Company to chip willing employees to let them log in, open doors

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A com­pa­ny is offer­ing to microchip employ­ees, enabling them to open doors, log onto com­put­ers and pur­chase snacks with a swipe of the hand. Three Square Mar­ket, also known as 32M, said more than 50 employ­ees are vol­un­tar­i­ly get­ting implants Aug. 1 at what the com­pa­ny is call­ing a “chip par­ty.” The chips are the size of a grain of rice and are insert­ed under­neath the skin between the thumb and fore­fin­ger using a syringe. The pro­ce­dure takes a cou­ple of sec­onds. Com­pa­ny lead­ers hope the $300 microchips even­tu­al­ly can be used on air trav­el, pub­lic tran­sit and for stor­ing med­ical infor­ma­tion. The com­pa­ny is part­ner­ing with Sweden’s Bio­Hax Inter­na­tion­al, where employ­ees have been using the implants. Three Square Mar­ket is pay­ing for the employ­ees’ microchips. The tech­nol­o­gy has raised pri­va­cy con­cerns because of the poten­tial to track a person’s where­abouts and pur­chas­es. Offi­cials at 32M said the data in the microchip is encrypt­ed and does not use GPS. But Michael Zim­mer, who teach­es inter­net ethics and pri­va­cy at the  Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin-Mil­wau­kee said he wor­ries about the poten­tial for “func­tion creep,” where the stat­ed pur­pose of a tech­nol­o­gy ends up spilling over into oth­er uses, includ­ing sur­veil­lance. Source: The Asso­ci­at­ed Press via

Apple patches devices to prevent possible Wi-Fi hacks

Apple issued a crit­i­cal secu­ri­ty patch for all iOS devices to pro­tect against a poten­tial hack that attacks devices remote­ly via Wi-Fi. The tech com­pa­ny has urged users to install the oper­at­ing sys­tem update to avoid a “poten­tial­ly seri­ous” cyber attack that could wipe out iPhones. Android devices also are threat­ened by the hack, but Google issued its own update ear­li­er this month. Source: The Wall Street Journal

Bill would require Homeland Security to disclose more about cyber issues

A House pan­el advanced leg­is­la­tion requir­ing the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty to give law­mak­ers more infor­ma­tion on how it dis­clos­es cyber vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties to the pri­vate sec­tor. The bill would require Home­land Secu­ri­ty Sec­re­tary John Kel­ly to send a report to rel­e­vant con­gres­sion­al com­mit­tees describ­ing poli­cies and pro­ce­dures used by the DHS to coor­di­nate the dis­clo­sure of what are called “zero days”—cyber vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties that are unknown to a product’s man­u­fac­tur­er and for which no patch exists. Source: The Hill

Coordinated effort to fight identity theft seems to be working

The num­ber of iden­ti­ty theft vic­tims was near­ly cut in half last year, com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year, after the agency teamed with tax pre­par­ers to fight the prob­lem, IRS Com­mis­sion­er John Kosk­i­nen said. In 2015, thieves stole the iden­ti­ties of near­ly 700,000 vic­tims. Last year, the num­ber dropped to 377,000. Source: The Asso­ci­at­ed Press via The Seat­tle Times

Shoplifting suspect uses former Cowboy player’s identity; team dumps player

For­mer Dal­las Cow­boys receiv­er Lucky Whitehead’s iden­ti­ty was false­ly used in a shoplift­ing arrest. Prince William Coun­ty, Vir­ginia, police said the man charged in a case involv­ing $40 worth of stolen food and drink from a con­ve­nience store in June wasn’t White­head. The Cow­boys released White­head after reports that he was arrest­ed and cit­ed for miss­ing a court hear­ing. Source: The San Fran­cis­co Chronicle

Sweden’s classified information might have been exposed

Swedish Prime Min­is­ter Ste­fan Lofven says his gov­ern­ment is try­ing to safe­guard sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion and min­i­mize dam­age done by an IT out­sourc­ing deal that could have exposed clas­si­fied details to for­eign pow­ers. His admin­is­tra­tion will inves­ti­gate the deal struck by the Swedish Trans­port Agency after clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion in its reg­is­ters and sys­tems was han­dled ille­gal­ly, Lofven said. Source: Bloomberg Pol­i­tics

Data about Italian bank’s customers might be at risk

Data about loan accounts belong­ing to 400,000 cus­tomers of Italy’s largest bank has been put at risk by two secu­ri­ty breach­es. Uni­cred­it said that per­son­al data and account num­bers could have been stolen. But it added that the accounts’ pass­words had not been com­pro­mised, so the hack­ers could not have car­ried out unau­tho­rized trans­ac­tions. Source: BBC

Roomba’s plans to map your home raise privacy concerns

IRobot’s plans to map user homes with the Room­ba have raised pri­va­cy con­cerns, espe­cial­ly if the com­pa­ny sells its maps to a com­pa­ny such as Ama­zon, Apple or Google. The com­pa­ny has been in active dis­cus­sions with Ama­zon and Google about its ongo­ing effort to add Alexa and Google Assis­tant func­tion­al­i­ty to the Room­ba line. Source: Tech Crunch

Researchers show manufacturer its vulnerabilities by making ATM spew cash

Secu­ri­ty researchers showed ATM mak­er Diebold Nix­dorf how they could turn one of the company’s machines into a cash foun­tain. A hack of an exposed USB in one of Diebold Nixdorf’s Opte­va ATMs allowed researchers at secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny IOAc­tive to get it to spew out cash until it was emp­ty. Source: CNet

German cell phones might come with surveillance software

Ger­man secu­ri­ty forces will have the tech­nol­o­gy to install sur­veil­lance soft­ware on cell phones before the end of the year, a leaked doc­u­ment shows. Police plan to use pri­vate firms to skirt legal dilem­mas. The Ger­man gov­ern­ment passed a law to hand police the pow­er to hack into devices belong­ing to every­one sus­pect­ed of crim­i­nal activ­i­ty, not just those expect­ed of ter­ror offens­es. Source: Deutsche Welle

Bill proposes tax breaks for cybersecurity training, funding for education

Three House Democ­rats intro­duced a mul­ti­lay­ered bill aimed at boost­ing the cyber­se­cu­ri­ty work force. The “New Col­lar Jobs Act” would estab­lish incen­tivized tax breaks for employ­ers offer­ing cyber­se­cu­ri­ty train­ing, increase fund­ing for a cyber schol­ar­ship pro­gram, and estab­lish a stu­dent debt relief pro­gram for cyber­se­cu­ri­ty job tak­ers. Source: The Hill