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.

Heartbleed jabs its first victims: UK parents' site Mumsnet, Canadian tax agency

Heartbleed jabs its first victims: UK parents' site Mumsnet, Canadian tax agency

Two high-profile organisations, the UK parenting site Mumsnet and the Canada Revenue Agency, are the first known victims of the Heartbleed OpenSSL vulnerability to experience data breaches.

Notorious troll and hacker Weev has conviction overturned

Weev conviction overturned, CFAA left to wobble along

The courts have overturned Weev's conviction without having to deal with the sticky subject of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. They did it on grounds that surprised nobody: namely, venue.

Obama leaves loophole open for NSA to exploit zero-day vulnerabilities

Obama leaves loophole open for NSA to exploit zero-day vulnerabilities

No, the US White House didn't know about Heartbleed and didn't exploit the OpenSSL bug to snoop, it said, but it's reserving the prerogative to use zero-day exploits as a wedge to pry out intelligence if it serves national security interests.

Facebook wages war on Like-baiting and spammy posts

Facebook wages war on Like-baiting and spammy posts

It's a full frontal assault on cute kittens and the Pages that pimp them out for Likes. Facebook's tweaked its algorithms to try to scrape off the clingy, whiny, needy stories published by Pages that deliberately try to game Facebook's News Feed to get more distribution than they normally would.

WhatsApp, Facebook get a privacy finger wagged at them by FTC

WhatApp, Facebook get a privacy finger wagged at them by FTC

The Commission suggests that, post-mega-acquisition (which has been OKed), WhatsApp should get users' permission before changing data collection.

In-flight WiFi providers go above and beyond to help feds spy on us

In-flight WiFi providers go above and beyond to help feds spy on us

Documents have come to light in which Gogo brags about how it not only complies with a federal law for compliance with law enforcement; it actually goes above and beyond requirements to give law enforcement extra special surveillance sauce, it says. And it's not the only one...

Proposed law seeks to make retailers financially responsible for data breaches

Money. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Fallout from the epic Target data breach continues, as state lawmakers seek to hold retailers liable for financial damages caused by breaches spawned by their businesses, rather than financial institutions who issue credit and payment cards.

Facebook will show more on-screen privacy setting explanations

Facebook will show more on-screen privacy setting explanations

Facebook admitted that users are confused about privacy. Between a blue privacy dinosaur who's already popping up to remind us to check privacy settings and upcoming on-screen explanations of who's seeing what when we share, we'll all be a bit less muddled.

"David vs Goliath & Godzilla" - Hollywood files lawsuit against Megaupload

Cinema. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

The Kim Dotcom/Megaupload mega-saga continues, with six mammoth movie studios filing suit against what they say is the former file-sharing site's mega-monster-mind-numbingly-massive copyright infringement.

Facebook data scraped, people profiled as "jerks" and scammed by Jerk.com, FTC says

Jerk. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Jerk.com allegedly scraped content from people's Facebook listings, put it up on its site, invited the world to throw rotten fruit at by clicking on a "jerk" or "not a jerk" button, and then had the outrageously uber-jerky jerkiness to charge people $30 to be able to (supposedly but not really) dispute.

Match.com Lothario cons woman out of her retirement savings

Match.com Lothario bilks woman out of her retirement savings

A New Jersey, USA, woman lost her retirement savings after she fell for a phony Match.com cutie. Here's some advice for internet romancers.

Triathlon camera drone falls out of the sky, owner claims it was hacked

Triathlon camera drone falls out of the sky, owner claims it was hacked

A drone that was supposed to be filming an Australian triathlon fell out of the air and struck a triathlete in the head, sending her to hospital on Sunday. The drone's operator is suggesting hacking via wireless channel-hopping, while others are questioning why the drone was put into use in the race after it had already acted out earlier that day.

Microsoft Xbox pwned by 5-year-old security researcher

Xbox pwned by 5-year-old security researcher

He got in through a backdoor in Microsoft's smashingly popular video gaming system - as in, straight in to all the slobbering zombies and screaming violence that his parents would never have let him play with.

Her website was hacked away; here's how she got it back

Her website was hacked away; here's how she got it back

"Pfft! What's all the fuss about site hijacking? Just send a few emails and get it fixed!" Well, that's what Jordan Reid thought before her domain got held for ransom. She's since changed her tune, after her own site got whisked away and put on the auction block. Here's how she got it back.

Google drives the Street View snooping scandal up to the Supreme Court

Google drives the StreetView snooping scandal up to the Supreme Court

Google's asking the high court to rule on the legality of its past snorting of unencrypted WiFi traffic in neighborhoods around the US.

SellHack browser plugin ceases squeezing LinkedIn for hidden email addresses

SellHack logo

The free extension promised to "hack" LinkedIn profiles to get at what should be users' tucked-away, private email addresses. Much to LinkedIn's chagrin, it was doing just that (albeit spottily) until it got LinkedIn's cease and desist order, took the plugin offline and pledged to shape it into something that passes terms of service muster.

Kill-switch for mobile phones could save US consumers $2.6B per year, says report

Kill-switch for mobile phones could save US consumers $2.6B per year, says report

US consumers are spending CRAZY money to replace stolen phones and to insure the pocket-sized thief magnets, says a new report from Creighton University.

Dropbox says it isn't poking around in our stuff

Dropbox says it isn't poking around in our stuff

"We don’t look at the files in your private folders and are committed to keeping your stuff safe", the company said in the wake of an internet freakout sparked by a user finding himself unable to share copyrighted content. Time to relax, or time to consider encrypting your files before they get to Dropbox (or any other cloud storage)?

Google Glass recording without permission could become illegal in Australia

Google Glass recording without permission could become illegal in Australia

The country's considering an overhaul of privacy laws that could make it illegal to record private conversations or activities without consent via Google Glass or similar wearable technologies.

Porn site age-check law demanded by UK media watchdog

Porn site age-check law demanded by UK media watchdog

A video-on-demand watchdog in the UK - whose government seems to have its knickers in a permanent twist over children potentially accessing internet porn - is demanding an age-check law for porn sites.