Morning Security Brief: Facebook Increasing Secure Connections, Black Friday Security, Hacker Conviction, and More

By Ann Longmore-Etheridge

►Facebook has increased its https connections, reports PCWorld. "Without https, gathering information over a local network is surprisingly simple. Packet sniffers such as Firesheep and FaceNiff are designed specifically for this purpose, and require very little technical know-how. Indeed, these tools caused a bit of a stir when they first emerged, because they made it so easy to discover other people’s login details or other sensitive information over standard http connections," says the site.

Black Friday security is on the minds of retailers. The Arizona Republic reports on precautions being taken in that state to prevent the kinds of incidents that have occurred at other retail establishments around the nation. "Last year, Arizona attracted national attention on Black Friday when a grandfather caught in a Walmart melee was knocked unconscious by...police trying to control a mob of shoppers snatching up discounted video games," the Republic states. "Crowd-control issues in other states have also lead to injuries and, in one case, death, in the last five years." Among the strategies to prevent more incidents are the use of crowd control experts and more off-duty police.

►The Verge reports on the conviction of  27-year-old Andrew Auernheimer, who "was found guilty in a New Jersey court on one count of identity fraud and one count of conspiracy to access a computer without authorization. That means the defendant is facing two consecutive five-year felonies for his online exploits. But what makes the case significant is that Auernheimer cracked no codes, stole no passwords, or in any way 'broke into' AT&T’s customer database—something company representatives confirmed during testimony."

► says that the "U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Office of Intelligence and Analysis Trends and Patterns Branch will now integrate all the personally identifiable information collected into one 'jumbo list,' in order to better analyze and identify previously unknown links or patterns among individuals who undergo a TSA security threat assessment." 


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