All you need to know about botnets

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We’ve all seen movies like Eagle Eye and Terminator Genisys, or read one of the myriad sci-fi books that suggest computers will one day take over the world – and then we dismissed the notion as being unrealistic or far from the truth. But with our lives become more and more connected, new possibilities and vectors arise for hackers with malicious intents to target our lives, if not necessarily in the manner that is depicted in the movies. They don’t need to run a SkyNet or Genisys network to have an army of evil robots at their command – they can conscript thousands and millions of mindless connected devices to their botnets, and force them to do their evil bidding. Continue reading

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6 lessons tech firms should take away from hacks in 2015

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There’s no arguing that 2015 was a record year in data-breaches and hacks. Both in quantity and quality, the cyber-attacks we witnessed last year outmatched those of 2014 (which itself was a shocking year in data-breaches), hitting anything and anyone ranging between high-profile and ordinary.

As we take our first steps into 2016, it is good to stop and ponder on what went wrong in 2015. Here’s a look at how some of the worst hacks in past year could have been prevented, or at least lessened in damage. Continue reading

Are passwords becoming obsolete?

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Ever since the dawn of computers, organizations, companies, government agencies and individuals have relied on usernames and passwords as the principle way to identify users and grant (or deny) access to sensitive information, communications and software. In tandem, hackers have been searching for methods to crack and obtain passwords in order to steal restricted data, cause damage, or simply to spite the owner. And they’ve devised more than one way to do so.

Though the tech community has constantly been offering new technologies and guidelines to improve the security of passphrases and help users avoid being the victim of identity theft, the hack community has not remained idle and has found workarounds to stay one step ahead.

The increasing cases of password theft has brought many security experts and analysts to question the wisdom and integrity of this authentication method, and rightly so. Here are some of the reasons that may indicate it’s time to get over the use of passwords. Continue reading

A DIY recipe to improve your smart-home’s privacy

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is fast expanding and encroaching on every aspect of our lives. There are already more than 4 billion connected devices across the world, and IoT devices will outnumber humans several times by 2020. Many of these devices are in our homes, and they give us an unprecedented ability to sense and control our appliances, helping us achieve convenience, energy saving and home automation in ways that were virtually impossible a few years back.

However, the promise of efficiency and modernization offered by IoT can’t be realized without the security and privacy controls to go with it. There are many reasons for you to worry about your smart-home’s security, because insecure IoT device will effectively enable malicious hackers to remotely monitor your home’s activities, hijack your appliances, or trigger the functions of your home’s controller at their will to further their own evil ends. Continue reading