Questions tagged [security]

Questions about security; as it applies to any vulnerable and valuable asset, such as a person, dwelling, community, nation, or organization.

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47
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2answers
15k views

Were Facebook employees unable to enter their own building to fix router problems, during a recent (six hour) outage?

It's been somewhat mysteriously reported that FB employees couldn't fix some router (BGP) misconfiguration in a timely manner because "the people trying to figure out what this problem was ...
44
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3answers
18k views

Will entering the ATM's PIN in reverse notify the police?

I received a rather intriguing email. It says that if I am at an ATM and I'm in the process of getting robbed, I just enter my PIN in reverse order e.g. 4321 instead of 1234. The ATM will still give ...
20
votes
1answer
5k views

Can the USA turn off the whole internet by deactivating root DNS servers based there?

Drinking with a friend, he told me how his lecturer had revealed to his class that the US can turn off the Internet for the whole world if it wants to, because all of the DNS root servers are there. I ...
16
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0answers
473 views

Are conversation-starting memes on social-media harvested by criminals?

There have been a raft of warnings circulating on Facebook for years (but seem to have had a recent uptick) warning that memes that are shared on social media that encourage people to post trivia ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Have ATMs across the US "spat out money" in the second half of January 2018?

In a response to the DDoS attacks on several Dutch banks and other institutions, "cybersecurity specialist" Rian van Rijbroek claimed on 29 January 2018 on the Dutch news programme Nieuwsuur ...
76
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2answers
10k views

Does Sci-Hub use malware and phishing to obtain researchers' login credentials?

There is a new BBC article, Police warn students to avoid science website about Sci-Hub, a pirate site to circumvent paywalls on science journals. But Max Bruce, the City of London police's cyber ...
24
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1answer
2k views

Are 95% of Ashley Madison dating site's accounts male?

The hackers who procured and recently published Ashley Madison's internal databases, the so-called "Impact Team," have claimed that the accounts in the databases were predominantly, in fact "90-95%" ...
29
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3answers
8k views

Did US prohibit the export of the mere description of a cryptographic algorithm?

A Wikipedia page says that in the US regulations were introduced as part of munitions controls which required licenses to export cryptographic methods (and even their description) What concrete ...
10
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0answers
459 views

Did two brothers steal credit card information worth millions and walked away scot-free because banks were embarrassed?

In this DEFCON talk at around 24:52 minute mark, the speaker (a Cambridge professor) tells a story of two brothers stealing millions of dollars using a weakness in credit card terminal technology, and ...
-3
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1answer
517 views

Is illegal immigration down since construction began on Trump's wall?

In this article the quote: The result? Since border wall construction began in Tucson, Arizona, illegal crossings are down 24 percent. In San Diego, California, they’re down 27 percent. And in Yuma, ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Does aluminum foil safeguard your credit card from RFID attacks?

Evidence against Does Aluminum Foil Stop Identity Theft? Some sources say that if you actually have an RFID-enabled credit card, aluminum foil does the same job, if not better, than an expensive RFID-...
4
votes
1answer
682 views

Does having passwords cost $200 (£150) per employee, not including the lost productivity?

A BBC News article attributes a claim to Jason Tooley, chief revenue officer at Veridium: Not only would getting rid of passwords improve security, it would also mean IT departments would not have to ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Can governments destroy the value of Bitcoin, if they wanted to?

Note that this is a question about Bitcoin that is separate from my other question, which had asked whether Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, claims that the governments ...
11
votes
1answer
917 views

Did Facebook allow Netflix, Spotify, and the Royal Bank of Canada to read users' private messages?

From As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without ...
18
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2answers
1k views

Do the "Presidential Alerts" give the government full access to all phone functionality?

John McAfee, libertarian politician and former computer programmer, tweeted this: The "Presidential alerts": they are capable of accessing the E911 chip in your phones - giving them full access ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Have "backdoors" in software programs been seen in the real world?

Has there ever been a software program that has been shown to have an in-bad-faith "backdoor" allowing privileged access? When I say "in bad faith" I mean, "that cannot be credibly explained by ...
-4
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1answer
330 views

Why aren't we using AI to inform our militaries? [closed]

I came across this article that said AI was almost if not as good as humans in team player games like DOTA. Now DOTA has landscapes, multiple players, different abilities etc. So that immediately set ...
8
votes
2answers
912 views

Are contactless payment cards/phones insecure?

