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 Friday, March 05, 2010

Hackers breaking into businesses and government agencies with targeted attacks have not only stolen intellectual property, in some cases they have corrupted data too, the head of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said Thursday. The United States has been under assault from these targeted spear-phishing attacks for years, but they received mainstream attention in January, when Google admitted that it had been hit and threatened to pull its business out of China -- the presumed source of the attack -- as a result.

Researchers investigating the Google attack -- thought to have affected at least 100 companies including Intel, Adobe and Symantec -- say that prime targets of the hackers were the source code management systems used by software developers to build code.

 

(Source: PC World)

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PC World

Friday, March 05, 2010 12:42:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 04, 2010

The government develops a new strategy to help the information technology industry cut down on waste While no one will ever confuse the polluting effects of the information and communications technology sector with, say, the oil industry, all is not green in the realm of ICT. The world throws away of hundreds of millions of mobile phones, computers, printers, batteries and gadgets annually, while energy and raw materials consumed by the industry account for more than 2% of global greenhouse gases emissions.

It is with this in mind that the Egyptian government has begun work on a green information and communication technology (ICT) strategy aimed at reducing the sector’s energy use and finding a place for the tons of hardware thrown away every year.

 

(Source: Business Today)

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Business Today

Thursday, March 04, 2010 4:15:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Authorities have smashed one of the world's biggest networks of virus-infected computers, a data vacuum that stole credit cards and online banking credentials from as many as 12.7 million poisoned PCs. The "botnet" of infected computers included PCs inside more than half of the Fortune 1,000 companies and more than 40 major banks, according to investigators.

Spanish investigators, working with private computer-security firms, have arrested the three alleged ringleaders of the so-called Mariposa botnet, which appeared in December 2008 and grew into one of the biggest weapons of cybercrime. More arrests are expected soon in other countries.

 

(Source: The New Zealand Herald)

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The New Zealand Herald

Wednesday, March 03, 2010 5:24:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The United Nations (UN) agency responsible for IT and telecommunications has delivered 25 satellite phones to Chile to help restore communication links vital to bringing aid to areas devastated by the massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake on Saturday. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said it airlifted the satellite phones out of Geneva on Monday and expected them to be in use on Tuesday. The UN agency thanked Iridium Communications, which operates a global satellite network for mobile telecommunications, for its support of the effort. International aid groups and UN agencies in Haiti are already using Iridium 9555 satellite phones in support of Haiti relief and recovery efforts.

International aid groups and UN agencies in Haiti are already using Iridium 9555 satellite phones in support of Haiti relief and recovery efforts.

 

(Source: PC World)

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PC World

Wednesday, March 03, 2010 3:29:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Four California men were charged on Monday with using sophisticated computer programs to fraudulently obtain more than a million tickets to concerts and sporting events and reselling them for a profit estimated at $29 million.

The company was able to snap up the best seats as soon as they were made available online because the programs were able to complete transactions more quickly than real humans vying for tickets manually. For example, Fishman said, Wiseguy bought nearly half the 440 available floor tickets for a Bruce Springsteen concert at Giants Stadium in 2008. In most cases, individual buyers are restricted to a maximum of four tickets.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Tuesday, March 02, 2010 11:47:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 26, 2010

Security experts are split over the effectiveness of Microsoft's efforts to shut down a network of PCs that could send 1.5 billion spam messages a day. The firm persuaded a US judge to issue a court order to cripple 277 internet domains used by the Waledac botnet. Botnets are usually armies of hijacked Windows PCs that send spam or malware. "We aim to be more proactive in going after botnets to help protect the internet," said Richard Boscovich, the head of Microsoft's digital crime unit.

Security firm Symantec has estimated that over 80% of unsolicited e-mail comes from botnets.

 

(Source: BBC)

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BBC

Friday, February 26, 2010 2:46:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 25, 2010

The International Women Day (8th of March), once again will provide the European Commission with an occasion to address the role of women in the ICT sector. However, this year, substantive changes have been introduced to the formula of the event, starting from the location: Cyprus. The intention is to move the discussion to Member States which have only recently joined the European Union adventure, exactly where women's potential is particularly untapped and where fresh ideas could bloom. This year the debate on women and ICT will be embedded in a broader initiative encompassing other ICT related issues. The event will comprise workshops targeting women willing to set up consortia and submit proposals for future calls.

 

(Source: Europe's Information Society)

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European Comission

Thursday, February 25, 2010 12:24:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Intel was the victim of a cyber attack similar to the one experienced by Google, the company revealed Monday. "We regularly face attempts by others to gain unauthorized access through the Internet to our information technology systems," Intel said in regulatory filings posted by The New York Times. "One recent and sophisticated incident occurred in January 2010 around the same time as the recently publicized security incident reported by Google."

Attacks have included people who masqueraded as authorized users or those who used "surreptitious introduction of software," Intel said. "These attempts, which might be the result of industrial or other espionage, or actions by hackers seeking to harm the company, its products, or end users, are sometimes successful."

 

(Source: PC Magazine)

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PC Magazine

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 4:01:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China has issued new restrictions on Internet use, requiring those wanting to set up a website to meet regulators and provide identity documents, in a move slammed Wednesday by one rights group. The new rules come as the United States has stepped up pressure on Beijing to break down its vast system of web controls -- the so-called "Great Firewall of China" -- for the more than 380 million people now online in the country.

