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Complexity Is Killing Us: A Security State of the Union With Eugene Spafford of CERIAS

For our second annual spotlight on cyber-security, Switched turned to a renowned expert in the field: Eugene H. Spafford, Professor of Computer Science at Purdue University. Among his many professional associations and corporate and governmental advisory roles, Spafford is the Executive Director of the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS), which supports...

Prey Turns Laptop and Phone Thieves Into the Hunted, For Free

It may not be top-secret or espionage-worthy, but the information we keep on laptops and smartphones is still something we all would like protected. Saved passwords, addresses, bank balances, friends' contact info -- all sorts of information could have potentially devastating effects in the hands of a crook. Large companies have long had the technology to remotely lock-down and wipe mobile...

Hacked and Hijacked! What to Do if Your Identity Gets Stolen

Symptoms: Imagine the pit in your stomach: finding charges on your credit cards or bank statements for items you didn't buy; applying for credit or a mortgage and being denied due to delinquencies on accounts you didn't open. The amounts for the previous year's reported income on your annual Social Security statement is incorrect, and for more than you earned. Or you get a letter or call...

Hacked and Hijacked! What's Next When Your Facebook/Twitter Is Hacked

Symptom: Maybe your Twitter or Facebook friends have gotten viciously spammed with fake offers for a free iPad, or a link to a fake app -- from your profile. Or, maybe you've discover posts on your profile that you never wrote, often with links leading to websites, apps or coupons. You may discover personal messages sent to friends that you didn't write, perhaps asking them to wire money. Or,...

Hacked and Hijacked: What to Do if Your E-mail Account Gets Compromised

Symptoms: People listed in your e-mail contacts report being flooded with spam messages sent from your account. Or, you start receiving a bevy of "bounced" e-mails from random addresses you don't know. You aren't able to log into your account or change its settings, or you've discovered the settings have been altered. You attempt to use e-mail, and find it has been blocked by your provider. ...

Hacked and Hijacked: What to Do if Your PC Gets Compromised

Symptoms: There are a range of telltale signs that your PC has been infiltrated by a binary ne'er-do-well, but, counterintuitively, the worst case scenario is when there are no obvious symptoms at all. For starters, you may have an infection if your PC or Internet throughput has become consistently sluggish, and a restart doesn't cure it. Frequent, random pop-up windows with ads or system...

Your Complete Guide to Windows Security

We want to make one thing clear: we're not picking on Windows. But, the truth is, for a number of different reasons, keeping Microsoft's OS safe requires more thought and effort than other systems. Entailing more than hackers and viruses, being secure means protecting your privacy, securing your data, and ensuring that your account passwords are as robust as possible (and not written down on...

The Web's Biggest Scams: From 419 to the Hitman

Share The Web is awash with bad seeds who want your money, your data and your sweet, sweet identity. We don't want to scare you -- since these people are the exception, not the rule -- but they are out there. Crafty buggers who prey on trust and carelessness, scammers are not only persistent social engineers, but also skilled hackers who take over Facebook accounts, break into bank databases and...

Fed Up With Facebook? Delete it, and Here's How

Share Back in February, CEO Mark Zuckerberg celebrated Facebook's 6th birthday and 400 millionth member by penning an open letter to his users to thank them for making both milestones possible. "Whether in times of tragedy or joy, people want to share and help one another," Zuckerberg wrote. "This human need is what inspires us to continue to innovate and build things that allow people to...

HijackThis: The Ultimate Malware Removal Tool for Nerds

What it is: Share When we suggest that readers download software, we normally pick programs that are known for user friendliness. HijackThis is not user-friendly. In fact, it's downright dangerous in the wrong hands. Yet, its power for locating and removing malware is unrivaled, thanks to its catch-all approach that doesn't bother to determine what is good or bad, but merely tells you what is on...

10 Ways to Keep Your Data Safe

Share Since 2005, there have been at least 358.4 million personal records lost to security breaches, according to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. This includes everything from home addresses to credit card numbers and Social Security information. But, as frightening as the prospect of your sensitive data being compromised is, simply removing all traces of yourself from the Web is not a...

New Security Concerns Floating Around in Cloud Computing

While cloud computing might be one of the hottest trends in tech these days, it's not without risks. Both consumers and businesses face hazards that most proponents have been reluctant to discuss. Think of the cloud as a central supercomputer that stores both data and applications. Instead of having to spend thousands on state-of-the-art hardware and graphics cards, you can hook into this...

Microsoft Security Essentials Offers Fast, Powerful and Free Malware Protection

What it is: Microsoft Security Essentials is a free anti-malware and anti-virus package, designed to compete with both commercial and free offerings like AVG and Norton. What we like: First, and most obviously, we like the price point; it's hard to argue with free. But no matter how free an app is, if it sucks, there's no reason to install it. Thankfully, there is plenty more to like about...

10 Biggest Security Risks, and How to Fix Them

Share The Internet is insecure by its very nature. As our recent interview subject Jeff Moss pointed out, the Net wasn't designed with security in mind, so we're still playing catch-up more than a decade later. Still, there are a lot of -- okay, we'll say it -- needlessly stupid things we do (on and off the Internet) that put our most prized data at risk. That includes e-mails, chats,...

Talking Cyber-Security With Homeland Security Advisor (and Former Hacker) Jeff Moss

Share To get a look at the world of cyber-security from an insider, Switched turned to noted and notorious hacker Jeff Moss, a.k.a Dark Tangent. Moss got his start hacking the phone system before founding DefCon, the long-running annual hacker convention in Las Vegas, in 1992. He then took his l337 skillz to big industry by founding the network security consultancy firm Black Hat. Moss's...