Security & Privacy

Report: Internet Is Faster, More Susceptible to Attack

Internet speeds around the world are up, but so are cyber-attacks, says Akamai in its latest “State of the Internet” report. Released quarterly by the Massachusetts-based content delivery network Akamai Technologies, the report analyzes global statistics on key indicators of Internet connectivity. Findings from 2013’s third quarter disclosed some good news, showing upward trends in both global connection speeds and broadband adoption rates, but also warned of long-term growth in attack traffic—a majority of it coming from China, Indonesia, and the United States.   More

Business Learning Security & Privacy

This Week’s Techonomic 5

Welcome to the first installment of our Techonomic 5, a brand-new series spotlighting techonomic happenings from around the Web and beyond. Every two weeks, our editorial team shares its picks of the top people, companies, and trends that exemplify tech's ever-growing role in business and society. Here's what's grabbing our attention: tech curriculums, Canadian data security, apps for mindfulness, the rise of Netflix, and Kayaanisquatsi director Godfrey Reggio.   More

Government Security & Privacy

Investigate NSA to Avert Police State, Privacy Consultant Warns

Cyber-security expert Jody Westby calls “for the facts to be found out and the truth to be determined” about the NSA surveillance program in order for the nation’s leaders to make “informed decisions about how this country should be operating and the values it should be upholding in the digital age—before it turns into a full police state.” Under the headline, "It Is a Scandal That No One is Investigating the NSA," Westby, who is CEO of Global Cyber Risk, a fellow at the Carnegie Mellon CyLab, and adjunct professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as a frequent Techonomy participant, proclaims in a Forbes essay this week that she is stunned that no one but she has called for a full investigation.   More

Business Security & Privacy

Cybersecurity Startups Aim to Anticipate Attacks

In the cybersecurity world, the term "antivirus" is out of favor. ("McAfee" is even more so, thanks to its namesake's behavior, but that's another story.) Software and firewalls designed to detect and eradicate viruses on your system or business network—such as what Symantec, McAfee (now known as Intel Security), Cisco, and Check Point provide—still leave customers vulnerable to attacks, according to Nicole Perlroth's report in the New York Times.   More

Security & Privacy

Is Snapchat a Security Sieve?

A New Year’s Eve leak that exposed the usernames and phone numbers of 4.6 million Snapchatters confirmed what researchers had been forewarning since August—Snapchat is a security sieve. Hackers used a public security report, issued by researchers at the Australian-based Gibson Security in August 2013, to download the database of Snapchat user information and publish it as “SnapchatDB.” According to the hackers, their aim was to force fixes and send a message. Message received? With Snapchat’s slow response and so-slow-it-may-never-come apology, it’s hard to say.   More

Business Security & Privacy

Kirkpatrick: Privacy Lawsuit Won’t Slow Facebook’s Momentum

Two California Facebook users have sued the social network for violating their right to privacy—and profiting from it. Plaintiffs argue Facebook is secretly intercepting users’ private messages and scanning them for links to third-party websites, then selling that data to advertisers and marketers seeking to better target consumers. Facebook denied the allegations, saying they are “without merit.” David Kirkpatrick, Techonomy CEO and Bloomberg contributing editor, appeared on Bloomberg West last Thursday to talk about the privacy lawsuit and what ramifications it could have for the popular social media platform.   More

Security & Privacy

Ray Kelly’s Tech-Centric War on NY Crime

In the waning days of Bloomberg's New York, I threaded my way past multiple checkpoints and up a private elevator in Police headquarters to visit Ray Kelly, who leaves office December 31 along with the mayor. I wanted to understand how he'd used tech during his 12 years as Commissioner of Police, during which city crime dropped 40%. "When the administration came in, this department was the world's largest user of carbon paper and whiteout," is the first thing Kelly said. His apocryphal claim foreshadowed the rest of the interview.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Business Internet of Things Security & Privacy

People, Companies, and Trends: Techonomy’s 2013 Top Ten

As 2013 winds down, Techonomy takes a moment to look back on highlights from the year, especially those that portend—we think—the future. Our Top Ten list recognizes the people, companies, and ideas that embodied how technology is catalyzing change in business and society. Some of the individuals and organizations here were represented at our 2013 conferences, labs, and dinners, where we convene leaders to explore the biggest tech-driven challenges and opportunities. Some were featured in our expanding online editorial content.   More

Security & Privacy Techonomy Events

Why Microsoft’s Craig Mundie Worries About Weapons of Mass Disruption

All the evils that can be done in the cyberworld fall into five categories, according to Craig Mundie: malicious mischief, crime, espionage, warfare, and terrorism. And there are three kinds of actors committing them: amateurs, pros, and governments. It’s a taxonomy that he says the industry only invented in recent months to give clarity to discussions about how to deter and defend against attacks. Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick interviewed Mundie on stage at Techonomy 2013 in Tucson this week about cyber-insecurity and its impact on business.   More

Techonomy 13 Security & Privacy Techonomy Events Video

Cyber-insecurity and Its Impact on Business

U.S. companies are losing client confidence and trust as news of ongoing surveillance programs and continued security breaches dominate headlines and water-cooler conversations. What can they do, what must they do, to combat customer and public skepticism while strengthening protections and security for users and themselves? Microsoft's Craig Mundie and Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick discuss. Watch video and read the full transcript here.   More

Techonomy 13 Security & Privacy Techonomy Events Video

Is the Internet for or Against You?

