cybersecurity

Cybercrime is costing the global economy nearly half a trillion dollars a year, according to the insurer Allianz. It's a major threat to businesses, which are looking for ways to protect themselves. One option is cybercrime insurance.

The U.S. government says the fingerprints of five times as many people as originally believed were included in the data hacked from Office of Personnel Management computers earlier this year.

OPM says hackers were able to steal the prints of some 5.6 million people; the original estimate was 1.1 million.

All are among the 21.5 million people — mainly government workers who underwent background checks and their families — whose data were stolen in the massive breach disclosed in June.

Voters looking to support an eccentric millionaire for president now have more options. John McAfee, who pioneered anti-virus software but most recently made headlines by evading Belizean authorities in 2012, announced a third-party White House bid this week.

McAfee is creating his own party: the Cyber Party. He told CNN he'll focus his bid on online privacy and domestic surveillance.

The Justice Department says it will beef up legal requirements for using cell-site simulators, an increasingly controversial form of surveillance technology that secretly gathers data about mobile devices.

Under the new policy, federal investigators will be required to get a warrant from a judge demonstrating probable cause, in most domestic criminal probes. Agents will need to explain to judges how the technology is being used. And they'll be directed to destroy volumes of bystanders' data "no less than once daily."

Given Russia's cyber skills, it's not surprising that a Russian entrepreneur, Eugene Kaspersky, runs one of the world's leading companies offering protection from malware and online crime.

But with the current tensions between Russia and the West, Kaspersky's ties to the Russian government have raised questions.

There's a line in the 2007 movie Die Hard 4: Live Free Or Die, when in the midst of a wave of cyberterrorism, the villain warns "you have no idea who you're dealing with."

Federal regulators are looking to place tighter controls on the export of cyberweapons following the megabreaches against the Office of Personnel Management and countless retailers.

The Commerce Department wants to ensure that software that can attack a network — the kind that can break in, bypass encryption and steal data — can't be shipped overseas without permission. But the cybersecurity industry is up in arms.

As cyberattacks continue, analysts are seeing a new pattern: Hackers are focused on stealing personally identifiable information. That includes the security clearances of U.S. intelligence officers, with the reported theft of background information. It also includes information that's less sensitive but far-reaching — like Social Security numbers.

As candidates hit the campaign trail, NPR looks at four major issues the next president will face from Day 1 in office.

When President Obama took office back in 2009, "cybersecurity" was not a word that everyday people used. It wasn't debated. Then, mega-breaches against consumers, businesses and the federal government changed that.

President Obama said Monday he wants the federal government to do more to prevent cyber attacks. He outlined a series of proposals designed to safeguard personal data — steps he'll talk more about in next week's State of the Union address.

The same day, the government itself became a target.

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