Here are a few articles I found interesting this week:

Google Declares War on Passwords

Is this the beginning of the end for passwords?  Or is this just another half-baked solution for a problem that many in the tech industry are trying to ignore?  With the increased speed and ability of the current set of password cracking tools, even strong passwords are becoming vulnerable.  It will be interesting to see if Google’s proposed solution is commercially viable and user friendly enough to catch on.   In the future, we may be replacing “I can’t remember my password!” with “I lost my USB Yubico Crypto card!”

Rossen Reports: Webcam hackers can spy on you in secret

Conspiracy theorists seem to constantly be worried of “Big Brother” watching our every move, but this story is much more worrisome because it isrealnot fiction.  Attackers, using social engineering tactics to trick victims into allowing a virus to be installed on their machine, have the ability to turn on a webcam without the victim’s knowledge.  Many of today’s laptops come with a webcam whether the buyer wants them or not, so this is a much larger issue than it was five years ago when webcams weren’t as common.  But there is a low-tech solution that will protect against this kind of attack. Taping a small piece of cardboard or other non-see through material over the camera when it is not in use prevents attackers from becoming Peeping Toms.

Sony Slapped With $390,000 U.K. Data Breach Fine

The repercussions from the Sony Playstation Network data breach of 2011 continue.  This fine was to punish Sony for poor security practices throughout their network that did not enforce the UK’s data protection laws.  This is the type of punishment that will hopefully make other organizations around the world aware that data protection is a serious issue and ignoring security is no longer acceptable in today’s connected world. In this case, other countries could choose to fine Sony for also breaking their data protection laws. Therefore, the amount of money this data breach has cost Sony due to fines, lost sales, and fixing their security issues continues to grow.