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Author Archives: Adam Levin

  • 12 Scams of Christmas

    The 12 Scams of Christmas for 2017Identity Theft


    Scammers make a killing during the holiday season. While you spend your time thinking of ways to bring holiday joy to others, they spend their time thinking up ways to steal from you. The saddest part about this is that the ghosts of Christmases past keep visiting Christmas present. With that, I give you this year’s 12 scams of Christmas. The Gift Card Scam While definitely a ghost of Christmas past, this still works so […]

  • privacy

    Supreme Court’s ‘Carpenter’ is a chance to improve modern privacy normsPrivacy


    The Supreme Court is hearing a case this month, Carpenter v. the United States, that represents an opportunity for the country to move in the right direction on privacy. It’s only fitting that a conviction for a series of armed robberies involving the theft of smartphones may determine the way investigators and prosecutors can use cellphone data in the future. Timothy Ivory Carpenter was convicted of planning, supplying guns and acting as a lookout in […]

  • Caspar Mattress Company “Wiretaps” Potential CustomersPrivacy


    A federal lawsuit alleges that the major mattress disruption company Caspar may have “wiretapped” potential customers—and all visitors to the company’s site—in cahoots with a software company named NaviStone. Originally a New York-based, cut-out-the-middleman company, Caspar is now distributed by Target, and its products are available nationally. The case at hand is focused solely on online orders.  The 21-page suit is aimed at class-action status, but currently relates one customer’s claim that a completed but […]

  • Account takeover

    How the Uber Hack Could Get You Robbed This Christmas (Again)Data Security, Swiped, Cybersecurity


    News that Uber got hacked and 57 million records were compromised may not seem like an overt threat after this year’s constant mega breaches—but it is. A recent study suggests that even something as “harmless” as a breach involving names, phone numbers, and email addresses can lead to account takeover. The study, entitled “Data Breaches, Phishing, or Malware? Understanding the Risks of Stolen Credentials,” was backed by Google and conducted in partnership with the University of California, […]

  • Tips for Buying Safe Connected Devices This Cyber MondayCybersecurity, Privacy


    Keeping up with news alerts about cybersecurity flaws in consumer electronics is a lot like picking up spilled jelly beans one at a time with a plumber’s wrench. Even if you figure out how to do it and have endless patience, a few will skitter out of sight. Assume for the moment that, unlike most people, you think a lot about cybersecurity and you do your homework before buying a connected device. (I know. This […]

  • cybersecurity

    Forever 21 Suffers Breach, Underscores Cybersecurity BasicsData Security


    Word started spreading yesterday the way it often does with cyber events, like fog. The sun burned through it quickly, in this instance, and we now know (sort of)…something happened. Forever 21 is still a little vague on specifics, but between March and October of this year, at least some of the company’s point-of-sale devices were vulnerable to attack. According to news reports, a 2015 encryption upgrade was either not installed or not delivered. The […]

  • SHIELD act

    New York AG Proposes Tougher Data Breach LawsData Security, Cybersecurity


    Even though we haven’t passed the green flags of Thanksgiving, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas—at least for cybersecurity advocates. In this edition of “Someone’s Actually Paying attention,” New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has introduced a bill that expands the definition of a breach in his state. The bill is called the Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Security Act, or the SHIELD Act for short, and it already has the support […]

  • Secure email

    Can You Hack-Proof Your Personal Email Address?Data Security, Swiped


    How would you feel if the digital “you” were deleted? The common wisdom in cybersecurity circles is that if you think it can’t happen to you, it probably will. Consider Mat Honan’s story. “First my Google account was taken over, then deleted,” Honan wrote. “Next my Twitter account was compromised, and used as a platform to broadcast racist and homophobic messages.” Honan’s AppleID was used to remotely delete all the data on his iPhone, iPad, and […]

  • sex toy eavesdropping

    Buyer Beware: Your Smart Sex Toy Is ListeningPrivacy, Technology


    As if the recent news of every Tom, Dick and Harry out in Hollywood creeping on women in every way imaginable weren’t enough, now comes news that a smart sex toy manufacturer may have been caught creeping on consumers—specifically with a predilection to eavesdrop on lovers in mechanical delicto. The story comes via Reddit: A Lovense remote control vibrator app recorded sessions without the permission of at least one user. It was bound to happen […]

  • phishing

    Study: Phishing, Not Data Breaches Most Likely Cause of Account TakeoverData Security, Technology


    A recent Google study found that phishing exploits are far more likely to be the cause of account takeovers than the information compromised by data breaches. “Data Breaches, Phishing, or Malware? Understanding the Risks of Stolen Credentials” was conducted in cooperation with the University of California, Berkeley and the International Computer Science Institute gathered data from March 2016 through March 2017. Sampling more than 1.9 billion stolen usernames and passwords exposed by past data breaches […]