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 Monday, 31 May 2010

With the threat of cyber wars lurking, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a United Nation's arm, has asked countries to take the ‘no-first-attack' vow in order to avert chain of events. “There have been countries at (cyber) war already. A wrong attack could lead to a chain of events. Like they do with regard to nuclear arms, the countries should take a vow that they would not attack first,” Mr Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of ITU, said.

“We need to have an international framework to make cyber space peaceful. Some say, it might take 10 years. Even if it takes that long, we need to start now (to get there),” he said. “It will be like a cyber tsunami. It would be a catastrophe if a war were to start. In order to achieve a secure cyber space, countries should have a legal and regulatory framework, technological readiness (with a robust response team), a coordinated national effort and capacity building,” he said.


(Source: Business Line)

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Business Line

Monday, 31 May 2010 17:08:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to the latest data by Trend Micro, a leading Internet security company, more than 2 million computers were hacked and 476 million spam e-mails were sent in Turkey between June 2009 and May 2010. With Internet an increasingly integral part of daily life, criminals are finding new playgrounds in cyberspace.

In 2004 there were 680 million Internet users and 3 million malwares globally. Six years later, the number of Internet users increased to around 1.7 billion, but malwares jumped 10-fold to 30 million. The nature of the Internet also makes it harder to track down a criminal of cyber crime, as it crosses borders and is hard to understand. “It is not like a bank robbery. There is no eyewitness or video footage,”


(Source: Hurriyet Daily News)

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Hurriyet Daily News

Monday, 31 May 2010 17:00:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 28 May 2010

"People that play these fast-paced games have better vision, better attention and better cognition," said Daphne Bavelier, an assistant professor in the department of brain and cognitive science at the University of Rochester. Bavelier was being a presenter at Games for Learning, a daylong symposium on the educational uses of video games and computer games. The event, the first of its kind, was an indication that electronic games are gaining legitimacy in the classroom.

President Barack Obama recently identified the creation of good educational software as one of the "grand challenges for American innovation," and the federal Department of Education's assistant deputy secretary for the Office of Innovation and Improvement, Jim Shelton, was to attend Thursday's conference. Panelists were to discuss how people learn and how games can be engineered to be even more educational. "People do learn from games,"


(Source: AP)

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Friday, 28 May 2010 15:21:10 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A few weeks ago I came across several email messages in Spanish purporting to have been sent by Western Union: As you can see, this is a typical message sent as spam that we have seen in many guises. It tries to pass itself off as some kind of official notification from well-known companies -anyone from UPS to Apple or even Panda- with the real aim of trying to trick users into running the attached file. However, this time when I saw the message I couldn’t help but smile. Why? Because I thought there was a certain irony about the message claiming to have been sent by Western Union, a company used by virtually all cyber-criminals.

Should we be pointing an accusatory finger at companies like Western Union? There are those who would argue that this is like criminalizing the Internet just because there are users that abuse its services. Fair enough. But if Western Union is just like any other company, why is it used so insistently by criminals?


(Source: PandaLabs)

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Friday, 28 May 2010 15:08:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 27 May 2010

On 23 November 2010 the Belgian Privacy Commission will organize an international conference on privacy and scientific research. The conference will take place in the context of the 2010 Belgian EU presidency and focuses on several target groups, first of all the European data protection authorities, but also national and international academics and researchers. Two areas of scientific research will be examined: historical and clinical-medical research. The conference is primarily intended as a discussion forum on best practices in both areas. That is why workshops will be organized alongside the traditional plenary sessions.

"Privacy & Scientific Research: from Obstruction to Construction" was opted for as the working title of the conference, the objective of the event being a reflection on how to integrate privacy protection in scientific research without making it an obstacle. And what's more, the quality of research will only be improved thanks to privacy protection.


(Source: Commission For The Protection Of Privacy)

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Commission For The Protection Of Privacy

Thursday, 27 May 2010 16:57:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

It might go against conventional wisdom, but a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project is adding fuel to the argument that young people are fast becoming the gurus of online reputation management, especially when it comes to social networking sites. Among other things, the study found that they are most likely to limit personal information online — and the least likely to trust free online services ranging from Facebook to LinkedIn and MySpace.

