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Cybersecurity

  1. What Does Obama’s Executive Order On Cybersecurity Mean?

    In last night's State of the Union Address, President Obama called for... well, a lot of things. It's the State of The Union, it covers a lot of ground. One item high on the agenda, though, was improving cybersecurity around the nation. It was a timely concern, considering that Anonymous members were threatening to disrupt the online broadcast of the President's speech, a threat they failed to follow through on. Before he took the stage though, Obama had already signed an executive order in the hopes of strengthening America's infrastructure -- things like power grids and air traffic control systems -- against cyber attacks. While well meaning, though, the order is largely toothless.

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  2. U.S. Official in Charge of Cybersecurity Doesn’t Use Email, Must Forward Amusing Photos by Fax

    How do you ensure that your computer is completely and totally secure? There's really only one surefire method: Don't use a computer. If you don't use a computer, then there's nothing to get off it. The plan is pure genius. It's also the same plan that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano employs with email. She claims that she doesn't use email at all because of how secure she is. This is clearly the answer to all our problems.

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  3. Undeclared Cyberwarfare’s New Kid on the Block: Gauss

    Stuxnet. Duqu. Flame. To the list of weaponized viruses being discovered in computers across the Middle East that look like state-sponsored cyberweapons, we can now add a newcomer: Gauss. Reported last night by Russian security firm Kaspersky, Gauss seems to represent an attack on a new front, targeting finances rather than the infrastructure assets assaulted by previous viruses.

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  4. New Draft Modifies CISPA’s Holes But Doesn’t Exactly Patch Them

    When you're dealing with a contentious bill, there's always the hope that it might get better, and the fear that it might get worse. Or, what seems to be the case with the new draft of CISPA, where it just gets different. This new draft, which incorporates two previous amendments along with some other modifications, changes a significant amount of language in the bill, and adds a lot more as well. Whether or not that really changes anything in a particularly meaningful way, however, is a bit of a different question. CISPA had its problems before, and the new draft definitely shuffles things around a little, but it looks like we're still dealing with a similar amount of similar issues.

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  5. What You Should Know About CISPA, The Bill That’s Not Exactly Like SOPA, But Just As Bad [UPDATED]

    It wasn't long ago that the potentially Internet-destroying twins SOPA and PIPA were effectively defeated, but ever since they snuck up on the Internet-at-large, there's been the worry that something similar might happen again. Well, it's happening. The new bill HR 3523, or the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), while different from SOPA in many ways, is pushing its way through Congress as we speak, and could pose a serious threat to the Internet that is both very similar and very different from SOPA.

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  6. Botnets: The Stealthy Online Threat [Infographic]

    When it comes to cybersecurity threats, there are none that I find more terrifying than the botnet. We've written about that them before, but for the uninitiated: A botnet is a horde of computers that are under the control of ne'er-do-wells, often times with the owner's knowledge. Infected computers are used for all kinds of nefarious activities, like sending spam, being used in DDOS attacks, or sometimes just to swipe financial information. This infographic gives a solid explanation of how these networks of zombie computers operate and, more importantly, how to protect yourself. In between are some shocking statistics that may just spread my fear of botnets to all of you. You're welcome.

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  7. Lieberman Proposes Internet “Kill Switch,” Calls Web a US “National Asset”

    There's been a lot of WTF-news making the rounds recently. Try this one on for size: Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), at it again, proposed a bill last week that would effectively bestow the president with the authority to "seize control of or even shut down portions of the Internet," writes CNET.

    Bill S.3480, or the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act (PCNAA), has been dubbed the Internet "kill switch." According to the legislation, in the case of national emergencies, any private company that relies on the U.S. "information infrastructure" would be forced to comply with any orders (e.g. encrypt data, install a patch, or block web traffic) given by the president via the National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications (NCCC), a proposed agency that would be created under the Department of Homeland Security. I guess American freedom only goes so far!

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  8. Our Hero: Spencer Pratt Leaving The Hills To Fight Cyberterrorism

    Cyberterrorism is one of the bigger threats facing America's national security today -- or it isn't, if Robert Schneier is to be believed -- but either way, our future just got a little brighter: Spencer Pratt is leaving MTV's reality show The Hills to team up with the president of a LA firearms training shop to start a cybersecurity firm, according to FoxNews.com.

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