About Adam K Levin | Contact | Videos

Data Security

The latest on data breaches and cybersecurity and data security by Adam K Levin.

Hacking: Winter Olympics Are Targeted with Custom Exploit


The Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea start next month and hackers are using the pretext of the games to launch phishing attacks featuring custom malware that, if downloaded, allows an attacker to take control of a device. McAffee has named the malware “Operation PowerShell Olympics,” which was discovered in December when it was sent to Olympics staff members responsible for the ice hockey competition. Thus far, the attack seems to be focused on individuals […]

  • computer nightmare

    2018 Will Be a Cybersecurity NightmareData Security, Identity Theft


    If you think 2017 was bad, hold on for dear life because 2018 is going to be the worst yet when it comes to cyberattacks. The astounding amount of personal information “out there” coupled with criminal innovation will allow cyber incursions of unprecedented scale and sophistication. There is a confluence of intractable forces informing this prediction. First, the headline-grabbing data breaches of 2017 cap a five-year run of hackers relentlessly gutting databases containing personally identifiable information (PII). Who’s been breached? High-profile […]

  • Apple Admits All Devices Affected by Meltdown and Spectre FlawsData Security, Technology


    Apple admitted yesterday that all Macs and iOS devices are affected by the Meltdown and Spectre chip bugs, a massive vulnerability that was discovered by Project Zero, a team of security analysts employed by Google tasked with finding zero-day vulnerabilities. While it was assumed among cybersecurity experts that the vulnerability extended to Apple, the announcement confirmed it. At issue are processes at the deepest level of a personal computer’s operations where certain anticipatory commands—basically an […]

  • The Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerability is Serious (Sorta)Data Security


    The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities that were revealed after the New Year have been the talk of the cybercommunity, and for good reason. The problem, if exploited, would be capable of breaking down basic security partitions by targeting a design feature in chips manufactured by Intel, AMD and ARM. First, don’t panic. The vulnerability may have existed for 20 years. Researchers have (so far) found no example of it being used. However, now that the […]

  • Making Asia Insecure One Machine at a TimeData Security


    Owned by the Alibaba Group, the UC Browser was developed by the Chinese mobile Internet company UCWeb to compete with Google’s Chrome browser, and it’s doing just that, specifically on lower-end smartphones that are dominating Asian markets. Size is everything here. Most phones in the emerging markets of Asia have between 8 and 12 GB of storage—compared to phones sold in the US, which typically start at 32 GB. That means the size of programs […]

  • hiding hacks

    It’s Getting Harder to Hide HacksData Security


    The Uber hack was an object lesson in the perils of trusting a company to report a data compromise in a timely way, which is why a new hack notification workaround developed by a cybersecurity firm is newsworthy. Cybersecurity firm Tripwire has figured out a way to detect unreported compromises. The impulse to hide evidence of an attack, and keep things mum for as long as possible in the event one happens is strong. Uber […]

  • 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, […]

  • 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 […]