Looking back over the past few years, it seems like cybersecurity and warfare threats are only getting worse. We've had the Stuxnet Worm, the WikiLeaks affair, China-originating attacks against Google and others, and the recent Egypt Internet blackout.But are cybersecurity dangers, in fact, getting that much worse? And are perceptions at odds with what is really important in terms of security protection? How can businesses best protect themselves from the next round of risks, especially as cloud, mobile and social media and networking activities increase? How can architecting for security become effective and pervasive?We posed these and other serious questions to a panel of security experts at the recent The Open Group Conference, held in San Diego the week of Feb. 7, to examine the coming cybersecurity business risks, and ways to head them off.The panel: Jim Hietala, the vice president of security at The Open Group; Mary Ann Mezzapelle, chief technologist in the CTO's office at HP; … [Read more...] about PODCAST Enterprise Security: New Weapons for a New War
Last week was a really interesting week. Google brought out its Windows-killer product, the Chrome OS, to generally good reviews -- but most of the folks I know who have covered the desktop for years are convinced it will fail. Google also brought out a home automation product and announced a robotic car technology, all of which could benefit from some Apple magic.Microsoft, not to be left out, bought Skype. Many think Google tricked it into paying way too much, and that Microsoft will quickly kill Skype. I think Google's didn't learn enough from Apple before Steve Jobs figured out he was getting ripped off. The cost of that mistake may doom both the Chrome OS and Google's other efforts. I also think that regardless of what Microsoft paid -- and I think it could have bought Skype for less -- what it got was a chance to change the world, and that chance is cheap at any price. I'll get into that this week.I'll close with my product of the week: a coming TV set-top box offering from … [Read more...] about OPINION Geek Wars: Attack of the Chromes
Sony will be able to proceed with its prosecution of a hacker who published an encryption key allowing PlayStation 3 owners to override Sony's copy-protection software and gain control of their consoles. The hack reportedly was built using earlier jailbreaks to the system.A federal magistrate has granted the company subpoena power to gain access to the IP addresses of anyone who visited George Hotz's website from January 2009 onward. It also won subpoena power for data from YouTube and Hotz's GeoHot Twitter account.Sony reportedly is basing its suit on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's prohibition of "circumvention devices."Sony did not respond to the E-Commerce Times' request for comment by press time.Although Sony's tactic is fairly common in IP theft cases, privacy advocates have decried the move, saying the court granted the company overly broad subpoena powers. However, it appears that visitors to websites have little to no protection under privacy statutes.Section 1201(a) of … [Read more...] about Court Grants Sony Heavy Artillery for Its War on PS3 Hacking
We've seen big news in Internet lawsuits this week. Priceline attacks the 800-pound Microsoft gorilla for using the"name-your-own-price" business model, and Amazon tries to clobber arch-enemy barnesandnoble.com for using the "1-click" easy-to-buy technology. Are these actions simple coincidence, or is there something in the Internet water that's making these previously sweet dot-coms pick up the heavy artillery?"These are the first shots in the e-commerce patent wars," claims David Kline, co-author of the upcoming Rembrandts in the Attic: Unlocking the Hidden Value of Patents. "The patent war is going to be bloody and it's going to decide who the winners are in the Internet economy."For Internet companies, patents are not just dusty folders filed in forgotten offline offices - they've become powerful competitive weapons. They're tools for an Internet company's competitive emergence, and they carry high enough regard to help entrepreneurs obtain venture capital.Kline offered comments on … [Read more...] about E-Commerce Patent Wars Break Out
Last week, two scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sued popular search engine Ask Jeeves, alleging that the company violated two U.S. patents that were issued to them in 1994 and 1995.A spokeswoman for Ask Jeeves said that the suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court by Patrick Winston and Boris Katz, is without merit and that the company will aggressively defend itself.Winston and Katz, who work in artificial intelligence and natural-language research at MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, are seeking an injunction prohibiting Ask Jeeves from "making, using or selling Internet search products."Additionally, the suit seeks to prevent Ask Jeeves from licensing its search engine to other companies and to collect damages and royalties.This incident is not the first time that Ask Jeeves has been sued for an alleged patent infringement. In July, IPlearn, LLC of Mountain View, California, filed a similar suit in federal court … [Read more...] about Ask Jeeves Joins Patent Wars
Phishing -- a tactic in which fraudulent email directs users to a malicious Web site that masquerades as a site belonging to a legitimate company, such as a credit card firm or bank, while stealing users' personal data -- is unquestionably on the rise. A recent Gartner report noted that in the past year, approximately 57 million adults received a phishing e-mail. Worse, 11 million of those recipients clicked on the links in that e-mail.With organized crime getting involved and sophisticated software tools in use to carry out malicious tactics, phishing is easier than ever and is threatening consumer confidence.Fortunately, as strategies employed by phishing attackers are becoming more sophisticated, so are the tools used to block them. With government agencies as well as software developers working to put an end to the practice, is there a chance the Internet could become a "no phishing" zone?Avivah Litan, the Gartner analyst who wrote the recent report on phishing, told the E-Commerce … [Read more...] about SPECIAL REPORT Can the Good Guys Win the Phishing Wars?
