Darlene Storm (not her real name) is a freelance writer with a background in information technology and information security. It seems wise to keep an eye on new hacks and holes, to know what is possible and how vulnerable you might be. Most security news is about insecurity, hacking, cybersecurity and even privacy threats, bordering on scary. But when security is done right, it's a beautiful even. Security is sexy.

This is a weblog of Darlene Storm. The opinions expressed are those of Darlene Storm and may not represent those of Computerworld.

Latest Posts by Darlene
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Vulnerability broker Exodus Intelligence found a critical hole in the I2P component used in the privacy-orientated operating system Tails, warning that users should not count on any one security solution to keep their IP anonymous despite Edward Snowden touting Tails for privacy.

July 24, 2014 12:06 PM EDT
Image credit: Kafeine

Critoni is a new ransomware that has been spotted in the wild. Also dubbed as CTB-Locker (Curve-Tor-Bitcoin Locker) on forums frequented by cyber thugs, the ransomware uses Tor and is being touted as a more powerful version of Cryptolocker. This might be a wise time to backup your data.

July 21, 2014 4:17 PM EDT
Image credit: Kathryn Yengel

A leaked catalog of GCHQ's exploit tools and secret techniques show how the UK intelligence agency monitors social networking sites, manipulates polls and website traffic to promote propaganda, and launches attacks on cell phones and online services.

July 16, 2014 1:22 PM EDT
Image credit: Algenol Biofuels

In the continuing saga of US-Chinese cyber espionage drama, one expert believes the Office of Personnel Management hack allegedly by the Chinese was "OK" and within the rules of national security espionage. Acting on a request by the U.S., Canada nabbed a Chinese man accused of plotting to steal U.S. military secrets. Yet a small biofuel company called the DOJ indictment of Chinese military hackers "a joke" that will change nothing, claiming to have been attacked 39 million times in the last four months...many of those allegedly by the Chinese for cyber espionage.

July 14, 2014 1:36 PM EDT
Image credit: Uncalno Tekno

So you think you deleted your dirty little secrets from your Android smartphone? Before you sell your old phone, you should know that factory reset does not actually erase all your selfies, family photos, Facebook chats, texts, contacts or emails. In fact, Avast recovered over 40,000 from 20 previously-owned and "wiped" phones.

July 09, 2014 12:30 PM EDT
Image credit: Yuri Samoilov

A report based on leaked top-secret NSA XKeyscore source code suggests that if you care about online privacy enough to run a search for Tor, Tails, a free VPN or other proxy, then that concern about digital privacy paints a bull’s-eye on your back and marks you, indefinitely, as a “target” for surveillance.

July 07, 2014 11:23 AM EDT
Image credit: IFTTT

Do you dabble in the Internet of Things? If This Then That is simple programming to connect two apps without needing to understand programming. Here are some IFTTT recipes for safety and security; warning...some are just silly and for fun.

July 02, 2014 9:00 AM EDT
Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler

Ex-NSA Chief Gen. Keith Alexander: The sky is falling! New NSA Chief Admiral Michael Rogers: The sky is NOT falling! For those in the financial sector who buy into the possible FUD, Alexander has offered his expertise for $1 million per month. Although he later slashed the astronomical cost of his advice to a mere $600,000 a month, a U.S. Congressman is questioning if Alexander is disclosing classified information; without the secrets learned from 'his former position, he literally would have nothing to offer to you.'

June 30, 2014 11:27 AM EDT
Image credit: Citizen Lab

After capturing secret remote control “implants” in the wild, the Italian Hacking Team’s Trojans that target and infect smartphones for maximum surveillance, Kaspersky Lab and Citizen Lab gave detailed reports on the “legal” spyware. While the mobile implants are also available for BlackBerry and Windows Phones, we are primarily looking at stealthy and invasive Remote Control System (RCS) toolkits, aka the Hacking Team’s “lawful intercept” Galileo software aimed at iPhones and Androids.

June 25, 2014 1:04 PM EDT
Image credit: woodleywonderworks

In the continuing saga of the Open Wireless Movement, the EFF will release firmware at HOPE X in order to help people share a little slice of bandwidth on their home Wi-Fi network without sacrificing privacy or security; freely sharing open Wi-Fi will supposedly put people at no legal risk since an IP is not a person. While it sounds like a happy world to live in – free Wi-Fi everywhere – how many legal battles will have to be fought and won before open wireless networks are so ubiquitous that it’s no longer “reasonable” for law enforcement to automatically investigate an IP address captured during a crime? 

June 23, 2014 1:24 PM EDT
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