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Cyber Rattling: The Next Threat

Consumers pay high-tech price in privacy for perks

By Andrew Conte
Giant Eagle won’t say much about the information it collects on people who enroll in its rewards program to earn savings on food and fuel, but it knows who has a weakness for Goldfish crackers. GNC can see when your …

Hackers likely hit Target ‘lottery’ through Sharpsburg firm’s remote link

By Andrew Conte
For computer hackers, it’s like playing the Powerball. Criminals looking to steal credit card records from a major retailer such as Target will play as many angles as they can, blitzing the company’s contractors to find a way inside systems, …

Feds: Butler County firm that vetted Snowden ‘flushed’ 650,000 cases to clear backlog

By Andrew Conte
Fraud had become so commonplace that local employees of a federal contractor apparently thought they had found a taxpayer-funded pot of gold. Employees at the Butler County offices of U.S. Investigations Services “dumped” at least 665,000 background checks for the …

Biohackers work toward building $6M man on do-it-yourself budget

By Andrew Conte
Tim Cannon says he would cut off his arm if he could replace it with a stronger, more adroit mechanical upgrade. For now, he must …

Corporate bank accounts robbed of millions by Bonnie and Clyde hackers

By Andrew Conte
The bank robbers drove around New York City for more than 10 hours, collecting some $2.4 million — from ATM machines. They posed for selfies …

PSU grad accused of orchestrating $1.2B in illegal drug sales on secret Web network

By Andrew Conte
Ross Ulbricht slipped up for less than a minute but left behind digital fingerprints. The Penn State University graduate charged with running a $1.2 billion …

Protesters, criminals get around government censors using secret Web network

By Andrew Conte 10:47 a.m.
As hundreds of thousands protested for democracy during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising, Egyptian authorities cut access to Twitter to prevent demonstrators from quickly communicating. …

Hidden Web Tor helps average users and criminals avoid government snooping

By Andrew Conte 9:31 p.m.
Michael Evron was visiting Bogota, Colombia, last year when he was arrested and charged with running an illegal drug network across 50 states and 34 …

Cyber threat facing U.S. ‘continuous,’ security experts say

By Andrew Conte
Hackers might learn enough from recent attacks on U.S. banks to prepare for larger, more destructive assaults should they choose to initiate them, the U.S. …

Facial recognition technology moving toward identifying almost anyone

By Andrew Conte
The Tsarnaev brothers, like anyone in a crowd of strangers, might have expected to be anonymous. But when the FBI released blurry, off-angle images of …

Debate on drones raises issue of safety vs. privacy

By Andrew Conte
Elmer Burger II looks up across the room at an architects’ cocktail party as he hears the quick, repetitive chop of 4-inch helicopter blades cutting …

Militaries’ growing use of ground robots raises ethics concerns

By Andrew Conte
If North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un ever orders troops into the demilitarized zone, an army of South Korean robots could be waiting. A Samsung …

Humans will retain key role in robot use

By Andrew Conte
With an army-green paint job and six knobby tires, Crusher rests inside Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center in Lawrenceville. A metal easel nearby …

Unintentional file-sharing a boon for hackers

By Andrew Conte
Thousands of computer users every moment could lose their most personal information — tax returns, credit cards, and banking and investment accounts — even though …

Experts: Nukes an option for computer attack

By Andrew Conte
The United States should be prepared to use every military option, including nuclear retaliation, in response to a huge computer attack, an independent Department of Defense task force said. But the nation must determine whether its nuclear arsenal can withstand …

Businesses say privacy and legal concerns prevent cybersecurity cooperation

By Andrew Conte
WASHINGTON — Pervasive computer spying by the Chinese against the government and American companies is growing in volume and in damage, the chairman of the …

House Intelligence Committee chairman blames Iran for bank cyber attacks

By Andrew Conte
WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee told the Tribune-Review on Wednesday that he is 99.9 percent confident Iran initiated recent cyber attacks …

Obama executive order could be important in fight against computer attackers

By Andrew Conte
Computer attacks have become so frequent and dangerous that the government needs help from private sector companies to protect information and infrastructure, U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania David Hickton told the Tribune-Review. The cybersecurity executive order that President Obama signed …

Rewards may far outweigh risks for savvy hackers

By Andrew Conte
A malicious computer hacker has to find just one way in. Like soldiers defending a fort, however, anyone trying to protect a website or online business must try to close every potential breach. A single coding mistake, in the wrong …

Cyberspace offers new frontier to exploit weaknesses, initiate attacks

By Andrew Conte
Thirty years after a young hacker played by Matthew Broderick nearly triggered a nuclear war in the movie “WarGames,” fears of malicious computer attackers causing …