Marlene McManus, 21, is among those young adults. On the job hunt since graduating from Clark University in Massachusetts, she's been "scouring" her Facebook page, removing photos that contain beer cups and any other signs of college exploits. She's also dropped Twitter altogether. "I have to present a public face that doesn't have the potential to hurt my image," McManus says.


(Source: AP)

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Thursday, 27 May 2010 16:51:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 26 May 2010

CYBER-GEDDON has been overhyped, but IT security professionals need to find new ways of dealing with the never-ending threats, says Scott McIntyre, chief security officer for Amsterdam-based ISP XS4ALL Internet. "The sky is not falling, the situation is not as bad as many make out, but we need to accept that the internet has been 'pwned' (compromised or controlled by rivals)," he told the AusCERT 2010 conference on the Gold Coast last week. "We need to maintain a sense of proportion and adjust our expectations about internet security,"' he said.

"Not everything that happens is a major crisis, you don't need huge cyber bunkers because there's a worm on the network -- this should be your daily routine by now." Mr McIntyre, who is also a member of the Dutch computer security incident response team KPN-CERT, said the industry was stuck in "a weird loop of going backwards and forwards" on the same issues.


(Source: The Australian)

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The Australian

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 17:22:07 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the Internet social network will roll out new privacy settings for its more than 400 million users, amid growing concerns that the company is pushing users to make more of their personal data public. "Many of you thought our controls were too complex," said Zuckerberg in an opinion piece published on Monday in The Washington Post.

"Our intention was to give you lots of granular controls; but that may not have been what many of you wanted. We just missed the mark," said the 26-year-old Zuckerberg, who co-founded Facebook in his Harvard dorm room in 2004. In the coming weeks, Zuckerberg promised, Facebook will add privacy controls that he said would be much simpler to use. Facebook will also give users an easy way to turn off all third-party services, Zuckerberg said.


(Source: Reuters)

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Wednesday, 26 May 2010 17:17:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Malaysia’s Information Communication and Culture Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, said that the country plans to work in collaboration with a number of countries in the fight against cyber crime. “The rise in cyber security attacks over the last few years reinforces the urgency to address the issue through the establishment of appropriate global frameworks for assessment and exchange of information related to cyber security,” he said at the opening of the World Information and Communication Summit in Seoul.

Last year the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT) opened its global headquarters in Cyberjaya, Malaysia. IMPACT is a platform for governments and industry players to exchange ideas and best practices and work together in combating cyber threats.


(Source: Malaysia In Focus)

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Malaysia In Focus

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 16:01:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 21 May 2010, a German online forum dedicated to helping criminals trade and sell financial data stolen through hacking, has itself been hacked. The once-guarded contents of its servers are now being traded on public file-sharing networks, leading to the exposure of potentially identifying information on the forum’s users as well as countless passwords and credit card accounts swiped from unsuspecting victims.

The breach involves at least three separate files being traded on The largest is a database file containing what appear to be all of the communications among nearly 5,000 forum members, including the contents of private, one-to-one messages that subscribers to these forums typically use to negotiate the sale of stolen goods. Another file includes the user names, e-mail addresses and in many cases the passwords of forum


(Source: Krebs on Security)

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Krebs on Security

Friday, 21 May 2010 11:02:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The UAE can lead international efforts to promote global cyber security and cyber peace and to avoid the use of cyberspace for conflict, said a former senior White House adviser on Tuesday. "The UAE can play a leading role in creating an international system for cyber peace. You can do that not just by computers. But you can do that by strategists and diplomats. And there is a great role for the UAE to play in helping the world step back from cyber war to create an international system for cyber peace," said Richard Clarke, who served as a counterterrorism adviser to Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Warning that cyber war is the next threat to UAE national security, Clarke argued physical defences akin to borders such as firewalls will remain essential, but given the high levels of cross-border connectivity in cyber world, new approaches for cyber security must include the international diplomatic dimension.


