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.

Woman sues Google after in-app purchases drain her bank account

Woman sues Google after Play Store drains her bank account

She's alleging that Google Play's inadequate security let crooks siphon thousands of dollars in charges from her account.

Tampering with US voting machine as easy as 'abcde', says Virginia report

Tampering with US voting machine as easy as 'abcde', says Virginia report

All it would take to compromise it is to sit in the parking lot with a laptop, some free tools, and a dropper full of tech smarts.

Lost your Android? Now you can Google it!

Now you can Google your lost (Android) phone

Just do a Google search on "Find My Phone," and presto! It will show up on a Google map. Then, you can get it to ring its head off.

US lawmaker who's pushing anti-swatting bill gets swatted

US lawmaker who's pushing anti-swatting bill gets swatted

"Some sick, evil person thought it would be funny to send the police to my house on one of these false reports," he said.

EU accuses Google of abusing search dominance, opens Android investigation

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The European Commission has accused Google of abusing its status as the 800-lb. search gorilla and has launched a separate investigation into its Android mobile operating system.

Hot Lotto security director suspected of tinkering with computer to win $14.3m

Lottery balls. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

What's luckier than a four-leaf clover? Maybe a rootkit on a handy thumb drive, with access to security cameras that can be tampered with.

New algorithm could auto-squash trolls

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Researchers have come up with a tool that spots troll behaviour and low readability 80% of the time. That's 20% "oops." Worth it?

Teen charged after using teacher's admin password to access school computer

Florida teen charged with felony after shoulder-surfing teacher's password

He's been charged with trespassing on his school's computer system after snooping away an administrative password and swapping a teacher's desktop wallpaper with an image of two men kissing.

Season 5 Game of Thrones episodes leaked online

Season 5 Game of Thrones episodes pirated and leaked online

HBO says that preview copies of Game of Thrones have somehow been breached. They'd already been copied at least 1 million times before Sunday's airing of the new season's first episode.

Amazon sues sites that sell fake reviews

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Amazon is suing four websites that sell fake 4 and 5 star reviews for trademark infringement, false advertising and cybersquatting.

DEA sued over "suspicionless" mass surveillance of Americans' phone records

DEA sued over secret dragnet of Americans' phone records

Human Rights Watch and EFF are suiing the drug agency, along with the FBI, DOJ and the USA itself, to make sure they torch the bulk surveillance program and purge its mountain of records.

ISPs ordered to hand over names and addresses of illegal file sharers

BitTorrent downloaders to be uncovered - is this the beginning of the end for piracy?

In a landmark case, a Hollywood studio won the rights to unmask alleged pirates of the movie The Dallas Buyers Club.

After School app grows up after child safety criticisms

AfterSchool app

Like many apps, 'After School' has decided to grow up and start taking toxic chat and threats of violence seriously. It's a welcome sign of maturation.

White House hackers accessed schedule of President Obama's whereabouts

Barack Obama. Image courtesy of Everett Collection/Shutterstock

It's unclassified, but it's still highly sensitive, officials say. It's just one non-public set of data gleaned by intruders who may have slipped in via the State Department's system.

Baby cam plays creepy music, moves of its own accord

Man in a hoody

Yes, the wireless cam was possessed - by the spirit of whoever hijacked the Foscam IP device to spy on a Minnesota couple's baby.

Court might force US to reveal details of secret wireless kill switch

Court might force US to reveal details of secret WiFi kill switch

The Feds have been arguing for years that disclosing the protocol, SOP 303, would endanger people.

Politicians promise to lock kids out of online porn sites

Politicians promise to lock kids out of online porn sites

Policymakers from Britain's Conservative Party call for oversight by an independent regulator with the power to compel ISPs to block sites that fail to include effective age verification.

GPS tracking counts as a "search", says US Supreme Court

Tracking. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

The court sided with an offender who argued that being forced to wear a location monitor for the rest of his life is unconstitutional.