Bloomberg – Want to Ditch Social Security Numbers? Try Blockchain – Security content from SuperSite for Windows

By Suzanne Woolley    October 10, 2017

In the wake of the huge Equifax data breach, which compromised the personal information of 145.5 million U.S. consumers, the Trump administration asked federal departments and agencies to do something bold: Come up with a new identity system that does not rely on overexposed and octogenarian Social Security numbers.

Other countries already enjoy just this kind of society in which there’s no unique nine-digit number that holds the key to anyone’s economic identity. The problem might not be imagining a world without Social Security numbers but surveying other systems to pick, and perhaps adapt, the best ones. “The U.S. doesn’t have to totally reinvent the wheel here,” said Daniel Castro, director of the Center for Data Innovation, a think tank.  Rob Joyce, special assistant to the president and White House cybersecurity coordinator, suggested at a recent conference in Washington that an improved system might involve technologies such as a “modern cryptographic identifier.” And in fact other countries already embrace blockchain and biometrics as backbones for government and private-sector systems. Often these tools are used in tandem with other authentication techniques to verify a citizen’s identity, provide easy access to services, and keep a permanent record of interactions. Whether these technologies now gaining momentum will prove enough protection against future cyberattacks will be the story to watch over the next few years.Here are some of the ways governments outside the U.S. have set up modern identity systems that allow citizens to share and protect their personal information.

More at: Bloomberg – Want to Ditch Social Security Numbers? Try Blockchain – Security content from SuperSite for Windows


Cloud at risk from cryptocurrency miners – Computing

By Tom Allen    October 9, 2017

Malicious code can go undetected, pushing up cloud prices

The processing power required for digital currency mining is being offloaded to unknowing website visitors

Multiple legitimate websites have been hacked to leech processing power from visitors’ computers, using them to mine cryptocurrencies.

Hackers have installed malicious code on sites belonging to schools, charities, file-sharing services and even CBS, according to scans.

Mining, in this sense, refers to the process of creating units of a digital currency like Bitcoin. The mining computers collect pending transactions (a block) and collate them into a coded puzzle. The first miner to find the solution announces it, and those transactions are validated and added to the blockchain. The miner then receives some currency as a reward.

Because only the first to solve the puzzle gets the prize, miners tend to use very powerful computers – or, in this case, a widely-distributed network.

“There’s a huge attraction of being able to use other people’s devices in a massively distributed fashion, because you then effectively take advantage of a huge amount of computing resources,” Rik Ferguson, VP of security research at Trend Micro, told the BBC.

More at: Cloud at risk from cryptocurrency miners – Computing

Data breaches highlight how Social Security number has to be phased out for blockchain, biometrics – ZDNet

By Larry Dignan    October 9, 2017

Former CEO of Equifax Richard Smith hasn’t gotten much right of late following his former company’s data breach and fumbling of the aftermath. But one thing Smith has correct is that Social Security numbers need to go.

In testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, Smith was grilled by legislators, but did garner some agreement when he said the following:

We should consider the creation of a public private partnership to begin a dialogue on replacing the Social Security Number as the touchstone for identity verification in this country. It is time to have identity verification procedures that match the technological age in which we live.

More at: Data breaches highlight how Social Security number has to be phased out for blockchain, biometrics – ZDNet

Decentralizing bandwidth to create anti-DDoS and CDN ecosystems – Crypto Insider

By David Martinez October 4, 2017

Hacking and cyber-attacks are an issue more than ever.

Almost everywhere you turn in the papers, you read about a hacking event against some major corporation.

Half of the US population was compromised in the Equifax hack, the SEC is admitting  to a massive EDGAR breach in 2016, and Deloitte’s recent hack now appears far worse than initially though.

As hackers continue to make inroads into most security platforms, and costs for services like DDoS mitigation and CDN hosting continue to increase, it seems that the internet world is in need a of a new and better solution, and blockchain may be the answer.

Yes, in blockchain we’ll trust when it comes to the future of cyber security.

More at: Decentralizing bandwidth to create anti-DDoS and CDN ecosystems – Crypto Insider

Equifax Hack: Social Security Numbers Should Go, White House And Equifax Agree – Bloomberg Quint

By Nafeesa Syeed, Elizabeth Dexheimer    October 4, 2017, 7:46am

The Trump administration is exploring ways to replace the use of Social Security numbers as the main method of assuring people’s identities in the wake of consumer credit agency Equifax Inc.’s massive data breach.

The administration has called on federal departments and agencies to look into the vulnerabilities of employing the identifier tied to retirement benefits, as well as how to replace the existing system, according to Rob Joyce, special assistant to the president and White House cybersecurity coordinator.

“I feel very strongly that the Social Security number has outlived its usefulness,” Joyce said Tuesday at a cyber conference in Washington organized by the Washington Post. “Every time we use the Social Security number, you put it at risk.”

More at: Equifax Hack: Social Security Numbers Should Go, White House And Equifax Agree – Bloomberg Quint

Will Healthcare Blockchain Resolve Data Privacy Concerns? – HealthIT Security

A recent Black Book survey shows the majority of medical group managers and IT specialists believe healthcare blockchain will alleviate data privacy concerns.

By Elizabeth Snell    October 3, 2017

Healthcare blockchain is increasingly being viewed as a potential solution to numerous IT problems, such as connectivity issues, data privacy concerns, and patient record sharing barriers, according to a recent Black Book survey.

The Black Book Q3 report interviewed 88 healthcare payers and 276 provider technology executives, managers, and IT specialists.

Nearly all payers that were surveyed – 98 percent – with more than 500,000 members said they were actively considering or were in the process of deploying blockchain solutions. Fourteen percent said they were involved in some form of trial deployments.

More at: Will Healthcare Blockchain Resolve Data Privacy Concerns? – HealthIT Security

Gladius Using Blockchain As Global CDN And DDoS Mitigation System – NEWSBTC

12:00 pm October 2, 2017

It seems that nowadays the front pages of papers are inundated with news about cyber hacks.

First, it’s the Equifax hack, and next, it’s the SEC admitting, almost a full year later, that its filing system was breached in 2016.

Further, companies are seeking ways to increase webpage load times globally through CDN (content delivery network) services. Traditional systems are limited in their approach and feasibility.

As hackers grow in their sophistication, and costs for services like CDN hosting and DDoS mitigation continue to increase, consumers and regulatory bodies alike must be more vigilant than ever, and blockchain is there to help.

One lethal attack is called a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS).

In this scenario, multiple compromised computer systems gang up on a shared target, be it a server, network, or website. The compromised systems flood the target with messages, requests, and packets which often crash the system, resulting in a denial of service to legitimate users and systems.

Traditional, centralized software programs are oftentimes at a disadvantage in stopping DDoS attacks. Because of the way DDoS attacks work, once one computer system is breached, the others follow suit rather quickly. Traditional DDoS defense systems must absorb a lot of traffic, and thus can get overwhelmed. The incredible amount of processing power and bandwidth required to stop these attacks results in a pretty penny to system managers.

Moving to CDNs, these services can be very costly. Traditional platforms require companies to have servers all around the world so that access to the specific site from any server anywhere can be rapid. Such systems can be prohibitively expensive in today’s data-rich internet world since they charge on a per GB basis.

As is the case in so many industries, blockchain technology is pioneering a new way to combat malicious DDoS attacks, while at the same time decentralize and democratize CDN services.

Gladius, a promising blockchain startup, offer decentralized platforms that protect and streamline server processes, creating a distributed CDN, while also providing sufficient bandwidth to neutralize DDoS attacks.

More at: Gladius Using Blockchain As Global CDN And DDoS Mitigation System – NEWSBTC