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FBI probes DNC hack for Russian involvement

The FBI has launched an investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers, even as more evidence surfaced of possible Russian involvement in the attack.

The data breach was first disclosed last month, when hackers published confidential DNC files, including opposition research on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Then on Friday, Wikileaks published over 19,000 emails that were stolen from the DNC, some of which now threaten to damage the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

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Here are the key security features arriving with Windows 10 next week

While there's a lot of talk about Windows 10's new features for consumers, the forthcoming Anniversary Update also adds a pair of advanced security capabilities aimed at helping IT managers better lock down the computers in their organization.

Windows Information Protection aims to make it possible for organizations to compartmentalize business and personal data on the same device. It comes alongside the general release of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, a system that uses machine learning and Microsoft's cloud to better protect businesses after their security has been breached.

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Schneier: Next president may face IoT cyberattack that causes people to die

Some people may think the upcoming US presidential election is a Kobayashi Maru, a lose-lose scenario no matter who wins, but which candidate would best deal with a cyberattack that caused people to die?

In an article about how hacking the Internet of Things will result in real world disasters, security guru Bruce Schneier – who is not known for spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) – was not talking about hacks against banks or the smart grid that would cause general chaos; oh no, he was describing hacks against devices connected to the internet which would actually result in people dying.

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Devices with Qualcomm modems safe from critical ASN.1 flaw

Despite initial concerns, smartphones equipped with Qualcomm modems are not susceptible to a recently announced vulnerability that could allow attackers to take over cellular network gear and consumer mobile devices.

The vulnerability was discovered in ASN1C, a popular compiler that produces C code for parsing ASN.1-encoded data. Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN.1) is a standard for representing, encoding, transmitting and decoding data in telecommunications and networking gear.

Many devices, from mobile phones to switching equipment inside cellular infrastructure, parse ASN.1 data and do so using programs that were created by compilers such as ASN1C, which is developed by U.S.-based Objective Systems.

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IDG Contributor Network: StackPath launches to build singular system for secure internet

Today marks the day that StackPath emerges from stealth with a promise of offering a more secure internet.

It also marks the day on which we find out what Lance Crosby, formerly the head honcho at SoftLayer, the cloud computing platform that was acquired by IBM in 2013 to form the foundation of Big Blue's public cloud offering, has been up to. Crosby is chairman and CEO of StackPath, which has become Crosby's personal vision for a frictionless and scalable security platform.

And for a company that is only emerging from stealth today, Crosby has certainly moved fast. In fact, not only is he announcing the launch of the company, he is also announcing a slew of acquisitions.

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Do you need a smart suitcase? 5 things to know before you buy
Tech-savvy travelers are packing smart suitcases with built-in battery packs and USB charging, location tracking, and more. Read our hands-on review of four popular models.
Ransomware protection -- what you may be missing

Unless you have been living on a remote island with no internet access, you are no doubt familiar with ransomware.

It is a simple but frightening concept -- making all of your files unavailable, and then demanding that you pay to get them back. Ransomware is definitely a growth industry, with a 30% increase in cases in Q1 of 2016 alone, according to Security Intelligence.

We should not be surprised at all by this trend, as it seems to be the nearly perfect crime. It is an easy business to start, with most of the needed tools being available inexpensively on the dark web. Their customer base, those whose files are being held hostage, is highly motivated, since their files are unusable -- and since payment is typically being made via Bitcoin, the transactions are difficult or impossible to trace.

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Tricks that ransomware uses to fool you
Pulling ransomware out of …
Ransomware

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Ransomware quite often targets businesses (for example hospitals) rather than individuals. Corporations have more valuable data and more money for ransom (ransom increases from roughly $500 per computer to $15,000 for the entire enterprise). Cyphort has examined different variants of ransomware to help users get an idea of what might be coming down the Internet pipeline. So keep an eye out for these characteristics before your network is taken hostage.

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A hackable election? 5 things to know about e-voting

As the U.S. heads toward an especially contentious national election in November, 15 states are still clinging to outdated electronic voting machines that don't support paper printouts used to audit their internal vote counts.

E-voting machines without attached printers are still being used in a handful of presidential swing states, leading some voting security advocates to worry about the potential of a hacked election.

Some makers of e-voting machines, often called direct-recording electronic machines or DREs, are now focusing on other sorts of voting technology, including optical scanners. They seem reluctant to talk about DREs; three major DRE vendors didn't respond to questions about security.

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Free decryption tools released for PowerWare and Bart ransomware

Security researchers released tools this week that could help users recover files encrypted by two relatively new ransomware threats: Bart and PowerWare.

PowerWare, also known as PoshCoder, was first spotted in March, when it was used in attacks against healthcare organizations. It stood out because it was implemented in Windows PowerShell, a scripting environment designed for automating system and application administration tasks.

Researchers from security firm Palo Alto Networks have recently found a new version of this threat that imitates a sophisticated and widespread ransomware program called Locky. It uses the extension .locky for encrypted files and also displays the same ransom note used by the real Locky ransomware.

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