Donating cell phone could put you at risk

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When you give away an old cell phone, you may be handing over a lot of personal information—even if you think you’ve cleared your phone. “It is a treasure trove for identity theft,” said Anthony Serapiglia, assistant professor of computing and information systems at St. Vincent College. Serapiglia and his students examined old cell phones to see if they could uncover any information left behind. “We found a lot of text messages, conversations, personal items, even Snapchat—things that you think are going to be gone,” Serapiglia said. One damaged iPhone was filled with illegal activity. “It had text messages of drug deals, prostitution and gambling,” he said. Serapiglia also was able to extract data from another old cell phone that revealed photos from the previous user. With a Google and Facebook search, Serapiglia was able to piece together the previous owner’s name, birthday, address and wife’s name. Using software available to anyone, Serapiglia and his students scanned phones purchased from Goodwill. All the phones were sold in bulk online. Of the 80 phones they purchased, 47 had useful information. Source: CBS News

North Korean hackers might have been behind $81 million bank heist

The U.S. is investigating whether the theft of $81 million from a Bangladesh central bank account at the New York Fed is linked to North Korea because of the similarity of the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Some cybersecurity experts concluded last year’s theft from the Bangladesh central bank’s account was done with some of the same hacking tools used in the 2014 attack on Sony Pictures. The Sony hack, linked to North Korea by the FBI, was followed that year by a blackout of North Korea’s internet that a U.S. lawmaker said was retaliation, without saying who was responsible for the outage. Source: Crain’s

Senate votes down privacy protection rules; bill now goes to House

The Senate voted to repeal regulations requiring internet service providers to do more to protect customers’ privacy than websites such as Google or Facebook. According to the rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission in October under then-President Obama, internet providers would need to obtain consumer consent before using precise geolocation, financial information, health information, children’s information and web browsing history for advertising and internal marketing. The vote was a victory for internet providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, which had strongly opposed the rules. The bill now goes to the House. Source: Reuters

Getting student loan aid just got a little more difficult

The IRS and the Department of Education temporarily shut down the IRS’s Data Retrieval Tool, a service designed to make it easier to complete the Education Department’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)—a lengthy form that serves as the starting point for students seeking federal financial assistance to pay for college or career school. It was a “precautionary step following concerns that information from the tool could potentially be misused by identity thieves,” the IRS said. Source: Krebs on Security

Personal data stored on job seekers’ service

America’s JobLink of Topeka, Kansas, has become the victim of a hacking incident from an outside source in which the names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of an unspecified number of job-seekers in up to 10 states were accessed. The states include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, Vermont and Maine. America’s JobLink has patched the security hole. New accounts created on or after March 16 were not affected. Source: The Portland (Maine) Press Herald

FBI looks into Russian election hack

The FBI is actively investigating Russia’s attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible cooperation from President Trump’s campaign, agency director James Comey confirmed. The existence of an investigation isn’t a surprise, but Comey’s announcement is the first time the FBI has acknowledged an active case. The FBI typically does not comment on active investigations, but the Russian actions targeting the U.S. election represents an “unusual” case, he told members of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee. Source: Computer World

Google, Jigsaw step up to shield voting results

Google and sister company Jigsaw are joining forces to defend election organizers and civic groups against cyber attacks free of charge as the broader tech industry fights criticism that it is not doing enough to stop online efforts to distort elections. The free Protect Your Election package, a service to ward off website attacks, already has been offered to news organizations for the past year under what is known as Project Shield. Source: Reuters

Packed electronic devices might put their security at risk

The U.S. government introduced a device restriction on travelers flying nonstop to the United States from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries, and nine airlines from those countries. Passengers must pack large electronics (tablets, cameras and laptops) into checked luggage. That raises fears of someone having physical access to a device. Data can be cloned for later examination, or someone can install spyware or hardware. Software can be installed for later logging or remote control; protections can be disabled or manipulated. Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation

 Suspect accused of $100 million fraud scam against companies

The FBI arrested a Lithuanian man accused of running a scam in which he posed as a hardware company to defraud multinational internet companies of over $100 million. Evaldas Rimasauskas is accused of operating an elaborate business email compromise scheme that defrauded two unnamed U.S.-based global companies. One firm is described as a multinational technology company and a second is a social-media and networking company. Source: CSO

Amazon puts protective AI company into shopping cart

Amazon has acquired artificial intelligence-based cybersecurity company Harvest.ai, which uses AI-based algorithms to identify the most important documents and intellectual property of a business. It then combines user behavior analytics with data-loss prevention techniques to protect them from cyber attacks. Harvest.ai boasts former members of the National Security Agency, FBI and Department of Defense, as well as former employees of Websense and FireEye. Source: Newsweek

Google maps addition could reveal more than you want

New features for Google Maps make it easier to share your location with contacts, which could spur privacy concerns. People can let anyone know where they are by sending a text message with a link. The link can be opened by anyone, even if they don’t have the Maps app. People can also share their location within the app to others who use Maps through a simple copy and paste, whether or not the original user intended their information to be known. Source: ReCode