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The Latest on Information Security

Digital Data Security Concerns for Casino Gaming Machines

NSN Contributor - April 22, 2011

In the spring of 2009 in Las Vegas, a team of men rigged several video poker slots to pay out huge jackpots that were above the casino’s maximum wagers by punching in a particular key code to alter the jackpot. The crime was notable because it isn’t particularly technically difficult: the men were able to pull off the increased pay out simply by interacting with the physical machine and keying in the code at the right moment. This type of fraud, frequently referred to as "cybercrime," has become increasingly prevalent in the digital era. Casino gaming machines are particularly vulnerable, according to security cybercrime expert Nicholas Christin. READ ON

Security System Development: to Insource or Outsource?

With a number of software security options on the market today, many companies invest in commercial off-the-shelf protection (COTS) to secure their networks. How effective are these options? What components are needed to secure a computer network that stores personal information for a number of employees, customer information, bank account numbers, and a wide variety of other, potentially sensitive data? The answer, while not simple, can be broken down into several components. Combined, they paint a picture of what a secure computer network should be and the limitations of off-the-shelf security software. READ ON

Concerns About Cell Phone Security Vulnerabilities on the Rise

The first hackers played around with the early phone system, connecting to it using crude electrical engineering and messing around to see what would happen. It seems that things are coming full circle, with phone networks once again the new frontier in the field of communications hacking. The modern telecommunications industry sees an increasing emphasis placed by consumers on "smartphones" and other gadgets designed to hold an entire professional life in one's pocket. As cell phones become more like computers in complexity and connectivity, security experts say that they will become a far greater target for hackers seeking to steal data, money and more. READ ON

Overview of Canadian Government Intelligence Agencies Computer Network Technology

Although the internet has become popular among ordinary users within the last fifteen years, world governments have been using technology and computer networking systems similar to the internet for over forty years. Canadian government intelligence agencies are involved in several global computer networks, including ECHELON, and have federally mandated regulations, such as the Canada Anti-Terrorism act, that stipulate how the Canadian intelligence agencies can monitor transmissions sent over email, phone, and satellite. With international computer incidents such as the Stuxnet worm, which destroyed Siemens operated nuclear centrifuges in Iran, the need for security and corresponding information tracking is at an all time high. READ ON

Open Source/Open Data Security Issues

Numerous prominent computer software engineers and technologically minded civic policy makers are advocating for increased transparency in data sharing between governments and citizens. This bid for transparency, often described as the 'open source/open data,' movement, brings up notable computer security issues. What data should be publicly available? How can privacy be preserved? Are the potential computer security risks of open source programming outweighed by the potential benefits of a more integrated, open community? READ ON

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