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.

New search engine Indexeus unmasks malicious hackers

New search engine Indexeus unmasks malicious hackers

Indexeus is a database of stolen names and passwords, many doxed from the hackers who've themselves doxed others' data. Is it poetic justice, exploitation of a lucrative market, a prototype of an educational tool, or all of the above?

Jailed Apple phishing duo also imported pickpockets and cloned credit cards

Constanta Agrigoroaie and Radu Savoae. Images courtesy of Metropolitan Police.

How's this for irony? A pair of fraudsters phished bank account details out of over 150 Apple users by sending them hairy-scary messages about their accounts having been compromised.

New York proposes strict regulations for Bitcoin

New York proposes strapping a regulatory straitjacket onto Bitcoin

The rules are strict. Will the community pay heed, or will it ignore attempts to control this wild landscape?

Introducing Jibo: adorable home robot or the Eye of Sauron?

Introducing Jibo: adorable home robot or the Eye of Sauron?

Launched by famed MIT Media Labs roboticist Cynthia Breazeal, he's poised to smile, dance, and giggle his way into our hearts, our homes, and hopefully not into the lucrative position of pawning data about where we like to shop.

13-year-old girl arrested for Facebook death threats against entire town

Silhouette. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Despite specific threats to kill a 12-year-old cancer patient along with the entire population of a Texas town, Facebook initially stonewalled police's efforts to find the identity of whoever was making the terrorist threats. It baffled police, as well it should.

Child abuse images dragnet snares 660 suspected paedophiles

Child abuse images dragnet snares 660 suspected paedophiles

Doctors, teachers, scout leaders, care workers and former police officers - all professions that entail unsupervised access to children - were among 660 who've been arrested in an unprecedented child abuse image dragnet in the UK.

'Hidden from Google' site remembers the pages Google's forced to forget

'Hidden from Google" site remembers the pages Google's forced to forget

The newly launched site is archiving the pages Google was forced to de-index in the name of opening up to the internet as a whole the discussion regarding what should or should not be "forgotten."

Germany considers replacing email with typewriters to evade spying

Germany to replace email with typewriters to duck US spying?

The country's pondering manual typewriters, however, unlike Russia's reported embrace of electric typewriters last year. Russia should be well aware that you can plug a keylogger into those e-typewriters, given that it pulled that stunt on IBM Selectrics back in the 70s!

Arrests made after keyloggers found on public PCs at US hotels

Keyloggers found on public PCs at US hotel business centres

Proof of the lack of hygiene in publicly accessible PCs came up yet again when the US Secret Service last week warned that cybercrooks are installing keyloggers on the PCs in hotel business centers to steal personal and business information from travelers.

How to burn a password into your brain

How to burn a password into your brain

It turns out that it can actually be surprisingly easy to train people to memorise a 56-bit password or passphrase, two researchers found.

iPhones are a security threat to the state, China claims

iPhone's a security threat to the state, China claims

China has cited Apple iPhone's ability to track and time-stamp users' whereabouts as reason to declare the mobile phone hazardous to state security.

Tor Project is NOT getting sued for enabling revenge porn site PinkMeth

Tor Project is NOT getting sued for enabling revenge porn site PinkMeth

A Texas revenge-porn victim is suing the operators of revenge-porn site PinkMeth.com and was (until her lawyer figured out just what, exactly, the anonymising service Tor actually is) suing The Tor Project for helping PinkMeth to operate anonymously.

UK to rush through "emergency" phone and internet data retention law

UK to rush through "emergency" phone and internet data retention law

The UK is rushing through Parliament what it calls an emergency law that will ensure it retains access to people's phone and internet records, in spite of the European Court of Justice having said in April that data retention violates human rights. It's not a rehash of the Snooper's Charter, politicians claim, but there's not a lot of time to eyeball it to make sure that's true.

DARPA dissects Twitter, Facebook, Reddit to extract propaganda how-to's

DARPA

The internet found out last week that Facebook's been dissecting us. Now, it looks like DARPA's been at it too, with research on users of Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Kickstarter and Digg.

Google Drive security hole leaks users' files

Google Drive security hole leaks users' files

The flaw, which Google recently patched, was giving out original documents to unauthorized users via embedded links. It's yet another example of how storing documents "in the cloud" means "heaven knows with whom".

US arrests Russian MP's son for PoS hacking; Russia calls it kidnapping

US arrests Russian MP's son for PoS hacking; Russia calls it kidnapping

The Russian man's father conjectures that, for all he knows, this may be a ploy for the US to get bait to exchange for Snowden.

Australian police using tower dumps to slurp mass phone data

Australian police using tower dumps to slurp mass phone data

Australian federal and state police have joined the ranks of mega-data slurpers - namely, the US, where 1 in 4 law enforcement agencies have reportedly used a "tower dump" - ordering phone providers to hand over personal information about thousands of mobile phone users, regardless of whether or not those people are under investigation.

Police dog catches paedophiles by sniffing out their hidden hard drives

Police dog catches paedophiles by sniffing out their hidden hard drives

Police detection dogs are the latest tool in investigators' arsenal when it comes to finding gadgets that might contain illegal images of child abuse, sometimes hidden in metal tins four layers deep inside a filing cabinet.

Holiday snaps and nuclear intel: The NSA's data capture exposed

NSA catches only 10% of data legally, but is it a fair trade off?

That leaves large-scale privacy invasion on 90% of 160,000 analysed messages swept up illegally by the NSA. But credit where credit is due: the legal 10% of intercepts have significant intelligence value, including data about a secret overseas nuclear project and double-dealing by an ostensible ally.

EFF sues NSA over hoarding of zero days

nsa-250

Wouldn't it be nice to know just how, exactly, the spy agency decides whether to silently exploit zero days for snooping purposes while leaving businesses and individuals in the dark with their bellies exposed? The EFF has filed a FOIA lawsuit to help find answers.