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Stemming the heartbleed

13 Apr
No Comments

The Internet community got a wake-up call last week when news emerged that a bug in a piece of encryption software had been lurking in cyberspace for two years.

Announced last Tuesday, the bug, known as Heartbleed, lets hackers obtain user names, passwords and even encryption keys from websites that use OpenSSL, an open source software used to secure a majority of online communications.

Tagged in: cloud, Enterprise, google, Internet, open source, security, Software,  

The battle against Windows XP

30 Mar
1 Comment


From this Tuesday, PCs running the decade-old Windows XP operating system will no longer receive security patches and other updates from Microsoft.

As with all operating systems that have been retired, users who continue to rely on Windows XP will be open to malware and hackers. 

That’s because every new security loophole found and patched in Windows 7 and Windows 8 can potentially be reverse-engineered for Windows XP, which means hackers can wait until they have an opportunity to strike.

Tagged in: PCs, security, Singapore, Software,  

New two-factor token lets the blind transact securely online

10 Mar
1 Comment


There’s now a specially-made token that enables the blind to transact online easily and just as securely as users who rely on regular tokens for funds transfers, buying shares or other Internet activities.

Unveiled today by Singapore-based company Assurity, it is able to read aloud the one-time passwords usually flashed on the small screen of a handheld token. Larger and heavier than regular tokens, it also comes with a registration number embossed in Braille.

Tagged in: Enterprise, Internet, security, Singapore, Assurity, OneKey, two-factor authentification,  

Q&A: Samsung touts Knox as Android’s entry into the enterprise

7 Mar
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Winston Goh Samsung Asia

Samsung started rolling out its Knox security offering for its Android devices here in Singapore last month, in a bid to capture an enterprise market where the Google-based smartphones are still seen by many IT managers as vulnerable loopholes to corporate networks.

Tagged in: android, Cellphones, Enterprise, Internet, security, Singapore, Software, BYOD, Knox, mobile security, Q&A, samsung,  

Interpol: long-drawn requests for data pose challenges for cybercrime fighters

17 Jan
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The time taken to request information from online content providers can make it harder for law enforcement agencies to catch criminals using the Internet for activities such as illegal football betting, according to Interpol.

Tagged in: Enterprise, Internet, security, Singapore, cybercrime, digital crime centre singapore, Interpol, NEC, public safety,  

Commentary: multiple two-factor tokens are a drag to users

21 Dec
1 Comment

multiple 2FA tokens in Singapore

If the number of gadgets above seems excessive, then you should see the rest I have stowed in my drawer.

All in, I have seven or eight active tokens – I’ve lost count – used to log on to online banking accounts. Some, I think, are expired, while others I don’t even remember are for which accounts.

Tagged in: Enterprise, Featured, Internet, security, Singapore, Software, 2FA, Assurity, banking tokens, DBS, OCBC, OneKey, UOB,  

Commentary: Singapore hacking cases show importance of deep infocomm expertise

12 Nov

Handcuffs 10
(source: posed photo from iStockphoto)

One of them has been charged in court. Another five are being questioned.

The spotlight is now on the suspects for the recent spade of hacking, after a fortnight spent wondering what’s the next website to be hit or whether “planned maintenance” was a cover-up for an embarrassing failure in cyber defence.

Were they highly-skilled hackers? Or just script kiddies, using readily-available online tools?

Perhaps the better question to ask, if we go beyond the sure-to-be-colourful headlines, would be whether Singapore is well prepared for a full-on cyber assault. Who could launch that? Perhaps a large group of hackers, or perhaps even a foreign government.

Tagged in: Internet, security, Singapore, hacking, IDA, infocomm industry, Messiah, Singapore,  

Section of Singapore PM’s site hacked into

8 Nov
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PMO website
The website still works, but the search function has been taken off

A “subpage” on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s official website was hacked into late last night, days after he said the Singapore government will hunt down culprits responsible for launching cyber attacks on the country.

The attackers, apparently from activist group Anonymous, succeeded in placing its messages on the website. One of them read “It’s great to be Singaporean today”, while another proclaimed “ANONYMOUS SG WAS HERE BIATCH”.

Tagged in: Internet, security, Singapore, Anonymous, hacked, Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister's Office, website,  

IDA: “routing issue, hardware fault”, not hackers, downed government sites

5 Nov
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So, in the end, it was an internal problem that caused the alarming shutdown of 19 Singapore government websites on Saturday.

A combination of routing and hardware issues during a maintenance effort was the reason, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) said yesterday. It disputed claims that a hacker had broken in after threats of such a cyber attack last week.

Tagged in: Internet, security, Singapore, government websites down, hacking, IDA,  

Commentary: should maintenance bring down government websites for hours?

3 Nov


In a crisis, fear is sometimes as dangerous as the threat itself.

If more than a dozen Singapore government websites had actually been hacked yesterday afternoon, the agency involved in cyber security certainly won’t have helped matters by being so scant with information to the public.

In the end, the reason why the sites, which included ones for the Singapore Police Force and the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) itself, went down was because “technical difficulties” resulted in maintenance that took longer than expected.

Tagged in: Featured, Internet, security, Singapore, cyber security, IDA, Singapore government websites,