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 Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The cyberattacks against Georgia a year ago were conducted in close connection with Russian criminal gangs, and the attackers likely were tipped off about Russia's intent to invade the country, according to a new technical analysis, much of which remains secret. The stunning conclusions come from the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, an independent nonprofit research institute that assesses the impact of cyber attacks.

Bombers struck targets throughout the country, and at the same time Georgian media and government sites fell under DDOS attack.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

CYB | Cybersecurity | Botnets | Malware | Spam | Europe
Tuesday, August 18, 2009 12:18:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A new hacking incident report warns there has been a steep rise in attacks at social-networking hotspots including wildly popular microblogging service Twitter. Hackers aren't just hunting for victims in the flocks of people at social networks, they're also using Twitter to command "botnet" armies of infected computers, according to Internet security specialists.

"A lot of Web 2.0 widgets, mashups and the like that users go for make it easy for all these guys to launch attacks." Facebook became an Internet star after opening its platform to widgets, mini-applications made by outside developers, and now boasts more than 250 million members.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 10:14:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 17, 2009
The Twitter micro-blogging service was knocked offline this morning for several hours as a result of a denial of service attack (DDoS). Twitter has confirmed and reported the attack in a post on its official blog earlier today: "We are defending against this [DDos] attack now and will continue to update our status blog as we continue to defend and later investigate." The company later reported that the service as been resumed but they are still continuing to defend against and recover from this attack. No further updates have been provided yet. Several sources are also reporting problems with Facebook today.

(Source: CircleID)

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CircleID


Monday, August 17, 2009 4:32:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The 24-year-old Singaporean research analyst is constantly on the lookout for attack manuals, video clips of Islamist militants in training and fiery extremist chatter that could hint at an imminent assault somewhere.

Nur Azlin is one of five research analysts at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies who monitor extremist websites daily to get a sense of an emerging battleground in the fight against terrorism. There are an estimated 5,500-6,000 websites worldwide peddling extremist ideas, according to the researchers.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Monday, August 17, 2009 10:21:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A researcher looking into the attacks that knocked Twitter offline last week discovered another, unrelated security problem. At least one criminal was using a Twitter account to control a network of a couple hundred infected personal computers, mostly in Brazil.

Networks of infected PCs are referred to as "botnets" and are responsible for so much of the mayhem online, from identity theft to spamming to the types of attacks that crippled Twitter. A Twitter account that was used to send out what looked like garbled messages. But they were actually commands for computers in a botnet to visit malicious Web sites, where they download programs that steal banking passwords.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Monday, August 17, 2009 9:00:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 14, 2009

Foreign pornography producers are suing South Korean Internet users for breach of copyright by uploading their content onto local websites, police said Thursday. In an unusual case, a local law firm representing 50 US and Japanese porn producers has filed suit against about 10,000 heavy uploaders.

The lawsuit was filed simultaneously through 10 police stations in Seoul and the adjoining Gyeonggi province, a National Police Agency spokesman said, refusing to give details. "We selected about 10,000 user IDs that earned financial benefits from habitually uploading pornography on websites," an official of the unidentified law firm told local media.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Friday, August 14, 2009 10:05:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Children are using the Internet to watch YouTube videos, connect with friends on social network sites and look up "sex" and "porn", according to a study of the top Web searches by youngsters. The words "sex" and "porn" also made it into the top 10, ranked numbers four and six respectively.

"It also helps identify "teachable moments" when parents should be talking with their kids about appropriate online behavior and other issues in their kids' online lives," California-based Symantec's Internet safety advocate Marian Merritt said in a statement.

 

(Source: Reuter)

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Reuter

Friday, August 14, 2009 8:58:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 13, 2009

The investigation into the attacks against high-profile Web sites in South Korea and the U.S. is a winding, twisty electronic goose chase that may not result in a definitive conclusion on the identity of the attackers.

