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Some US states strengthen data breach notification laws, others ignore them


Vermont and North Dakota have recently bolstered their data breach notification laws to cover more organizations and additional types of personal information. Meanwhile Michigan lost 49,000 people's names, birth dates and cancer screening records and claims they aren't protected information.

Cryptocat 'encrypted' group chats may have been crackable for 7 months

The Cryptocat project is apologizing and urging users to update immediately.

Founder and developer Nadim Kobeissi took to a live stream to address questions from a show in Germany.

Lias Vaas investigates...

Thieves pounce on one of a sheriff's office's last, unencrypted laptops

Sheriff's badge

The sheriff's office in King's County, Seattle, was in the process of adding encryption software this past spring and as of March had done so on 60% of all computers.

The laptop that got stolen from a detective's truck, unfortunately, was in the 40%, and that's why 6,300 people are now looking at the potential of identity theft.

US child porn suspect doesn't have to decrypt hard drives - yet

Child porn study examines nasty new trends including sextortion

In a case that could have far-reaching implications for compelling criminal suspects to decrypt digital storage devices, a judge on Tuesday temporarily suspended a previous order that would have compelled the decryption of hard drives suspected of containing child pornography.

Microsoft is reading Skype messages

Microsoft's reading Skype messages

Think your Skype communications are safe from prying eyes and ears? You might need to think again.

Monday review - the hot 24 stories of the week

Monday review

In case you missed any recent stories, here's everything we wrote in the last seven days.

IBM takes a big new step in cryptography: practical homomorphic encryption

IBM just released an open source software package called HELib.

HE stands for *homomorphic encryption*, and HELib is an important cryptographic milestone.

Paul Ducklin explains why...

US child abuse image suspect shielded from decrypting hard drives

US child abuse image suspect shielded from decrypting hard drives

The federal magistrate found that forced decryption would violate the computer scientist's Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. It's no triumph for the agents who fight child abuse, but it is a win for privacy and for curtailment of government power over our data.

Movie site Vudu resets passwords after burglar nabs hard drives

Video site Vudu resets passwords after burglar nabs hard drives

Burglars broke into offices at video service Vudu late last month and stole hard drives containing customers' personal data, the company told customers in an email sent on Tuesday.

Russian ransomware takes advantage of Windows PowerShell

Russian flag eye

What's a reasonable price to pay to get your data safely returned to you from the guys who stole it?

How about 10,000 Rubles? No?

According to the cybercriminals behind this new ransomware targeting Russians, the answer is "да".

Traveling to a conference? 8 security tips to keep top of mind


Conference season 2013 is on. While events like these can be great for networking and mindsharing, there can be computer security dangers lurking about. We've pulled together 8 IT security tips to help you stay ahead of the game.

Monday review - the hot 22 stories of the week


Catch up with anything you might have missed last week – it’s weekly roundup time.

Can freezing an Android device crack its encryption keys?

Will chilling an Android phone to -15°C freeze the encryption keys into memory? And if so, can you use a modified version of Android to dig them out?

German researchers had a crack at it - Paul Ducklin takes a look at how things turned out.

The top 10 cracked ciphertexts from history

The top 10 cracked ciphertexts from history

A cipher is a method for encrypting messages to keep them safe from prying eyes. Here's our round-up of the top notable ciphertexts that have been cracked in the last five thousand years.

Sony fined £250,000 after hackers gained access to millions of gamers' details

Sony offers games, subscriptions and virtual cash as part of $15m PSN breach settlement

"There’s no disguising that this is a business that should have known better," says ICO director.

How many headlines do there have to be before companies take data security more seriously?

Canada Student Loans borrowers in giant data breach - 583,000 records gone

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has admitted that the personal information of more than 500,000 student borrowers has gone missing, lost on an unencrypted removable hard disk.

Ouch! Haven't we learned to encrypt our customers' data yet?

Email: the forgotten security problem


When you read a message in your inbox, should you trust that the information hasn't been tampered with or that it even comes from who it claims?

Attacker grabs data for 3.6 million South Carolina taxpayers; governor wants to see culprit "brutalized"

Attacker grabs data for 3.6 million South Carolina taxpayers; governor wants to see culprit "brutalized"

She's got a right to be incensed, with 77% of the state's population's Social Security numbers being snatched out from under the Department of Revenue. But what's the appropriate penalty for the department, for the crime of leaving the data unprotected?

Nude photos of Justin Bieber a ruse: bellybutton tells the tale! Think before you click

Nude photos of Justin Bieber a ruse: bellybutton tells the tale!

Nude photos allegedly of the star began circulating soon after his laptop and camera were stolen. Clicking on such files is always a bad idea, given that malware loves to piggyback on celebrity news. Besides, as any true Belieber knows, Justin has an outie.

Will iPhone 5 have a fingerprint scanner? And will anybody use it?

Will iPhone 5 Boast A Fingerprint Scanner? And will anybody use it?

The internet is abuzz with whispers that Apple's iPhone 5, rumoured to be launched this week, will come with a fingerprint scanner to secure the device. If true, this could be a big step forward in iPhone's quest to become a digital wallet, but will convenience-crazy iPhone users embrace biometrics?