About Steve Bell

Steve has a background in IT and business journalism and in the past has written extensively for both the UK national and trade press including The Guardian, Independent-on-Sunday, The Times, The Register, MicroScope and Computer Weekly. He's also worked for most of the world's largest IT companies in a copy and content producing capacity. He has a particular focus on IT security and has been involved in writing about the industry at various levels ranging from magazine launches to producing newsletters. He also runs a small copy writing business called Art of Words. When not bashing away at a keyboard he can sometimes be found in a boxing gym making futile efforts to keep fit or marveling at the works of Sufi poets such as Jalaluddin Rumi and Hafiz of Shiraz.

Anonymous takes on jihadists

AnonymousHacktivist collective Anonymous has set about taking down jihadi websites and accounts, ironically putting it on the same side as European governments. But many Islamic fundamentalists are socially media savvy and have on Twitter for example, created a web of interlinking accounts to protect themselves. Is a cyber-war brewing and does Anonymous have the collective will to pursue its aims long after the atrocities of recent weeks have dropped out of the headlines?

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Another bitcoin exchange hacked

bitcoinBitstamp, a trusted bitcoin exchange, has been hacked to the tune of over £3 million. ‘Don’t worry,’ says the company, it’s only a fraction of what it holds in its reserves. It’s also the latest in a long line of bitcoin hacks.

Another bitcoin exchange has been hacked with the theft of about £3.4 million in virtual currency. This time it was Bitstamp, one of the largest and most trusted of bitcoin exchanges.

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North Korea and the US on common ground

ExploitYou’ve probably heard of zero-day exploits but might not know what exactly it means. It’s a type of virus that is extremely dangerous, and relatively common. Traditional antivirus detection doesn’t halt zero-day exploits however, they can be stopped. And intriguingly, governments around the world from North Korea to the US pay a lot of money for information on zero-day discoveries – so they can turn them against others.

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Uncertain New World

Uncertain New WorldSuch as been the far reaching influence of technology that today a measure of success is the technology we use whether it’s the latest smartphone or a device with supercomputing power. That said, the rapid pace of change that follows technology advancements means we are also more open to cyber mishaps and hacks that can have a huge impact on our lives, and in the most extreme cases bring life itself it to a juddering halt.

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Security predictions for 2015

Security predictions 2015As law enforcement ramps up its endeavours against cyber criminals and new mobile payment systems gather steam we can expect to see hackers turn their attentions to developing malware that covers their tracks as well begin probing systems such as Apple Pay and smartphone based payment methods.

We can also expect more of the same in terms of high profile targeted attacks, while low level state-sponsored attacks will become the norm rather than the exception.

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The Sony hack – what’s missing?

sony hackedAmid the gossip, fury and diplomatic activity over the Sony hack a few important points have been overlooked; thousands of employees had their personal information posted online proving that many organisations can’t be trusted to provide security and cyber actions by nation states are here to stay accompanied by ever louder cries of denial.

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Freaky phones and snooping spooks

Internet securityThe history of computer security reads like the progression from the clubs and crude stone axes of Neanderthal man (and woman) to the pumping pistons and huge steel wheels of the industrial revolution, except it has largely happened in the past 40 years. Looking back at online security in the past 40 years we’ve gone from simple virus detection to mass surveillance of entire populations in a startlingly short time.

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Nailing it down

Security policyRunning a small business? Working from home? Then you need to nail down some basic protective measures to ensure you and yours are protected against loss.

A foundation is so fundamental to a house no one would even consider moving anywhere near it much less into it. Security policies are so fundamental to ensuring a business is kept safe that no organisation should set sail without one. But many do.

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A plague on your smartphone

BYODYou may see your wonderful smartphone as an electronic brain in your pocket but IT departments the world over see them as potential plague-carrying devices that can wreak untold damage to a company network from mass data theft to viral infections. You can play your part in ensuring your company’s accounts are not plundered by getting up to speed with the issues and getting ahead of the game.

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