Threat Level Thursday: Spying Hurts US Economy, Passwords Should Be Gone, and More Cyber Victims
Welcome to this week's Threat Level Thursday, where we find out how the government's spying efforts are wreaking havoc on the economy, what the White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel thinks of passwords and the scope of the JP Morgan breach.
Government Snooping Isn't Helping Our Economy
Looks like all that data combing the U.S. government practices as part of its broad-reaching surveillance programs actually hurts the economy and the Internet. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, voiced his concerns at a public forum Wednesday in Palo Alto.
"When the actions of a foreign government threaten red-white-and-blue jobs, Washington gets up at arms. But, even today, almost no one in Washington is talking about how overly broad surveillance is hurting the U.S. economy," Sen. Wyden said.
Some U.S. firms lose out on some foreign contracts because companies from other countries simply don't want to deal with the U.S. government's snooping.
Passwords Aren't the Future
If White House Cybersecurity czar Michael Daniel is right, then passwords could soon be a thing of the past.
"It has to be replaced with something easy to use. There are variety of technologies that will be able to do that, some of which will be biometric-related. You started to see some of that with the emergence of the fingerprint readers, but also you can use the cameras on cell phones, which are now ubiquitous so that the selfies are actually used for something besides posting on Facebook. There are also all sorts of different related technologies that can make use of multi-factor authentication but are still easy to use because of the way people use their devices. Card readers. All of those factors will be combined. I think there won't be one solution for everything. I think there will be multiple different solutions."
Given all the recent password breaches, and the fact that people still use "password" as a password, this should be good news if it comes true.
JP Morgan Hackers Eyed More Companies
Remember the JP Morgan Chase breach from a month ago? Seems that the hackers were a bit more prolific than initially thought. Although the hack was revealed Aug. 27, only four companies were identified as targets. After the last few days, however, the number of victims has risen to 14 from 10. Companies hit alongside JP Morgan Chase now include Citigroup, HSBC Holdings, E*Trade Financial, Regions Financial, and payroll firm Automatic Data Processing (ADP). Investigations are still ongoing, but it just goes to show that cybersecurity breaches tend to be more insidious than they initially look.
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