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Target: Hack Exposed Data On 70 Million

Target provided some guidance on its fourth quarter earnings on Friday and, not incidentally, dropped another bombshell in the long-running story about the November data breach that exposed credit card information on some 40 million customers. It turns out that the credit card numbers were just the tip of a much larger iceberg. The box store retailer now claims that its investigation of that incident revealed that data on around 70 million customers was exposed, including e-mail addresses, phone numbers, mailing addresses and more. In a statement, Target said that much of the stolen data was “partial in nature,” but that it will reach out to customers whose e-mail addresses were stolen to warn them about potential fraud, including “phishing” e-mails that purport to come from Target. “I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are […]

Wolfram Floats Common Language For Internet Of Things

Amid all the “connected device” hoopla coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week, one of the most interesting announcements came from an unexpected corner: Wolfram Research, a maker of high-end software that is used in scientific research. On Monday, the company’s CEO, Stephen Wolfram, announced The Wolfram Connected Devices Project – an initiative that will comprise both a common catalog of connected devices and a common language to connect them. “Connected devices are central to our long-term strategy of injecting sophisticated computation and knowledge into everything,” Wolfram said. “With the Wolfram Language we now have a way to describe and compute about things in the world. Connected devices are what we need to measure and interface with those things.” Wolfram’s short-term goal is to begin cataloging IoT devices and making those devices ‘searchable’ via its Wolfram Alpha web portal – what the company describes as a ‘computational […]

Siemens SCALANCE 200

Siemens Patches Holes In Industrial Control Switch

A security researcher discovered two, serious security holes in a switch by Siemens that could allow an attacker to hijack industrial control system hardware that is heavily used by energy and transportation firms, among others. IOActive, a security consulting firm in Seattle, Washington, said on Thursday that Eireann Leverett, a senior security consultant, discovered two vulnerabilities in Siemens’ SCALANCE X-200 Switches. The vulnerabilities were in a web server component that provided administrators with access to features needed to configure the switches. If exploited, they would have allowed an attacker who had access to the same network as the SCALANCE switch to perform administrative actions on the devices, including updating the switch firmware and hijack active web sessions – all without needing to first log in to the device. SCALANCE is a family of Ethernet switches that connect to industrial control system (ICS) devices including programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and Human […]

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Cars Become Gadget-ized, Govt. Warns On Privacy Risk

Your car is a lot more than just a car these days. Forget about the in-car entertainment system with the USB port and the iPhone jack. If you drive a late-model vehicle, it has been tricked out with hundreds of wireless sensors to monitor everything from tire pressure to braking and acceleration. These sensors communicate over a VAN – or Vehicle Area Network – that’s not all that different from the LAN that connects the computers, servers, printers and other peripheral devices in your office. Beyond that, automakers are taking their cue from mobile device makers- and for good reason. Apple booked $10 billion in sales through its AppStore in 2013 alone. That’s not too shabby, when you consider that much of that revenue came in $.99 increments! But, as Jessica Naziri (@jessicanaziri) noted in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times, cars are the new gadgets. After all, the Detroit Auto Show is still […]

IoT Hackers Await Their Killer App

The next year will see the continued blurring of lines between the worlds of IT security and what we’ve come to think of as the ‘rest of our lives.’ But those who expect to see a large shift in malicious activity to the Internet of Things in 2014 will be disappointed.   That, according to a report from the security firm Trend Micro, which argues that Internet of Things malware and attacks are still a ways off – as cyber criminals await a “killer app” that will boost adoption and provide a common platform to attack. The prediction is part of “Blurring Boundaries,” a 2014 outlook report from Trend that argues IoT threats are mostly future-tech. “While we certainly think that attacks on IoT devices and the underlying architecture will be a major area of attack in the future, that future will not be until 2015 and beyond” writes Robert McArdle, […]