From black hat hackers attempting to break into government computer systems, to white hat security experts working to crack and improve protections on popular internet browsers, cybersecurity affects us all. Every day hackers steal millions of pieces of personal data and, as former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed, sometimes it may be our own governments doing the snooping.

This VPN-killer aims to make internet connections private by default, without sacrificing speed

Internet users in China rely on VPNs, which encrypt and reroute internet traffic, to get past the so-called Great Firewall and access over 2,700 blocked websites including Gmail, Facebook and Youtube. Hornet purports to be much faster. Photo: EPA

Hornet, a new technological breakthrough by researchers in London and Switzerland, claims it can make remaining anonymous online easier and faster while better protecting people’s privacy.

Friday, 31 July, 2015, 7:14am 2 comments

United Airlines hacked by China-linked group suspected of previous US attacks

Hackers who targeted United Airlines this week are believed to be the same group responsible for an attack on the US Office of Personnel Management. Photo: Reuters

The hackers who stole data on tens of millions of US insurance holders and government employees in recent months breached another big target at around the same time -- United Airlines.

United, the world’s second-largest airline, detected an incursion into its computer systems in May or early June, said several people familiar with the probe.

30 Jul 2015 - 2:42pm 2 comments

Hong Kong news site, political party in Taiwan hit by tools leaked in attack on Hacking Team

Hacking Team's official slogan became less credible in the wake of its recent data leakages at the hands of hackers. Now these tools are reportedly being put to use in greater China to facilitate more attacks. Photo: SCMP Pictures

A popular news site in Hong Kong and a political party in Taiwan have become the latest victims of the recent attack on cybersecurity firm Hacking Team.

A number of websites in the two territories have been compromised using tools developed by the Italian company, according to security experts..

29 Jul 2015 - 4:11pm

Top 5 tips from cybersecurity experts on staying safe online

Top 5 tips from cybersecurity experts on staying safe online

Following the much-publicised hack of pro-infidelity website Ashley Madison, or the cyber attack on the US Office of Personnel Management, or t

29 Jul 2015 - 7:01am 1 comment

Hong Kong may be part of China, but that hasn't protected it from Chinese hackers

Hong Kong is the number one target of hackers in Asia-Pacific. Photo: Shutterstock

Businesses and institutions in Hong Kong are not exempt from attacks by China-linked hacking groups, as experts warn cyber crime in Asia is on the rise.

Hong Kong is the number one target for hackers in the Asia-Pacific region, with almost 60 per cent of businesses detecting attacks in the second half of 2014, according to US-based cybersecurity firm FireEye.

28 Jul 2015 - 11:33am

In war on cyber crime, website crippling DDoS attacks may be gaining the upper hand

DDoS attacks can be launched for under US$40, which helps explain their proliferation. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are increasing in frequency and severity and costing companies millions of dollars. 

They overwhelm servers with requests for data, usually from the networks of hacked or compromised computers controlled by a criminal organisation. They usually take the website down or require a huge investment to keep it online. 

24 Jul 2015 - 7:00am

Cheating site Ashley Madison revokes controversial data-wipe fee after hack attack, claims it's the victim

The site was charging customers US$20 for the privilege of having their personal data removed. Photo: AP

Customers worried about the privacy of their data following the hacking of infidelity dating site Ashley Madison can now have their information deleted from its servers for free, the company said on Tuesday. 

21 Jul 2015 - 3:26pm

Hong Kong firms playing dangerous game by taking cybersecurity lightly, experts warn

Local companies need to act fast as the fog of cyber war threatens to descend on the city and Asia-Pacific trails other regions in terms of general cybersecurity preparedness. Photo: David Wong

A top international law firm has warned businesses in Hong Kong and across Asia to increase their cybersecurity awareness and put policies in place to pre-empt cyber crime. 

At a press briefing on Tuesday, representatives from DLA Piper said that companies in Asia are lagging far behind other regions.

21 Jul 2015 - 3:45pm

Ashley Madison hackers threaten to publish infidelity site's clients, unnerving Hong Kong philanderers

Hackers have threatened to publish the entire user database of Ashley Madison unless the infidelity dating site shuts down. Photo: SCMP Pictures

A pro-cheating website which launched with much fanfare in Hong Kong in 2013 has had its database hacked and customer information leaked.

21 Jul 2015 - 3:53pm

Revealed: The Chinese forums offering hacking courses for just US$100

Online Chinese hacking forums offer 'black hat' training courses for low prices. Photo: eGuidry/Flickr

Amid increasing cyber attacks on both political and commercial targets by groups linked to China, the barriers to entering this potentially lucrative black market industry are close to non-existent as hackers share tips and best practices online.

21 Jul 2015 - 3:07pm

United Airlines rewards hackers with millions of free miles

Chicago-based United has hoped to trailblaze in the area of airline web security by offering "bug bounties" for uncovering cyber risks.  Photo: Reuters

Jordan Wiens has always wanted to fly around the world – business class. His wife is on board for the adventure but would rather save 200,000 frequent flyer miles by flying  economy.  

But after Jordan Wiens won 1.25 million frequent flyer miles with United Airlines, the couple can probably treat themselves to a little more leg-room.

20 Jul 2015 - 2:19pm

South Korean spy in apparent suicide leaves note hinting at hacking scandal

The note left by the intelligence agent seemed to comment on the recent revelation that South Korea's spy agency had acquired hacking programs. Photo: Reuters

A South Korean government spy was found dead on Saturday in an apparent suicide alongside a note that seemed to comment on the recent revelation that the spy agency had acquired hacking programs capable of intercepting communications on mobile phones and computers, police said.

19 Jul 2015 - 12:07am

Encrypted selfies, anyone? Blackphone 2 times launch perfectly as hackers inspire fear and loathing

Silent Circle chief Mike Janke with a smartphone similar in styling to the original encrypted Blackphone. Photo: AFP

The Blackphone 2, the highly anticipated next step in the smartphone series acclaimed for its ability to uphold users’ privacy, will offer a wide range of security features and apps when it is launched in Hong Kong in the upcoming months.

16 Jul 2015 - 4:55pm

Global cybersecurity market may hit US$170 billion by 2020 amid hacking fears

Companies in Asia-Pacific have been forced to confront the hacking threat after a series of high-profile attacks in recent months. Photo: Shutterstock

Spending on cybersecurity will more than double from US$74.5 billion this year to US$170 billion by 2020, according to analysts. 

North America and Europe are currently the biggest markets, but Asia-Pacific is increasingly investing in this area amid concerns about hacking. 

16 Jul 2015 - 8:00am

VPNs 'need better industry standards' to tackle privacy, security concerns, experts say

More Chinese are using VPNs to circumvent the 'Great Firewall', but in doing so, the privacy of their data could be in jeopardy. Photo: EPA

Experts and industry insiders are calling for commercial virtual private network providers to adopt more stringent privacy and security guidelines in the wake of a damning report by British and Italian researchers. 

16 Jul 2015 - 8:00am 1 comment