Archive for the 'General' Category


“123456”, “password”, “letmein”

For all its benefits, the Internet can be a hassle when it comes to remembering passwords for email, banking, social networking and shopping.

Many people use just a single password across the Web. That’s a bad idea, say online-security experts.

“Having the same password for everything is like having the same key for your house, your car, your gym locker, your office,” says Michael Barrett, chief information-security officer for online-payments service PayPal, a unit of eBay Inc.

To come up with a strong password, some security officials recommend taking a memorable phrase and using the first letter of each word. For example, “to be or not to be, that is the question,” becomes “tbontbtitq.” Others mash an unlikely pair of words together. The longer the password — at least eight characters, experts say — the safer it is.

Once people figure out a phrase for their password, they can make it more complex by replacing letters with special characters or numbers. They can also capitalize, say, the second character of every password for added security. Hence “tbontbtitq” becomes “tB0ntbtitq.”

No matter how good a password is, it is unsafe to use just one. Mr. Barrett recommends following his lead and having strong ones for four different kinds of sites — email, social networks, financial institutions and e-commerce sites — and a fifth for infrequently visited or untrustworthy sites.


Full Article Here


Massive Government Interest in Sony PlayStation Network Hac

Governments and government agencies across the country and the world are now seeking answers from Sony about the PlayStation Network outage and the potential loss of personal information.

Interested parties include the Connecticut state attorney general, the FBI, government privacy officials from Australia, Canada and the U.K., and even the city of Taipei.

Sony’s online network has been down since April 20, when the company took down the PlayStation Network and the related Qriocity cloud music service due to a external intrusion, or hack into the network.

That may have been on Sony’s mind on Friday, when the company’s latest blog post addressed the issue of compensation, and what will happen to customer’s saved games, data, and other aspects of game play.

Customers, meanwhile, have complained that their credit-card information that was given to Sony has been compromised, perhaps by a hacker group. “There have been charges at retail stores, restaurants, parking garages, and hotels in TN [Tennessee] and MD [Maryland],” Thomas O’Brien wrote in an email to “There have also been charges in AZ [Arizona], but those may be online, and not a physical retail location.”

Sony has contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation in San Diego, and its cybercrimes unit is investigating.

“The situation also raises questions about the effectiveness of Sony’s measures to protect the confidentiality and security of private information it receives from consumers,” Jepsen wrote. “I am particularly concerned that breaches of this sort do not reoccur and that affected individuals, many of which may be children, are provided sufficient protections to safeguard their information from further disclosures.”

Full Article Here

Note: Full Timeline Here – Friday, April 29 – Hackers claim to have access to PSN customers’ credit card numbers and reportedly try to hold the data for ransom, demanding payment from Sony, which refuses and declares that the data is encrypted.


FBI child porn raid a strong argument for locking down WiFi networks

Will it take being accused of downloading child pornography to get people to lock down their WiFi networks once and for all? Although that’s not the only reason to keep your network secure, perhaps some users will be scared into doing so after reading a number of horror stories collected by the Associated Press over the weekend. The underlying lesson: keep your WiFi networks locked down, lest you find law enforcement kicking down your door in the middle of the night.

The three stories all fall along the same theme: a Buffalo man, Sarasota man, and Syracuse man all found themselves being raided by the FBI or police after their wireless networks were allegedly used to download child pornography. “You’re a creep… just admit it,” one FBI agent was quoted saying to the accused party. In all three cases, the accused ended up getting off the hook after their files were examined and neighbors were found to be responsible for downloading child porn via unsecured WiFi networks.

Being accused of amassing the world’s largest collection of child pornography is just one of the many downsides to leaving your network open, yet people (including some self-identified geeks) continue to do it. But why? As evidenced by reader e-mail over the last few years, some users claim they’re providing a service to their neighbors by letting them use their WiFi every so often (in turn, these users tend to also make use of open WiFi networks when they see them). Others hope that leaving their WiFi networks open will help to exonerate them if they were to be accused of downloading copyrighted music or movies—Big Content would never sue the wrong individual for copyright infringement, right?

