Top Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States

“The privacy of the voting booth?” There’s not much privacy there.

The nation’s top voting machine maker has admitted in a letter to a federal lawmaker that the company installed remote-access software on election-management systems it sold over a period of six years, raising questions about the security of those systems and the integrity of elections that were conducted with them. In a letter sent to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in April and obtained recently by Motherboard, Election Systems and Software acknowledged that it had “provided pcAnywhere remote connection software … to a small number of customers between 2000 and 2006,” which was installed on the election-management system ES&S sold them.

Even worse, the company previously lied about the capability to remotely access election-management systems.

A few details and links to the various references mentioned may be found in the Slashdot web site.

How Chromebooks became the Go-To Laptops for Security Experts

Thanks to the early focus on preventing cyberattacks, Chromebooks are a hit with the security community. Security experts commonly recommend Chromebooks, whether it’s for the relative who somehow always ends up with spyware toolbars or the researcher heading to a hackers’ meetup.

And it’s not about complicated encryption or security tricks — Chromebooks have gained popularity through a combination of affordability and simple but effective security.

You can read more about the security offered by Chromebooks in an article by Alfred Ng in the C|Net web site at: https://cnet.co/2GhyKH3.

Nokia Security Report for 2017

Are you concerned about malware (malevolent software), such as viruses, keyloggers, and trojan horse programs? If so, you might want to read a new report from Nokia.

The Nokia Threat Intelligence Report examines malware infections found in mobile and fixed networks worldwide. It provides analysis of data gathered from more than 100 million devices by the Nokia NetGuard Endpoint Security solution. The new report details key security incidents and trends from the first three quarters of 2017. Amongst the findings:

  • Devices using the Android operating system were the most likely to be infected this year, according to Nokia research.
  • Android was the #1 target for Malware, about 1% of all Android devices will be infected, an increase from 2016. This means 0.94% of all Android devices were infected, slightly above Google’s 2016 Q4 estimate of 0.71%.
  • Out of all infected devices, 68.50% were Androids, 27.96% ran on Windows, and 3.54% used iOS.

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TSA to Require “Enhanced Screening” at Airports

The Transportation Security Administration announced new security procedures at all airports in the United States today. Travelers must remove electronics larger than a mobile phone from their carry-on bags and “place them in a bin with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for years.”

This means that tablet computers, handheld game consoles, Kindles and other ebook readers, and anything else larger than a cell phone will now be treated in the same manner as laptop computers have been treated in the past few years.

Luckily, there is one exception that has been in place for years that will be continued: anyone registered with TSA PreCheck does not have to go through this inspection.

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Use Send Anywhere for Secure Sending of Files

sendanywhere_logoIf there’s one thing you should keep both anonymous and disposable, it’s any file that you share with friends or family on the web. Sending an attached file from your email account is risky. First, normal email is non-secure; hackers can easily intercept it. Once intercepted, the same hackers can easily retrieve the attached file. Sending something private? It’s best to not use email!

A better method is to use a disposable file transfer service for privacy’s sake. You can find a dozen or more file transfer services. I prefer Send Anywhere because (1.) the service is free and (2.) the recipient can only retrieve the file(s) if he or she knows the 6-digit key used when you sent it and (3.) Send Anywhere deletes the file(s) immediately from the company’s servers as soon as the recipient finishes retrieving the file(s). Use of the 6-digit key locks out most hackers. However, don’t send the key via email!

Many Send Anywhere users regularly send files up to 100 gigabytes in size through the mobile app and up to 300 gigabytes by using the desktop apps.

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