Video Game Security

Video games, especially online video games, can expose players to cyberattacks.   The attacks come both from unsafe behaviors by the players and from inadequate security in the servers hosting the games. Many games require players to have credit cards registered with the server so they can pay for special treatment or game artifacts, such as […]

The Evolving Security of Credit Cards

Another breach of consumer credit card information was reported by Hudson’s Bay, the owner of Lord and Taylor and Saks stores.  Hudson’s Bay said “it was the victim of a security breach that compromised data from payment cards that had been used at some stores in North America, and that it had “taken steps to […]

Specialized Cyberattacks

At the retail level, hackers can seize a consumer’s identity and financial assets without leaving a trail for law enforcement to follow. Identity theft inflicts an average loss of $5,100 on each of the twelve million US victims each year.  Most of us know a relative or acquaintance whose credit card details or personal information […]

Website Operators Held Accountable for Others’ Misdeeds as Well As For Their Own

In the early 1990s, the Internet was like the unbridled Wild West of the 1890s.  In the early 1990s, standards of Internet practice were almost nonexistent.  You could start almost any kind of business you could afford and there were no Internet Sheriffs to enforce common sense, let alone “the law.”  The standards were only […]

Cyberattacks Keep Coming

Fighting today’s cyber malware is not like the game of “whack a mole.”   There used to be something satisfying about whacking the mole back under the game surface.  Back then our computers could be worm and virus free if we used smart passwords, antivirus protection, and we resisted social engineering scams.  But today’s malware attacks […]

When Can We Agree on What Online Security Means?

We repeatedly confront the gulf between law enforcement’s and civilians’ understanding of what online security is and whom it is meant to protect.  Well-meaning law enforcement officials and earnest public advocates talk past each other because they harbor different understandings of online security. Law enforcement works hard to protect the public.  In its quest to […]

Time and Security at the Checkout Line

For retail payments there are six protocols in common use – cash, check, credit card swipe and sign, debit card swipe and pin entry, EMV chip and sometimes sign, and mobile payments (using near field communications) with a second form of authentication. Cash and check are less commonly used.  Cash payments challenge some of the […]

Consumer Confidence in Internet Security Is Weakening

An average of 160 cybercrimes per week are launched against companies and the average cost of each attack is in the millions.  Almost half of Americans are aware of an attack that impacted them personally.  The most famous attacks such as the Office of Personnel Management breach affecting 5 million and the Target stores attack […]

Only the Public Can Balance on Privacy vs Public Safety

When does the individual’s right to privacy trump the right of society to pursue justice and public safety?  Neither right is absolute.  That issue underlies the FBI-Apple iPhone decryption scuffle, the Microsoft suit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) for its client email gag orders,  the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and the USA Freedom […]

The Long Road to a European-US Privacy Shield

In a decision by the EU Court of Justice, the EU-US Safe Harbor arrangement for transmitting personal information was deemed to have inadequate privacy safeguards.  The decision arose from strong objections to the surveillance of European persons conducted by NSA.  Without an arrangement to provide sufficient privacy protection, digital commerce between North America and Europe […]