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There were plenty of headlines this week about the lack of security in our various computer networks, from mobile phones to social networks. Here’s a roundup of the week’s news about security technology from the hacker conferences Black Hat and Defcon in Las Vegas.

The most controversial story we ran was about an Android wallpaper app that takes your personal info and transfers it to a site in China. We had to correct the info about the data that the wallpaper app used, but it sparked a larger discussion about how app makers often don’t properly disclose what personal data they are using.

Charlie Miller gives a talk on “How North Korea could build a cyber army to defeat the U.S.” The tongue-in-cheek presentation is pretty frightening.

Ethical hacker Chris Paget shows how he can intercept cell phone calls (video).


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Paget also tries to demonstrate how to read radio identification (RFID) tags from a long distance.

A reformed hacker reveals “my life as a spyware developer.”

Hacking the Nintendo Wii and the DS to spread malware.

Workers are easily tricked into revealing company secrets to social engineers.

A security buff hacks automated teller machines and then explains how he did so (videos).

How to build and beat a lie detector.

Facebook’s former chief security officer says military and commercial cyber defense should be united.

You will be billed $90,000 for this hacked cell phone call.

Project Carmen Sandiego can build a “white pages of mobile phones” and track your location.

How to hide yourself from Google and mobile carriers.

Digital fingerprints could give away the identity of virus writers. Greg Hoglund finds that patterns in virus-writing tools and other software can leave a trail for investigators.

Seven security experts get the key to reboot the internet in case of catastrophe.

A researcher shows how to bring down local GSM cell sites.

The Department of Homeland Security wants to tame the Wild West of cyberspace.

Red Lambda raises $10 million for grid-based security.

Solera Networks raises $15 million for real-time forensics.

Your mobile app is spying on you. Lookout examined 100,000 mobile apps and found that many of the programs access your personal data.

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