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Video: 4OYS: NM websites score failing grades for security By Clip Syndicate You pay bills online, right? Perhaps you schedule appointments, but how secure are those sites? KOB's investigative team identified several high-profile websites in New Mexico, which New Mexicans use every day that failed a battery of tests. The team tested hospitals, banks, utility companies, and state websites using a free online scanning program that's reputable in the information technology industry. Specifically, KOB investigated HTTPS sites that collect sensitive information. The sites are typically identified by the lock icon that appears in the corner of a web browser to let users know their information is protected from hackers. On an A to F scale, the Qualys SSL Lab test analyzes hundreds of security features built into websites -- old features and new features. It identifies problems that could expose the sites to exceedingly tech-savvy hackers. "If you get an A, then you're doing things well. If you get an F, then clearly there's something that you need to fix," Ivan Ristic, the developer of the SSL Lab test said in an interview with KOB. His test is simple: copy and paste a web address into the program and let it do the work. Websites that scored an F included: PNM, New Mexico Gas Company, U.S. New Mexico Credit Union's home page, Presbyterian Hospital's patient registration site, New Mexico MVD, New Mexico's e-filing services site, and the City of Albuquerque's parking ticket portal. In some cases, the sites supported an outdated layer of encryption called SSL 2.0. Ristic said it's vulnerable to hackers, and especially for anyone who still uses an older version of Internet Explorer on Windows XP. In other cases, the sites could have allowed hackers to intercept sensitive portions of a consumer's web traffic through a lapse in SSL renegotiation. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. Newer security protocols are now referred to as TLS -- Transport Layer Security. Both are designed to scramble and encrypt sensitive data. Often, Ristic said IT personnel can typically resolve the issues with ease. Indeed, last week, after KOB contacted the various companies that scored poorly, each site's grade markedly improved. "I started this tool because I tried to use encryption on the Internet, and discovered it's terribly, terribly complicated -- there were no tools to tell me if something was actually secure," Ristic said. He said he developed the tool roughly five years ago as a hobby. He said Qualys, which specializes in cloud security for medium and large companies, now pays him to continue his work. Ristic's test has been instrumental for companies to determine if their websites were vulnerable to the Heartbleed security threat, which made national headlines in April. Heartbleed resulted from a small coding error that could have exposed millions of usernames from global companies like Google, Yahoo, and YouTube. None of the companies KOB tested were vulnerable to Heartbleed leaks. PNM PNM now scores an A- on the SSL Labs test. A company spokesperson said the vulnerabilities were fixed as part of a planned, comprehensive upgrade. The company also sent a statement: "Protecting customer information is a top priority for PNM. Sensitive customer data, such as payment information, is not stored on our site and is processed by a third-party vendor that scored very high on the security evaluation. The company has been working on a comprehensive system upgrade that includes strengthening website security. The project was in its final stages when we were informed about the KOB TV story regarding the Qualys analysis. We decided to move up implementing this specific upgrade to reduce the risk of someone attempting to exploit reported potential security vulnerabilities. Protecting digital systems from security threats is a continuous and complex process that we take very seriously." New Mexico Gas The company now scores a B. A spokesperson said the company's IT department was already aware of the concerns because they had conducted a third-party vulnerability assessment of the company's systems. The spokesperson said the company has additional remediation efforts underway. U.S. New Mexico Federal Credit Union (USNMFCU) The bank's home page now scores an A-. The company was quick to point out that its home page, which KOB tested, is nothing more than a "public information website." Marsha Majors, President and CEO, said the site is "different and distinct" from its online banking website. KOB tested the home page since it welcomes users to input their usernames at the top of the page. The banking site has routinely scored an A in the last month. "Our test score is among the highest in the financial industry and we are satisfied that our public website is protected," Majors said. Presbyterian Healthcare The company's patient registration page now scores a B. In a statement, the company said it is committed to the privacy and security of its patients and members. "We adhere to federal and industry standards to protect customer information. We also receive regular audits from state and federal entities and contract with third party providers to test our systems; we constantly monitor our own security. We continually work to eliminate all potential security vulnerabilities and take these issues very seriously. We we learned of the recent gap in our Internet security -- SSL renegotiation -- we addressed it immediately and can report that this issue is now resolved." New Mexico government websites Both the New Mexico MVD and the NM E-filing Services sites now score a B and C, respectively. Estevan Lujan, in New Mexico's Department of Information Technology, said there is some old infrastructure that is being phased out on both sites. City of Albuquerque parking tickets The city's parking ticket site now scores a B. "We were aware that we had older protocols that were supported," Brian Osterloh, the associate chief information officer said. He explained that portions of the city's website system operates on servers that are 10-years-old -- servers that don't support newer security protocols. "We're moving as rapidly as we can, and I think as rapidly as is prudent," Osterloh said. "We would love to be A-five pluses, but nobody is ever A-five pluses." ...Read More »
Video: Amazon Debuts Wallet App For Rewards And Gift Cards By Clip Syndicate Amazon's Fire Phone doesn't go on sale for a few more days but the company has already begun to quietly roll out new apps for its first smartphone. The company launched Amazon Wallet, its first mobile wallet application, on the Amazon Appstore and Google Play. While Amazon is calling it a wallet, you can't actually make purchases using the app. Instead, Amazon Wallet functions as a vault to store rewards and gift cards. Users enter their card information manually or by scanning them with their device's camera. Once stored, the app will display the card's balance and rewards information.

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Video: Yahoo Is Buying Mobile Analytics Firm Flurry For North Of 300M By Clip Syndicate Yahoo has made no secret of its ambitions and advances in mobile, earlier this month reporting 450 million monthly active users and search and display mobile ad revenues growing 100%. In CEO Marissa Mayer’s words, Yahoo is a “mobile first company.” Now, sources say that Yahoo has closed in on an acquisition that could potentially boost its role in mobile further: it is buying Flurry, the mobile app analytics and advertising startup, with a price that could be anywhere between $300 million and $1 billion. Kara Swisher is also reporting that Yahoo is interested in the company.

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Video: Yahoo Is Buying Mobile Analytics Firm Flurry For North Of 300M By Clip Syndicate Yahoo has made no secret of its ambitions and advances in mobile, earlier this month reporting 450 million monthly active users and search and display mobile ad revenues growing 100%. In CEO Marissa Mayer’s words, Yahoo is a “mobile first company.” Now, sources say that Yahoo has closed in on an acquisition that could potentially boost its role in mobile further: it is buying Flurry, the mobile app analytics and advertising startup, with a price that could be anywhere between $300 million and $1 billion. Kara Swisher is also reporting that Yahoo is interested in the company.

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Video: Google Seen Best Placed For Growth As It Transitions To Mobile By Clip Syndicate Google is the best placed of any company to benefit from the shift to mobile, increased local advertising and wearables, analysts said after the search giant posted its 18th straight quarter of 20 percent-plus revenue growth. At least seven brokerages raised their target price on the stock on Friday by as much as $75, to a high of $700. ...Read More »
Video: Google Seen Best Placed For Growth As It Transitions To Mobile By Clip Syndicate Google is the best placed of any company to benefit from the shift to mobile, increased local advertising and wearables, analysts said after the search giant posted its 18th straight quarter of 20 percent-plus revenue growth. At least seven brokerages raised their target price on the stock on Friday by as much as $75, to a high of $700. ...Read More »
Video: Smartphone Suit Against Google Plays Into Rivals' Hands By Clip Syndicate A U.S. consumer lawsuit accusing Google of monopolizing prime real estate on Android smartphones will help mobile rivals like Microsoft make their antitrust case with European regulators should damaging secrets emerge in court. The suit, filed in California federal court in May by two smartphone consumers, said Google requires handset manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics to restrict competing apps like Microsoft's Bing search on Android phones, partly by making Google's own apps the default. Google argued last week the proposed class action should be dismissed because consumers still are free to use the other apps.

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Video: Google Seen Best Placed For Growth As It Transitions To Mobile By Clip Syndicate Google is the best placed of any company to benefit from the shift to mobile, increased local advertising and wearables, analysts said after the search giant posted its 18th straight quarter of 20 percent-plus revenue growth. At least seven brokerages raised their target price on the stock on Friday by as much as $75, to a high of $700. ...Read More »
Video: Parking tickets become an issue for businesses and drivers By Clip Syndicate Albuquerque’s Nob Hill neighborhood is famous for its thriving restaurants, retail shops and art galleries. But among people who run those businesses and work in them it’s famous for something else – parking tickets. These days they say they’re sprouting on windshields like weeds after a summer downpour. Talk to small business owners in Nob Hill and they’ll talk your ear off about parking their cars, or their employees’ cars, or customers’ cars, or their delivery vans on Central or Monte Vista or any of the Nob Hill side streets. Some are getting two or three tickets a week – but for some it’s two or three a day! Ron Sanchez can fix just about any guitar or any other stringed instrument – but he can’t fix parking tickets, and he just keeps on getting them. Ron owns Albuquerque Tone Lab on Monte Vista and he gets completely wrapped up in his work, oftentimes forgetting to go out every two hours to pump more money into the pay station for his pickup parked out in front of the shop. Under the law, he’s actually supposed to move it after two hours, but Ron figures he’s doing his part by paying. “I’m in here working,” Ron said while repairing a faulty bridge on a Gibson Les Paul Classic 1960 reissue. “You lose track of time. You go out, there’s a ticket on your window, at the rate of about 30 or 40 dollars a month.” Ron is one of the lucky ones. Other owners tell us they’re paying 30 or 40 dollars a week. Parking is by permit only for people who live on most residential streets in the UNM/Nob Hill area, so that’s not an option. Privately owned paid parking lots are few and far between and too far away to be practical for many businesses. “There’s plenty of days where I’m delivering guitars to other stores, like Guitar Vista or Grumpy’s,” Ron Sanchez said. “ I have to lock everything up, go get my truck, come back, load up, deliver everything – you know – inconvenience!” Not to mention lost productivity. In a city that prides itself on being business-friendly, the Nob Hill parking tickets are like little reminders that friendship does have its limitations. City Parking Division Director Mark Shepherd says he is ready and willing to meet with or phone or email any of the business owners to try to come up with solutions that can work, for both the businesses and the city. ...Read More »
Video: Finally, Google Analytics App Arrives On IPhone By Clip Syndicate Google on Thursday finally released a version of Google Analytics for the iPhone. The iPhone app comes more than two years after Google released Google Analytics for Android. Like the Android app, Google Analytics for iPhone lets users check in on their website analytics — including real-time visitor reports — from the comfort of their smartphone. In addition to real-time and time-based reports, the app can be used to view behaviors, conversions and more. ...Read More »

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