Articles by Lisa Vaas

About Lisa Vaas

I've been writing about technology, careers, science and health since 1995. I rose to the lofty heights of Executive Editor for eWEEK, popped out with the 2008 crash, joined the freelancer economy, and am still writing for my beloved peeps at places like Sophos's Naked Security, CIO Mag, ComputerWorld, PC Mag, IT Expert Voice, Software Quality Connection, Time, and the US and British editions of HP's Input/Output. I respond to cash and spicy sites, so don't be shy.

Google goes beyond two-step verification with new USB Security Key

Google 2SV

Google's adding support for a physical USB second factor that will first verify the login site as being a true Google website, not a fake site pretending to be Google, before it hands over a cryptographic signature.

Woman charged with planting spyware on cop's phone

Phone. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

A woman has been charged after eavesdropping on "sensitive law enforcement communications" by tapping the mobile phone of her police officer ex.

Is your phone line a '6-figure liability waiting to happen'?

The company telephone: A '6-figure liability waiting to happen'

Premium-rate service scams are sticking businesses - particularly small ones using local carriers - with outrageous phone bills, to the tune of $4.73 billion globally for 2013. Many businesses aren't even aware that they can be stuck paying the bill (or fighting it in court).

UK considering imprisoning 'cowardly, venomous trolls' for up to 2 years

UK considering imprisoning 'cowardly, venomous trolls' for up to 2 years

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said that new laws would quadruple the current maximum six-month term and show his determination to "take a stand against a baying cyber-mob".

Facebook prowls the internet looking for your password

Facebook prowls the internet looking for your password

Facebook explains that it's keeping its eye out for credentials - email, password combinations - dropped on sites after data breaches, running them against its own users' credentials to see if password reuse is going to land its users in trouble.

Whisper CTO trashes reports that it tracks even those users who turn off geolocation

Whisper CTO trashes reports that it tracks even those users who turn off geolocation

Supposedly anonymous social media app Whisper actually tracks some users - particularly newsworthy ones - even after they've specifically opted out of geolocation, according to reports.

Facebook's new Safety Check lets you tell friends you're safe when disaster strikes

Facebook's new Safety Check lets you tell friends you're safe when disaster strikes

Facebook has graced its users with a new tool called Safety Check that lets people tell friends if they're OK when disaster strikes.

'The Snappening’: stolen Snapchat photos site defaced, details of site owner published

Snappening fans deface Snapchat photos site after it comes down

Owner of TheSnappening.org photo site, Mudit Grover, took the stolen Snapchat images and the site down. But within hours, attackers identifying themselves as "Team Danny" allegedly took over the domain and published Grover's personal details.

Snapchat to address sketchy third-party apps with public API ... at some point

Snapchat logo

Oh, those darn third-party apps, their home-brewed APIs and their photo-leaking ways, Snapchat moaned on Wednesday morning, promising to cook up a public API to fix the situation... sooner or later.

U2's Bono says sorry for foisting album on everybody's iTunes

Bono

In a Facebook interview, a U2 fan - or, well, maybe just somebody who took advantage of the chance to tell off the band - asked the band to please never release an automatically downloaded album again, given that "It's really rude."

Attacker takes over Facebook page set up for 'Bucket List Baby' Shane, posts porn

Attacker takes over Facebook page set up for 'Bucket List Baby' Shane, posts porn

A Facebook page set up to chronicle the extremely short life of a baby with the rare, terminal condition of anencephaly was hijacked within days of the infant's death and set to display lewd images. The parents, who had lost their child mere days before, fell for one of the most vile phishing attacks ever.

Dropbox passwords leaked, third-party services blamed

Dropbox logo

Hundreds of Dropbox logins were posted on Pastebin and Reddit, but it turns out they were stolen from a third-party service months ago, Dropbox says. So why did some of those passwords work, as Reddit users claimed? Think password reuse.

Google ordered to forget 'endangered' man's search results by Tokyo court

Tokyo court orders Google to forget 'endangered' man's search results

Takedown-rights fever has hit Tokyo, where a District Court on Thursday issued an injunction forcing Google to take down about 120 of 230 search results about a Japanese man that implicated him in past crimes because he felt his life was being endangered by the search results.

Another game developer flees her home following Gamergate death threats

Another game developer flees her home following Gamergate death threats

US-based game developer Brianna Wu (the third woman to be driven from her home in what's being dubbed the Gamergate controversy) after a troll posted her address online and threatened to rape, kill and mutilate her.

'The Snappening': Snapchat images flood the internet after SnapSaved.com hack

Snapsaved.com

Hundreds of thousands of supposedly self-destructing Snapchat snaps have been apparently jimmied out of the database for SnapSaved.com, a third-party website not affiliated with Snapchat which allows users to save unopened photos from Snapchat without the sender knowing the images have been saved.

Backoff malware gang hits Dairy Queen stores

Backoff malware gang hits Dairy Queen stores

Customers' payment card details may have been whipped out of nearly 400 Dairy Queen stores in the US. It's just the latest in a string of PoS malware infections that have been slamming US retailers.

FBI's warrantless 'hack' of Silk Road was legal, prosecutors claim

FBI's warrantless 'hack' of Silk Road was legal, prosecutors claim

Even if FBI agents did hack their way into the Silk Road without a warrant - and they're most certainly not confessing to that, mind you - the intrusion would have been an upstanding, law-abiding, Fourth Amendment-respecting act of criminal investigation, the government argued in a Monday court filing.

Reminder: iCloud's going to demand app-specific passwords from third-party apps

icloud-app-2sv-250

Yes, your third-party calendar, mail and contacts apps that don't support Apple's new two-factor authentication system are going to turn 10 toes up on your iThings. You'll need app-specific passwords to get at the cloud data.

Adobe will update e-reader to mop up clear-text data spillage

adobe-250

Adobe is working on an update to fix the latest iteration of its e-book reader, which has a gluttonous appetite for readers' data and the slovenly habit of reporting our reading habits back to Adobe - in plain text.

Twitter sues US federal agencies in attempt to remove the gag around surveillance

Twitter sues US federal agencies in attempt to remove the gag around surveillance

Twitter doesn't want its transparency report to be fuzzy to the point of meaninglessness, full of "broad, inexact ranges" about how many times the US government has shaken it down in its surveillance operations, it says – for example, by counting them to the nearest thousand.