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Gerry Smith
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Entries by Gerry Smith

Home Depot Admits 56 Million Payment Cards At Risk After Cyber Attack

(138) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 4:52 PM

The Home Depot said Thursday that about 56 million customer debit and credit cards were put at risk after hackers broke into the company's payment systems.

In a statement, the home improvement retailer said the malicious software used in the attack had been removed from its computer system...

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Apple Just Made Your iPhone A Lot Safer From Thieves

(23) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 2:48 PM

Apple's new mobile operating system quietly fixes one of the iPhone's most-criticized features: its allure to thieves.

iOS 8, which Apple released on Wednesday, activates the iPhone's anti-theft feature by default, meaning consumers don't have to turn it on. The feature, also known as a "kill switch," will disable a...

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Time's Running Out On The Net Neutrality Comment Period

(6) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 3:29 PM

Today is the last day to tell regulators how you feel about net neutrality, or the idea that all Internet traffic should be treated equally.

The Federal Communications Commission has received 3 million comments since the agency began debating the issue in April, an FCC spokeswoman said Monday. That's...

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Shopping Online May Actually Be Safer Than Shopping In Person

(3) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 12:34 PM

The list of major retailers that have been hacked keeps growing. But while tens of millions of people have seen their credit card numbers fall into the hands of hackers, online shoppers at those stores appear safe.

In recent breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and, most recently, Home Depot, the...

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Apple Really Hoping You'll Forget About Hacking Thing, Use iPhones To Buy Stuff

(30) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 8:57 AM

Apple wants you to believe it will protect your credit-card numbers better than it protected nude celebrity photos.

Apple on Tuesday unveiled a new payment system, called Apple Pay, that promises to securely hold customers' credit-card data. The announcement came just days after an embarrassing breach of celebrities' iCloud accounts...

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If You're Not Famous, Good Luck Getting Reddit To Take Down Your Nude Photos

(11) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 3:29 PM

The social news site Reddit took down a forum over the weekend that spread stolen naked photos of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, saying users were reposting the images that had been removed for violating copyright law.

But another Reddit forum dedicated to sharing nude images...

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Hacker Succeeds In Breaking Into HealthCare.gov For First Time

(23) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 7:05 PM

A hacker broke into HealthCare.gov and installed malicious software on one of its servers in the first successful breach of the health insurance exchange, federal officials said Thursday.

No personal data were stolen from the Obamacare site as the hacker accessed only a test server that did not contain consumer...

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Celebrity Hacker Could Face Lengthy Prison Sentence If Caught

(133) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 7:43 AM

The person who leaked naked photos of about 100 female celebrities this past weekend, including the actress Jennifer Lawrence and the model Kate Upton, could face an array of criminal charges and dozens of years in prison if caught.

The FBI is investigating the leaked photos that spread...

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Online Protest In Support of Net Neutrality Planned For Sept. 10

(2) Comments | Posted September 3, 2014 | 12:44 PM

Web activists are planning an online protest for next week to press federal regulators for stronger rules to protect net neutrality, or the idea that all web content should be treated equally.

The activists are asking websites and social networks to join the protest on Sept. 10 by embedding special...

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Celebrities Are Ridiculously Easy To Hack. Here's Why.

(13) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 3:20 PM

Celebrities may be better-looking, more talented and more famous than you, but the trade-off is that they're ridiculously easy to hack.

That's because we know just about everything there is to know about famous people, including Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence and the 100 or so other female celebs whose nude photos...

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Why You Should Worry About The Cyber Attack On JPMorgan Chase

(43) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 2:14 PM

So many companies have been hacked in the past year that news of another major data breach has become almost routine.

Yet, there may be new reasons to be concerned about JPMorgan Chase announcing Thursday that it is investigating a possible cyberattack.

The attack, which appears to be a coordinated...

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Actually, Minority Workers Are Everywhere In Silicon Valley -- They're Just Not Treated As Well

(38) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 8:18 AM

Despite what you may have heard, there are actually many black and Hispanic workers at tech companies. They're just not paid much, and they mostly don't get the same benefits as white and Asian employees.

Black and Hispanic workers make up 41 percent of private security...

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Here's The Real Reason Twitter Is Now Banning Gruesome Images

(32) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 5:39 PM

After Twitter announced Wednesday it would remove graphic images of a beheaded American journalist and suspend the accounts of anyone who shared those photos and videos, users of the social network wondered what prompted the move.

The surprising explanation: Robin Williams.

After the actor's suicide last week, Williams'...

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Internet Outage Left Doctors Without Records For Hours

(4) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 12:55 PM

For several hours last week, doctors at PIM Associates, a primary care practice in Philadelphia, couldn’t see patients' lab results or what medications they were taking.

Those digital records are stored in the cloud by a company called Practice Fusion, which makes software to help doctors track...

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The Huge Challenge Facing Obama's New Tech Team, In One Chart

(21) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 3:15 PM

The White House said this week that it has created a new team of tech wizards, led by a former Google employee, to help the government avoid another blunder like the troubled rollout of HealthCare.gov.

But the challenges facing the new U.S. Digital Service run much deeper than...

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Anonymous Threatens To Release Name Of Officer In Ferguson Police Shooting

(329) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 4:34 PM

The hacker group Anonymous claims it has the name of the Ferguson, Missouri, police officer involved in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager over the weekend.

But in a rare display of caution, the group said Wednesday it is waiting to release the officer's name until it can...

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Your Password Laziness Makes Life So Much Easier For Russian Hackers

(27) Comments | Posted August 6, 2014 | 1:57 PM

A gang of Russian hackers recently stole more than 1 billion usernames and passwords, and they likely got help from an unlikely accomplice: you.

Our habit of using the same passwords over and over makes it relatively simple for hackers to commit identity theft by connecting all of those stolen...

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Why Is The NAACP Siding With Verizon Over Net Neutrality?

(34) Comments | Posted July 31, 2014 | 12:49 PM

The NAACP and several other major civil rights groups have emerged as flashpoints in the debate over net neutrality, the idea that all Internet traffic should be treated equally.

More than 40 civil rights groups are supporting broadband providers that oppose strict net neutrality rules. The civil rights...

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FCC Chair Asks Verizon To Explain 'Disturbing' Plan to Slow Wireless Speeds

(90) Comments | Posted July 30, 2014 | 7:14 PM

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday called Verizon's new plan to reduce speeds for certain data-guzzling wireless customers “deeply troubling" and asked the company to justify the policy.

Verizon said last week it would begin slowing speeds for wireless customers with unlimited data plans who...

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Edward Snowden's New Role: Product Pitchman

(15) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 5:27 PM

Edward Snowden has been given many titles: Whistleblower. Traitor. Asylum-seeker.

Now, the fugitive National Security Agency contractor appears to have found a new role: Product pitchman.

In recent interviews and speeches at tech conferences, where he appeared remotely via Google Hangout, Snowden has endorsed several privacy and security tools...

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