(Source: Gulf News)

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Gulf News

Friday, 21 May 2010 09:52:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Du 17 au 21 mai 2010 se tient à Ouagadougou un atelier sur la cybersécurité. Avec comme objectif de former les acteurs chargés de la sécurisation du cyberespace à la lutte efficace contre les cybermenaces, cette session connaît la participation de délégués de la Côte d’Ivoire, du Ghana, du Mali et du Nigeria. Les travaux dudit séminaire ont été ouverts par le Secrétaire général du Premier ministère, Paul Marie Compaoré.

Face aux spams, scams, virus, vers et autres cyberattaques, il est plus qu’urgent de développer des stratégies et des dispositifs de pointe à même de sécuriser les systèmes du cyberespace en le protégeant de toutes ces cybermenaces. C’est dans cette optique que l’Union internationale des télécommunications (UIT), en partenariat avec IMPACT et l’Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques (ARCE) du Burkina, organise du 17 au 21 mai 2010, un atelier sur la cybersécurité.


(Source: Le Faso)

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Le Faso

Wednesday, 19 May 2010 10:30:14 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Phishing may not be the most sophisticated form of cyber crime, but it can be a lucrative trade for those who decide to make it their day jobs. Indeed, data secretly collected from an international phishing operation over 18 months suggests that criminals who pursue a career in phishing can reap millions of dollars a year, even if they only manage to snag just a few victims per scam.

Phishers often set up their fraudulent sites using ready-made “phish kits” — collections of HTML, text and images that mimic the content found at major banks and e-commerce sites. Typically, phishers stitch the kits into the fabric of hacked, legitimate sites, which they then outfit with a “backdoor” that allows them to get back into the site at any time.


(Source: Krebs on Security)

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Krebs on Security

Tuesday, 18 May 2010 16:48:16 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Thousands of people have paid tribute on Facebook to an Australian teenager allegedly lured to her death by a man she met on the social networking site. The body of Nona Belomesoff was found two days after she went on a trip with the man, who told her they were going to rescue injured animals, police say. A 20-year-old man has been charged with Ms Belomesoff's murder at a creek south of Sydney.

Detectives say the case reinforces the need for vigilance when using Facebook. Ms Belomesoff, 18, is believed to have befriended Christopher James Dannevig, who police say set up a fake Facebook profile in which he claimed to work for an animal welfare group.


(Source: BBC)

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Tuesday, 18 May 2010 16:44:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 14 May 2010

Researchers at Imperva have discovered an 'experimental' botnet that uses around 300 hijacked web servers to launch high-bandwidth DDoS attacks. The servers are all believed to be open to an unspecified security vulnerability that allows the attacker, who calls him or herself 'Exeman', to infect them with a tiny, 40-line PHP script. This includes a simple GUI from which the attacker can return at a later date to enter in the IP, port and duration numbers for the attack that is to be launched. Building a Secure and Compliant Windows Desktop: Download nowBut why servers in the first place? Botnets are built from PCs and rarely involve servers.

According to Imperva's CTO, Amachai Shulman, they have no antivirus software and offer high upload bandwidth, typically 10-50 times that of a consumer PC.


(Source: Networkworld)

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Friday, 14 May 2010 17:03:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

For all the Twitterers who were fretting about where their followers went earlier today, fear not. They're back. Twitter engineers have corrected a bug that was messing with users' followers on Monday. To fix the problem, Twitter engineers had to reset users' followers/following numbers to zero for a while around midday, according to Twitter's Status update.

"What we really see with social networking is that for any given tool, whether it's Twitter, Facebook or any other site, there is a hard core of very active users who care a lot about any problems, changes, or interruptions. These people are very vocal and opinionated -- passionate, in other words."


(Source: ComputerWorld)

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Friday, 14 May 2010 16:56:25 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 10 May 2010

With the 2010 FIFA World Cup less than two months away, cybercriminals (as expected) are banking on this prestigious international football event to trick users. TrendLabsSM spotted the latest threat involving this, and it came in the form of an email message currently being spammed in the wild.

