established banking industry, which sees a potential to revolutionize the sector.

The companies said they will build and test frameworks for blockchain-powered exchanges between businesses and their customers and banks. Microsoft plans to use its Azure cloud service platform to enable blockchain transactions between a major corporate treasury and a financial institution.

Submission + - Security Researchers Remotely Hack Tesla Model S

wiredmikey writes: Security researchers from China-based Tencent have identified a series of vulnerabilities that can be exploited to remotely hack an unmodified Tesla Model S while it’s parked or on the move. While the vehicle was parked, the experts could control the sunroof, turn signals, the position of the seats, all displays, and the door locking system. While the car was on the move, the hackers could activate the windshield wipers, fold the side view mirrors, and open the trunk. They also demonstrated that a remote hacker can activate the brakes from a long distance.

“As far as we know, this is the first case of remote attack which compromises CAN Bus to achieve remote controls on Tesla cars,” the researchers said. “We have verified the attack vector on multiple varieties of Tesla Model S. It is reasonable to assume that other Tesla models are affected.”

According to Keen Lab, Tesla has confirmed the flaws and is working on addressing them.

Submission + - Researcher Proves FBI Wrong With iPhone Passcode Hack (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: A researcher has demonstrated that a known hardware hacking technique known as NAND mirroring could have been used to bypass the passcode retry limitations on the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, despite the FBI’s claims that the technique would not work.

NAND mirroring involves removing the NAND flash memory chip from the device by desoldering it and creating backup copies or clones of the chip. By cloning the chip, the original memory is fully preserved while the copies can be used as many times as necessary to figure out the 4-digit passcode. Skorobogatov conducted a successful attack using off-the-shelf components bought from an electronics distributor for less than $100.

Submission + - White House Names First Federal CISO

wiredmikey writes: The White House today announced that Brigadier General (retired) Gregory J. Touhill has been named the first Federal Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). Back in February, President Barack Obama unveiled a cybersecurity "national action plan" (CNAP) which called for an overhaul of aging government networks and a high-level commission to boost security awareness. As part of the plan, the White House said it would hire a federal CISO to direct cybersecurity across the federal government. General Touhill is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications in the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The key hire comes at a time when the government needs cybersecurity talent more than ever. Earlier this week a report published a U.S. House of Representatives Committee said the data breaches disclosed by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) last year were a result of culture and leadership failures, and should not be blamed on technology.

Submission + - Intel to Spin Off McAfee as Independent Security Firm (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: Six years after announcing that it would acquire security firm McAfee, Intel said it would spin off its security division as an independent company under the name McAfee, valuing the company at $4.4 billion--far less than the $7.68 billion the company paid to acquire the company in 2011. Intel will receive $3.1 billion in cash and retain the 49 percent stake after completion of the transaction

The McAfee brand, created by anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee, suffered some damage after the founder was wanted in Belize for questioning over the murder of his neighbor in late 2012, sparking months of dramatic events and a wild goose chase across Central America.

While Intel and its investment partner TPG could have used the spinoff as a chance to ditch the McAfee name altogether, it has chosen to stand by its brand, despite the negative association and PR issues with its former founder.

Submission + - Malibu Media stay lifted, motion to quash denied

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In the federal court for the Eastern District of New York, where all Malibu Media cases have been stayed for the past year, the Court has lifted the stay and denied the motion to quash in the lead case, thus permitting all 84 cases to move forward. In his 28-page decision (PDF), Magistrate Judge Steven I. Locke accepted the representations of Malibu's expert, one Michael Patzer from a company called Excipio, that in detecting BitTorrent infringement he relies on "direct detection" rather than "indirect detection", and that it is "not possible" for there to be misidentification.

Submission + - Maxthon Web Browser Sends Sensitive Data to China

wiredmikey writes: Security experts have discovered that the Maxthon web browser collects sensitive information and sends it to a server in China. Researchers warn that the harvested data could be highly valuable for malicious actors.

Researchers at Fidelis Cybersecurity and Poland-based Exatel recently found that Maxthon regularly sends a file named ueipdata.zip to a server in Beijing, China, via HTTP. Further analysis (PDF) revealed that ueipdata.zip contains an encrypted file named dat.txt. This file stores information on the operating system, CPU, ad blocker status, homepage URL, websites visited by the user (including online searches), and installed applications and their version number.

Interestingly, In 2013, after the NSA surveillance scandal broke, the company boasted about its focus on privacy and security, and the use of strong encryption.

Submission + - Facebook Messenger to Add Strong Encryption

wiredmikey writes: Facebook announced Friday it would roll out optional "end to end encryption" for its Messenger application, following a trend aimed at stronger security and protection against snooping. The new feature will be known as "secret conversations" which can be read only by the sender and recipient. Facebook shared technical details about its implementation of the security in a technical white paper (PDF).

Facebook earlier this year began implementing this end-to-end encryption on its WhatsApp messaging service.

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