Hacking for Security, and Getting Paid for It

SAN FRANCISCO — It should come as no surprise that the Internet is riddled with holes. For as long as people have been writing code, they have been making mistakes. And just about as long as they have been making mistakes, criminals, governments, so-called hacktivists and people who wreck things for kicks have been taking advantage. But if 2014 was the year that hackings of everything from federal government computer networks to the computers of Sony Pictures became routine news, 2015 may be the year that companies tried to do something about it. Though not without some rough nudging. Technology companies including Google, Facebook, Dropbox, Microsoft, Yahoo, PayPal and even the electric-car maker Tesla now offer hackers bounties for reporting the flaws they find in the companies’ wares. It is a significant shift from the tech industry’s standard way of responding — or not responding — to hackers who […] Read More

2013: Adobe hacked, millions of customers’ data compromised

A security breach targeting the source code used by software giant Adobe has compromised the information of nearly three million customers, the company confirmed this week. Brad Arkin, Adobe’s chief security officer, announced in a blog post-Thursday that a sophisticated cyber-attack on the company’s network caused the source code for numerous programs to be illegally accessed by hackers, as well as the personal information of millions of Adobe users. Founded in 1982, the Silicon Valley company is known for an array of products, including the PhotoShop editing software and the PDF, SWF and FLV file formats. According to Arkin, Adobe believes the attackers pilfered customer names, encrypted credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates, and other information related to customer orders pertaining to roughly 2.9 million Adobe clients. Arkin said the company does not believe the attackers accessed decrypted information, but stopped short of confirming that plain-text data wasn’t […] Read More

2007: Microsoft-loving (former) security czar calls for closed internet

By Cade Metz in Santa Clara Published Tuesday 2nd October 2007 22:24 GMT Richard Clarke, the man who served President Bush as a special adviser for cybersecurity, has a five-point plan for saving the internet. Speaking at a Santa Clara University conference dedicated to “trust online,” Clarke called the net “a place of chaos in many ways, a place of crime in many ways,” but laid out several means of righting the ship, including biometric IDs, government regulation, and an industry-wide standard for secure software. He even embraces the idea of a closed internet – which seems to have sparked a death threat from net pioneer Vint Cerf. “A lot of these ideas go against the grain. A lot of these ideas are ones people have already objected to – because of certain shibboleths, because of certain belief systems, because of certain ideological differences,” Clarke said. “But if we’re […] Read More