Washington issued those calls after US Internet giant Google said last month it was considering pulling out of China over cyberattacks and Chinese government censorship of its search results. China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued the new guidelines to local authorities on February 8 and lifted a ban imposed in December on individuals acquiring .cn domain names, state media said Tuesday.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 12:46:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 22, 2010

There are two aspects you have to consider when negotiating security and privacy with a service provider. First, you have to have the correct principles encoded in your contract. Second, you have to worry about how well they are executed by the provider. If you read most service contracts you will see that "law enforcement assistance" sections are usually vague. It is up to you to negotiate terms that address key issues of data protection and safeguard your rights:

* Demand that law enforcement requests are properly documented. Show me the warrant. A phone call from agent Bob at headquarters is not a warrant.

* Demand that you are notified of any requests that may affect your data. You have the right to contest warrants in court and most corporations do contest them.

* Demand that each data access request, whether granted or not is documented.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Monday, February 22, 2010 6:41:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

An online survey of 895 Web users and experts found more than three-quarters believe the Internet will make people smarter in the next 10 years, according to results released on Friday. Most of the respondents also said the Internet would improve reading and writing by 2020, according to the study, conducted by the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University in North Carolina and the Pew Internet and American Life project.

"Three out of four experts said our use of the Internet enhances and augments human intelligence, and two-thirds said use of the Internet has improved reading, writing and the rendering of knowledge," said study co-author Janna Anderson, director of the Imagining the Internet Center.

 

(Source: Reuters)

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Reuters

Monday, February 22, 2010 4:55:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 19, 2010

A former security researcher turned criminal hacker has been sentenced to 13 years in federal prison for hacking into financial institutions and stealing credit card account numbers.

Max Ray Butler, who used the hacker pseudonym Iceman, was sentenced Friday morning in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh on charges of wire fraud and identity theft. In addition to his 13-year sentence, Butler will face five years of supervised release and must pay US$27.5 million in restitution to his victims, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke Dembosky, who prosecuted the case for the federal government. Dembosky believes the 13 year sentence is the longest-ever handed down for hacking charges.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Friday, February 19, 2010 5:00:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 18, 2010

A new type of computer virus is known to have breached almost 75,000 computers in 2,500 organizations around the world, including user accounts of popular social network websites, according Internet security firm NetWitness. The latest virus -- known as "Kneber botnet" -- gathers login credentials to online financial systems, social networking sites and email systems from infested computers and reports the information back to hackers, NetWitness said in a statement.

A botnet is an army of infected computers that hackers can control from a central machine." The company said the attack was first discovered in January during a routine deployment of NetWitness software.

 

(Source: Reuters)

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Reuters

Thursday, February 18, 2010 6:27:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A common Web programming error could give hackers a way to take over Google Buzz accounts, a security expert said Tuesday. The flaw is a "medium-sized problem" with the Buzz for Mobile Web site, said Robert Hansen, CEO of SecTheory, who first reported the issue. This type of Web programming error, called a cross-site scripting flaw, lets the attacker put his own scripting code into Web pages that belong to trusted Web sites such as Google.com. It is a fairly common flaw but one that can have major consequences when exploited on widely used Web sites.

The attacker "can force you to say things you don't want to say, to follow people," he said. "Whatever Google Buzz allows you to do, it allows him to do to you."

 

(Source: PC World)

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PC World

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 3:08:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 15, 2010

A man has appeared before magistrates in Truro charged with four sex offences following an investigation into children being groomed on the internet. Michael Williams, 28, of Tresooth Lane, Penryn, was charged with sexual assault and grooming a girl under 16 and two counts of making indecent images. The inquiry centres around pupils from Falmouth School and Penryn College. Mr Williams, who was remanded in custody, is not a teacher and is not directly connected with the schools. Letters have been sent to parents of pupils at Falmouth School and Penryn College informing them of the investigation.

 

(Source: BBC)

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BBC

Monday, February 15, 2010 2:25:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Former top US intelligence officials will become cyberwarriors on Tuesday in a simulation of how the US government would respond to a massive cyberattack on the United States. "The scenario itself is secret," said Eileen McMenamin, vice president of communications for the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), which is hosting the event dubbed "Cyber ShockWave." "The participants don't even know what it is," McMenamin told AFP. "None of them know what's going to transpire."

Former president George W. Bush's Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff will play the role of National Security Advisor to the president while former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte will be Secretary of State.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Monday, February 15, 2010 1:50:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 12, 2010

50% of European teenagers give out personal information on the web – according to an EU study – which can remain online forever and can be seen by anybody. Today, Safer Internet Day, the European Commission is passing a message to teenagers: "Think before you post!" It welcomed actions to protect children using social networking websites taken by the 20 companies who signed the Safer Social Networking Principles last year (IP/09/232 ).

Most of these companies have empowered minors to tackle online risks by making it easier to change privacy settings, block users or delete unwanted comments and content. Yet more needs to be done to protect children online, the Commission says. Less than half of social networking companies (40%) make profiles of under-18 users visible only to their friends by default and only one third replied to user reports asking for help.

 

(Source: Europa)

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Europa

Friday, February 12, 2010 2:22:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 11, 2010

The government has called on the mobile phone industry to do more to protect handset owners against theft. Alan Campbell, Minister for Crime Prevention, said firms "have a social and a corporate responsibility to tackle crime". Around 2% of British mobile phone users report they have suffered a theft in the last year, although for teenagers the figure is three times higher.

The government's call comes as the Home Office unveiled the winning designs in a crime prevention contest, aimed at making mobile phones less attractive to thieves. Designs included an alarm that sounds when a phone is too far from its owner and locks the handset.

 

(Source: BBC)

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BBC

Thursday, February 11, 2010 6:11:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |