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New Black Hat Cybersecurity Buzzwords

In the pithy words of Monzy Merza at TechCrunch, the annual Black Hat briefings are an opportunity for the hoi-polloi "to drink from the firehose." While the lions' share of know-how and information will no doubt be devoured and processed by the brainiest of cybersecurity experts and hackers, the rest of us must play the part of vultures -- eating the scraps.

And that assumes we can digest what's left. Blink, and some new threat is already out there on the internet threatening your data and network. Here we'll discuss some of the recurring terms that featured at this year's Black Hat briefing.

Are Your Note-Taking Apps a Security Risk?

Note-taking apps are part of the recent trend of enabling people to document every aspect of their lives for posterity and future use. Everyone knows that with convenience comes diminished security. But what steps do you need to take to ensure your day-to-day musings aren't being hacked?

LinkedIn, the Facebook for resumes, has filed suit in the Northern District of California against 100 unnamed individuals accused of using bots to scrape information from its website. The suit accuses the Doe defendants of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a federal anti-hacking law.

The lawsuit comes just barely a month after the Ninth Circuit expanded the reach of the CFAA, ruling in two cases that the CFAA could criminalize unauthorized password sharing and could impose civil liability for misusing a social network. The LinkedIn suit, though, could seek to push the reach of the CFAA even further.

Cops Search Computer for Defamatory Statements -- About Their Police Chief

After a blogger accused the sheriff's office in Terrebone Parish, Louisiana of improprieties, sheriff's deputies quickly seized the computers of the suspected blogger, a former sheriff's deputy himself, accusing him of criminal defamation. "If you're gonna lie about me and make it under a fictitious name, I'm gonna come after you," Terrebone Sheriff Jerry Larpenter told the local news station, WLL-TV.

Now, a Louisiana judge has issued a search warrant, allowing those deputies to take a "look-see" into the suspected defamer's computer. Ethics attorney and Loyal Law Professor Dane Ciolino described the ruling as "extraordinary," adding that "[i]t's amazing we're having this conversation in Louisiana rather than in Iran."

Has Social Media Committed International Terrorism?

A number of lawsuits are pending in federal courts these days and their legal significance cannot be overstated. At issue is whether or not the three biggest names in social media today -- Google, Facebook, and Twitter -- have committed acts of "international terrorism" under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act.

Tips for Handling Phishing, Social Engineering Scams

The con has been on this earth longer than civilization. It seems that somewhere, somehow, someone is trying to pull a fast one on someone else. Cons, scams and schemes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes: "snake oil,", Ponzi schemes, political promises.

Those still exist, but the latest digital scams are getting fancier, more sophisticated and more prolific. Here are a few tips that will help you dodge them.

For $12, Criminals Can Hack and Track Your Wireless Keyboard

Another week, another hacking piece. Only this time, it's not about a threat of your networks, email accounts, or some large bank -- it's your keyboard.

Bastille Networks did some digging around and found that wireless keyboards are the latest crack in the ever growing security levee. For about $12, hackers can acquire a radio device that can both track and inject keystrokes into your machines. Worried yet?

A phone is stolen or a computer hacked. Suddenly your personal information is being held for ransom. But the hacker doesn't want cash, he wants sexual favors. "Send nudes," he says.

It's sextortion, or the abuse of power to obtain a sexual advantage, and it's a growing cybercrime, with hundreds of individuals becoming victims every day. Yet, despite the increase in hacking-related sextortion, there has been little action taken to craft laws that would fit the crime.

5 Technology Traps That Can Ruin Your Law Practice

With tech complexity shooting skyward, even pretty well educated folk like lawyers have to watch their steps carefully when it comes to security slip-ups. Any one of the scenarios we list below could completely ruin your practice and your business for a long time -- yet lawyers still do them every day.

Just accept that tech problems will take place. However, you can and should take steps to mitigate how often they take place. A little prep will save much headache down the road.

Bitcoin Is Not Money According to Florida Judge

"Bitcoin has a long way to go before it is the equivalent of money," Florida state court judge Teresa Mary Pooler said in a recent money-laundering decision. The conclusion should be clear to anyone, her court said, with even "limited knowledge in the area."

The decision is an interesting one that will probably end up only having limited geographical import legally. Still, it does deal a blow to the PR campaign that Bitcoin has been trying to mount ever since the crypto-currency got associated with Silk Road's illicit criminal activity.