The data you generate on- and off-line about what you watch and look at, buy, borrow, even what ails you, is tracked, quantified, packaged and sold. Your virtual self and your reputation are being qualified, commoditized and monetized. The dystopian critique is gaining adherence, from novelists to heads of state worldwide. If someone is making money from this info, shouldn’t you? James Cham of Bloomberg Beta, Accenture's Dan Elron, Reputation.com's Michael Fertik, Andrew Keen of Digital Vertigo, and shopkick's Cyriac Roeding discuss. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

Business Security & Privacy

Why a Drone-Dominated World Will Demand Interdisciplinary Policymaking

Global headlines this week are focused on U.S. military drone attacks in Pakistan. But a conference in New York last weekend addressed the myriad additional policy implications of a consumer-drone-dominated world. Wish you could have been a fly on the wall for the first-ever Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference (DARC)? In a podcast broadcast by Drone U on Slate, meeting co-chair Christopher Wong, executive director of the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at the New York University School of Law, recaps the top issues on the table there.   More

E-Commerce Security & Privacy

The Hidden Secrets of the Deep Web

Early this month, U.S. officials seized and shut down a hidden but sprawling online marketplace called Silk Road, known as the eBay of illegal goods and services. More than 1.2 million transactions had been completed on the site, earning its owner some $80 million in commissions. How did a site that allegedly allowed users to buy illicit drugs, deal black market weapons, and even hire hit men stay above water long enough to handle that much revenue over its two-and-a-half years of operation? The answer lies in what’s called the “Deep Web” or the “Dark Web”—hidden corners of the Internet that can’t be reached by Google and require connecting to an anonymous network called TOR that was originally developed by the U.S. Navy.   More

Global Tech Security & Privacy

“Good Hackers” Gather in Washington to Help Besieged Journalists

Developers, activists, and journalists gathered in a Washington startup incubator on a recent weekend for “FreedomHack,” to build digital products to aid citizen journalists in Mexico. Reporters Without Borders reports that a skyrocketing number of them have been killed, attacked, or threatened in Mexico since 2010.   More

Internet of Things Security & Privacy

More Connected Worlds May Threaten Personal Security

What will happen when hackers break into the “Internet of Things”? A growing number of Internet-connected home devices are hitting the market, but two security researchers are warning consumers of potential security breaches, according to MIT Technology Review. These new remotely-managed devices offer convenience and potential energy savings—but are they worth it?   More

Global Tech Security & Privacy

Watching Walmart Parking Lots from Space: New Apps for Satellites

Here's a new barometer for measuring a technology's disruptive potential: "If there's not a capacity to exploit something for evil, it's probably not that revolutionary." That's one way 27-year-old Skybox Imaging co-founder Julian Mann explains to the Atlantic this week the transformative uses for the 200-pound, mini-fridge-sized satellites that his company intends to start launching into orbit next month.   More

Security & Privacy

Does Citizen Sleuthing Lead to Smears?

A revealing New York Times Magazine article by Jay Caspian Kang sheds more light on the dark side of citizen journalism and what happens when the crowd gets it wrong. It all started on April 19 on Reddit, where photos of 22-year-old missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi were posted alongside images of Suspect #2 in the Boston Marathon bombings (later confirmed to be Dzhokhar Tsarnaev). The “news” of an identified suspect spread like wildfire, cycling through Twitter and Facebook and quickly being picked up by major news media, including NBC, until the FBI eventually stomped it out by denying that Tripathi was a suspect.   More

Media & Marketing Security & Privacy

Snowden’s Exploits: Ripped from Prime Time’s “Scandal?”

I wonder if NSA leakmeister Edward Snowden watches the ABC prime-time drama “Scandal?” In particular, I'd be interested to know if he saw the episode entitled “Hunting Season” that originally aired last October, before Snowden went rogue. Why? Because that episode of the show—about the machinations of Olivia Pope, a gorgeous D.C. fixer extraordinaire—featured an NSA analyst who exposes a far-reaching domestic spying operation that permeates even the highest reaches of government.   More

Learning Security & Privacy

Cyberattacks Target … Our Universities?

Cyberattacks on large corporations and government organizations are nothing new. Over the past two decades, whole industries have been formed to stay one step ahead of the increasingly sophisticated and nefarious cadre of global hackers seeking information to gain advantage. Companies and government entities across the world view hacking as a top security threat and are continually on high alert for the next big cyberattack.   More

Business Security & Privacy

As NSA Worries Cloud Dropbox, Tonido Offers its “Personal Cloud”

With the revelation that the National Security Agency’s PRISM program accesses user data at nine U.S. Internet companies, many presumed that Dropbox would be the tenth. The public cloud storage company denied that, but the mere idea should get one thinking about “personal clouds.” At least that’s what Madhan Kanagavel, founder of Austin-based CodeLathe and its Tonido storage service, is counting on. He says his “personal cloud” software and service product was inspired not by privacy concerns, but by the worry that he could lose content if his public cloud provider went out of business. The surveillance scandal, however, underscores his pitch: “Personal data is no longer safe, and hasn’t been for a long time.”   More