I've heard claims that contactless cards and NFC is no less secure than chip and PIN as indicated below. According to Barclays: All our new Contactless debit cards include the latest advanced ...
2
votes
1answer
735 views

Is there any evidence that laptops in airplanes might be used for terrorist attack?

For some airports in the Middle East passengers are not allowed to bring electronic devices bigger than smartphones into the cabins. According to some news pages (e.g. this article) this ban should be ...
9
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0answers
272 views

Were the BOSS Linux update servers hacked in 2015?

The Hackology Blog claims that update servers for BOSS Linux were hacked in 2015, eventually allowing access to Indian military and government servers. This website claims that: Hackers infected the ...
75
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3answers
15k views

The origin of "99 cents"

I've seen two competing theories on the origin of pricing products at $<desired dollar amount minus 1>.99 (i.e. charging $19.99 instead of $20, of $5.99 instead of $6): Psychological pricing ...
157
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9answers
15k views

Is closed-source code more secure than open-source?

My computing teacher told us that closed source software is more secure than open source software, because with open source "anyone can modify it and put stuff in." This is why they do not want to use ...
47
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3answers
15k views

Do four random common words make a stronger password than passwords like "Tr0ub4dor&3"?

In xkcd comic #936, Randall Munroe claims that passwords like "Tr0ub4dor&3" (uncommon base word, caps, common letter substitutions with a number and punctuation suffix) has ~28 bits of entropy, ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Has Telegram decrypted user messages and provided them to a gov agency?

Background: Telegram is a secured messaging app, similar to many others (WhatsApp, Signal, ...). It emphasizes its security features and has become (like a few others) a way for people to exchange ...
4
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1answer
889 views

Was Steve Bannon's appointment to the National Security Council done by mistake?

On the podcast Pod Save America, an Obama aide claimed that the appointment of Steve Bannon to the National Security Council was a mistake. They said Trump was upset because he found out Bannon was on ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Did Sean Spicer tweet a password twice in two days?

This article came up in my news feed and I immediately called shenanigans on it: White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer Just Tweeted Something That Looks an Awful Lot Like a Password Recently, ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Did Seth Rich give Wikileaks the DNC leak emails?

This image has a few claims, are they true? Image text: Hi, I'm Seth Rich. I was the DNC staffer who gave Wikileaks the DNC emails proving that they had rigged the primaries against Bernie Sanders ...
99
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3answers
23k views

Are Americans more likely to be killed by vending machines than terrorist refugees?

The Financial Times did some analysis of Donald Trump's controversial immigration restrictions (which were claimed to be about protecting Americans from terrorism). They focus on analysing risk from ...
72
votes
2answers
16k views

Does Melania Trump's security cost double the National Endowment for the Arts' budget?

This viral post was found at The Resistance with 16,000 shares in less 12 hours. It's from @chapmanchapman who seems to be commenting on Trump cutting the National Endowment for the Arts. The est. ...
9
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3answers
1k views

Was John Podesta's email password "password"?

Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, said in a recent interview with Sean Hannity that John Podesta’s password was 'password'. The Daily Mail reports: In an interview, Assange revealed the ...
28
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2answers
23k views

Can mobile phones be tracked when they're switched off?

Seeing as mobile phones aren't sending signals when switched off, is it possible to track a mobile phone when it's switched off? NSA growth fueled by need to target terrorists By September 2004, a ...
2
votes
1answer
338 views

Do many people write down their safe combination?

I'm having a hard time believing that "a lot of safe owners" actually write down their combination and keep it in the same room. Surprisingly, many people write the combination down near the safe, ...
22
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1answer
18k views

Is it safer to NOT light your house at night?

At some point, I read a news report that investigators found out it is actually safer not to light your house when you are not there or when asleep. It mentioned that thieves found very dark places '...
18
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4answers
1k views

Did the FBI not require assistance from Apple to unlock the San Bernadino terrorist's phone?

Edward Snowden's official Twitter account posted the following tweet: The first 4 points are not in contention, but the 5th point states that the FBI does not require Apple's assistance to unlock the ...
22
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3answers
2k views

Does United States have no technology to allow Internet voting in a secure way?

In 2011, nearly a quarter (24.3%) of participating voters in Estonia cast their ballot by remote electronic voting (that is, on their computer/phone/tablet via the Internet). Several larger ...
5
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0answers
673 views

Is the NSA installing surveillance codes in iPhones by calling Sprint customers?

I've got a iPhone 6s on the EE network. Today I got a SMS from +44 865 6696 which had the content "Message not found". If I put the number into a t9 predictive text emulator, it spells &...
5
votes
1answer
292 views

Do informed, alert communities increase national safety?

The US Department of Homeland Security has created the If You See Something, Say Something national campaign with the claim that "It Takes a Community to Protect a Community" and "Informed, alert ...
3
votes
1answer
287 views

Are phone calls unencrypted and forced by law to be unencrypted in India?

I am getting the unlock or un-secure lock image on my Nokia phone when ever I call. http://blog.taddong.com/2011/02/does-your-phone-warn-you-when-it-is-not.html Most GSM operators do encrypt their ...
6
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0answers
240 views

Did Apple help the Chinese government unlock thousands of iPhones? [closed]

The BBC and Ars Technica, amongst other sources, have reported regarding the FBI's latest filing in the FBI vs. Apple case regarding government-mandated unlocking of the phone owned by the San ...
14
votes
1answer
696 views

Can aircraft be hacked and "commandeered remotely"?

This sensationalist article by John McAfee on Business Insider makes a number of unsupported claims about cybersecurity. In the article, he claims that (emphasis mine): For the purpose of our ...
2
votes
0answers
304 views

Can google misuse important information from my documents? [closed]

As mentioned in google policies google reads your all document to improve their search and suggestion. But If I keep some important document on google drive, like : new business ideas, innovation ...
2
votes
1answer
252 views

How common are air marshals?

I've heard/read a couple of times that there are air marshals on every international flight. But this doesn't seem to make much sense. Maybe they're only on flights that go to important cities like ...
23
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1answer
2k views

Was the C compiler trojan horse written by Ken Thompson ever distributed?

This is a followup to the comments in this question. Thanks to Oddthinking for bringing up the issue. Ken Thompson gave a famous speech upon receiving an award titled "Reflections on Trusting Trust" ...
5
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0answers
316 views

Is the cause for the Berkeley Boom "unknown"? [closed]

Articles about the unsolved mystery of the "Berkeley Boom" claim that the loud noises that can be heard throughout Berkeley, California, and in neighbouring cities, might be caused by fireworks, cops, ...
15
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2answers
1k views

Does US Intelligence have built-in interfaces in major social networking sites that allow them to browse personal information at will?

From this interview from Julian Assange: He believes the social network is joined by Google, Yahoo and other major US organisations that have “built in interfaces for US Intelligence”: It’...
60
votes
2answers
6k views

Will unsubscribing from spam get you even more spam?

To quote Rick's Spam Digest: It’s just too likely that the spammer uses the “removal” feature as a means to compile lists of known-deliverable e-mail addresses, and you could simply wind up getting ...
8
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1answer
434 views

Do BT routers secretly connect to a NSA/GHCQ network?

Today I was pointed at this document which claims, among other things, that the secret agencies perform man-in-the-middle attacks by using a second network connection established by the home router. ...
3
votes
0answers
338 views

Does deepnet have only 7100 onion sites? [closed]

I have read this article on forbes claiming that deepnet has only 7100 onion sites and took only 3 hours to scan completely. Which to me sounds like total nonsense since if average .onion address is ...
16
votes
3answers
942 views

Is there a "cyber war"?

I've been extremely sceptical of this new concept of a cyber war. That is, a malicious country or organisation could attack another country by bringing down their network through, say a DDoS or a well ...
28
votes
3answers
2k views

Is anti-malware software effective?

I have heard claims that anti-malware software isn't really effective and will "only catch 33% of malware", and so it's best to "get rid of them; you don't have to pay, and your system will be faster"....