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 Monday, September 14, 2009

Cyber criminals are taking advantage of swine flu fears with e-mails promising news on the illness which then infect computers with a virus, a Spanish computer security firm warned Friday.

The e-mails invite recipients to open a document with information claiming the H1N1 flu virus was developed by pharmaceutical firms seeking to make huge profits from the outbreak, Pandasecurity said in a statement. But if the document is opened, a virus is installed on the person's computer which can steal personal information like bank account data.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Monday, September 14, 2009 2:04:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

South Korea plans to train 3,000 "cyber sheriffs" by next year to protect businesses after a spate of attacks on state and private websites, a report said Sunday. The "cyber sheriffs" would be tasked with "protecting corporate information and preventing the leaks of industrial secrets," Yonhap news agency said.

In the event of cyber attacks, the National Intelligence Service, the country's main spy agency, would set up a taskforce including civilian and government experts to counter the online threats, it added. The country already has a military cyber unit. South Korea, where 95 percent of homes have broadband, is among the top countries in terms of access to the high-speed Internet.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Monday, September 14, 2009 10:07:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 11, 2009

A third of Web users under 25 claim they don't care about their "digital tattoo" and the items they post online, says Symantec. Symantec said a "digital tattoo" is created by all the personal information web users post online and can easily be found through search engines by a potential or current employer, friends and acquaintances, or anyone who has malicious intent.

The security firm revealed that nearly two-thirds of all those surveyed had uploaded personal photographs, while 79 percent had at least part of their address online and nearly half had their mobile phone numbers online.

 

(Source: PCWorld)

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PCWorld

Friday, September 11, 2009 9:57:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In communist Cuba, where only state media exist locally, a vibrant blogger culture has emerged as a venue for critical commentary, a leading journalists' rights group said Thursday. "Despite vast legal and technical obstacles, a growing number of Cuban bloggers have prevailed over the regime?s tight Internet restrictions to disseminate island news and views online," said a report from the New-York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

"The bloggers, mainly young adults from a variety of professions, have opened a new space for free expression in Cuba, while offering a fresh glimmer of hope for the rebirth of independent ideas in Cuba?s closed system."

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Friday, September 11, 2009 9:26:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 10, 2009

By selling an array of virtual products from avatar clothes to e-furniture, Asia's social networking sites appear to have solved the conundrum of how to leverage big profits from their extensive user bases.

Chinese university student Tan Shengrong spends about 20 yuan ($2.90) per month purchasing outfits for her pet penguin avatar or playing games on QQ, an instant message portal on Qzone, China's most popular social networking site. It might not seem like a hefty sum, but every fen, or cent, is money in the bank for Tencent Holdings, which owns Qzone and saw an 85 percent increase in its second quarter net profit this year compared to 2008 despite the economic downturn.

 

(Source: Reuter)

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Reuter

Thursday, September 10, 2009 11:22:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Hong Kong is under siege from legions of "zombies" attacking people with spam and leaving in their wake a trail of destruction costing millions of dollars a year, analysts have warned.

There are an estimated 4,000 zombies active in Hong Kong and their criminal puppet masters use them to fire off thousands of messages offering products ranging from jewellery to pornography. According to the 2008 Annual Security Report by Internet security firm MessageLabs 81.3 percent of emails sent to Hong Kong computer users last year were spam, more than in any other territory or country in the world.

 

(Source: INQUIRER)

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INQUIRER

Thursday, September 10, 2009 10:20:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Anonymous hackers have attacked a Taiwan film festival over plans to screen a documentary on the US-based leader of China's predominantly Muslim Uighur minority, festival organisers said Tuesday. A message, posted on a blog run by one of the organisers of the Kaohsiung Film Festival, blamed Rebiya Kadeer for recent bloody unrest in northwest China's Xinjiang region, which is home to the Turkic-speaking Uighurs.

The film festival, which takes place in Taiwan's second largest city Kaohsiung, is scheduled to show "Ten Conditions of Love" on World Uighur Congress leader Kadeer in October.

 

(Source: INQUIRER)

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INQUIRER

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 10:43:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

President Barack Obama warned American teenagers on Tuesday of the dangers of putting too much personal information on Internet social networking sites, saying it could come back to haunt them in later life. "Well, let me give you some very practical tips. First of all, I want everybody here to be careful about what you post on Facebook, because in the YouTube age, whatever you do, it will be pulled up again later somewhere in your life," Obama said.

The presidential words of advice follow recent studies that suggest U.S. employers are increasingly turning to sites such as Facebook and News Corp's MySpace to conduct background checks on job applicants.

 

(Source: Reuter)

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Reuter

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 9:16:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Web sites that collect information about visitors in order to target advertising on their own pages would be required to prominently disclose what information they gather. Web sites that share user information with outside advertising networks, which place ads on sites all over the Internet, would be required to obtain user approval before collecting data. Web sites that deal with sensitive personal information, such as medical and financial data, sexual orientation, Social Security numbers and other ID numbers, would be subject to the opt-in rule.

Rep. Rick Boucher, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, hopes to put in a bill governing Internet advertising.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:17:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Parents who install a leading brand of software to monitor their kids' online activities may be unwittingly allowing the company to read their children's chat messages - and sell the marketing data gathered.

Software sold under the Sentry and FamilySafe brands can read private chats conducted through Yahoo, MSN, AOL and other services, and send back data on what kids are saying about such things as movies, music or video games. The information is then offered to businesses seeking ways to tailor their marketing messages to kids.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Tuesday, September 08, 2009 9:53:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 07, 2009

China approved of Google's efforts to filter porn from search results on its China portal following state-led criticism of the links, the former head of Google China said Sunday.

Google.cn has long filtered out some results for sensitive searches. The search engine displays a notice that some results have been filtered for search terms such as "Tiananmen," the square in Beijing around which soldiers killed hundreds to disperse a student democracy protest in 1989, or for the names of major political leaders. The search engine currently displays no search results at all for "Xu Zhiyong," the name of a human rights lawyer recently detained for about one month. The results screen says the search "may touch on content that does not conform with the related laws, regulations and policies"

 

(Source: PCWorld)

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PCWorld

Monday, September 07, 2009 9:18:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In an age in which instant news and constant life streams from Facebook and Twitter change the way we communicate, the rules of etiquette surrounding these interactions are still evolving. What happens when I expected a phone call about something and read about it in a status update instead? What's the polite response to a distant friend posting bad news on Facebook? What to do with sensitive information?

Good etiquette on Facebook might not apply on Twitter or in an e-mail. These days, milestones like marriage, pregnancy, breakups and divorce are being described over more forms of communications than ever. Because it's so new, there is sort of a gray area of what the manners are,"

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Monday, September 07, 2009 8:47:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 04, 2009

Facebook warned Thursday that members who buy "friends" from an Australian online marketing company could face banishment from the social network. The Brisbane-based firm, uSocial.net, offered this week to sell a Facebook user 1,000 friends for 177 dollars and 5,000 friends -- on a standard profile account -- for 654 dollars. USocial caused a stir earlier this year with a similar offer to users of popular micro-blogging service Twitter seeking to increase their number of followers.

Facebook fired back against uSocial on Thursday and issued a reminder that it was against its terms of service for a user to access an account belonging to someone else or to share a password.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Friday, September 04, 2009 10:34:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ben Alexander spent nearly every waking minute playing the video game "World of Warcraft." As a result, he flunked out of the University of Iowa. He needed help to break an addiction he calls as destructive as alcohol or drugs.

Internet addiction is not recognized as a separate disorder by the American Psychiatric Association, and treatment is not generally covered by insurance. But there are many such treatment centers in China, South Korea and Taiwan - where Internet addiction is taken very seriously - and many psychiatric experts say it is clear that Internet addiction is real and harmful.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Friday, September 04, 2009 8:42:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 03, 2009

A coalition of 10 U.S. privacy and consumer groups has called for new federal privacy protections for Web users, including a requirement that Web sites and advertising networks get opt-in permission from individuals within 24 hours of collecting personal data and tracking online habits.

In a broad set of new recommendations for privacy regulations released Tuesday, the groups also called on the U.S. Congress to prohibit Web sites and ad networks from collecting behavioral information about children under age 18, whenever it's possible to distinguish the age of the Web user, and to require that online businesses inform consumers about the purpose of the information collection.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Thursday, September 03, 2009 9:24:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Google said Tuesday's widespread Gmail outage occurred when the company took some servers offline to perform routine maintenance, causing its remaining routers to become overloaded with traffic. "We know how many people rely on Gmail for personal and professional communications, and we take it very seriously when there's a problem with the service." wrote Ben Treynor, a Google vice president of engineering.

Gmail's problems were a top trending topic on Twitter, with users trading updates and posting links to blogs such as Mashable, which published a post called, "5 Things to Do While Gmail is Down." (No. 1: "Immediately flood Twitter with tweets alternately proclaiming 'Gmail is down!' and inquiring 'Is Gmail down?' ")

 

(Source: CNN)

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CNN

Thursday, September 03, 2009 8:27:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Federal judge George Wu officially overturned the conviction of Lori Drew, who was convicted of cyberbullying 13-year-old Megan Meier to suicide. That conviction was based on the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which makes it a crime to intentionally accessing a computer system with intent to commit a crime or tort.

At trial, the jury found Drew guilty of misdemeanor violations of CFAA based on the theory that accessing MySpace with intent to harrass Meier was an unauthorized access of an interstate computer.

 

(Source: ZDNet)

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ZDNet

Wednesday, September 02, 2009 10:38:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Unlike some people have hoped, the Internet hasn't led to big changes in the socio-economic makeup of Americans engaged in civic activities, a new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project finds. As in offline politics, people who participate in online civic life by contacting government officials, making political or charitable donations or signing petitions, for example tend to be richer and better educated.

There are signs that social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are driving civic engagement among younger people. On social networks, income and education levels seem to be less correlated with whether someone engages in civic activism.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Wednesday, September 02, 2009 8:35:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 01, 2009

This is a story about love and Twitter, hope and the relative safety of a Walmart parking lot. Six months ago, Brianna Karp found herself living in an old truck and camper she inherited after the suicide of a father she barely knew.

She wrote as a way to stay in touch with the world. Soon, other homeless people were leaving comments on her blog, telling their stories and cheering her on. "I was definitely surprised just how many homeless and former homeless people are online and using social media to seek opportunities," Karp said. She blogged from Starbucks while she continued to search for work, buying $5 cards each month that entitled her to sip coffee and soak up unlimited Wi-Fi.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Tuesday, September 01, 2009 10:47:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

If Google Inc. digitizes the world's books, how will it keep track of what you read? That's one of the unanswered questions that librarians and privacy experts are grappling with as Google attempts to settle a long-running lawsuit by publishers and copyright holders and move ahead with its effort to digitize millions of books, known as the Google Books Library Project.

Librarians and the online world have different standards for dealing with user information. Many libraries routinely delete borrower information, and organizations such as the American Library Association have fought hard to preserve the privacy of their patrons.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Tuesday, September 01, 2009 10:07:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 31, 2009

Facebook has agreed to make worldwide changes to its privacy policy as a result of negotiations with Canada's privacy commissioner. Last month the social network was found to breach Canadian law by holding on to users' personal data indefinitely.

It will also make it clear that users can deactivate or delete their account. "These changes mean that the privacy of 200 million Facebook users in Canada and around the world will be far better protected," said Canadian privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart.

 

(Source: BBC)

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BBC

Monday, August 31, 2009 9:43:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

There's still plenty of room for innovation today, yet the openness fostering it may be eroding. While the Internet is more widely available and faster than ever, artificial barriers threaten to constrict its growth. Call it a mid-life crisis. A variety of factors are to blame. Spam and hacking attacks force network operators to erect security firewalls.

"There is more freedom for the typical Internet user to play, to communicate, to shop more opportunities than ever before," said Jonathan Zittrain, a law professor and co-founder of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. "On the worrisome side, there are some longer-term trends that are making it much more possible (for information) to be controlled."

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Monday, August 31, 2009 9:10:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 28, 2009

Users of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter could face higher insurance premiums because burglars may be using them to find out their personal details. The Digital Criminal report, which polled 2,000 social network users, found nearly two fifths had posted details of their holiday plans, with nearly two thirds of 16-24 year-olds doing so.

"I call it 'internet shopping for burglars'. It is incredibly easy to use social neyworking sites to target people, and then scope out more information on their actual home using other internet sites like Google Street View, all from the comfort of the sofa."

 

(Source: Telegraph)

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Telegraph

Friday, August 28, 2009 10:34:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A vulnerability in Twitter Inc.'s popular microblogging service remains unfixed and can be used by criminals to hijack accounts or redirect users to malicious Web sites, a developer claimed today. The cross-site scripting bug in Twitter allows hackers to insert malicious JavaScript into tweets simply by adding code to a field of an API used by third-party Twitter application developers.

A software developer, a U.K.-based search optimization specialist, Slater recommended that, until Twitter patches the vulnerability, users should stop following any Twitterers they don't personally know or trust. "Who's to say they're not already stealing your details? If you don't see their tweets, they can't harm you,"

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Friday, August 28, 2009 10:03:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 27, 2009

Internet service providers (ISPs) have reacted with anger to new proposals on how to tackle internet piracy. The government is proposing a tougher stance which would include cutting off repeat offenders from the net.

TalkTalk's director of regulation Andrew Heaney told that the ISP was as keen as anyone to clamp down on illegal file-sharers. "This is best done by making sure there are legal alternatives and educating people, writing letters to alleged file-sharers and, if necessary, taking them to court. But disconnecting alleged offenders will be futile given that it is relatively easy for determined file-sharers to mask their identity or their activity to avoid detection," he added.

 

(Source: BBC)

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BBC

Thursday, August 27, 2009 9:33:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Users of social networks are concerned about security but few are taking the steps necessary to protect themselves against online crime, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

Nearly 20 percent of those surveyed said they have experienced identity theft, 47 percent have been victims of malware infections and 55 percent have seen "phishing" attacks, in which hackers seek to capture password information. They also suggested that passwords be changed at least once a month and that friends or coworkers not be allowed to access one's personal computer.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Thursday, August 27, 2009 8:54:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fans searching for "Jessica Biel" or "Jessica Biel downloads," "Jessica Biel wallpaper," "Jessica Biel screen savers," "Jessica Biel photos," and "Jessica Biel videos" have a one in five chance of landing at a Web site that has tested positive for online threats such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other malware. McAfee's conclusion: Searching for the latest celebrity news and downloads can cause serious damage to personal computers.

"Consumers' obsession with celebrity news and culture is harmless in theory, but one bad download can cause a lot of damage to a computer."

 

(Source: NewsFactor)

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NewsFactor

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 11:13:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Internet criminals might be rethinking a favorite scam for stealing people's personal information. A report being released Wednesday by IBM Corp. shows a big drop in the volume of "phishing" e-mails, in which fraud artists send what looks like a legitimate message from a bank or some other company. If the recipients click on a link in a phishing e-mail, they land on a rogue Web site that captures their passwords, account numbers or any other information they might enter.

To protect yourself against phishing, access sensitive sites on your own, rather than by following links in e-mails, which might lead to phishing sites.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 10:06:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |