Fighting ‘ransomware’: Security researchers offer free fix for Cryptolocker woes

Cryptolocker is one of the most potentially painful pieces of Windows malware floating around the web these days. When the software infiltrates a computer, it encrypts the contents of the hard disk and demands that users pay a ransom (usually in Bitcoin or MoneyPak) to get their files back. If someone doesn’t pay the ransom, or doesn’t pay it in… Read More


Supercomputer maker Cray lands $174M contract to help protect U.S. nuclear stockpile

Shares of supercomputer maker Cray Inc. soared more than 13 percent Thursday after the Seattle company announced that it had won a $174 million contract with the National Nuclear Security Administration. It is one of the company’s largest contracts, and follows a $54 million deal that Cray just landed last month with the Korea Meteorological… Read More


Microsoft won’t be ending its security emails after all

Microsoft will not be shutting off its security notification mailing list for systems administrators and other security professionals today, despite informing them late last week that the service would be coming to an end. A Microsoft spokesperson told GeekWire that the company had “reviewed its policies” and chose to continue the email service. It’s an important… Read More


Microsoft adds new and OneDrive encryption to thwart government snooping

Microsoft says it has added new layers of encryption to emails and OneDrive files as part of a broader push to protect customer data from hacking and government surveillance. The addition of Transport Layer Security to will encrypt messages sent between Microsoft and other email providers. The company also enabled Perfect Forward Secrecy encryption in… Read More

A sold-out crowd greets Glenn Greenwald at Town Hall Seattle Tuesday night. (Photo: Monica Guzman)

3 ways Glenn Greenwald changed how I look at privacy

Glenn Greenwald doesn’t mince words. The government is “truly devoted to the elimination of privacy in the digital age,” the lawyer and journalist told a sold-out crowd of 850 at Town Hall Seattle Tuesday night. “That’s not hyperbole.” It’s a call to arms. And part of it got to me. Seattle was Greenwald’s first stop… Read More


Security software startup SourceClear raises $1.5 million

SourceClear, a Seattle startup that helps developers identify security threats, has raised $1.5 million in financing. Backers of the company include Box Chief Trust Officer Justin Somaini; former Cisco VP Frank Marshall; former Cisco board member Mary Cirillo; Kinzer Capital; and Realise Capital Partners. The company is led by Mark Curphey, who previously headed the software security program… Read More


eBay suffers cyberattack, urges customers to change passwords as Target continues to reel from data breach

eBay is urging customers to change password information after a cyberattack allowed unauthorized access to names, email addresses, physical addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth. The attack also compromised a “small number of employee log-in credentials,” meaning the cyber attackers gained access to the corporate network. An eBay spokesperson told Reuters that there may be… Read More


Microsoft patches IE bug in Windows XP, changing course

In a major turn of events in the Internet security world, Microsoft says it will patch a high-profile vulnerability in Internet Explorer on versions of Windows including Windows XP, despite recently ending support for XP and saying it would no longer issue security patches for the aging operating system. Plans for the emergency security patch were announced by… Read More


Feds warn against using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer until security hole is fixed

The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team has issued an advisory today suggesting that people consider avoiding Internet Explorer until Microsoft patches a flaw that could allow attackers to execute code on a computer as the current user. For people who still need to use Microsoft’s browser, US-CERT suggests deploying version 4.1 or 5.0 of Microsoft’s… Read More


More than 600 Seattle U students had information exposed because of bad security settings

Sometimes, bad security breaches don’t even require specialized code or software bugs. Case in point: Seattle University, which accidentally left personal records for 628 current and former students exposed – including names, social security numbers and some medical information –thanks to improperly set permissions on the school’s email system. The bad settings allowed users to… Read More


Oops! Washington state disposes of old computers without wiping medical records, tax forms and other confidential information

Medical records. Social Security Numbers. Employee performance evaluations. Those were just some of the confidential records found on old computers that several agencies in Washington state were sending to surplus, violating policies for properly wiping computer hard drives, according to a new report from the Auditor’s Office. “With the right knowledge of data retrieval, the confidential information… Read More


Amazon, Facebook, Google and other tech companies deploy fixes for ‘Heartbleed’ bug

Amazon Web Services has rolled out fixes for several of its online services to address the “Heartbleed” vulnerability that has roiled the Internet this week with reports that hackers can use the flaw to access account information and passwords. It’s one of many technology companies that have been scrambling to roll out updates to fix the… Read More


IronBox wants to make email encryption seamless

While revelations from Edward Snowden and others have led to people worrying about the security of their digital correspondence, actually securing email is a harder task. Many of the tools that have been created for that purpose can be difficult to use, or hard to understand. IronBox wants to help. The Redmond-based security startup announced… Read More


National security expert Richard Clarke to advise Seattle big data startup Context Relevant

Seattle big data startup Context Relevant has struck a partnership with Richard Clarke’s cybersecurity consulting firm Good Harbor Security Risk Management. As part of the deal, Clarke, the former counterterrorism chief in the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, is joining the company’s advisory board. “Cybersecurity is both a national security and an economic challenge… Read More


Hack attack prompts massive password reset for Yahoo Mail

Yahoo reported today that hackers have attempted a coordinated attack on a number of Yahoo Mail accounts. According to the company’s blog post, Yahoo believes that the attack was caused by attackers trying to use credentials stolen from a third-party to gain access to users’ mail accounts. Once inside, the software the attackers used was… Read More


Syrian Electronic Army may have stolen government data requests, Microsoft says

All of a sudden, the Syrian Electronic Army’s attacks on Microsoft have become a lot more than just a minor nuisance. The group of hackers loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has stolen documents relating to government data requests, Adrienne Hall, Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group General Manager, wrote in a blog post. According to the… Read More

(photo by Ralf Roletschek via Wikimedia Commons)

The weakest link in data privacy is, well, you

Happy Data Privacy Day! The first round of credit card numbers is on me! Yes, this Tuesday, Jan. 28 really is Data Privacy Day in the U.S. and Canada, commemorating the 1981 signing of Convention 108, an international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. (In Europe, where it originated, it’s known as Data Protection… Read More


Syrian Electronic Army hits Microsoft…again

It’s a bad month to be one of Microsoft’s social media properties. For who missed it. #SEA — SyrianElectronicArmy (@Official_SEA16) January 11, 2014 The Syrian Electronic Army managed to take over the company’s @MSFTnews and @Xbox Twitter handles, as well as the Official Microsoft Blog for a short time today. The attack comes a… Read More