The spam carried a .PDF file attachment which was found to contain details about the lottery the recipient allegedly won. It also instructed the recipient to give out personal information and send them to the contact person or email sender before the prize could be claimed. What was interesting about the purported sender of the email—one Mrs. Michelle Matins, Executive Vice President—was also the signatory for the 419 scam, aka the Nigeria scam.


(Source: Trend Micro)

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Trend Micro

Monday, 10 May 2010 15:21:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cybersecurity needs a global rethink, and fast, Dell's CEO Michael Dell and Services CIO, Jim Stikeleather, have warned experts at the EastWest Institute Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit in the US. In separate presentations and briefings, the men developed the theme of piecemeal reactions to the rapid rise of crymber-criminality, which included economic crime and direct threats to critical infrastructure.

Governments haven't done enough and have fallen into the trap of seeing matters in a narrow, national way. Meanwhile, the security industry has been content to sell products without asking whether security was properly embedded into the way products are developed. "Governments and private industry need to work collaboratively to develop the appropriate international framework to secure cyberspace. We should all do this in a way that keeps our global information central nervous system intact and secure," said Michael Dell.


(Source: MIS Asia)

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MIS Asia

Monday, 10 May 2010 10:42:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 07 May 2010

As much heat as Facebook has taken recently for its privacy policies and the freedom with which it shares data across the Web and around the world, Facebook is still not the biggest threat to online privacy--you are. A study by Consumer Reports illustrates that users are really their own worst enemy when it comes to online privacy.

Here are some of the key findings of the Consumer Reports survey: • A projected 1.7 million online households had experienced online identity theft in the past year. • An estimated 5.4 million online consumers submitted personal information to e-mail (phishing) scammers during the past two years. • Among adult social network users, 38 percent had posted their full birth date, including year. Forty-five percent of those with children had posted their children's photos. And 8% had posted their own street address. • An estimated 5.1 million online households had experienced some type of abuse on a social network in the past year, including malware infections, scams, and harassment.


(Source: PC World)

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PC World

Friday, 07 May 2010 13:37:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cybersecurity experts from around the world meeting on ways to protect the Internet say they still have fears of "nightmare" scenarios in which attacks could cripple critical computer networks. "I live in a world of nightmares," Patrick Pailloux, director general of France's Network and Information Security Agency, told participants in the first Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit which ended on Wednesday. "Each subject is a nightmare: electricity, power grids, transportation, airplanes, water supply, finance, the banking system, the health system,"

Pailloux said. Pailloux was among the 400 participants from 40 nations who attended the meeting hosted by the EastWest Institute think tank to come up with ways to protect the world's digital infrastructure from cyber threats. The cybersecurity experts, government officials and business leaders agreed that only global cooperation could protect computer networks under constant attack from ever mutating viruses, worms, spam and a host of other dangers.


(Source: AFP)

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Friday, 07 May 2010 13:22:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 04 May 2010

Websites operated by the US Treasury Department are redirecting visitors to websites that attempt to install malware on their PCs, a security researcher warned on Monday. The infection buries an invisible iframe in,, and that invokes malicious scripts from, Roger Thompson, chief research officer of AVG Technologies, told The Register. The code was discovered late Sunday night and was active at time of writing, about 12 hours later.

To cover their tracks, the miscreants behind the compromise tailored it so it attacks only IP addresses that haven't already visited the Treasury websites. That makes it harder for white hat-hackers and law enforcement agents to track the exploit. Indeed, Thompson initially reported that the problem had been fixed until he discovered the sites were merely skipping over laboratory PCs that had already encountered the attack.


(Source: The Register)

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The Register

Tuesday, 04 May 2010 16:23:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 03 May 2010

A new international research report commissioned by ACCAN reports on 16 high-speed broadband applications that can provide enormous benefits to people with disabilities. The report was conducted between November 2009 and January 2010 and discusses the uses of broadband applications in Europe, the United States and Japan. The study is also timely with regard to the work being undertaken to establish the National Disability Strategy. Preliminary findings from the study have resulted in input being provided to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy for its involvement in the Inter-Departmental Committee on the National Disability Strategy.


