Interest in secure communications is at an all time high, with many concerned about spying by both governments and corporations. This concern has stimulated developments such as the Blackphone, a custom-designed handset running a forked version of Android that's built with security in mind.
Cyber security is an irritant to bilateral ties. On Wednesday the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said hackers it believed were backed by the Chinese government had launched more attacks on U.S. companies, a charge China rejected as unfounded.
In May, the United States charged five Chinese military officers with hacking American firms, prompting China to shut down a bilateral working group on cyber security.
The world turned up to Apple’s launch event this week for news of the new iPhone 6, but CEO Tim Cook ended up showing them something that could turn out to be more important than another smartphone. “Payments are broken,” he said announcing the broad details of Apple Pay, the firm’s entry into the world of contactless payments.
President Obama signed an executive order on Friday to strengthen security on federally issued credit cards and government payment systems, part of a push to protect Americans from identity theft and fraud after several large-scale data security breaches this year.
“You should be able to buy the things that you need without risking your identity, your credit score or your savings,” Mr. Obama said during an appearance at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau before signing the directive.
The Russian gang behind the obscure Qbot botnet have quietly built an impressive empire of 500,000 infected PCs by exploiting unpatched flaws in mainly US-based Windows XP and Windows 7 computers, researchers at security firm Proofpoint have discovered.
A year or two ago, what the Qbot (aka Qakbot) campaign has achieved in the roughly half dozen years the actors behind it have been operating would have been seen as a major concern. Recently, standards have gone up a notch.