Computer security experts disagree over the skill level of the DDOS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks, which over the course of a few days in early July caused problems for some of the Web sites targeted, including South Korean banks, U.S. government agencies and media outlets. The DDOS attack was executed by a botnet, or a group of computers infected with malicious software controlled by a hacker. That malware was programmed to attack the Web sites by bombarding them with page requests that far exceed normal visitor traffic. As a result, some of the weaker sites buckled.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Thursday, August 13, 2009 10:59:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Fraudsters are taking advantage of the widely used but obscure Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network in order to pull off their attacks. This financial network is used by financial institutions to handle direct deposits, checks, bill payments and cash transfers between businesses and individuals.

The fraud typically starts with a targeted phishing e-mail, aimed at whomever is in charge of the company's checkbook. By tricking the victim into running software, opening a harmful attachment or visiting a malicious Web site, the criminals are able to install keylogging software and steal bank account passwords.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Thursday, August 13, 2009 8:45:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A growing number of South Korean companies are opening Twitter accounts to better connect with consumers and generate buzz for their products. However, industrial heavyweights such as Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor, SK Group and Lotte Group are not among them. Should they decide to join the 140-word Web phenomenon, they will have to acknowledge that they will be unable to use their own corporate brands.

A Twitter account created under Samsung's name has been currently suspended by the Internet company due to "strange activity," which could mean anything from service violations, technical abuse and spam distribution.

 

(Source: The Korea Times)

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The Korea Times

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 1:41:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Worried that your relationship is going south? Maybe it's time to get off Facebook. A study released by the University of Guelph in Ontario shows that the Facebook social network increases jealousy in users' romantic relationships. The study, which was published in the latest issue of CyberPsychology and Behaviour, concluded that the more time people spend on Facebook, the more jealous they get.

"This may include details about their partner's friendships and social exchanges, especially interactions with previous romantic or sexual partners." The simple availability of information -- whether it's a girlfriend's posts, or photos and details about her friends and exes -- seems to increase a person's desire to search for even more information, say researchers.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 9:24:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The outage that knocked Twitter offline for hours was traced to an attack on a lone blogger in the former Soviet republic of Georgia - but the collateral damage that left millions around the world tweetless showed just how much havoc an isolated cyberdispute can cause.

"It told us how quickly many people really took Twitter into their hearts," Robert Thompson, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University, said Friday. Tens of millions of people have come to rely on social media to express their innermost thoughts and to keep up with world news and celebrity gossip. Twitter "is one of those little amusements that infiltrated the mass behavior in some significant ways, so that when it went away, a lot of people really noticed it and missed it."

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 10:15:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A Latvian ISP linked to online criminal activity has been cut off from the Internet, following complaints from Internet security researchers. Real Host, based in Riga, Latvia was thought to control command-and-control servers for infected botnet PCs, and had been linked to phishing sites, Web sites that launched attack code at visitors and were also home to malicious "rogue" antivirus products.

"This is maybe one of the top European centers of crap," he said in an e-mail interview. Real Host was considered a "bullet proof" hosting provider, that would allow customers to remain online even after they had been linked to malicious activity.

 

(Source: PCWorld)

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PCWorld

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 9:40:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 10, 2009

A group of teenagers have reacted to warnings that using sites like Facebook, Bebo and Myspace can leave them traumatised. The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, says the sites encourage users to value the number rather than quality of friends they have.

Hes worried this makes people get too many temporary friends instead of real, genuine ones. He said: Its an all or nothing syndrome that you have to have in an attempt to shore up identity. "Friendship is not a commodity, friendship is something that is hard work and enduring when its right.

 

(Source: BBC)

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BBC

Monday, August 10, 2009 1:32:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks that knocked out Twitter for hours and affected other sites like Facebook, Google's Blogger, and LiveJournal on Thursday continued all day Friday and may persist throughout the weekend. In its latest update, posted to a discussion forum of its third-party developers at 11 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on Friday, Twitter reports it's still fighting the attacks.

"The DDoS attack is still ongoing, and the intensity has not decreased at all," wrote Chad Etzel, from Twitter's application development platform support team.

 

(Source: PCWorld)

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PCWorld

Monday, August 10, 2009 9:39:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 07, 2009

One of Israel's main political parties has shut down its website following an attack by Palestinian hackers, according to reports. Attackers on the official Kadima website posted images of wounded Palestinians and the aftermath of suicide bombings in Israel.

