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 Wednesday, July 01, 2009

China has announced it would indefinitely postpone a mandate requiring all personal computers sold in the country to be accompanied by a controversial content-filtering application, state media reported.

A June 24 letter from the U.S. Department of Commerce to the Chinese government listed "numerous concerns raised by global technology companies, Chinese citizens, and the worldwide media about the stability of the software, the scope and extent of the filtering activities and its security weaknesses."

Despite such communication, there has been no indication so far from the Chinese government that the rule will be revoked, only delayed.

 

(Source: CNN)

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CNN

Wednesday, July 01, 2009 11:13:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A blind Boston-area teenager was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison Friday for hacking into the telephone network and harassing the Verizon investigator who was building a case against him.

Matthew Weigman, 19, was part of a group of telephone hackers that met up on telephone party lines and was associated with more than 60 "swatting" calls to 911 numbers across the country. Weigman, known as "Little Hacker," became involved in telephone hacking around age 14 and continued to operate until last year.

 

(Source: PCWorld)

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PCWorld

Wednesday, July 01, 2009 8:20:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Within hours of the death of pop star Michael Jackson, spam trading on his demise hit in-boxes, a security firm said as it warned that more junk mail was in the offing. Just eight hours after news broke about Jackson, Abingdon, England-based Sophos PLC started tracking the first wave of Jackson spam, which used a subject line of "Confidential -- Michael Jackson."

The spam wasn't pitching a product or leading users to a phishing or malware Web site. Instead it was trying to dupe users into replying to the message in order to collect e-mail addresses and verify them as legitimate.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 1:49:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 29, 2009

Police in western Switzerland have broken a paedophile online network operating in nearly 80 different countries, the official Swissinfo.ch news website reported Sunday.

At least 32 people across Switzerland are now under investigation due to suspected connections with the case, the website quoted police in the canton of Vaud as saying.

A police official said cybercrime experts in Lausanne were alerted by Interpol more than a year ago that pornographic details were hidden on a website for hip-hop music run by a webmaster in western Switzerland.

 

(Source: Mathaba)

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Mathaba

Monday, June 29, 2009 12:58:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 26, 2009

Britain warned on Thursday of a growing risk to military and business secrets from computer spies and pledged to toughen cyber security to protect the 50 billion pounds ($82 billion) spent a year online in its economy.

Launching Britain's first national cyber security strategy, security minister Alan West said hostile states and criminals were increasingly attacking British interests online and al Qaeda and like-minded groups were seeking the ability to do so.

"We know that various state actors are very interested in cyber warfare," West, a junior minister at the Home Office (Interior Ministry), told reporters. "The terrorist aspect of this is the least (concern), but it is developing."

 

(Source: Reuter)

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Reuter

Friday, June 26, 2009 3:12:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China on Thursday stepped up accusations that Google is spreading obscene content over the Internet, a day after U.S. officials urged Beijing to abandon plans for controversial filtering software on new computers.

The growing friction over control of online content threatens to become another irritant in ties at a time the world is looking for the United States and China to cooperate in helping to pull the global economy out of its slump.

China's Foreign Ministry on Thursday accused Google's English language search engine of spreading obscene images that violated the nation's laws, less than 24 hours after disruptions to the company's search engines and other services within China.

 

(Source: Reuter)

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Reuter

Friday, June 26, 2009 2:53:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 25, 2009

Recently scammers have become more aggressive on the site. They will set up new accounts and post spam messages on hot topics in hopes of gaining clicks when people search through Twitter.

And while hacked Twitter accounts are still rare, they're a much more effective way to reach victims, according to Rik Ferguson, a researcher with Trend Micro. "If you can take over an account that has a couple of thousand followers then you can get a much better return on your investment."

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Thursday, June 25, 2009 12:11:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 24, 2009

China will limit the number of messages that a mobile number can send per day to battle rampant spam messages clogging cell phones, state media said on Friday.

Spam messages, largely consisting of real estate offers, ads for English lessons, fake tax receipts and other frauds have grown very quickly in China in recent years. It is not unusual to receive dozens of messages a day, including the odd gun ad.

One mobile number cannot send more than 200 messages per hour or 1,000 per day on weekdays, according to the agreement. On holidays, 500 messages per hour and 2,000 per day may originate from one number.

 

(Source: Reuter)

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Reuter

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 2:04:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The US military announced a new "cyber command" designed to wage digital warfare and to bolster defenses against mounting threats to its computer networks. The move reflects a shift in military strategy with "cyber dominance" now part of US war doctrine and comes amid growing alarm over the perceived threat posed by digital espionage coming from China, Russia and elsewhere.

President Barack Obama has put a top priority on cyber security and announced plans for a national cyber defense coordinator. A recent White House policy review said that "cybersecurity risks pose some of the most serious economic and national security challenges of the 21st century." Obama has promised privacy rights would be carefully safeguarded even as the government moves to step up efforts to protect sensitive civilian and military networks.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 1:45:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 22, 2009

A woman who won a retrial after a $220,000 verdict against her for sharing music files has now been ordered to pay $1.92 million by a jury in Minnesota.

In 2007, when she lost the original suit, Jammie Thomas-Rasset was one of the first people to receive a guilty verdict in a case backed by the Recording Industry Association of America, which has filed more than 20,000 lawsuits against people in a bid to stop online music trading and copyright infringement.

On Thursday, a jury ordered her to pay $80,000 for each of the 24 songs she is accused of illegally trading over the Kazaa Internet service. The jury could have ordered her to pay between $750 and $150,000 per song. In a statement, the RIAA said it was pleased that the jury found the defendant liable and that it continues to be willing to settle the case.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Monday, June 22, 2009 10:45:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The United Nations has appealed to parents, the Internet industry and policy-makers to join hands to eradicate hate speech from cyberspace.

Addressing a day-long seminar titled "Unlearning Intolerance" on the danger of "cyberhate," UN chief Ban Ki-moon lauded the benefits of the Internet but regretted that "there are those who use information technology to reinforce stereotypes, to spread misinformation and propagate hate." "Some of the newest technologies are being used to peddle some of the oldest fears," he warned, decrying what he called "digital demonization... targeting innocents because of their faith, their raace, their ethnicity, their sexual orientation."

 

(Source: UN)

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United Nations

Monday, June 22, 2009 8:55:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 18, 2009

Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are exploding in popularity, bringing people from all walks of life together online. At the same time though, overall Internet use keeping family members apart.

Forty-three percent of all online users are involved with a social networking site, and that's up from just 27% a year ago, according to a report released today by The Conference Board, a non-profit research association. The report also notes that more than half of those who use social networks log on at least once a day, and the majority log on several times a day.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Thursday, June 18, 2009 1:32:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 17, 2009

An alleged spammer could face jail time in connection with a Facebook lawsuit after a judge referred him to the U.S. Attorney General's Office for criminal proceedings.

Judge Jeremy Fogel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California referred Sanford Wallace (who has been dubbed a "spam king" for his long and aggressive history in e-mail marketing) l to the U.S. Attorney General's Office for criminal proceedings for allegedly violating an injunction that prohibited him from accessing Facebook.

Facebook filed a lawsuit against Wallace and two other men in February for spamming and phishing schemes through the social-networking site. The following week, Judge Fogel issued a temporary restraining order barring Wallace and two other alleged spammers, Adam Arzoomanian and Scott Shaw, from accessing Facebook's network.

 

(Source: PCWorld)

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PCWorld

Wednesday, June 17, 2009 10:50:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A federal grand jury in New Jersey today indicted three people, and five people were arrested in Italy, all in connection with hacking into the IT systems of thousands of companies around the world to gain free access to telephone services, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark, N.J.

A multinational team of investigators worked jointly to round up the alleged hackers and their financial backers in the scheme to gain access into the systems of many companies -- 2,500 in the U.S. alone -- to steal access codes that the victim companies used to route phone calls through telecom systems, the office said.

The value of all the stolen services was unclear, though the U.S. Attorney's Office said the thieves routed more than $55 million worth of telephone calls over telecommunications networks in the U.S. "This was an extensive and well-organized criminal network that worked across continents," said New Jersey's acting U.S. attorney, Ralph J. Marra Jr., in a statement.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Tuesday, June 16, 2009 10:15:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 15, 2009

After a two weeks meeting in Bonn Germany, it appears that an ambitious and effective global pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is in sight.

A big achievement of this meeting is that governments have made it clearer what they want to see in the Copenhagen agreed outcome, said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.The Copenhagen outcome is to follow on the first phase of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which expires at the end of 2012. The negotiating text under consideration covers issues of a shared vision for long-term cooperative action, enhanced action on adaptation, mitigation and finance, as well as technology and capacity-building.

The gathering in Germany, which brought together more than 4,600 participants from government, business and industry, environmental groups and research institutions, was the second in a series of five major UN negotiating sessions slated for this year ahead of Copenhagen. The next meeting is scheduled to be held from 10 to 14 August in Bonn, followed by sessions in Bangkok from 28 September to 9 October and Barcelona from 2 to 6 November.

Source: UN

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Press Release

 

Monday, June 15, 2009 4:31:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Every time you swipe your credit card and wait for the transaction to be approved, sensitive data including your name and account number are ferried from store to bank through computer networks, each step a potential opening for hackers.

And while you may take steps to protect yourself against identity theft, an Associated Press investigation has found the banks and other companies that handle your information are not being nearly as cautious as they could. The government leaves it to card companies to design security rules that protect the nation's 50 billion annual transactions.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Monday, June 15, 2009 2:26:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

While most viruses target PC users, there has been rise in the number of attacks on Mac systems. Graham Cluley, a security expert with anti-virus firm Sophos, told the BBC that the small number of Mac viruses had made some users complacent.

Security experts have discovered two novel forms of Mac OS X malware. OSX/Tored-A - an updated version of the Mac OS Tored worm - and a Trojan called OSX/Jahlav-C were both found on popular pornographic websites. Users logging on to these sites are asked to download a "missing Video ActiveX Object" but are sent a virus payload instead.

 

(Source: BBC)

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BBC

Monday, June 15, 2009 10:27:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 11, 2009

The continuing fallout from a hacking incident at U.K.-based Web hosting company VAserv should serve as a powerful reminder that companies need proper data backup and disaster recovery procedures.

The incident, which could result in a fire sale of VAserv to another hosting provider, is also an especially stark example of the kind of havoc that a malicious attacker can wreak on businesses.

Late Sunday, an unknown hacker or hackers attacked VAserve's virtual server infrastructure and deleted about 100,000 sites, or about half of those being hosted by the company, according to The Register.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Thursday, June 11, 2009 2:54:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In Beijing, a lawyer has demanded a public hearing to reconsider a government demand that all new personal computers carry Internet filtering software, adding to uproar over a plan critics say is ineffective and intrusive.

(Source Reuters)

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 9:23:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The takedown last week of a rogue ISP by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) slashed spam volumes by about 15% and reduced the spam spewed by a pair of big-name botnets by as much as to just 64%, a security firm said today.

"Spam dropped 15% across the board," said Bradley Anstis, director of technology strategy at Marshal8e6. "We especially noticed [the drop] over the weekend," he said, adding that the decline picked up steam slowly.

Last Tuesday, a federal court ordered the plug pulled on 3FN, an ISP operated by Belize-based Pricewert, after the FTC complained that the company hosts spam botnet command-and-control servers, as well as sites operated by child pornographers, identity thieves and other criminals.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 3:42:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A mobile phone-based health project is helping the Peruvian military to keep disease at bay. The initiative, dubbed Alerta DISAMAR, has allowed doctors in the navy to report disease outbreaks and ask for help with treatment. The scheme was set up following the deaths of two Peruvian sailors in 2001 from malaria and is part of a wider mHealth project by the United Nations-Vodafone Foundation. Since it was set up in 2003 it has provided invaluable information for epidemiologists and enabled them to track the spread of diseases. It is also a useful way of gathering statistics on disease for health planning. To date, over 80,000 cases have been reported - everything from snakebites to yellow fever.

The US navy helped establish the product and a firm called Voxiva developed the technical aspects, under advice from Ernesto Gozzer, a doctor who specialises in public health.

Source: BBC

Read full Report: here

 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 3:18:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A Chinese developer of pornography filtering software protested reports linking the program to China's broader Internet censorship on Wednesday, after the government ordered that his software be distributed with all PCs sold in the country.

The government edict requiring PC makers to distribute the program touched off concerns that it could be used to block access to politically sensitive material online in addition to pornography.

China says the initiative is meant to protect children from "harmful" online content. The software blocks only illegal materials such as pornography and some content related to gambling and drugs, said Bryan Zhang, the general manager of Jinhui.

 

(Source: PCWorld)

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PCWorld

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 2:54:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A woman has been arrested by police in the UK following investigation into the distribution of child abuse images. The  police raided the home of the 39 yr old nursery worker and closed the 60 place nursery during enquiries. Plymouth Commanding officer Ch Supt Jim Webster stated that the the allegations made against the nursery worker raised "serious concerns"  and in response all the parents of children at the nursery are being contacted.

Ch Supt Jim Webster added, "... our work today is to find out what's happened, where the images have come from, where they've been sent to and any risk to anybody in Plymouth..."

 

(Source: BBC)

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BBC website

Tuesday, June 09, 2009 1:24:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A Hampton, New Hampshire, man has pleaded guilty to fraud charges for his role in a scheme to empty brokerage accounts by installing malicious Trojan horse software on victims' computers.

According to court documents, Alexey Mineev set up several "drop accounts" that were then wired funds stolen from banking and brokerage accounts between July and December 2007. He pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering on Wednesday, according to Mike Ruocco, deputy to Judge Paul Gardephe of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, who is presiding in the case.

The criminals would infect PCs with malicious Trojan software that would steal account numbers and passwords whenever victims logged into their accounts online.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Tuesday, June 09, 2009 8:02:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |