OPM Says Breach Put 25.7 Million Americans' Data Security at Risk

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2015-07-13 Print this article Print

DAILY VIDEO: OPM admits breach had wider reach: 25.7 million Americans at risk; Samsung moving up next Galaxy Note release to beat Apple to market; Google taps neural network tech to bolster anti-spam efforts; and there's more.

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Today's topics include more details on the Office of Personnel Management data breach, an early release date for the Galaxy Note phablet, a change in how Google handles spam and the release of the Lumia 735 smartphone.

After weeks of speculation that the data breach of the U.S Office of Personnel Management's systems affected more people than was initially disclosed, OPM publicly admitted on July 9 that an additional 21.5 million Americans were indeed impacted.

OPM first disclosed on June 4 that it had been breached, though initially the U.S government agency said that only approximately 4.2 million Americans were impacted. The new breach disclosure brings the total number of those whose data has been stolen from OPM up to 25.7 million.

Samsung, looking for an edge to light a fire under its lagging smartphone sales figures, will unveil its next Galaxy Note phablet in mid-August, at least several weeks earlier than its typical autumn release announcements, in an effort to beat Apple in the constant race for new buyers.

Samsung's Note phablets are a cross between a smartphone and a tablet, providing a noticeably larger screen and a built-in removable stylus that allows users to "write" and draw on the display.

Google's Gmail team has improved how the email service handles spam and non-spam messages. The goal is to boost the company's ability to detect spam while letting legitimate email go through.

One way is by augmenting the machine-learning technology that the company has been using since the beginning to filter out spam. Gmail's spam filter applies the company's neural network tools to look for and detect patterns in email that suggest it is spam.

The idea behind the technology is to train systems to recognize specific things and make predictions by having them crunch through massive volumes of sample data.

Verizon is now offering the Lumia 735 smartphone for sale in its U.S. retail stores, after initially unveiling the handset to online buyers in June. Customers can get the device for $29.99 with a two-year contract or for $8 per month on a 24-month Verizon Edge plan with no money down.

The phone runs on the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system and will be upgradeable to Windows 10 when that operating system becomes available later this summer.


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