How Googlebot Crawls Javascript

Last year Google posted on their Webmaster Central Blog that they would begin executing and crawling Javascript on websites to better understand dynamic web content:

Merkle | RKG ran a series of tests to determine just how well the Googlebot was able to crawl and index Javascript, and Search Engine Land recently posted the results.

Think Google can’t handle JavaScript? Think again. Contributor Adam Audette shares the results of a series of tests conducted by his colleagues at Merkle | RKG to examine how different JavaScript functions would be crawled and indexed by Google.

Source: We Tested How Googlebot Crawls Javascript And Here’s What We Learned

Up to 4 Months of Credit Card Data Stolen in Potential Home Depot Security Breach

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a large number of stolen credit card numbers are showing up for sale, similar to the Target Hack earlier this year.

There are signs that the perpetrators of this apparent breach may be the same group of Russian and Ukrainian hackers responsible for the data breaches at TargetSally Beauty and P.F. Chang’s, among others. The banks contacted by this reporter all purchased their customers’ cards from the same underground store – rescator[dot]cc — which on Sept. 2 moved two massive new batches of stolen cards onto the market.

The source of these stolen credit cards appears to be a security breach involving nearly all 2,000+ Home Depot Stores that went undiscovered since last April, according to security expert Brian Krebs:

Multiple banks say they are seeing evidence that Home Depot stores may be the source of a massive new batch of stolen credit and debit cards that went on sale this morning in the cybercrime underground. Home Depot says that it is working with banks and law enforcement agencies to investigate reports of suspicious activity.

Wondering how to protect yourself? The FTC Consumer Information site’s Credit Card Fraud page recommends the following:

  • Save your receipts to compare with your statement.
  • Open your bills promptly — or check them online often — and reconcile them with the purchases you’ve made.
  • Report any questionable charges to the card issuer.

Call the card issuer as soon as you realize your card has been lost or stolen. Many companies have toll-free numbers and 24 hour service to deal with this. Once you report the loss or theft, the law says you have no additional responsibility for charges you didn’t make; in any case, your liability for each card lost or stolen is $50. If you suspect that the card was used fraudulently, you may have to sign a statement under oath that you didn’t make the purchases in question

Rosetta space probe rendezvous with comet in space

After ten years in space, three gravity-assist maneuvers around earth, one gravity-assist maneuver around mars, five loops around the sun, and ten rendezvous maneuvers, the Rosetta space probe is closing in on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Comet on 3 August 2014 - Copyright ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA
Comet on 3 August 2014 – Copyright ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

The Rosetta project was approved in 1993 to launch a spacecraft that would rendezvous with a comet, study it for two years while in orbit, and hopefully land a probe on the comet itself. Rosetta was launched in March 2004 by an Ariane-5 G+ rocket from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

ESA/CNES/ARIANESPACE-Service Optique CSG, 2004
Rosetta Lift Off – Copyright ESA/CNES/ARIANESPACE-Service Optique CSG, 2004

After a deep space hibernation for three years, Rosetta was awakened earlier this year, and after a final set of manuevers is now within sight of the comet. The European Space Agency (ESA) is now studying the comet, and preparing to deploy Rosetta’s lander probe Philae by November of this year.

How cool is that!? Check out more at:

Rosetta Mission Poster - Copyright ESA–C. Carreau/ATG medialab
Rosetta Mission Poster – Copyright ESA–C. Carreau/ATG medialab

(The featured image for this post “Philae Touchdown” is copyright ESA/ATG medialab)

Google now boosting websites using HTTPS for SEO

According to a new post over on the Webmaster Central blog, Google is rolling out a change to their search alogrithym that will give a boost to sites running under HTTPS secure connections:

Google now recommends websites use an HTTPS connection for serving all content, with at least a 2048-bit certificate. They also provided a link to a tool by Qualys SSL Labs that can test your site’s SSL configuration:

After a number of vulnerabilities that have come to light in recent years due to insecure HTTP connections (especially on Wireless networks), and many large sites changing over to HTTPS connections (Facebook/Twitter/Google/Yahoo ), Google continues to push for HTTPS everywhere.