Monday, February 19News That Matters

Technology

The Equifax “Lock & Alert” app works, but what does it do?

The Equifax “Lock & Alert” app works, but what does it do?

Technology
Enlarge / Now I'm protected, apparenty, after troubleshooting with Equifax. Last week, I reported about the travails I and others experienced while trying to use a new service from Equifax called "Lock & Alert." The service, which is front-ended by a website and a mobile application, allows individuals to place or remove a "security lock" on their credit reports with a click or a finger-swipe. After installing the app, I (and reporters from The New York Times as well) encountered some usability issues—as in, the app wasn't working at all. On Friday afternoon, a spokesperson for Equifax reached out to me and offered to connect me with a senior technical support person to figure out what was going on. Yesterday, we got on the phone to work out the problem. Part of the fault for my i
Autonomous Cars Will Need “Autonomous Maintenance” Solutions

Autonomous Cars Will Need “Autonomous Maintenance” Solutions

Technology
Competition has begun heating up as to who will be the first one to operate a fleet of fully autonomous vehicles, as demonstrated again by recent announcements from General Motors (GM) and Uber.  However, a lot of work is still needed to allow such vehicles to roam freely throughout our city centers, neighborhoods and freeways, but they are in fact coming. As autonomous vehicles begin to roll out, the need for remote monitoring will become imperative to ensure their longevity. Passengers will no longer be concerned about the ongoing health of the vehicle and instead will focus on getting from point A to point B safely. However, Mobility as a Service (MaaS) operators will need to maximize the availability of their fleets, which will require real-time insight as to the health of each vehicl
Tech-support scammers have a new trick to send Chrome users into a panic

Tech-support scammers have a new trick to send Chrome users into a panic

Technology
Enlarge (credit: Malwarebytes) Con artists pushing tech-support scams have an arsenal of ways to lock up the browsers of potential marks. On Tuesday, a researcher disclosed a new weapon that freezes Google Chrome, which, by most measures, is the Internet's most widely used browser. The point of all the techniques is to render a browser unusable immediately after it displays a fake error message reporting some sort of security breach. Given the appearance of a serious crash that can't be fixed simply by exiting the site, end users are more likely to be worked into a panic and call the phone number included in the warning. Once called, the scammers—posing as representatives from Microsoft or another legitimate company—stand a better chance of tricking the caller into providing a credit ca
The Key IoT Security Questions You Need To Ask

The Key IoT Security Questions You Need To Ask

Technology
An Internet of Things (IoT) solution offers a multitude of business benefits from decreased operational costs to new revenue streams. But it also comes with a host of security considerations, including an ever-changing array of regulatory compliance requirements, demanding expert navigation and acute attention to detail. Below I’ve listed some of the critical questions to ask when deploying a secure IoT solution. To learn more about IoT security, be sure to register for the IoT in Action event in San Francisco on February 13. How secure are your things? For starters, the actual devices must be secure. In the next few years, a new wave of innovation will drive down costs and inundate the market with internet-connected devices in every price range, from electronic toys to manufacturing sens
Feds drop hammer on massive “carder” ring that caused $530 million in losses

Feds drop hammer on massive “carder” ring that caused $530 million in losses

Technology
Enlarge (credit: Mighty Travels) Federal prosecutors have criminally charged 36 people for their alleged roles in a massive online fraud enterprise. The fraud, feds claim, has caused more than $530 million in losses since 2010. Known as the Infraud Organization, the enterprise aimed to be the Internet's premier destination for buying and selling stolen payment card data. It served as an online bazaar that directed potential buyers to a pool of people selling stolen credit card data, social security numbers, and other personal information, as well as malware, hardware, and other wares used to facilitate card fraud. Infraud is the biggest online fraud group ever prosecuted by the US Justice Department. As of last March, it had almost 11,000 registered members. Its tagline: In Fraud We Tru...
The Fast Pace of Facial Recognition Innovation

The Fast Pace of Facial Recognition Innovation

Technology
Facial recognition technology has finally begun to enter the science fiction landscape we had all dreamt it would soon do. Thus, today we’re witnessing a rapid change and growth in its innovation and implementation. This change in pace is attributed to the significant advances in machine learning, resilient ODM (original design manufacturer) competition and increases in processing power that will forever democratize and commoditize facial recognition technology. When we consider the applications of this core technology, it is essential also to understand the positive consequences of implementing facial recognition for non-conspicuous use cases. To get further insights on this matter, I sat down with Shaun Moore and Nezare Chafni the founders of TrueFace.ai. With such technical adva...
German Navy experiences “LCS syndrome” in spades as new frigate fails sea trials

German Navy experiences “LCS syndrome” in spades as new frigate fails sea trials

Technology
Enlarge / The Baden-Wurttemberg, listing slightly to starboard as usual, has been sent back to shipbuilders—refused by the German Navy. (credit: Ein Dahmer) The German Navy has a lot of problems right now. It has no working submarines, in part because of a chronic repair parts shortage. The Deutsche Marine is still flying helicopters older than their pilots—the Sea Lynx entered service in 1981, and the Sea King in 1969—and has long-delayed their replacement. And now the service is facing problems with its newest ships so severe that the first of the class failed its sea trials and was returned to the shipbuilders in December. As Christian Mölling, a defense-industry expert at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, told the Wall Street Journal’s William Wilkes in January, Ger