New security flaw in credit card chip system revealed

first_img Author: CNN Newssource SHARE LAS VEGAS (CNN) — Computer researchers claim to have found yet another flaw in the upgrade to the chip-based credit cards in the United States.The chip on these credit cards have been praised for making them nearly impossible to counterfeit. While the cards also contain a magnetic strip, that strip is supposed to tell the payment machine to use the chip.But there’s a relatively easy way to knock down that safeguard.Computer security researchers at the payment technology company NCR demonstrated how credit card thieves can rewrite the magnetic stripe code to make it appear like a chipless card again. This allows them to keep counterfeiting — just like they did before the nationwide switch to chip cards.They presented their findings at the Black Hat computer security conference on Wednesday.This claim of a glaring hole in EMV, the chip-based system, is possible because of the way many retailers are upgrading their payment machines: They’re not encrypting the transaction.“There’s a common misperception EMV solves everything. It doesn’t,” Patrick Watson, one of the researchers, told CNNMoney.On Thursday, a banking and retail industry group that monitors the EMV system cast doubt on the theory.“If the data on the magnetic stripe is altered it might fool the terminal,” said U.S. Payments Forum director Randy Vanderhoof. But on the back end, the system would “reject the transaction.”But the discovery of this possible flaw bolsters the retail industry’s complaints against the upgrade, which was forced upon shops by banks.The National Retail Federation has long complained about the upgrade, which is estimated to cost American retailers $25 billion.This latest research shows that retailers could spend millions of dollars upgrading to EMV and still not protect their customers from a massive credit card theft like the Target and Home Depot hacks two years ago.Adding to the problem, payment terminal makers keep producing machines that don’t have the encryption by default.And vendors who sell and install these machines at shops don’t simply flip the switch and turn on encryption. Retailers have to pay extra for basic security.The major machine makers, Verifone and Ingenico, both asserted they offer point-to-point encryption on retailer’s machines — but it’s up to retailers and their partners to turn it on.Currently, retailers focus on protecting the computer network that support their payment system. But that leaves the actual conversation between your credit card and the machine in plain text, readable to any hacker who breaks into the system.It’s a mistake, said Mike Weber, vice president at the IT auditing firm Coalfire.“They’re assuming the environment is OK,” he said. It’s not.During their presentation, the NCR researchers advised shops to “encrypt everything” in a transaction. They also said consumers should pay with special apps on their phones and watches whenever the high tech option is available. Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know.center_img Published: August 4, 2016 3:18 PM EDT New security flaw in credit card chip system revealed last_img read more

New name for Whitehall legal as it strives to cut overlap

first_imgThe number of lawyers in Whitehall could shrink as the government continues to centralise legal services under a new brand name, says the head of the Government Legal Service. Several government legal teams have been brought into the Treasury Solicitor’s Department (TSol) over the past two years – including the Home Office and Ministry of Justice – under the line management of Jonathan Jones (pictured), Treasury solicitor and head of the Government Legal Service.TSol, which will be renamed the Government Legal Department, is in ‘active discussion’ with the Ministry of Defence and Department of Energy and Climate Change, Jones told the Whitehall and Industry Group last week.The new structure, he said, enabled the department to eliminate duplication and overlap. But he warned changes were taking place in a period of continuing, and increasing, financial constraint.TSol, which has more than 1,300 lawyers, has an annual budget of £160m, ‘almost entirely’ from fees charged to other government departments for the work it does for them – these are a combination of hourly rates (mainly for litigation work) and fixed fees (for advisory work).   Jones said there was a ‘clear imperative on me and on the GLS to demonstrate that we are providing the government’s legal needs as efficiently and as economically as possible. It absolutely cannot be right that when so much of the rest of the civil service is facing cuts, lawyers are somehow exempt’.Measures include ‘looking carefully at… whether lawyers need to be replaced when they move on or when particular projects are complete,’ Jones said.Looking ahead to May’s general election, Jones predicted a ‘joined-up, coordinated legal response’ will be required to meet the demands of ‘big topics’ such as Europe, immigration and devolution that any new government will be confronted with. As a result, new joint teams or other structures may have to be established, he said.last_img read more

