1.5 Million U.S. Medical Records Exposed on Amazon’s Web Servers

In recent news, 1.5 million American people had their health records along with their names, addresses, and phone numbers to be found in the open on Amazon’s web servers. At the moment, it is unknown how exactly the information was uploaded, but it is clear that it was stored in a SQL database. The breach was reported to Systema Software by a person from Texas.

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According to TheRegister.com, one million social security numbers, five million financial transactions, and over 100,000 injury reports had been exposed. It’s quite scary knowing that people will probably be searching for more than just the latest iPhone on Amazon now…

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U.S. and China Working on Cybersecurity Peace Treaty

Just recently, the United States and China have come to an agreement that both nations will not “use any sort of cyberweapons to cripple each other’s critical infrastructure.” Both the U.S. and China are known for their persistent attacks on one another in cyberspace and the feud has been ongoing for a number of years already.

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The deal, which should be in place by this Thursday September 24th, would put a sort of “barrier” between the two nations and their cybersecurity threats. U.S. President Barack Obama is set to meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping in Washington to discuss the deal in more detail this week.

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The Cautions of Shortened URLs

We’re all pretty aware of how long URLs (uniform resource locators) can be, and we surely know that typing ridiculously long URLs into the address bar of our browser is always a pain. That’s why there are URL shorteners such as bit.ly, goo.gl, and tinyURL.com. These URL shorteners make life much easier by converting a long URL into a small, condensed one with less than half the characters and are ideal for pasting into websites that have character limits, such as Twitter.

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What most people are probably not aware of is the actual context of these links, where the link takes you. For example, take a look at the following link: http://bit.ly/1JZyeKI — you may not know what that link is just by looking at or hovering over it, and you should definitely be cautious when wanting to click it (don’t worry, it directs to my blog’s homepage). But many people aren’t aware of the dangers of short links and that they may be redirected to malicious websites, and once you’ve click it it’s all downhill from there.

Many of these websites that offer link shortening services provide details on where the link actually redirects you, but there are also many that don’t. This is just another reason why it’s always good to know what you’re clicking on before you potentially do harm to your computer or personal information and to always verify the link’s target. If it seems like a suspicious URL, it most likely is.

Safe clicking, everyone.

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Hacking a Baby Monitor?

Think about all the things in homes nowadays that have a connection to the internet. Computers, TVs, phones, and a lot of other “smart” devices and appliances that are beginning to appear on the market. Of those many devices, you can now add baby monitors to the list. There are baby monitors being made that connect to a WiFi network and offer an audio/video stream of an infant while they’re sleeping in their crib. Now, when you think about it, it’s not such a bad thing right? Parents can check on their child through an app on their phone and see when they’re asleep and get notified whenever the baby starts to cry or moves.

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I think that this is pretty cool, but what I don’t think is cool is how easy these WiFi enabled baby monitors are to hack into. According to The Brandon Sun, many of the top baby monitor manufacturers are making baby monitors that are incredibly easy for someone to hack into and not only see your child(ren) sleeping, but also gain access to other devices that are connected to the same WiFi network, such as a laptop with lots of sensitive information stored on it. This is primarily due to many of these monitors not having an encrypted data stream and unchangeable passwords that could be found in a manual or online by anyone.

It must be an incredibly discomforting feeling knowing that you’re not the only one who can watch your precious baby sleep. Yikes.

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