Microsoft helping Twitter crack down on child pornography with PhotoDNA technology

Microsoft helped Facebook fight against child pornography, and now the Redmond software giant is lending a hand to Twitter, too. The Guardian reported this morning that Twitter is set to implement Microsoft’s PhotoDNA technology this year to block out child pornography photos from its service. PhotoDNA, developed in conjunction with Dartmouth College, derives what amounts to… Read More


Report: Microsoft allowed NSA to bypass encryption for access to Outlook emails, Skype conversations

Throughout the year, Microsoft has lambasted Google and accused them of shady privacy policies via its “Scroogled” campaign. But now, new top-secret documents given to The Guardian by Edward Snowden shows how it was actually Microsoft allowing the NSA and FBI access to user data from platforms like Outlook, SkyDrive and Skype. Microsoft and other tech giants… Read More


Report: Flaw in Android’s security model leaves 99% of devices vulnerable to attack

UPDATE: According to a report by IDG News Service, Google has patched the Google Play store so that trojans attempting to exploit this flaw can’t be downloaded from its store. However, those same protections don’t extend beyond Google’s store. Android users, beware: there’s a very high chance you’re vulnerable to a trojan horse that could… Read More


Microsoft will pay you $150,000 to fend off hackers and find security flaws in its software

Calling all hackers: Microsoft wants your help and will pay you some big bucks for it. Starting June 26, the Redmond software giant today will debut three “bug bounty” programs that encourage computer engineers to help the company keep its products safe from a security standpoint both before and after launch. The “Mitigation Bypass Bounty,” will award $100,000… Read More


Now under scrutiny: Microsoft’s early security disclosures to U.S. officials

In the realm of tech companies cooperating with the US government, it seems that when it rains, it pours. Following revelations about Verizon giving phone data to the NSA and the NSA’s wide-reaching data collection operation, the floodgates of anonymous government sources have been opened. Almost every day there’s some new revelation about how a… Read More


Microsoft wants government to provide more transparency for security requests

Microsoft is now joining fellow tech giants Google and Facebook in asking the U.S. government for more transparency in regard to government requests for national security information. Microsoft issued this statement a short while ago, noting that it would like to provide more information than what showed up in the company’s 2012 Law Enforcement Request Report published last March…. Read More


Cybersecurity: What businesses can expect from U.S.-China talks, amid brewing NSA controversy

U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet at a secluded estate in Southern California starting today for two days of talks on a host of bilateral and global issues. Among them will be cybersecurity, which has quickly risen in prominence to the top of the Sino-American agenda. What can businesses expect… Read More


Washington state courts pledge better security after driver license and social security numbers compromised

The Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts announced this week that its Web site was the subject of a “security breach,” one which has caused as many as 160,000 social security numbers and up to one million driver licenses to be accessed. “We regret that this breach has occurred and we have taken immediate… Read More


Security cameras helped catch Boston Marathon bombers; what’s your take on public surveillance?

Technology certainly played a crucial role in the hunt for the two Boston Marathon bombers, whether it was important smartphone pictures from the public or the forward-looking infrared cameras that spotted suspect No. 2 in the backyard boat. But the best piece of evidence may have come from a Lord and Taylor department store security… Read More


VIDEO: Here’s what customers think of a Seattle bar banning Google Glasses

If you haven’t heard yet, Seattle’s 5 Point Cafe is one of the first establishments to declare a ban on Google Glasses to prevent its patrons from being recorded by the high-tech glasses (but also as a bit of a joke, the bar’s owner admits). Google’s high-tech augmented reality “Project Glass” spectacles are still in development and not available for purchase by… Read More

Aaron Swartz. Photo via Wikipedia

Legal experts debate cybercrime laws in wake of Aaron Swartz’s suicide

About 150 people turned out for a discussion entitled “Redefining ‘cybercrime’ after Aaron Swartz: a roundtable discussion” on Monday night at the University of Washington’s Kane Hall. The touchpoint for the discussion was the controversy surrounding Swartz, a brilliant computer programmer who committed suicide in January. Swartz, who helped develop RSS and Reddit, was facing… Read More

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Startup Spotlight: Lacuna alerts IT staff of potential problems before outages hit

Pinpointing technical glitches before they occur is kind of like finding a needle in a haystack. But Kirkland-based Lacuna Systems — led by former employees of, and aQuantive — believes that its new Indico platform can save IT managers time and money by locating problems before they arise. It does this by intelligently analyzing… Read More


Startup Spotlight: Codeproof IDs jailbroken phones, ‘malicious apps’ and other mobile threats

Make no mistake about it, life is challenging for corporate IT managers these days. Not only must they now deal with ongoing cyberthreats, but an increasing number of employees are connecting to the corporate network with their personal devices, like iPads and Android phones. That trend — known in tech speak as BYOD or Bring Your… Read More


Microsoft buys PhoneFactor to protect users from password theft

Microsoft has been pretty quiet on the acquisition front since its $1.2 billion buy of Yammer in July. But this week the software giant picked up a small, 11-year-old company Overland Park, Kansas company called PhoneFactor. PhoneFactor, with fewer than 50 employees, specializes in what’s dubbed “multi-factor authentication.” Essentially, it creates a another layer of authentication… Read More


Big shift for Microsoft’s Forefront security products: RIP ISA Server

Today Microsoft announced “Important Changes to Forefront Product Roadmaps.” Product roadmap update announcements often aren’t terribly interesting, but oftentimes the bland naming hides the full scope of what’s really happening. Today is no exception. Microsoft is making a rather dramatic change in its server security offerings, signaling a narrowing and shift in focus and bidding goodbye to nearly all… Read More


Plot thickens in mysterious leak of Apple user data

A small Florida online publishing company named Blue Toad has inserted itself into last week’s Anonymous/AntiSec-FBI story about an iOS data leak — making an already murky story even murkier. And while everyone likes a good crime story, this latest twist just underscores how affected users are the ones left holding the bag. If you’re… Read More