Terry Crews names alleged sexual assaulter: “I will not be shamed”

first_img Related ABC/Paula Lobo(NEW YORK) — Terry Crews has publicly named for the first time the high-powered talent agent he claims groped him at an industry party, and says he will “not be shamed” about the alleged assault.“Back in February 2016, I was assaulted by Adam Venit, who is head of the Motion Picture Department at William Morris Endeavor, one of the biggest agencies in the world,” Crews said Wednesday on ABC’s Good Morning America. “He’s connected to probably everyone I know in the business. I did not know this man. I have never had a conversation with him, ever.”Venit has represented stars including Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Sylvester Stallone, Diane Keaton, Liam Hemsworth, and Steve Martin.The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star was with his wife, Rebecca King-Crews, at the party last year when he claims Venit began sticking out his tongue in an “overtly sexual” manner.“I’m looking like, ‘Is this a joke?’ It was actually so bizarre,” Crews said. “He comes over to me and I stick my hand out and he literally takes his hand and puts it and squeezes my genitals. I jump back like, ‘Hey, hey.’”Crews claims he then pushed Venit away from him, causing Venit to bump into other partygoers.“I have never felt more emasculated, more objectified. I was horrified,” Crews said. “It’s so bizarre. I wake up every morning wondering, ‘Did this really happen?’”“It was an abuse of power. This is abuse,” Crews added. “This is the thing that a lot of people just don’t understand and they end up blaming the victim. And I have totally said — I will not be shamed.”William Morris Endeavor confirmed to ABC News that, “Adam Venit was suspended following the internal investigation into the matter.”Crews filed a police report Nov. 8 in connection with the alleged incident.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMaticolast_img read more

