This week’s headline story: Global Internet Outages
It was a week of Internet outages with China experiencing what analysts are calling the biggest outage ever. Nearly all of China’s 500 million Internet users were unable to access websites for 8 hours Tuesday when China’s DNS system failed. Analysts are blaming China’s firewall, known as the great firewall of China, that censers all sites the government deems dangerous. In an ironic twist, rather than calling up websites as requested, China’s DNS was sending all users to websites banned by the government.
On Friday, Google experienced problems that left the majority of its 425 million Gmail users without access to email for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. Combined, these two outages impacted a substantial percentage of the worlds 2.5 billion Internet users, reminding us of our dependence on the Internet for daily routine business.
- Did China’s Great Firewall Cause Web Outage? [NewsFactor]
- Big Web Crash in China: Experts Suspect Great Firewall [NYTimes]
- Gmail was down for many users Friday afternoon [Washington Post]
and elsewhere in Tech News.
- Pope Francis says the Internet is a ‘gift from God’ [The Verge]
Pope Francis called the Internet a “gift from God” hailing its ability to foster dialogue among disparate groups “creating a sense of the unity of the human family” the Pope said.
- Texting and Walking Is Dangerous, Study Shows [NewsFactor]
We all know of the dangers of texting while driving – it results in 11 teenage deaths every day. Researchers with the University of Queensland in Australia have found that texting while walking is also a danger. While both texting and reading a text affect walking, typing a message is worse. Much of the blame stems from the posture that a person must adopt when trying to use his phone while walking. Texting pedestrians have been known to accidentally walk into traffic, fall down open manholes, stumble into others, and fall down.
and in Information Security news this week..
- 16 Million E-Mail Accounts Hacked in Germany [NewsFactor]
As many as 16 million online accounts have been compromised after cybercriminals hijacked computer networks in Germany. Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security launched a Web site intended to help consumers determine if their e-mail accounts were hacked.
- Hackers Buy Popular Chrome Extensions, Inject Malware [NewsFactor]
A new trend has hackers purchasing popular and legitimate browser plugins and extensions, and transforming them into malware and adware. Such was the case with the popular Chrome extension “Add to Feedly” which was recently sold and updated by its new owners. The update didn’t bring any new features or bug fixes. Instead, it came equipped to serve up ads. Google is pulling corrupt extensions as they are found, and would be wise to track who is buying and selling extensions and running tests on updates.
- Target Malware Allegedly Written by Russian Pair [NewsFactor]
A security firm identified 2 Russians as the creators of the malware behind the attack on Target that netted personal information on as many as 110 million Target customers. The firm says that it is not likely that the authors of the software initiated the attack. More than 40 copies of the software have been sold to cybercriminals across Eastern Europe and elsewhere for $2000 a copy. The software is suspected to have been used in at least six attacks including those against Target and Neiman Marcus.
- Israeli Startup Launches ‘Behavior Firewall’ [NewsFactor]
Israeli cybersecurity firm, Aorato, has developed a behavior-based, context-aware firewall to protect companies that use Microsoft Active Directory. The company says that its software could prevent the types of document leaks made popular by Edward Snowden and the NSA.
- ‘123456’ Surpasses ‘Password’ as Most Common Password [NewsFactor]
Are people getting more serious about security? The word “password” is no longer the most popular password. It has been dethroned by the 2nd most popular password: “123456.”
and in Tech Industry news…
- Global Phablet Sales Soaring, Driven by Eastern Markets [NewsFactor]
Which type of computer do you think is seeing the largest increase in use around the world? Tablets? Smartphones? According to Juniper Research its the Phablet – large smart phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note, that fall in between smathphones and tablets in size. Juniper predicts that phablet unit sales will reach 120 million per year by 2018, compared to the 20 million phablets that were sold last year due in no small part to the popularity of these devices in China and other Asian countries.
- Google Adds Sources to Search Engine Results [NewsFactor]
Google is adding a new piece of information to search results – the source. Including source information with search results will assist users in determining if the link is reliable and legitimate. Source information is especially important when searching for reliable political information.
- Happy 30th Birthday, Apple Macintosh [NewsFactor]
Happy 30th Birthday to the Mac – the computer that brought us the first Graphical User Interface.
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