With a one-two punch, Apple is in the process of lowering the price of its iTunes Plus DRM (digital rights management)-free music songs from US$1.29 to 99 cents while at the same time adding 2 million songs to its iTunes Plus library. The additional songs, which come from music megalabel EMI -- along with a good many from independent labels -- will give Apple the largest DRM-free catalog in the world, the company said.However, Amazon.com, a newcomer on the scene of digital music sales, also says it has about 2 million DRM-free songs online, so the battle over the biggest DRM-free catalog may be a never-ending fight. Either way, Amazon's MP3 music library also includes songs from EMI -- as well as from Universal Music Group, which is not currently letting Apple sell its songs free of Apple's FairPlay DRM system.Apple iTunes Plus songs are encoded at a higher bit rate -- 256 kbps (kilobits per second) using AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) encoding -- than its regular iTunes songs, so iTunes … [Read more...] about iTunes Cut: Will Labels Be Casualties of Music Price War?
In the contest to dominate the video gaming landscape, there are three powerful players, each with a magic weapon: Microsoft with its Xbox 360, Nintendo with its Wii, and Sony with its PlayStation 3 (PS3).Like any great heroes, they each have their strengths and weaknesses, though none, it turns out, has a fatal flaw. For those hapless consumers who haven't already made a choice, the differences between the three consoles offers up a wild list of pros and cons, and it's confusing enough to make any gaming newbie give up and start rolling the dice.To help, we've broken out the consoles, what's going on in the industry, and the key decision points that can shed light into the deepest doubts of this year's video game console season. In some respects, the best video game console to buy is the one with the largest base of consumers. Why? Because it presumably gives the video game publishing industry a bigger audience to sell new game titles to, which in turn encourages them to create the … [Read more...] about Game Consoles, Part 1: The War for the Living Room
The Open Invention Network, or OIN, was created in 2005 as a white hat organization to protect Linux. It has considerable financial backing from Google, IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony. More than 800 organizations worldwide have joined the OIN community by signing the free OIN license.A clamor recently has been growing for the Open Invention Network to take steps to protect embedded Linux from patent pillagers. Toward that end, OIN last month welcomed to its ranks Wolfson Microelectronics, a developer of mixed-signal semiconductor devices and audio solutions for embedded Linux code and devices.Wolfson is one of the top 10 corporate Linux kernel contributors. As such, its enlistment in the patent wars demonstrates its commitment to intellectual property nonaggression in the Linux market, according to Keith Bergelt, CEO of the Open Invention Network."Patent lawsuits are really an attempt to slow or stall Android as a manifestation of a Linux-based platform. The litigation is … [Read more...] about EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Ending the Embedded Linux Patent War Before It Begins
Ask any security practitioner about ransomware nowadays, and chances are good you'll get an earful. Recent outbreaks like Petya and WannaCry have left organizations around the world reeling, and statistics show that ransomware is on the rise generally.For example, 62 percent of participants surveyed for ISACA's recent "Global State of Cybersecurity" survey experienced a ransomware attack in 2016, and 53 percent had a formal process to deal with it. While ransomware is already a big deal, it is set to become an even bigger deal down the road.One of the questions organizations ask is what steps they can take to keep themselves protected. Specifically, what can organizations do to make sure that their organization is prepared, protected and resilient in the face of an outbreak?A strategy that can work successfully is the long-tested "tabletop exercise" -- that is, conducting a carefully crafted simulation (in this case, a ransomware situation) to test organizational response processes … [Read more...] about ANALYSIS The War Room: Experiential Security Planning