In dramatic vote with baby Senate confirms Bridenstine to lead NASA

first_imgRepresentative Jim Bridenstine (R–OK) testifies before the Senate science committee on his nomination to lead NASA in November 2017. President Donald Trump’s administration is pointing NASA back toward the moon, and now it has a leader to guide it there. Today, the U.S. Senate narrowly voted 50–49 on partisan lines to confirm Representative Jim Bridenstine (R–OK) to serve as NASA’s 13th administrator.Bridenstine, facing a self-imposed term limit on his House of Representatives career, had long sought to lead the $20.7 billion agency, crafting legislation he hoped would influence its direction. But Trump’s nomination of Bridenstine, which came last September, had until now lacked the votes to confirm him. In particular, he faced stiff opposition from Senate Democrats, led by Senator Bill Nelson (D–FL), and several Republicans against whom Bridenstine had campaigned, including Senators Marco Rubio (FL) and John McCain (AZ).The drama-filled vote, which prompted Vice President Mike Pence to attend as a potential tiebreaker and featured the first vote of Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) with her baby at her side, hinged on the vote of Senator Jeff Flake (R–AZ), who has sought leverage in addressing his non-NASA priorities with the Republican leadership. Flake’s vote, and Rubio’s decision to drop his opposition yesterday allowed confirmation. The pending retirement of the agency’s acting administrator, Robert Lightfoot, forced his hand, Rubio told USA Today. The agency, so vital to his state’s economy, faced a “gaping leadership void,” he said. “I expect him to lead NASA in a nonpolitical way and to treat Florida fairly,” he added. In dramatic vote, with baby, Senate confirms Bridenstine to lead NASA Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Paul VoosenApr. 19, 2018 , 2:40 PM Email Nelson, meanwhile, restated his opposition on the Senate floor, expressing his fears that Bridenstine’s background as a pilot and politician left him without the technical chops to evaluate risk. “What’s not right for NASA is an administrator who is politically divisive and who is not prepared to be the last in the line to make that fateful decision of go or no-go for launch,” Nelson said. But, if Bridenstine were confirmed, he added, “I will work with him for the good of the U.S. space program.”Today, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), attacked his Republican colleagues for confirming Bridenstine. “There is simply no excuse for voting for someone so unqualified to run NASA,” he wrote on Twitter. “They aren’t even bothering to make the argument that he will be a good administrator. They are just voting yes and getting out of town. For me this is a good reminder that elections have consequences.”Full plate awaitsThe issues demanding Bridenstine’s attention are piling up. The agency’s troubled astrophysics division has seen its landmark mission, the $8 billion James Webb Space Telescope, pushed back once again, to a 2020 launch. In turn, the White House has sought to kill the agency’s plans for its next large scope, the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope, a move that Congress has so far viewed skeptically. Bridenstine will also decide how the agency will proceed in returning a cache of rock samples collected by the Mars 2020 rover. And the agency continues to develop its delayed heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), which will not fly until 2020, with rumors that an upgrade to a heavier variant could be delayed until later next decade.Beyond the troubled space telescopes, science at NASA is in a “golden age” with strong congressional support, says Charles Elachi, who led the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, until 2016. Finishing the SLS and getting the United States, in partnership with commercial space companies, back to the business of launching its own astronauts should be Bridenstine’s top priority, he adds. “This requires bold and forceful leadership that is willing to take calculated risks, drastically streamline the bureaucratic decision process, and support a bold technology program that renews NASA[’s] technological leadership,” Elachi says. Although Bridenstine has been an advocate for companies such as SpaceX, he’s also pledged to support the SLS—a precondition for his approval, given congressional support for the rocket.The White House, led by a revived Space Council, is pivoting NASA’s focus for the next decade back to the moon, proposing a series of lunar missions that would establish a small space station, called the Lunar Orbiting Platform-Gateway, in concert with commercial support. This shift, which Congress has not yet approved or substantially financed, would support further robotic and human exploration of the moon, with an emphasis on its resources, such as water. Some $350 million in the agency’s proposed 2019 budget would support this plan.Bridenstine has expressed a similar vision, but he’ll need to flesh out what a return to the moon will mean in detail, says G. Scott Hubbard, a space scientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who previously served as NASA’s first “Mars czar.” Who will pay for what? Will the Europeans move ahead with plans for a so-called moon village? How much will NASA rely on SpaceX and Blue Origin? And will plans for Mars as the final destination be more than lip service? Those plans, developed under former President Barack Obama’s administration, were “on the verge of becoming an affordable reality,” Hubbard said. “To throw that all away would a foolish loss. Mars is the ultimate goal.”Critics will be watchingDemocratic opposition to Bridenstine has largely stemmed from remarks he made early in his tenure in the House, in 2013, that were skeptical of human-caused climate change. Bridenstine has since acknowledged a human influence and has sounded support for NASA’s $1.9 billion in earth science research—a major buttress of climate science in the United States. He vowed in confirmation hearings to heed the guidance of the decadal survey compiled by the National Academy of Sciences and published earlier this year.Although the Trump administration has proposed cuts to NASA’s earth science programs in its budgets, including killing several missions, the Senate has stymied those efforts, keeping earth science funding flat while raising investment in planetary science. This bipartisan compromise has even extended to the House, where Republican legislators this week recanted desires to slash earth science spending. Groups defending climate science will watch the agency closely to see whether Bridenstine’s appointment leads to political interference.Getting past the partisan divide of his nomination and winning over the agency and its centers will be Bridenstine’s first task, says John Logsdon, founder of The George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. If he does that, then he might be able to win some deference from Congress, which is deeply involved the agency’s operations.Bridenstein’s political ties could be a boon for seeing the agency’s desires addressed by the White House, his supporters say. But, with Lightfoot’s departure, Bridenstine should put a priority on finding a technical deputy administrator, Hubbard added. Such a duo could lead to success. After all, it’s happened before: James Webb, who led NASA to the moon for the first time, was a lawyer. But his two immediate deputies were engineers.last_img read more