Full Article Here


Yes, I’m 18 online

Enter your birthdate on this site to prove that you’re over 18: And please be honest, kids.

Is this the best method we can come up with for preventing children from viewing inappropriate online videos?

With the world of video on the Web reaching new audiences thanks to software like Google TV, the whole family now has access to sometimes unrated and unregulated content in the living room, just a few keystrokes away.

Full CNN Article Here


Signs your kid is being cyberbullied

Bullying is in our schools, and now it’s online. Why do kids do it? What can be done to put an end to it? Don’t miss an “AC360°” special report in collaboration with Cartoon Network: “Stop Bullying: Speak Up,” starting Monday night at 10 ET on CNN.

It’s possible that you won’t even know — studies show that only 5 percent of middle-schoolers tell their parents when they’re the victims of cyberbullying (a disturbing statistic, if we ever saw one).

Speak out on bullying in U.S. schools

Watch for these clues that something’s going on in your child’s online world, then get involved: Should schools punish cyberbullies?

1. Social withdrawal

Your tween stops playing games online or using the phone, and her comrades are mysteriously MIA.

“Most online attacks are launched by friends who know their passwords… and their secrets,” says cyber lawyer Parry Aftab, founder of 13 ways you can help your child stand up under social pressure

2. Fear of technology

Your child spends her evenings catching up on her reading (not that that’s a bad thing) instead of logging on, and appears nervous when text messages pop up. New AOL service tracks kids’ social media usage

3. Bad behavior

“Younger kids will misbehave when they’re tired, but when tweens act out, there’s a good chance it’s because someone is making their life miserable,” says Monica Vila of Social networking sites for kids

4. Ask around

Odds are your 12-year-old told her best pal about the cruel comments made about her weight in a chat room, then she told her mom. Check in with parents you trust. 4 fixes for tween school-anxiety

5. See for yourself

If all else fails, Internet parental controls and monitoring software — as well as regular, honest chats about your kid’s online life — can help you identify an elusive bully.

Full Article


Chatroulette tries to ditch the flashers

It all comes down to the flasher problem.

The website Chatroulette — which unites people all over the world for live, random video chats — has been plagued by awkward, and possibly illegal, nudity since it became wildly popular in February of this year.

People who log onto the site with a webcam are thrown into a video conversation with a stranger, who, according to one analyst’s report, is likely to be a stranger without pants more than 10 percent of the time.

The major hitch in that utopian vision: the nakedness, which led some to turn away from the site.

“With the help of a few good developers we’ve started collecting information, such as IP addresses, logs and screen captures of offenders who actually break US/UN laws by broadcasting innapropriate [sic] content in a specific situations,” he writes.

“I hope that with help of a Criminal law we can finally get the problem out of our shoulders and get existing organizations which usually solve these kind of problems to help us.”


Porn Sites Get Their Own Domain .XXX

On Friday, ICANN, the not-for-profit corporation that coordinates the internet’s naming system, voted to allow the application of the controversial “.xxx” top-level domain name for sites that display adult content.

The domain, which would need further approval before going live on the internet, would be applied to adult entertainment sites just as “.com” is now.

The .xxx internet suffix, which was first proposed six years ago by ICM Registry, a group that sells domain names, “will provide a place online for adult entertainment providers and their service providers who want to be part of our voluntary self regulatory community,” according to that company’s news release.

Adopting .xxx will be optional. However, some tech blogs speculate a push to make the domain mandatory for adult-only sites.

ICM Registry has already taken 110,000 pre-reservations for the domain, which could be available in early 2011, if not sooner, its news release states.

While the company says labeling adult content online “will allow for simple and effective filtering for those who wish to do so,” not everyone is pleased with ICANN’s decision to approve the domain.

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