(Source: Australian Communications Consumer Action Network)

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Australian Communications Consumer Action Network

Monday, 03 May 2010 17:33:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cisco Systems has embarked on a "take back and recycle" program, to ensure that consumers in Africa do not use phased-out equipment. The program takes used Cisco gear as well phased-out products that may still be sitting on resellers' shelves. Cisco has already indicated that it is phasing out the Linksys brand, which is common in Africa. "The Computer For Schools Kenya (CFSK) plant can handle large quantities of e-waste in a day; has employed young people and its important for equipment manufacturers and vendors in the region to work with communities,"

While the Cisco program may save customers the cost of managing and storing excess, outdated, or used ICT equipment, most such equipment on the continent is dumped is sold at low cost -- in some cases the equipment works, making cost-conscious customers consider buying obsolete equipment.


(Source: ComputerWorld Kenya)

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ComputerWorld Kenya

Monday, 03 May 2010 17:27:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 30 April 2010

A new research report on online government from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project shows that citizens are searching for information in unprecedented numbers. When they visit sites, they're increasingly making transactions and participating in discussion around policies. Forty-one percent have gone online to get forms, including tax forms, health forms or student aid forms, and 35 percent have researched government documents or statistics. Roughly one-third of all Internet users reported renewing driver's licenses and auto registrations online. In general, the use of government websites for information and transactions is nearly ubiquitous among Internet users, with 82 percent of online adults surveyed reporting one of the two activities.


(Source: Pew Research Center)

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Pew Research Center

Friday, 30 April 2010 17:30:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

European ministers are considering establishing a new agency that would tie together law enforcement agencies and other entities dedicated to fighting cybercrime. The ministers released a set of goals they'd like to achieve over time. One of those is to gain more ratifications of the Council of Europe's Cybercrime Convention, the only international treaty covering computer crime. The treaty requires countries to adopt cybercrime laws, have contacts available 24 hours a day for fast-breaking investigations and other measures. Another medium-term goal focuses on revocation of domain names and IP (Internet protocol) addresses. The document doesn't spell out exactly the ministers' objectives there, as it is already standard procedure for many ISPs to shut down Web sites linked with bad behavior. The new agency would also be tasked with forging stronger bonds between various law enforcement and other organizations that deal with cybercrime, including Europol, Eurojust, Interpol and others.


(Source: ComputerWorld)

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Friday, 30 April 2010 17:27:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 29 April 2010

Many of us take the Internet for granted, but what about locations that are too remote or economically impoverished to enjoy the hi-tech benefits of the developed world? The Shadow Chancellor in the UK, George Osborne, illustrated in a recent speech that people in the developing world - even in the poorest of circumstances - do care about having access to technology.

In a visit to a remote village in Rwanda in 2007 he and 40 other Conservative Party volunteers were working on transforming a once derelict orphanage into a school. When it was announced that they were going to fix up the buildings and improve the water supply there were cheers from the villagers, but the loudest shouts were received when it was announced that the school was to be equipped with a computer. Osborne was at first surprised with the reaction - access to a computer is not a fundamental of life. But even villagers in the remotest part of Rwanda knew about computers and the Internet and didn't want their children to be excluded - as they had been - from something that could help lift them out of poverty.


(Source: All Africa)

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All Africa

Thursday, 29 April 2010 17:05:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The German government is planning to establish a botnet cleanup helpline for computer users affected by malware infection. ISPs are teaming up with the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) to set up an operation geared towards cleansing consumer systems from botnet infestation. ISPs will track down infected machines, before directing users towards a website offering advice and an associated call centre, staffed by around 40.

The project, due to start in 2010, was announced on Tuesday at the German IT summit in Stuttgart. Malware in general, and botnets in particular, are a Windows ecosystem problem. Some bloggers have taken exception to the German plan, and have described it as a state funded subsidy to Microsoft, arguing that the money would be better spent offering advice on how to switch to less virus-infected systems.


(Source: The Register)

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The Register

Thursday, 29 April 2010 16:21:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |