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SEC's information technology at risk of hacking: report

By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has failed to protect its data network against possible breaches, to encrypt highly sensitive information, or to use strong enough passwords, the Government Accountability Office said on Thursday. In addition to the cybersecurity failings, even the physical security in place to protect SEC data and equipment from being accessed or stolen is lax, a 25-page GAO report said, with workstations located in an area open to all agency staff.

American researcher says he's fooled fingerprint check on Samsung's flagship Galaxy S5

BERLIN - A Berlin-based researcher says he has managed to fool the fingerprint-based security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone using wood glue and a picture of the original print. Ben Schlabs, who works for Security Research Labs, says the trick is identical to the one hackers used to unlock Apple's iPhone 5s last year. The S5 flaw is potentially more serious because Schlabs says he was also able to trick the electronic payment app PayPal, which uses Samsung's fingerprint authentication.

Snowden questions Putin on surveillance in phone-in

Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden on Thursday joined a phone-in with Russian President Vladimir Putin, quizzing him over the extent of Moscow's surveillance activities. Putin, a former KGB agent, greeted Snowden as a fellow "former agent" before assuring him that Russia's surveillance of the population was not on a mass scale and strictly controlled by laws.

Snowden questions Putin on surveillance in phone-in

Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden on Thursday joined a phone-in with Russian President Vladimir Putin, quizzing him over the extent of Moscow's surveillance activities. Putin, a former KGB agent, greeted Snowden as a fellow "former agent" before assuring him that Russia's surveillance of the population was not on a mass scale and strictly controlled by laws.

The Baloney Meter: Are there discrepancies in the CRA's Heartbleed timeline?

OTTAWA - "In order to reassure Canadians that your government is able to fully protect the vital private financial information of Canadian taxpayers, we are hoping you could explain apparent discrepancies in the timeline regarding this breach — i.e., the period between when you became aware of the bug, when you took action and the so-called six-hour window that allowed cyber thieves access to the internal workings of Canada Revenue Agency." — New Democrat MPs Charlie Angus and Murray Rankin, in a letter to National Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay ---

Police charge man, 19, in Heartbleed privacy breach at Canada Revenue Agency

OTTAWA - Police have charged a 19-year-old man from London, Ont., in connection with the loss of taxpayer data from the Canada Revenue Agency website. Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes was arrested at his residence Tuesday and is charged with unauthorized use of a computer and mischief in relation to data, the RCMP said Wednesday. A search of the residence resulted in the seizure of computer equipment. Solis-Reyes is a computer science student at Western University, a spokesman for the university said.

New York police disband unit that spied on Muslims

New York police said Tuesday that they had disbanded a deeply controversial and heavily criticized unit that sent undercover officers to spy on local Muslims. Civil liberty groups welcomed the move, but called on New York authorities to address the damage exerted by unjustified spying based solely on religion. The decision by America's largest police force is the first sign that new commissioner William Bratton is moving away from some of the post-9/11 intelligence-gathering practices of his predecessor, The New York Times reported.

NY City police disband unit that monitored Muslim communities: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Police Department has disbanded a surveillance unit that targeted and monitored Muslim communities, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. The unit, which began in 2003, has been largely inactive since the incoming Police Commissioner William Bratton took over the department in January, and its detectives have been reassigned, the report said.

UK names new head of GCHQ after Snowden leaks

Britain Tuesday named a top foreign ministry official as the new head of GCHQ, the electronic eavesdropping agency that came under scrutiny after leaks by former US analyst Edward Snowden. Robert Hannigan, currently the director of defence and intelligence at the Foreign Office, will replace Iain Lobban, who was in the post for six years. Lobban's departure was announced in January, although the government denied it was related to revelations by fugitive National Security Agency contractor Snowden.

Australia's GE Money warns customers of 'Heartbleed' bug

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Financial services firm GE Money has warned Australian customers against "worldwide internet vulnerabilities", urging them to change online passwords after a bug surfaced this month hitting email systems, security firewalls and possibly, mobile phones. "Heartbleed" surfaced in April, when it was disclosed that a pernicious flaw in a widely used Web encryption program known as OpenSSL opened hundreds of thousands of websites to data theft.
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