Slogans in both Hebrew and Arabic were also placed on the site, including threats to party leader Tzipi Livni. Kadima, a centrist political party that favours a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict, is the largest party in the Israeli parliament.

 

(Source: BBC)

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BBC

Friday, August 07, 2009 4:16:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Micro-blogging service Twitter and social networking site Facebook have been severely disrupted by hackers. Twitter was taken offline for more than two hours whilst Facebook's service was "degraded", according to the firms.

The popular sites were subject to so-called denial-of-service attacks on Thursday, the companies believe. Denial-of-service (DOS) attacks take various forms but often involve a company's servers being flooded with data in an effort to disable them.

 

(Source: BBC)

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BBC

Friday, August 07, 2009 9:04:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A suspected pedophile surrendered to police after German law enforcement published clips from videos of child pornography allegedly showing the man. The German Federal Criminal Investigations Office also posted several photos and audio samples of the man's voice as they reached out to the public for clues leading to his arrest.

Police said they found about 42 videos in which the suspected pedophile abused children, believed to be between the ages of 5 and 7 at the time. The Investigator's Office said the man used violence against the children in some of the clips. The German Federal Criminal Investigations Office has been using technology to combat child pornography for several years.

 

(Source: CNN)

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CNN

Friday, August 07, 2009 8:29:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 06, 2009

The US Marine Corps on Tuesday renewed a ban on Twitter and other social networking sites as the Pentagon weighed a similar prohibition over cybersecurity concerns. The Marines had already banned the use of social media on military networks but issued a more detailed order this week defining which sites were out of bounds and noting possible exceptions to the rule, Marine Corps spokesman Lieutenant Craig Thomas told AFP.

"These Internet sites in general are a proven haven for malicious actors and content and are particularly high risk due to information exposure, user generated content and targeting by adversaries," the Marine Corps said in an order posted on its website.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Thursday, August 06, 2009 9:30:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In hindsight, it seems so obvious. We look back at the creepy online ramblings of a tortured soul like George Sodini and realize we should have known all along of the horrors to come. That is, if anyone actually read Sodini's Web page before he sprayed bullets into a suburban Pittsburgh fitness class, killing three women and then himself.

Certainly, anyone happening upon Sodini's tortured online thoughts before his rampage Tuesday would have had ample cause for alarm. His date of death is listed right at the top, under his name and birthdate: "DOD 8/4/2009." Later, a description of his first attempt at what he calls "this project," in January. "It is 8:45 p.m.: I chickened out! I brought the loaded guns, everything. Hell!" And then, on Monday: "Tomorrow is the big day."

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Thursday, August 06, 2009 8:22:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Police are searching for a missing schoolgirl, believed to have run away with a man she met on the internet site Bebo. Clare Haver, 14, of Bourne, Lincolnshire, has been missing since July 25 and is thought to be with 23-year-old Michael Ellis. Police revealed today that Ellis has mental health issues and appealed for Haver to return to her family.

She met jobless Ellis, of Lincoln, on the social networking site Bebo seven months ago. The week before last he joined her while she was on a camping trip with a friend in Skegness.

 

(Source: Times)

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Times

Wednesday, August 05, 2009 1:25:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Parents have been warned of a new teenage trend of "sexting", in which children exchange explicit photos of themselves by text. More than a third of secondary school children have been sent messages containing sexual content, a survey showed.

Researchers found youngsters were regularly being sent sex texts or "sexts" - often by their school friends. The messages contain images of sex acts involving young people but more generally of boys and girls exposing themselves. Material is sent to mobile phones via texts, transferred using Bluetooth or uploaded to social networking groups. Girls are bullied into taking, and sharing, explicit pictures of themselves, the charity warned.

 

(Source: Telegraph)

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Telegraph

Wednesday, August 05, 2009 10:37:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A teenager was allegedly beaten to death by trainers at a rehabilitation camp in southern China where his parents had sent him to cure his Internet addiction, reports said Tuesday.

The three supervisors who allegedly beat Deng Senshan, 16, were arrested after the boy's death early Sunday, his father Deng Fei told the Global Times. "We are investigating a case where a high school student was beaten to death by his camp supervisors. The case is still under investigation," a police officer in Nanning, Guangxi region, was quoted as saying.

More than 10 million of the country's 100 million teenage web surfers are Internet addicts, the China Daily said, citing a survey by the China Youth Internet Association last year.

 

(Source: The Economic Times)

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The Economic Times

Tuesday, August 04, 2009 1:06:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

High-tech Japan is gearing up for elections, but you won't hear a tweet from Prime Minister Taro Aso or his main rivals. When election campaigning officially begins on August 18, a cyberspace ban will make it illegal for politicians to update their Internet blogs, share their political views by email or put new videos online.

It is an odd situation in one of the world's most wired countries, where more than 60 percent of the population regularly uses the Internet. Japanese politicians "are missing a real chance to try to generate interest among young voters by not allowing cyber campaigning," said Professor Jeff Kingston, director of Asian Studies at Temple University in Tokyo.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Tuesday, August 04, 2009 10:07:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 03, 2009

Chinese hackers crashed the website of Australia's biggest film festival, organisers said on Saturday, escalating tensions over a visit here by the exiled leader of the Uighur minority. Online bookings for the Melbourne International Film Festival had to be shut down after the site was bombarded with phony purchases which resulted in the entire program being sold out, said festival spokeswoman Asha Holmes.

A Chinese citizen living in the United States had alerted organisers to the viral campaign, which originated from a website in China titled "A Call to Action to All Chinese People", said Holmes.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Monday, August 03, 2009 4:34:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A powerful new type of Internet attack works like a telephone tap, except operates between computers and Web sites they trust.

Hackers at the Black Hat and DefCon security conferences have revealed a serious flaw in the way Web browsers weed out untrustworthy sites and block anybody from seeing them. If a criminal infiltrates a network, he can set up a secret eavesdropping post and capture credit card numbers, passwords and other sensitive data flowing between computers on that network and sites their browsers have deemed safe.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Monday, August 03, 2009 4:06:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 30, 2009

Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites are inceasingly being targeted by cyber-criminals drawn to the wealth of personal information supplied by users, experts warn. Data posted on the sites -- name, date of birth, address, job details, email and phone numbers -- is a windfall for hackers, participants at Campus Party, one of the world's biggest gatherings of Internet enthusiasts, said.

A vicious virus Koobface -- "koob" being "book" in reverse -- has affected thousands Facebook and Twitter users since August 2008, said Asier Martinez, a security specialist at global IT solutions provider Panda Security.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Thursday, July 30, 2009 4:06:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Microsoft released a security patch on Tuesday aimed at preventing hackers from exploiting a vulnerability in its Web browser, Internet Explorer.

The US software giant said that the security update would be automatically installed for Internet Explorer users who have automatic updating enabled on their computers but would need to be installed manually by other users. "These vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted Web page using Internet Explorer," Microsoft said.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Thursday, July 30, 2009 2:37:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is about to rule whether health care entities will need to notify patients if their de-identified data -- patient data that has been stripped of all potential for identifying individuals, which is often used for research and development -- is breached. As it stands now, de-identified data is not subject to the new breach-notification rules imposed by the HITECH privacy provisions of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus package. The debate pits privacy activists on the one side -- who often support notification -- with health care organizations on the other, which say the quality of health care hangs in the balance.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 4:39:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China has banned Web sites from advertising or linking to games that glamorize violence, another step in China's censorship campaign aimed at ensuring social stability ahead of the 60th anniversary of communist rule on Oct. 1.

A notice posted on the Culture Ministry Web site on Monday said games that promote drug use, obscenities, gambling, or crimes such as rape, vandalism and theft are "against public morality and the nation's fine cultural traditions." "Such online games promote the glorification of mafia life ... and are a serious threat to the moral standards of society causing vulnerable young people to be adversely affected," the notice said. The ban on the Web sites starts immediately.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 9:53:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |