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 Thursday, July 29, 2010
Notorious computer hacker identified and arrested, authorities say

Washington (CNN)-- A computer hacker responsible for creating and operating a massive scam that infected as many as 12 million computers worldwide has been identified and arrested, authorities said Wednesday.

The FBI said in a news statement a 23-year-old Slovene known as "Iserdo" was arrested last week for his role in a cyber scam that stole passwords from websites and financial institutions. Authorities believe the Slovenian citizen is responsible for creating and selling the Mariposa botnet.

Botnets are a network of computers infected with a malicious kind of robot software which allow remote access, often without the owner's knowledge.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010 9:57:20 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 22, 2010
GSMA and NTT DOCOMO Announce the Findings of 2010 Study on Children and Mobile Phone Use

The GSMA and NTT DOCOMO's Mobile Society Research Institute (MSRI) recently announced the details of a comparative study into the use of mobile phones by children in six countries (Japan, Korea, China, India, Mexico and Cyprus) and the effect that this has on them. Approximately 6,000 pairs of respondents were interviewed, each consisting of a child aged between eight and 18 and his or her parent or guardian.

 

Full Report Download

Thursday, July 22, 2010 5:26:54 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Double Honours for IMPACT at (ISC)²’s Annual Asia-Pacific Information Security Leadership Achievements Program

International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT) received double honours from (ISC)²’s fourth annual Asia-Pacific Information Security Leadership Achievements (ISLA) Program for its efforts to build capacity against cyber threats among partner countries especially in the developing nations.

Mr. Philip Victor, Director, Training, Skills Development and Outreach, IMPACT has been selected as an Honouree in the Senior Information Security Professional category and the contribution of Mr. Sivanathan Subramaniam, Manager, GRC Profressional Services, IMPACT has been recognised in the Information Security Practitioner category.

The award giving ceremony will take place at the ISLA Gala Dinner and Ceremony on the evening of 26th July 2010, held at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia in Singapore.

 

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:06:35 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Girl Scout Testifies Before Congressional Panel on Dangers of Cyberbullying

[US] Girl Scout Dominique Napolitano testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Healthy Families and Communities Subcommittee on the issue of cyberbullying on Thursday, June 24, providing legislators a teenager's perspective on the increasingly widespread practice.

"Cyberbullying is not just a phase or behavior in which kids will be kids," Napolitano told the panel chaired by U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY). "Cyberbullying poses serious consequences to the health and safety of all children."

Dominique was among a core group of Girl Scouts who helped develop LMK (http://lmk.girlscouts.org), a leading online safety Web site developed by Girl Scouts in collaboration with Microsoft's Windows division. The site is unique because it is designed to cover such topics as cyberbullying, online sexual predators and cybersecurity from the perspective of young people. Twenty-three Girl Scouts working with Internet safety expert Parry Aftab have developed the online safety tips and advice for parents and young boys and girls.

 

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010 8:02:01 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 23, 2010
International experts seek to identify common responses to the global challenge of cyber crime

CTO Conference, London on 17-18 June 2010 - A two-day international forum on Cybersecurity- aimed to identify, outline and set in motion effective to crimes that take place in the cyber world. The forum was organised by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) in conjunction with the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the UK Cabinet Office of Cyber Security (OCS).

At the conference , ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) - A Framework for International Cooperation in Cybersecurity, Initiative was presented and very much welcomed by CTO participants.

Delivering the key note address, Rt Hon Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, Minister of State for Security and Counter-Terrorism, spoke of her commitment to tackling the complex issues surrounding cyber security, including Cyber-crime and Cyber-espionage. She also stressed the critical importance of international cooperation by like-minded countries and the vital role of International organisations such as the UN-sponsored Internet Governance Forum, the International Telecommunications Union and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation itself.

Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, the Chief Executive Office of the CTO echoed these sentiments and added that the CTO is always keen to collaborate with sister agencies such as ITU in order to develop the capacity of its members to manage and develop their ICT sectors. ICT enabling governance and society brings along with it associated risks requiring innovative strategies of which Cybersecurity is a key element. That was the primary reason for the CTO to organise this forum and the number of participants and the engagement of organsiations from both public and private sectors justifies the CTO's decision to undertake the organising of such an event.

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ITU's activities on Cybersecurity can be found here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 5:18:24 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 17, 2010
Man Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison For Child Exploitation

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein, Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

 

(Source: Baltimore FBI)

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Baltimore FBI

Thursday, June 17, 2010 3:01:48 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Facebook Users Warned Of 'Likejacking' Scam

Internet security firm Sophos has warned Facebook users to be on the alert for a scam which sends a spam message to all of their friends on the social network. Sophos, in a pair of blog posts late Monday, said "hundreds of thousands" of Facebook users have fallen for the scam which it dubbed "likejacking." It said some Facebook users had received a message such as "This man takes a picture of himself EVERYDAY for 8 YEARS!!" and were encouraged to click on a link. "This of course posts a message to your newsfeed, your friends see it and click on it, and so it spreads," Sophos said.

That followed a similar scam that spread on Facebook the week before involving a fake posting tagged as the "sexiest video ever," according to Sophos.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Wednesday, June 02, 2010 5:01:34 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Shock At Sydney Teenager's 'Facebook Murder'

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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BBC

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 4:05:13 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 10, 2010
Should there be a Geneva Convention for fighting cyberwar?

The term "cyberwar" has been bandied about in recent years as a catchall term for the hackers stealing credit card numbers or spreading spam, but also much more nefarious schemes such as breaking into a electricity grid. At a recent cybersecurity conference, one Microsoft security executive said we might need global rules on how to fight such threats.

Scott Charney, vice president of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group, spoke at the Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit in Dallas last week and said there needs to be a distinction between cybercriminals merely stealing money and cyberwar, possibly conducted by nation-states, that is aimed at crippling a target in another country, such as a power grid or an oil pipeline. An Associated Press report on the conference, which was picked up by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper, quotes Charney as saying that international treaties designed to fight cyberwar are difficult to establish because of the murky nature of what "cyberwar" is.

The United Nations last month rejected a Russian proposal for a new cybercrime treaty, leaving in place a 2001 treaty that Russia opposes because it gives foreign governments too much leeway to pursue cybercriminals across borders.

"Lots of times, there's confusion in these treaty negotiations because of lack of clarity about which problems they're trying to solve," Charney said.

In a paper that accompanied his talk, Charney also wrote that if the concern is that countries need to brace for a cybersecurity "Pearl Harbor," that it needs to be made clear on what type of attacks governments can respond. "If the concern is an electronic Pearl Harbor, perhaps part of the response is an electronic `Geneva Convention' that protects the rights of noncombatants."

The notion of an electronic Pearl Harbor has come up before on this blog. I wrote about it after attending the RSA Conference 2010 in San Francisco in March. There a panel of cybersecurity experts warned that a cyberattack could occur that could cripple U.S. infrastructure if we're not prepared for it. Richard Clarke, a national security advisor to the previous three U.S. presidents, also proposed a cyber security treaty, but lumped together criminal cyber attacks and state-sponsored attacks.

 

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Monday, May 10, 2010 9:54:00 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 06, 2010
eNACSO launches Agenda for Action

eNACSO launches its Agenda for Action at the international conference “Protecting Children Online” on 6th May 2010. The eNACSO Agenda for Action includes recommendations to governments, industry and other stakeholders on how to create a safer online environment for children and young people.

Download the Agenda for Action here.

Thursday, May 06, 2010 11:30:50 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Fake Anti-virus Peddlers Outmaneuvering Legitimate AV

Purveyors of fake anti-virus or “scareware” programs have aggressively stepped up their game to evade detection by legitimate anti-virus programs, according to new data from Google.

In a report being released today, Google said that between January 2009 and the end of January 2010, its malware detection infrastructure found some 11,000 malicious or hacked Web pages that attempted to foist fake anti-virus on visitors. The search giant discovered that as 2009 wore on, scareware peddlers dramatically increased both the number of unique strains of malware designed to install fake anti-virus as well as the frequency with which they deployed hacked or malicious sites set up to force the software on visitors.

Fake anti-virus attacks use misleading pop-ups and videos to scare users into thinking their computers are infected and offer a free download to scan for malware. The bogus scanning programs then claim to find oodles of infected files, and victims who fall for the ruse often are compelled to register the fake anti-virus software for a fee in order to make the incessant malware warnings disappear. Worse still, fake anti-virus programs frequently are bundled with other malware. What’s more, victims end up handing their credit or debit card information over to the people most likely to defraud them.

 

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010 8:49:30 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 23, 2010
FCC gets into cybersecurity business

Wednesday was a busy day at the [U.S.] Federal Communications Commission, with National Broadband Plan related notices on the CableCard, Universal Service Fund, and roaming access issues out the door. Another interesting item was a Notice of Inquiry on whether the agency should launch a voluntary cybersecurity certification program.

In a nutshell, the proposed program's private sector auditors or the FCC would periodically run security evaluations of various telecommunications services. Companies that passed the program's muster could then market their networks as FCC cyber security compliant.

It's not hard to make a pitch for these kind of programs, given all the cybersecurity horror stories. The agency's Notice outlines what's at stake:

"In today’s interconnected world, an increasingly greater amount of the nation’s daily business depends on our rapidly growing broadband communications infrastructure. Banking, investment and commercial interests routinely rely on the durability and security of IP-based networks to move capital and to track goods and services around the globe. To put this development in perspective, while our nation’s total GDP was just over $14T last year, two banks in New York move over $7T per day in transactions. . . ."

But the open-ended questions that the FCC asks in its inquiry suggest that the Commission knows that the case for this kind of project isn't open and shut. Would the program "create a significant incentive for providers to increase the security of their systems and improve their cybersecurity practices?" the NOI asks. And it also wonders if "public knowledge of providers' cybersecurity practices would contribute to broader implementation by industry."

Another question the FCC might want to ask is, should individual government agencies coordinate this kind of activity, or should a broader cross-industry certification program be established? The probe comes in tandem with an inquiry on the survivability of the nation's broadband networks.

 

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Friday, April 23, 2010 1:11:30 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Nine Year-Old Blamed For US School System Hack

Police hunting a hacker who had attacked a US school's systems found themselves cornering a "very intelligent" 9 year old instead, it has emerged. When passwords for teachers at Spring Hill Elementary, Virginia, were changed without authorisation the school board initially thought a hacker had broken into the school district's Blackboard system. Police were called in to investigate in mid-March and were quickly able to trace the incident back to a PC at the home of a 9 year-old school student.

The youngster's mother was initially chief suspect in the hack but after speaking to her and and her son police came to the surprising conclusion that they were dealing with a 'kindergarden' hacker.

 

(Source: The Register)

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The Register

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 1:36:56 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 19, 2010
Tool Aims To Help Kids Avoid ‘Digital Abuse’

Is it cyberbullying if kids post mean comments and then say they were “just joking”? Is it wrong for a boy to pressure his girlfriend to send racy text messages? For teenagers, these questions don’t necessarily have clear answers. Associated Press MTV is trying to get teens themselves to support each other in standing up to behavior that crosses over into “digital abuse” — use of technologies such as texting and social networking to bully, harass and intimidate people. The network introduced a new online tool called Over the Line this week that allows young people to post about their problem and have peers say whether the behavior is acceptable. The posts and comments are moderated, to make sure bullying doesn’t become a problem in the tool itself.

 

(Source: The Wall Street Journal)

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The Wall Street Journal

Monday, April 19, 2010 1:44:34 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 16, 2010
Study: Young Adults Do Care About Online Privacy

The report, from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania, is among the first quantitative studies looking at young people's attitudes toward privacy as government officials and corporate executives alike increasingly grapple with such issues.

Among the findings:

• Most people — 86 percent — believe that anyone who posts a photo or video of them on the Internet should get their permission first, even if that photo was taken in public. Among young adults 18 to 24, 84 percent agreed — not far from the 90 percent among those 45 to 54.

• Forty percent of adults ages 18 to 24 believe executives should face jail time if their company uses someone's personal information illegally — the same as the response among those 35 to 44 years old.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Friday, April 16, 2010 11:12:17 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 15, 2010
How Security Professionals Monitor Their Kids

Cell phones, texting, IM, e-mail, Facebook, MySpace -- kids are interconnected today in ways hardly imagined two decades ago. But these technology-based communication platforms also enable new forms of an age-old parenting strategy: monitoring your kids.

Is it any easier to put the proper measures in place to ensure your child's security since you already have an expertise in this area? Or do you go overboard because of you are hyperattuned to risk? And what is the right balance of freedom and guidance to provide for kids? Turns out it was tricky issue before social networking, and remains tricky now. Here are views and strategies collected from an array of security professionals.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Thursday, April 15, 2010 1:23:34 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
US Cyberspace Policy Review

The US President directed a 60-day, comprehensive, “clean-slate” review to assess U.S. policies and structures for cybersecurity. Cybersecurity policy includes strategy, policy, and standards regarding the security of and operations in cyberspace, and encompasses the full range of threat reduction, vulnerability reduction, deterrence, international engagement, incident response, resiliency, and recovery policies and activities, including computer network operations, information assurance, law enforcement, diplomacy, military, and intelligence missions as they relate to the security and stability of the global information and communications infrastructure.

The President’s cybersecurity policy official should, working with departments and agencies, strengthen and integrate interagency processes to formulate and coordinate international cybersecurity-related positions. In addition, the Federal government—continuing the long-term history of collaboration with the private sector—should develop a proactive engagement plan for use with international standards bodies. This would include taking stock of current policies and coordinating the development, refinement, or reaffirmation of positions to ensure that the full range of cybersecurity-related economic, national security, public safety, and privacy interests are taken into account.

The US Cyberspace Policy Review can be found here

ITU's activities on Cybersecurity can be found here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010 10:43:11 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Congress Tackles Key Cybersecurity Initiatives

Congress, back this week from spring break, isn't wasting time tackling some key cybersecurity and IT security-related initiatives.

Within the next few weeks, Congressional committees will hold sessions to tackle some of the hottest infosec-related items, including the confirmation hearing on Army Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander to be military cyber commander, markup sessions on bills to fund cybersecurity research and development and realign the National Institute of Standards and Technology's laboratories and a hearing on combating cyber crime and identity theft.

Alexander Confirmation Hearing

Thursday's Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing comes nearly 10 months after Alexander was nominated by President Obama to be the first military cyber commander. If confirmed, he would retain his current job, director of the National Security Agency, and be promoted to full general. No one is suggesting that Alexander won't be confirmed, but concerns have been raised that having the same officer overseeing the cyber command and NSA poses potential conflicts: Should the top spy also be the general in charge of protecting the computer systems and networks employed to support the nation's warfighters?

Indeed, it's been questions about that dual role that has delayed the confirmation process. As we reported last month, the committee sent a questionnaire to Alexander on March 6 seeking answers about how he would balance the two jobs. Though the NSA is a DoD agency, it works with civilian agencies to secure federal IT, raising additional concerns about potential military involvement in civilian matters. "They are working through some of the hard problems and that is what the reason for the delay is," James Lewis, senior fellow at the Center for International and Strategic Studies and expert on government and military cybersecurity policy, told GovInfoSecurity.com.

 

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010 10:08:57 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Teen Suicide Puts Spotlight On High-Tech Bullying

The case of a teenager in Massachusetts who killed herself after a relentless, months-long bullying campaign shows how the common schoolyard behavior is evolving in dangerous new ways online.

Six students face felony charges in the death of Phoebe Prince, 15, who hanged herself in January after being subjected to verbal assault and threats of physical harm. Some harassment occurred online on Facebook, in text messages and in other high-tech forms, a contemporary development in the age-old practice, experts said.

 

(Source: Reuters)

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Reuters

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 10:23:54 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Facebook Urged To Add 'Panic Button' For Children

A British child protection agency said it has pressed Facebook to add "panic buttons" to its pages after the murder of a teenager was linked to the site. Jim Gamble, chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), said the social networking giant did not agree to his demands outright at a meeting in Washington but he felt they were moving in the right direction. Speaking after a four-hour meeting Monday, Gamble said Facebook was close to "doing the right thing" but urged the website to turn "words into action."

Calls have since grown for the inclusion of the buttons -- which allow youngsters who feel threatened online to quickly contact a number of sources of help, such as CEOP or anti-bullying helplines. Politicians, police and anti-bullying groups have voiced outrage that the online giant will not bow to demands to include the system.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 10:20:16 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 12, 2010
Kerry, Gillibrand Introduce Legislation To Strengthen America’s Cybersecurity Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today introduced legislation that will strengthen the ability of the United States to develop a clear and coordinated strategy for international cyberspace and cybersecurity policy. The bill will create the framework for coordinating our efforts with other countries to defend against cyberattacks that threaten our power stations, telecommunications systems and financial markets.

The International Cyberspace and Cybersecurity Coordination Act of 2010 will authorize the creation of a senior coordinator at the State Department, with the rank and status of Ambassador at Large. This person will be the principal advisor to the Secretary of State on international cyberspace and cybersecurity issues. The coordinator will provide strategic direction for United States government policy and programs aimed at addressing cyberspace and cybersecurity issues overseas. The bill will ensure the Administration develops a clear and coordinated strategy for international cyber engagement, including considering the utility of negotiating a multilateral framework that would provide internationally acceptable principles to mitigate cyberwarfare.

"Just as the physical safety of America is under constant threat from those who would do us harm, we are also engaged in a battle over the control of information in cyberspace and need to build better defenses against potential attacks on our infrastructure," said Chairman Kerry. "We must do everything we can to forestall the possibility of cyberwarfare and create a multilateral framework that will persuade countries to cooperate on pressing cyber issues. This bill is the first step to better organize U.S. efforts to develop a coordinated strategic approach to international cyberspace and cybersecurity issues by designating a single diplomat responsible for U.S. cyber policy overseas."

 

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Monday, April 12, 2010 10:14:12 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 01, 2010
Silicon cockroaches, 'dirty' IPv4 addresses and other Internet oddities
The world's leading Internet engineers see many surprising trends occurring under the covers of this complex network environment. Among their findings are the evolution of silicon cockroaches — tiny, mobile, unattended wireless devices — and "dirty" Internet address space that can't be used by network operators. Here are a few eye-openers about what’s really going on in the Internet infrastructure that were discussed at a meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) held in Anaheim last week.

Watch out for silicon cockroaches. Network operators should prepare for an infestation of silicon cockroaches, a term used to describe Internet-connected devices such as mobile sensors, bio-medical systems and RFID-powered asset trackers that operate without human administration. Aaron Falk, chair of the Internet Research Task Force, listed silicon cockroaches as a key factor in the Internet becoming a network of things, rather than a network of computers, in the future. Falk said 15 billion devices could be hooked up to the Internet by 2015, a figure that will be "orders of magnitude bigger" than the number of Internet-connected people. Silicon cockroaches pose several threats to network operators, including naming, security and management headaches that require additional research, Falk said.

 

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Thursday, April 01, 2010 10:05:37 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Study Looks at the Amount of Spam Over IPv6

A study conducted by RIPE Labs indicates that about 1.89% of spam are received over IPv6.

"With the increased deployment of IPv6, we were curious to see how much the amount of spam sent over IPv6 increases. We looked at the e-mail system of the RIPE NCC and produced some statistics that could be seen as an indication for the overall trend of spam sent over IPv6," says RIPE in a blog post explaining the analysis. Group also notes that the study was based on one week’s worth of data and that it excluded messages already rejected by blacklisting and greylisting.

 

RIPE Labs: Spam over IPv6

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Thursday, April 01, 2010 9:52:09 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Interpol Launches G8 'Most Wanted' Child Sex Offender Site

International police agency Interpol launched Monday a "most wanted" site for suspected child sex offenders across the Group of Eight (G8) most industrialised nations. The "G8 Wanted Child Sex Offender" site, accessible via Interpol's homepage (www.interpol.int), draws together information from G8 members the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia.

It includes photographs of people wanted on charges of abuse and enables the public to access to information about how to report missing sex offenders who may have crossed borders.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 4:18:21 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
WIPO Sees Decrease In Cybersquatting Complaints, Warns Of Domain Name Expansion

The expansion of internet domain names as proposed is worrying to trademark owners as a significant number cybersquatting cases continue to be filed in the World Intellectual Property Organization dispute resolution system, WIPO said this week. Meanwhile internet intermediaries should play a bigger role in the fight against trademark infringement, WIPO officials said.

Complaints filed with the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) in 2009 decreased by 9.5 percent compared to the previous year. WIPO is the recipient of over half of global internet domain dispute cases, it said. However, complaints filed at WIPO in 2009, though down, covered “the highest number of individual domain names in a given year,” as opposed to collective filings, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said during an 18 March press conference at the United Nations.

 

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010 10:45:49 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 22, 2010
To fight scammers, Russia cracks down on .ru domain

In a bid to cut down on fraud and inappropriate content, the organization responsible for administering Russia's .ru top-level domain names is tightening its procedures.

Starting April 1, anyone who registers a .ru domain will need to provide a copy of their passport or, for businesses, legal registration papers. Right now, domains can be set up with no verification - a practice that has allowed scammers to quickly set up .ru domains under bogus names. The changes will help Russia align its rules with international best practices, said Olga Ermakova, informational projects manager with the Coordination Center for the .ru top-level domain, in an e-mail interview. The .ru administrators care about the "cleanness" of the domain, she added. "We don't need negative content, and such content is often [created] by unknown users."

Loopholes in the domain name system help spammers, scammers and operators of pornographic Web sites to avoid detection on the Internet by concealing their identity. Criminals often play a cat-and-mouse game with law enforcement and security experts, popping up on different domains as soon as their malicious servers are identified.

Criminals in eastern Europe have used .ru domains for a while, registering domain names under fake identities and using them to send spam or set up command-and-control servers to send instructions to networks of hacked computers. With the new domain registration requirements, it will be more difficult for criminals to continue with business as usual. At the very least, the requirement that registrants must submit paper documents will make setting up domains a more costly and time-consuming process.

 

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Monday, March 22, 2010 11:24:38 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 18, 2010
Cybercrime's bulletproof hosting exposed - Zeus botnets' tangled web

Researchers at RSA have identified the network framework that endows some of the worlds most notorious botnets with always-on connections that are virtually immune from takedowns.

At the network's heart are the servers that shepherd tens of thousands of infected PCs so they continue to send spam, spread malware, and stay updated with the latest bot software. By maintaining multiple conduits between these master control channels and the outside world, malware gangs are able to create highly redundant networks that are extremely difficult for authorities and whitehats to shut down.

"What they've worked really hard to do for themselves is build a spiderweb of connections to the outer ring if the outer ring were the internet at large," Sean Brady, manager of RSA's identity protection and verification group, told The Register. "As you start picking off threads, they work to reroute, to crawl along different threads."

 

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Thursday, March 18, 2010 9:37:17 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Egypt regulator enforces Internet voice call ban

Egypt has begun enforcing a ban on international calls made through mobile internet connections, the head of the telcoms regulator told Reuters on Tuesday, potentially boosting voice revenues at landline monopoly Telecom Egypt. The ban will apply to the three mobile operators in Egypt -- Mobinil, Etisalat Egypt and Vodafone Egypt -- who offer internet access for computers via USB and other mobile modems, as well as via mobile phone.

"The ban is on Skype on mobile internet, not on fixed, and this is due to the fact it is against the law since it bypasses the legal gateway," said Amr Badawy, the executive president of the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA).

 

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Thursday, March 18, 2010 9:28:51 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 12, 2010
Internet 'in running' for Nobel Peace Prize

The internet is among a record 237 individuals and organisations nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

The number of nominations surpasses last year's record of 205 nominations. The internet's nomination has been championed by the Italian version of Wired magazine for helping advance "dialogue, debate and consensus". The director of the Nobel Institute, Geir Lundestad, told BBC News that the organisation had received "thousands of nominations" for the coveted prize.

 

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Friday, March 12, 2010 9:43:05 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Procurement Policy Note – Blocking access to web pages depicting child sexual abuse
This Procurement Policy Note (PPN) addresses the requirement for Departments (including their agencies, offices and NDPBs) to ensure that when specifying for internet related services they include a requirement to block access to web pages depicting child sexual abuse.

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Find out more about the ITU's Child Online Protection Initiative

Tuesday, March 09, 2010 2:47:35 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UK internet safety campaign 'Click Clever, Click Safe' launched

To coincide with Safer Internet Day, the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) has launched its new public awareness campaign: ‘Click Clever, Click Safe’.

The campaign highlights a new online green cross code: ‘Zip it, Block it, Flag it’ to help parents, children and young people understand the behaviours that will enable them to enjoy the internet safely. To help children enjoy the internet safely, the Code is designed to act as an everyday reminder of simple good behaviours, to help children and young people avoid common risks online as well as to help parents talk to your children about the internet.

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Find out more about the ITU's Child Online Protection Initiative

Tuesday, March 09, 2010 2:43:15 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Ashleigh Hall Facebook Murder: Lessons Must Be Learned
Alan Johnson said UK and US authorities were working on ways to flag up when a convicted sex offender goes online. It follows the sentencing of Peter Chapman, 33, on Monday, to a minimum of 35 years for the kidnap and killing of Ashleigh Hall in Sedgefield in October. The sex offender contacted her via Facebook. The Lib Dems have also called for better internet monitoring.

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Find out more about ITU's Child Online Protection Initiative

Tuesday, March 09, 2010 2:35:53 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 03, 2010
UK National Theatre hack forces password reset

Some 17,000 culture vultures registered to the UK's National Theatre website need to reset their passwords after the site was hacked.

The 20 February attack hit systems storing the logins of 17,000 (or around three per cent) of the 500,000 plus registered with the site. Only email, password, name and contact information was disclosed by the hack. Motives and perpetrators remain unidentified. A spokeswoman emphasised that database systems holding credit and debit card details were not affected by the hack. The NT has sent out email alerts (copy below) to affected customers on Monday apologising for the security snafu.

 

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010 10:01:45 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
German high court says telecom, e-mail data cannot be retained

Germany's highest court on Tuesday overturned a law allowing authorities to retain data on telephone calls and e-mail traffic for help in tracking criminal networks.

A law ordering data on calls made from mobile or landline telephones and e-mail exchanges be retained for six months for possible use by criminal authorities violated Germans' constitutional right to private correspondence, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled. In its ruling, the court said the law failed to sufficiently balance the need for personal privacy against that for providing security.

“The disputed instructions neither provided a sufficient level of data security, nor sufficiently limited the possible uses of the data,” the court said.

 

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010 9:41:24 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 01, 2010
US government rescinds 'leave internet alone' policy

The US government’s policy of leaving the Internet alone is over, according to Obama’s top official at the Department of Commerce.

Instead, an “Internet Policy 3.0” approach will see policy discussions between government agencies, foreign governments, and key Internet constituencies, according to Assistant Secretary Larry Strickling, with those discussions covering issues such as privacy, child protection, cybersecurity, copyright protection, and Internet governance.

The outcomes of such discussions will be “flexible” but may result in recommendations for legislation or regulation, Strickling said in a speech at the Media Institute in Washington this week. The new approach is a far cry from a US government that consciously decided not to intrude into the internet’s functioning and growth and in so doing allowed an academic network to turn into a global communications phenomenon.

 

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Monday, March 01, 2010 10:58:51 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 26, 2010
MS uses court order to take out Waledac botnet

Microsoft has won a court-issued take-down order against scores of domains associated with controlling the spam-spewing Waledac botnet.

The software giant's order allows the temporary cut-off of traffic to 277 Internet domains that form command and control nodes for the network of compromised machines. Infected (zombie) machines are programmed to regularly poll these control points for instructions and spam templates.

The .com domains, registered in China, will be sin-binned by VeriSign, at least temporarily decapitating the network. Microsoft estimates that Waledac was one of the 10 largest botnets in the US and a major distributor of spam for online (unlicensed) pharmacies, knock-off goods and other tat, as explained in a blog posting by its legal team.

"Waledac is estimated to have infected hundreds of thousands of computers around the world and, prior to this action, was believed to have the capacity to send over 1.5 billion spam emails per day. In a recent analysis, Microsoft found that between December 3-21, 2009, approximately 651 million spam emails attributable to Waledac were directed to Hotmail accounts alone, including offers and scams related to online pharmacies, imitation goods, jobs, penny stocks and more."

 

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Friday, February 26, 2010 10:23:51 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 25, 2010
Antitrust incoming? Google hit by EU complaint, FCC filing

Shopping comparison site Foundem this week fired the opening shots in the coming Google antitrust battle, with a complaint to the European Commission and a filing with the US Federal Communications Commission accusing Google of posing "an immediate threat to competition and innovation." The US filing is in response to the FCC's net neutrality enquiry, and seeks to have search neutrality included in FCC rule-making.

German shopping site Ciao, which has been owned by Microsoft since 2008, and French legal search service ejustice.fr have also filed complaints with Europe. The data in the filing has also been passed to the Commission, Foundem co-founder Shivaun Raff told The Register. In it, with the help of data commissioned from ComScore, Foundem seeks to show that what Google calls "Universal Search" places Google services in prominent and preferential positions within its search results, giving the company an unassailable competitive advantage. "They're turning an ostensibly neutral search engine into an incredibly powerful marketing channel for their own services," said Raff.

 

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Thursday, February 25, 2010 10:00:07 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Plan for top-level pornography domain gets reprieve

A plan to create a specific area of the Internet for pornography has been given a reprieve by a distinguished panel of judges.

The panelists - who included a former International Court of Justice judge - told Internet overseeing body ICANN in a majority decision that it was wrong to reject an application for the top-level domain dot-xxx three years ago.

That decision made by ICANN’s Board in March 2007 was “not consistent with the application of neutral, objective, and fair documented policy,” the panel concluded. It also decided in favor of the company behind the dot-xxx application, ICM Registry, in three of the remaining four issues under dispute and ordered ICANN to pick up fees and expenses totaling $475,000. As a result of the panel’s declaration, the ICANN Board will now reconsider the dot-xxx application and decision at its meeting in Nairobi next month, opening the way for dot-xxx’s possible inclusion into the Internet’s “root.”

 

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010 10:28:13 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Domain Name Registration Now 192 Million Worldwide

New domain name registrations in the fourth quarter of 2009 reached 3.7 million domain name registrations per month totaling close to 11 million new domain name registrations across all of the Top-Level Domains (TLDs) in the last quarter of 2009, according the latest Domain Name Brief by VeriSign. "The base of country code Top-Level Domain Names (ccTLDs) rose to 78.6 million domain names, a three percent increase quarter over quarter and a 10 percent increase year over year. In terms of total registrations, .com continues to have the highest base followed by .cn (China), .de (Germany), .net and .uk (United Kingdom)."

 

The VeriSign Domain Report (Feb. 2010)

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010 9:59:18 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Cyber attacks will 'catastrophically' spook public, warns GCHQ

A digital attack against the UK causing even minor damage would have a "catastrophic" effect on public confidence in the government, GCHQ has privately warned Whitehall.

The Cheltenham spy agency's new Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC) makes the prediction in a document prepared for Cabinet Office and seen by The Register. Growing reliance on the internet to deliver public services will "quickly reach a point of no return", meaning "any interruption of broadband access becomes intolerable and will have serious impacts on the the economy and public well being", CSOC says.

"A successful cyber attack against public services would have a catastrophic impact on public confidence in the government, even if the actual damage caused by the attack were minimal," it adds.

 

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010 9:52:12 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 19, 2010
One and Two Character .Info Domain Names on the Way

.Info registry Afilias is asking ICANN to approve a plan to offer one and two character .info domain names for registration. As with other newer gTLDs, ICANN originally reserved all one and two character domains from being registered.

Afilias is modeling its plan after Neustar’s launch of one and two character .biz domain names. There will be a three step process:

1. Requests for Proposal, where anyone can submit a proposal for developing a particular name. Afilias will award domains to RFPs that meet its goal of broadening awareness of .info.

2. Auction of any domain not given during the RFP

3. Open registration

During Neustar’s one character auction, the top sale was e.biz for $66,001. Many other one character .biz domains sold for $5,000-$15,000. It is still running two character auctions, with most sales under $1,000. The biggest deal to come out of the RFP process was Overstock.com, which picked up O.biz.

 

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Friday, February 19, 2010 10:19:53 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Almost 2,500 firms breached in ongoing hack attack

Criminal hackers have penetrated the networks of almost 2,500 companies and government agencies in a coordinated campaign that began 18 months ago and continues to steal email passwords, login credentials, and other sensitive data to this day, a computer security company said.

The infections by a variant of the Zeus botnet began in late 2008 and have turned more than 74,000 PCs into remote spying platforms that have siphoned highly proprietary information out of at least 10 federal agencies and thousands of companies, according to research from NetWitness, a Herndon, Virginia-based network forensics firm. Many of the victims are Fortune 500 firms in the financial, energy, and high technology industries.

 

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Friday, February 19, 2010 10:06:59 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 18, 2010
Google back in court for book deal

Google is in court later today New York to face critics of its agreement with US publishers to digitise the world's books.

Judge Denny Chin will hear evidence from 26 critics of the deal. These include Amazon and Microsoft, along with several publishers. France and Germany will also give evidence, the Beeb reports. The case is seen by some as granting Google an effective monopoly on the world's literature.

The search giant's massive book scanning scheme is also under investigation from Department of Justice and European regulators.

 

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Thursday, February 18, 2010 2:16:15 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Experts reboot list of 25 most dangerous coding errors

Computer experts from some 30 organizations worldwide have once again compiled a list of the 25 most dangerous programming errors along with a novel way to prevent them: by drafting contracts that hold developers responsible when bugs creep into applications.

The list for 2010 bears a striking resemblance to last year's list, which was the first time a broad cross section of the world's computer scientists reached formal agreement on the most common programming pitfalls. The effort is designed to shift attention to the underlying mistakes that allow vulnerabilities to happen in the first place.

 

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010 10:33:53 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
77% of domain registrations stuffed with rubbish - Whois in charge? ICANN't tell

An incredible 77 per cent of internet domains - nearly 90 million internet addresses - are registered with false, incomplete, or unverifiable information.

An extensive review of 1,419 representative domain names conducted by overseeing body ICANN, including direct contact with over 500 individual domain owners, produced some startling results (PDF). Example: only 23 per cent of domain registrations display the owner's correct name and physical address.

Worse, an extraordinary 29 per cent of domains are registered with patently false or suspicious information - a shady sign of online criminalty. The remaining 48 per cent of faulty registrations are in a grey area where people are either unaware or unwilling to hand over their identifying details.

 

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010 10:14:04 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
YouTube support of IPv6 seen in dramatic traffic spike

Google has quietly turned on IPv6 support for its YouTube video streaming Web site, sending a spike of IPv6 traffic across the Internet that has continued from last Thursday until Monday. IPv6: The Essential Guide 

Industry observers say YouTube appeared to be supporting IPv6 in production mode, as opposed to running a test of the next-generation Internet protocol.

"On Thursday, midday California time, we saw a large amount of inbound IPv6 traffic, which we knew came from Google," says Martin Levy, Director of IPv6 Strategy at Hurricane Electric, a Fremont, Calif., ISP that runs one of the world's largest IPv6 backbone networks.

"IPv6 traffic came into ISPs from all over the world when Google turned up its IPv6 traffic on YouTube," Levy says. "IPv6 is being supported at many different Google data centers. We're talking about a traffic spike that is 30-to-1 type ratios. In other words, 30 times more IPv6 traffic is coming out of Google's data centers than before."

 

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010 9:44:40 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 16, 2010
10 places with an Internet top-level domain but hardly any people

Most country code top-level domains on the Internet represent areas with millions of people, such as .uk (United Kingdom), .ca (Canada), .de (Germany), .se (Sweden), and so on, but there a places where the population isn’t counted in the millions, or even thousands, that still have their very own top-level domain on the Internet. Some of them aren’t even inhabited.

IANA, the organization that administers the domain name system, bases its allocation of country code top-level domains on the standard country code list in ISO 3166-1 which defines codes for “the names of countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest.”

ccTLDs for 10 places with tiny populations 

 

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 9:22:17 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Scareware scams switch to social network smut lures

Scams which attempt to trick users into volunteering personal credentials in return for free pornography have moved over onto social networks.

More than nine out of ten (92 per cent) of such adult phishing scams recorded in January took place on social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo, according to the latest monthly security report from Symantec. Once fraudsters have snaffled personal credentials, surfers are often redirected to sites punting scareware scams rather than smut.

Scareware scams more commonly rely on manipulating search engine results for search terms in the news, such as the death of an athlete practising for the luge event at the winter Olympics. These results are poisoned so that surfers looking for videos of this tragedy (as explained by Sophos here) are instead redirected to anti-virus scan scam portals, which warn of non-existent malware risks in a bid to trick users into buying worthless scamware.

 

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 9:13:17 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UK.gov invests £4.3m in cyber-scam crackdown team

The UK government has launched a specialist cyber-enforcement team and allocated extra funding for Trading Standards as part of a campaign designed to clamp down on online scams.

OFT figures suggest online scams claim 3 million UK marks every year and result in losses of £3.5bn. Approaches most often arrive in the form of scam emails. The government is investing £4.3m over three years in a bid to clamp down on this growing source of crime. The money will allow the training and appointment of specialist trading standards enforcers in every region of England and in Scotland and Wales and the establishment of local computer labs.

 

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 9:08:03 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 12, 2010
European Commission Calls On Social Networking Companies To Improve Child Safety Policies

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 3:27:23 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Secret deal aims to scuttle internet pirates

Persistent illegal downloaders face having their internet links disconnected under a secret trade deal being negotiated by developed nations this week, according to activists and industry groups.

 

Leaked drafts of the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement say the world’s biggest developed nations want internet service providers to be more responsible for the content they distribute – and even cut off repeat infringers of copyright legislation.

 

Analysts say the agreement, if ratified, would transform copyright law in the US and European Union. So-called “three strike” laws have been contentious in the US and EU, in spite of aggressive lobbying from copyright holders such as record companies and film studios for countries to adopt them in order to curb illegal downloading.

 

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Friday, February 12, 2010 11:47:54 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Internet 2009 in numbers

What happened with the Internet in 2009?

How many websites were added? How many emails were sent? How many Internet users were there? This post will answer all of those questions and many more. Prepare for information overload, but in a good way. 

We have used a wide variety of sources from around the Web. A full list of source references is available at the bottom of the post for those interested. We here at Pingdom also did some additional calculations to get even more numbers to show you.

 

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Friday, February 12, 2010 10:49:13 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
LACNIC Announces Timeline for IPv6 Adoption in Latin America and Carribean Region

It is estimated that in three years time the addresses available for connecting to the Internet under the current protocol will be depleted. Faced with this situation, LACNIC is taking measures for supporting and promoting the adoption of IP version 6 within the region.

As a response to the forecasts prepared by several investigators indicating that by the year 2011 the central pool of version 4 (IPv4) Internet addresses could be completely depleted, LACNIC announces it is launching a regional campaign so that all the region's networks will be adapted to the new version 6 of the protocol (IPv6) before January 1st, 2011.

 

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Friday, February 12, 2010 10:27:30 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Using .ORG Directory to Find Haiti Relief Organizations

.ORG, The Public Interest Registry extends our deepest condolences to the millions of families, friends and neighbors affected by the horrific tragedy in Haiti. As we learn the extent of the earthquake's devastation and continue with emergency assistance, the need for our continued support and humanitarian efforts is critical. If you would like to make a donation or learn more about how you can help with the relief efforts, we recommend visiting the .ORG community, including sites such as http://www.redcross.org/, http://www.globalgiving.org/ and http://www.directrelief.org/.

 

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010 9:53:01 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Press release: ITU celebrates the Safer Internet Day 2010 with Save the Children and Telecom Italia

Safer Internet Day: institutions, social networks, companies and the voluntary sector, all working together on the “Use Your Head When Posting Online” Campaign.

From today: messages from “Absolute Zero” will be appearing on www.sicurinrete.it and www.itu.int/cop

The “Zero Assoluto” messages, advice and a video – also broadcast by channel La7 – to convince youngsters and adults to think twice before circulating personal pictures or posting suggestive photos

“More people know you than you would imagine. They look at your photos, they talk about you, and would like to meet you. Find out why ” This is the “headline board” message that has been circulating online the past few days through which promoters of the “Think before you post” campaign that will try to bring hundreds of thousands of young internet users to land at the www.sicurinrete.it web site. Here, the words of the “Zero Assoulto”, a video and key messages will invite those who “people” social networks to use their heads when posting online! That is, to think carefully before putting their or others’ privacy at risk by publishing online personal data and pictures, maybe even ones that are suggestive or alluring, as is the case with sexting , a phenomenon which has by now become quite widespread even among Italian adolescents.

The cause of all this commotion on the Net is the Safer Internet Day. It will be celebrated tomorrow, a day established by the European Commission as a part of the Safer Internet programme that aims to promote safe and responsible use of the Internet and new technologies by younger users. In Italy, Save the Children and Adiconsum jointly administer this programme.

In line with the ITU (International telecommunication Union) Child Online Protection Initiative goals, 19 are the actors who have joined together for the first time to launch, on this day, the Think before you post: the very ample “sign” shows – all side by side – institutions, social networks, companies and organizers from the voluntary sector, in fact all the principal actors, each with their own levels and functions, that are concerned with the Internet, new media and minors: the Ministry for Equal Opportunity, the Ministry for Economic Development, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the National Centre for the fight against Child abuse images on the Internet run by the Postal and Communications Police, the Observatory for the fight against paedophilia and child pornography, the Protection of Privacy Watchdog, Save the Children, Adiconsum, the Italian Internet Provider Association (AIIP), Telecom Italia, Vodafone, Facebook, MySpace, Netlog, Virgilio, Google, Microsoft’s Windows Live, Skuola.net, and the La7 television channel.

New technologies have transformed internet users – and especially the youngest ones – into potential editors of information, pictures, films, etc. Photographs and videos can be shot and easily circulated by mobile phones, sent to a list of contacts, and loaded onto a blog or a social networking profile in no time.

Thanks to the possibility of posting personal pictures or information online offered by social networks, it has become much easier to trace a person through their photos, just as it is now easier to reconstruct his/her curriculum or aspects of his/her life. It’s also become possible to manage one’s online identity so as to be able to transform one’s self into a kind of “celebrity”.

All this can represent an opportunity for socialising, having fun, and even a means of forming new work relations. Many internet users, including many youngsters, do not always realise that whatever is published online, stays online and ends up being outside their control. A photo, maybe even one that’s suggestive, can be retrieved years later by a potential employer. The personal information contained within social networking profiles can be used for illegal purposes by unscrupulous persons.

The “Use Your Head When Posting Online” Campaign, which be found online at www.sicurinrete.it until the 12th of February, aims to sensitise youngsters and adults about the need to treat their personal data with greater care.

“Maybe you don’t even realise it, but when you chat, post, or publish online … your data becomes accessible and not just by you…at times, also by those you don’t want having access to it”, an “Absolute Zero”, for example, reminds the Net’s so many young users through an enjoyable video published on the campaign site’s home.

“A photo is forever! (and we’re not talking about diamonds…) “So, do think twice before publishing anything online” is the message that emerges when the big gift parcel on the home page is clicked on. Or, by clicking on another parcel, you’ll see “You want to use a sexy picture to provoke someone? The problem is what you might actually provoke…”

And there is also no shortage of advice and questions for adults: “When you publish something online you lose control over it. Always keep that in mind”. “The Internet is a public place like any other. Always ask yourself: and if the children should pass by?”

In the case of each of the messages it is therefore possible to reach a deeper level, with further ideas for reflection, as well as advice about how to best safeguard one’s privacy without having to give up the pleasures of the online community.

The Use Your Head When You Post Online Campaign also makes use of the TV spot produced by the European Commission for Safer Internet Day. It will be broadcast throughout Italy all day today by La7 within its daily programme schedule.

More information can be found at www.itu.int/cop
Tuesday, February 09, 2010 9:07:42 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Vegas not alone in wanting in on .vegas

The Las Vegas City Council will debate today whether to strike a deal with an Internet entrepreneur who seeks to use the Internet suffix .vegas — over the objections of Clark County officials and one local company who say the city is jumping the gun and in the process likely shortchanging Las Vegas and county taxpayers.

The council will consider endorsing a proposal by Dot Vegas Inc., to create the top-level Internet domain “.vegas” — a new suffix that could be used in addition to the familiar .com, .net, .gov or .org suffixes that end most Web addresses.The city’s interest is its bottom line: Every time someone registered a .vegas Web site name, they would pay a fee to the domain owner, who, in turn, would pay the city a portion of that fee. Dot Vegas is offering the city 75 cents per registration, or 10 percent of the gross revenues from future registrations.

The company did not return a call to the Sun for comment; the company’s attorney, Jay Brown, would not comment. Some Clark County officials question the city’s right to exclusively benefit from a .vegas domain. Because city limits end at Sahara Avenue and don’t include the Strip — the landmark commercial district that most people recognize as “Las Vegas” — some county officials say their government should share in any profits from the name.

 

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010 10:36:56 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Vegas not alone in wanting in on .vegas

The Las Vegas City Council will debate today whether to strike a deal with an Internet entrepreneur who seeks to use the Internet suffix .vegas — over the objections of Clark County officials and one local company who say the city is jumping the gun and in the process likely shortchanging Las Vegas and county taxpayers.

The council will consider endorsing a proposal by Dot Vegas Inc., to create the top-level Internet domain “.vegas” — a new suffix that could be used in addition to the familiar .com, .net, .gov or .org suffixes that end most Web addresses.The city’s interest is its bottom line: Every time someone registered a .vegas Web site name, they would pay a fee to the domain owner, who, in turn, would pay the city a portion of that fee. Dot Vegas is offering the city 75 cents per registration, or 10 percent of the gross revenues from future registrations.

The company did not return a call to the Sun for comment; the company’s attorney, Jay Brown, would not comment. Some Clark County officials question the city’s right to exclusively benefit from a .vegas domain. Because city limits end at Sahara Avenue and don’t include the Strip — the landmark commercial district that most people recognize as “Las Vegas” — some county officials say their government should share in any profits from the name.

 

Full Story

Wednesday, February 03, 2010 10:36:48 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Europe's Internet Kids Like To Keep It Real

Despite the prevalence and popularity of social networking sites like Facebook, almost a third of respondents said that they preferred to meet friends face-to-face, although 44 percent said the internet made it easier to keep in touch with them. More than seven in 10 children said their most common use of the Internet was for gaming, while 59 percent said that they used the worldwide web in the course of doing their homework. The youngsters from Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Poland also expressed a strong sense of social responsibility, with 90 percent saying it was important to look after the planet, and 74 percent saying they recycled regularly.

They've never known a world without the Internet, but they still prefer to meet their friends offline.

 

(Source: Reuters)

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Reuters

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 11:16:58 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 04, 2010
Microsoft Fights The Distribution Of Child-Exploitation Images With PhotoDNA

Thanks to efforts from Microsoft Research, criminals involved in child-exploitation will have less places to hide, especially when it comes down to the nooks and crannies of the Internet. Ernie Allen, president and CEO of National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) notes that while the Internet has created new opportunities for pedophiles to access content in the privacy of their own homes, and to expose themselves less to the risks associated with their illegal activities, work has been done to identify them and bring them to justice. At the same time, PhotoDNA is designed to help stop the distribution of child-exploitation images across the web.

NCMEC will be using a technology donated by Microsoft in order to produce blueprints of known images of children abuse.

 

(Source: Softpedia)

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Softpedia

Monday, January 04, 2010 1:48:30 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
10 fool-proof predictions for the Internet in 2020

Forty years after it was invented, the Internet is straining under the weight of cyber attacks, multimedia content and new mobile applications. In response, U.S. computer scientists are re-thinking every aspect of the Internet's architecture, from IP addresses to routing tables (see main story: 2020 Vision: Why you won't recognize the 'Net in 10 years) to overall Internet security. There are many views about how to fix the Internet's architecture, but there's widespread agreement about many aspects of the future Internet. Here's our list of 11 surefire bets for what the Internet will look like in a decade.

1. More people will use the Internet.

2. The Internet will be more geographically dispersed.

3. The Internet will be a network of things, not computers.

4. The Internet will carry exabytes — perhaps zettabytes — of content.

5. The Internet will be wireless.

6. More services will be in the cloud.

7. The Internet will be greener.

8. Network management will be more automated.

9. The Internet won't rely on always-on connectivity.

10. The Internet will attract more hackers.

 

Full Story

Monday, January 04, 2010 11:01:58 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Study Finds Sex Messaging Increasing Among Teens

Thirty percent of 17-year-olds with cell phones have received sexting photos or videos, while eight percent have sent them, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center. What's more, four percent of 12- to 17-year-olds admit they have texted sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images of themselves to someone else. Another 15 percent said they have received such images.

Meanwhile, laws and law-enforcement practices have emerged around sexting. The Pew report notes that some law-enforcement officers and district attorneys have begun prosecuting teens who create and share such images under laws generally reserved for producers and distributors of child pornography.

 

(Source: News Factor)

Full story

News Factor

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 2:37:17 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Internet Safety For Children Targeted

Lessons in using the internet safely are set to become a compulsory part of the curriculum for primary school children in England from 2011.

The lessons are one element of a new government strategy being unveiled called "Click Clever, Click Safe". Children will also be encouraged to follow an online "Green Cross Code" and block and report inappropriate content. The measures have been drawn up by the UK Council on Child Internet Safety, a new body comprising 140 organisations. The campaign intends to encourage children to not give out personal information on the web, block unwanted messages on social networks and report any inappropriate behaviour to the appropriate bodies, which may include the website, teachers or even police.

 

(Source: BBC)

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BBC

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 3:34:15 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 11, 2009
7-18 December: ITU programme at the UNFCCC ”iseeT@COP15” Kiosk to be held every day from 13.00 to 14.00 hours during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The 2009 exhibition of the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will focus on how information and communication technologies (ICTs) are helping to increase awareness and to support concrete action on climate change in both developing and developed countries.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is contributing a special programme of daily "business talks" by leaders in the ICT sector from both developing and developed countries which will be held every day from 13.00 to 14.00 hours from 7 to 18 December 2009.

More information on the ITU programme can be found at: http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/events/ict-kiosk-cop15.html

Friday, December 11, 2009 1:14:04 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
10 December: ITU-WIPO Side-event on "The effective use of ICTs and the IP system for mitigating climate change"

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organized a joint side-event with World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on "The effective use of ICTs and the IP system for mitigating climate change" where top decision-makers from governments, international organizations and industry shared their views and solutions on how ICTs can help to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change and debated over the potential role and impact of the intellectual property (IP) system in promoting the development of new technologies, and in leveraging access to technology.

More information on the programme can be found at: http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/events/itu-wipo-cop15.html 

More information on the ITU programme at the IseeTKiosk @ COP15 can be found at: http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/events/ict-kiosk-cop15.html

ITU and Climate Change

Friday, December 11, 2009 1:11:35 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Broadband will cut carbon by 5 per cent down under: PM

Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has announced that the country’s A$43 billion high-speed broadband network – now under construction - will reduce his country's carbon emissions by five per cent. It seems, the role that information and communication technologies (ICT) can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions has been accepted by at least one world leader, if not by many others.

The stand-up-and-be-counted guy is the Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd – who will be attending the global climate change meeting in Copenhagen this week. Speaking to a broadband conference in Sydney earlier today Mr. Rudd said the reduction in travel costs made possible by the use of telepresence video conferencing technology and the facilitation of smart metering energy usage monitoring are two reasons why the country’s National Broadband Network (NBN) will be successful in reducing the country’s carbon emissions by an impressive five per cent. “Together, the NBN and CPRS (carbon pollution reduction scheme) are critical to Australia's efforts to address climate change,” he said.

"It is also essential for many of the technologies that will help us reduce carbon emissions, improve health services, create a world class education system and improve opportunities for all Australians, no matter where they live,” he added.

Full article

More information on the ITU programme at the IseeTKiosk @ COP15 can be found at: http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/events/ict-kiosk-cop15.html

Friday, December 11, 2009 12:49:54 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Copenhagen: Google Launches Forest Monitoring Tool

COPENHAGEN — One of the major topics at the Copenhagen climate summit this week has been how can governments monitor and reduce deforestation, given that the removal of forests contributes to a fifth of the world’s global greenhouse gas emissions. The UN has suggested the REDD framework (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries) and negotiators have been deliberating over variations like REDD+ and REDD++ (sounds like a computer language).

Well, at the Copenhagen event on Thursday Google showed off a tool that helps collect and manage deforestation data, and which could come in very handy for groups backing these different forestry frameworks. Here’s how it works: Google takes the type of satellite data that it uses for its Google Earth mapping service — in this case satellite photos of forests over time — and marries it with measurement software developed by Greg Asner of Carnegie Institution for Science and Carlos Souza of Imazon. Google says Asner and Souza’s forest monitoring software tool, and others like it, have been “hampered by lack of access to satellite imagery data and computational resources for processing.”

Google then throws this all together into a tool that sits in Google’s “cloud” — cloud computing is distributed, on demand, scalable computing — and offers it up to researchers and policy makers via the web. That means researchers that might not have the resources to access this type of data and measurement tools, can access “terabytes of satellite imagery and thousands of computers” via Google’s prototype tool. Google says the deforestation measurement tool, which isn’t available to the public yet, will provide this valuable deforestation information more quickly, more easily, more cheaply, with increased security and privacy (hello climategate) and with a much larger impact on fighting climate change than has been previously available. And since it’s coming out of Google.org it will be a not-for-profit product. T

he idea highlights the role that information and communication technology can play in fighting climate change. At an event at the Copenhagen summit this afternoon, Microsoft’s sustainability officer Rob Bernard emphasized the role that ICT can play in providing research and collaboration among scientists. ICT is about unearthing and managing data, and that data can be used to make crucial decisions in reducing the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, explained Bernard. Both Microsoft and Google have a large presence, in terms of IT companies, at COP15.

More information on the ITU programme at the IseeTKiosk @ COP15 can be found at: http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/events/ict-kiosk-cop15.html 

ITU and Climate Change

Friday, December 11, 2009 12:41:46 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 03, 2009
‘Sexting’ Bullying Cited In Teen’s Suicide

The 13-year-old Florida girl sent a topless photo of herself to a boy in hope of gaining his attention. Instead, she got the attention of her school, as well as the high school nearby. The incessant bullying by classmates that followed when the photo spread put an emotional weight upon Hope that she ultimately could not bear.

Her death is only the second known case of a suicide linked to bullying after “sexting” — the practice of transmitting sexual messages or images electronically. In March, 18-year-old Jesse Logan killed herself in the face of a barrage of taunts when an ex-boyfriend forwarded explicit photos of her following their split. “As far as training them on the Internet and what to look at and what not to look at, yeah, we talked about it,”

 

(Source: MSNBC)

Full story

MSNBC

Thursday, December 03, 2009 3:01:59 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 26, 2009
eNACSO Launches Digital Manifesto

The European Union’s first dedicated NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online (eNACSO) launched its Digital Manifesto on 14 November 2009 during the Internet Governance Forum(IGF) in Egypt. ‘The global nature of the internet places a particular responsibility on international institutions and governments to take action at national and international level to ensure children are safe online’ says Dieter Carstensen, eNACSO Chair.

The Digital Manifesto will form part of eNACSO’s ‘Agenda for Action’ document which will be launched in Brussels in May 2010.

 

(Source: eNACSO)

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eNACSO

Thursday, November 26, 2009 5:19:51 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Cell Phones Risk Children Safety

That television set you discourage your children from watching may not be the greatest threat to their wellbeing. Instead, the mobile phone is the gateway in introducing children to the world of cyberspace, posing a great risk to their safety, a lobby group said Tuesday.

According to The Cradle, the unmonitored use of technology is increasingly exposing youngsters to the risk of harm and violence. "Only 24 per cent of children in the study reported to their parents or an authority of online or cell phone harassment,” Cradle programme manager Brian Weke told journalists. The study also revealed that 77 out of the 96, who had the incidences reported to them, took no action and ignored the seriousness of the matter.

 

(Source: Daily Nation)

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Daily Nation

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 11:35:04 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 23, 2009
DNS Survey Results Pandora's Box of Both Frightening and Hopeful Results, Says Cricket Liu

The fifth-annual survey of domain name servers (DNS) on the public Internet—called a "Pandora's box of both frightening and hopeful results"—was released today by The Measurement Factory in partnership with Infoblox.

Cricket Liu, Vice President of Architecture at Infoblox and author of O'Reilly & Associates' DNS and BIND, DNS & BIND Cookbook says: "Of particular interest is the enormous growth in the number of Internet-connected name servers, largely attributable to the introduction by carriers of customer premises equipment (CPE) with embedded DNS functionality. This equipment represents a significant risk to the rest of the Internet, as without proper access controls, it facilitates enormous DDoS attacks."

 

Full Story

Monday, November 23, 2009 4:06:34 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 16, 2009
Fraudsters Using Bogus and Legitimate Recruitment Sites to Con Job-Hunters Into Laundering Money

Reported today on BBC:"Police chiefs are urging people looking for work during the recession to be alert to online scams that trick them into laundering money. The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) says websites are currently being used to recruit 'money mules'. The 'mules are ordinary people who send and receive payments through their bank accounts to facilitate business."

Neil Schwartzman has also informed us of a related report by RSA FraudAction Research Lab based on several months of tracking various reshipping scams engineered by online fraudsters.

 

Full Story

Monday, November 16, 2009 10:52:18 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 13, 2009
Cyber-Bullying Now The Most Common Form Of Bullying

Nearly half of England's 14-year-olds have been a victim of bullying and cyber-bullying is now the joint most common form, according to new research.

The Government-commissioned research, conducted by the National Centre for Social Research, analysed bullying among more than 10,000 secondary school pupils in England aged 14-16. The initial findings show that 47 per cent of young people report being bullied at the age of 14. After cyberbullying - where children face taunts, threats and insults via the internet and mobile phones - and name calling, the most common type of bullying was teenagers being threatened with violence, being excluded by their friends and facing actual violence.

 

(Source: Telegraph)

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Telegraph

Friday, November 13, 2009 11:30:07 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 09, 2009
Ministers call for improved ICT policy

It's time to mobilise locally available resources to implement continental ICT priority projects, says SA's communications minister.

African ICT and communications ministers again called for the bridging of the digital divide, during a ministerial conference held in Johannesburg this week. The conference was in preparation of the African Union Heads of State and Government Summit, to be held in Addis Ababa, in January next year. The conference involved most of the 53 African Union member states, providing a platform for ministers to discuss and seek resolution to ICT challenges on the continent.

 

Full Story

Monday, November 09, 2009 6:17:34 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Framed For Child Porn — By A PC Virus

Pedophiles can exploit virus-infected PCs to remotely store and view their stash without fear they'll get caught. Pranksters or someone trying to frame you can tap viruses to make it appear that you surf illegal Web sites. Whatever the motivation, you get child porn on your computer — and might not realize it until police knock at your door.

An Associated Press investigation found cases in which innocent people have been branded as pedophiles after their co-workers or loved ones stumbled upon child porn placed on a PC through a virus. It can cost victims hundreds of thousands of dollars to prove their innocence.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Monday, November 09, 2009 4:51:27 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Internet-Related Child Porn On The Rise

Spain says Internet-related child pornography has risen tenfold in the past five years. Francisco Villanueva of the Interior Ministry says the number of cases has gone from 108 in 2004 to 1,024 last year. Other Internet-related crimes also rose.

Villanueva said Thursday that hacking has risen from 92 to 447 cases, and that bank fraud has more than doubled in the same period, from 509 cases to 1,954. He says piracy of intellectual property decreased slightly from 330 to 298 cases, but that if more resources are not dedicated to policing piracy, Spain could lose up to 300,000 jobs. Villanueva says Spain's cyber crime levels are similar to those of neighboring European countries.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Monday, November 09, 2009 4:50:33 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Nominet: 77% of British Consumers Prefer .UK Search Result over .COM

According to a report released today by Nominet, UK's domain name registry, 77% of British consumers prefer to use a .uk rather than a .com when searching for information on the Internet. The report also indicates that despite the current economic climate, the global domain name industry has seen an 8% growth with 187.6 million domain names registered worldwide. "Generic top level domains (gTLDs), such as .org and .com, have grown on average by 6% whilst the country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) including .uk and .de (the German registry) fared slightly better and together generated a 10% average growth in registrations," says Nominet. 

 

The Nominet Domain Name Industry Report 2009 

Full Story

 

Monday, November 09, 2009 4:05:36 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 30, 2009
Victim's Mother Warns About Social Networking After Man Charged With Killing

The 17-year-old’s body was dumped in a ditch after she sneaked out of her home on Sunday night to meet a boy she thought was 16, but who turned out to be 32. Her mother, Andrea Hall urged, “Tell your kids to be careful on the internet. Don't trust anybody and don't put your children on Facebook or other sites if they are under age. All we ask now is that people help the police in any way they can. We don't want any other child to be a victim.”

A 32-year-old man, of no fixed abode was due to appear at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court on Wednesday, charged with manslaughter and kidnap. The convicted sex offender was also charged with failing to notify a new address as required for sex offenders under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

 

(Source: Telegraph)

Full story

Telegraph

Friday, October 30, 2009 1:53:04 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Twitter Warns Of New Phishing Attack

Twitter warned users Tuesday of a new phishing scam on the social networking site. It's the latest in a series of scams that have plagued the site over the past year, designed to trick victims into giving up their user names and passwords.

"We've seen a few phishing attempts today, if you've received a strange DM and it takes you to a Twitter login page, don't do it!," Twitter wrote on its Spam message page. The message reads, "hi. this you on here?" and includes a link to a fake Web site designed to look like a Twitter log-in page. After entering a user name and password, victims enter an empty blogspot page belonging to someone named NetMeg99.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Friday, October 30, 2009 1:47:09 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Dead Girl 'Met Man On Internet'

A man is being questioned after the body of a teenager he is believed to have met on the internet was discovered in a field in County Durham.

Det Ch Insp Paul Harker said the case highlighted the dangers of meeting people on the internet, and urged parents to monitor their children's online habits. He said: "This is a very, very unusual event. My message in terms of meeting people from the internet is 'please do not do it unless you are absolutely certain it is safe'." He added: "Speak to them about it, speak to their friends, let them know the dangers of the internet."

 

(Source: BBC)

Full story

BBC 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 3:18:02 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, October 25, 2009
ICT's role in combating climate highlighted in the Doha Summit (Source: The Peninsula/ BY SATISH KANADY )

DOHA: Aviation industry leaders meeting here for three days from today will discuss a possible roadmap for “Green Aviation” to influence policymakers at the forthcoming Copenhagen climate summit.

The crucial Doha Aviation Summit will also discuss the public-private partnership in ensuring a carbon-free future and formulate a green agenda for the aviation industry.
IATA has been calling on governments to adopt a sectoral approach to emission reductions for long. The industry has committed to some tough targets, including carbon-neutral growth from 2020. At the Doha summit, Quentin Browell, Assistant Director, Aviation Environment, at IATA, will explain why each government needs to think globally to finetune the aviation industry’s strategy to fight climate change ...

Sunday, October 25, 2009 8:29:46 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 22, 2009
IPv6 addresses: North American ISPs are now grabbing for them over IPv4

U.S. ISPs are requesting more IPv6 addresses and fewer IPv4 addresses than ever before -- a sign that carriers are investing in the future amidst one of the deepest recessions in modern history.

The shift in IP address requests shows that North American carriers are getting ready for the long-anticipated upgrade of the Internet's main communications protocol from IPv4, the current standard, to the next-generation IPv6.

[What U.S. businesses are missing in their slow move to IPv6. | Despite businesses' faint interest, the shift to IPv6 is seen as an inevitable | Keep up on the latest networking news with our Technology: Networking newsletter. ]

 

Full Story

Thursday, October 22, 2009 3:30:31 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Girl 'Murdered After Meeting Men On Vampire Website'

A 15-year-old girl who posted her profile on a vampire website was allegedly murdered by two men who created a "fictional internet alter-ego" a court heard.

Carly Ryan's body was found by a swimmer on an Australian beach in 2007. Yesterday a father and son appeared before the South Australian supreme court accused of setting a trap that led to her alleged murder. The girl posted personal details and photographs of herself on the Gothic website www.vampirefreaks.com and soon began an internet romance with a fictitious teenager called Brandon.

 

(Source: Telegraph)

Full story

Telegraph

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 10:32:23 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 19, 2009
Asian TLDs bide their time on DNSSEC

According to a newsletter published by the DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) Deployment Coordination Initiative, Thailand's ".th"became the first country code top-level domain (ccTLD) in Asia to adopt the securiy protocol.

DNSSEC introduces security at the infrastructure level, encrypting DNS records using cryptographic signatures. The protocol has been established for years, but came into the spotlight again last year when security researcher Dan Kaminsky identified a fundamental flaw in the DNS. At that time, Cambridge University security expert Richard Clayton said the use of the encrypted protocol is one way to mediate the security loophole.

 

Full Story

Monday, October 19, 2009 5:22:50 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 16, 2009
dotNYC Applauds New York City Plan to Seek .NYC Web Address

Today's announcement that the City of New York will seek the .NYC web address makes New York the first U.S. city to seek a top-level domain. dotNYC LLC, a private company that for the last year has been meeting with city officials about the plan for the .NYC web address, is applying to become the city's operating partner.

Former Mayor Ed Koch, who supports the dotNYC effort to operate .NYC on the city's behalf, said: ".NYC is the best real estate deal since the Dutch bought Manhattan."

 

See more Video of Mayor Koch and Full Story

 

Friday, October 16, 2009 2:50:39 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Access to a minimum of 1 Mbit Internet connection available to everyone in Finland by July 2010

As of 1 July 2010 1 Mbit Internet connection will be defined as a universal service.

This means that telecom operators defined as universal service providers must be able to provide every permanent residence and business office with access to a reasonably priced and high-quality connection with a downstream rate of at least 1 Mbit/s.

The length of the transition period before the universal service obligation starts has been reduced by six months from the previous plan.

A decree of Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications states that by the end of 2009 the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority will determine the telecom operators that will be imposed a universal service obligation. The service providers may decide the technology they wish to use for the service.

 

Full story

Friday, October 16, 2009 2:43:59 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 15, 2009
Is Social Networking Bad For Our Children?

It’s the F word question that all parents now dread. “Can I go on Facebook?” your eleven year-old bullies you over dinner, declaring that absolutely everybody else in her class is not only on Facebook, but also on Twitter as well as Bebo and Orkut and other peculiarly named social networks.

So how should parents in today’s social media age deal with the F word question? Is social networking bad for children’s brains? Should we allow our kids to freely expose their identities on the Internet?

 

(Source: Telegraph)

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Telegraph

Thursday, October 15, 2009 1:44:18 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Sweden's Internet broken by DNS mistake

Last night (12 October 2009), a routine maintenance of Sweden’s top-level domain .se went seriously wrong, introducing an error that made DNS lookups for all .se domain names start failing. The entire Swedish Internet effectively stopped working at this point. Swedish (.se) websites could not be reached, email to Swedish domain names stopped working, and for many these problems persist still.

According to sources we have inside the Swedish web hosting industry, the .se zone, the central record for the .se top-level domain, broke at 21:19 21:45 local time and was not returned to normal until 22:43 local time.

However, since DNS lookups are cached externally by Internet service providers (ISPs) and web hosting companies, the problems remained even after that. It wasn’t until around 23:30 local time last night that the major Swedish ISPs had flushed their own DNS caches, meaning that they cleared away the broken results so that new DNS lookups could start working properly again. If they had not done this the problem would have remained for a full 24 hours.

There are still a large number of smaller ISPs that have not yet fixed the problem. It is also likely that ISPs outside of Sweden is not aware of the incident, so the effects of the problem may remain there as well.

 

Full Story

Thursday, October 15, 2009 1:41:11 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
dotMobi Announces Unique Mobile Domain and Keyword Bundle for Chinese Brands and Businesses

dotMobi, the company behind the .mobi top-level Internet domain, today announced the availability of its one-of-a-kind mobile keyword and .mobi domain bundle for Chinese brands and businesses, offered in partnership with China-based mobile keyword vendor Huarui.

Currently, more than 50% of China's 1.3 billion citizens are estimated to be mobile subscribers—a figure that will quickly grow with the advent of 3G networks, which are just now arriving in China. And as with other countries, 3G mobile network speeds will drive the growth of mobile Web use. dotMobi's unique mobile keyword and .mobi domain bundle is designed to meet the needs of businesses in that burgeoning mobile Web environment.

Trey Harvin, CEO of dotMobi, said, "The packaging of mobile keywords and .mobi domains is a global first. This gives Chinese site owners the flexibility of using the .mobi domain to help ensure successful discovery by search engines, while using both the .mobi domain and matching keyword in advertising efforts."

 

Full Story

Thursday, October 15, 2009 1:36:08 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Youth 'Cannot Live' Without Web

A survey of 16 to 24 year olds has found that 75% of them feel they "couldn't live" without the internet. The report, published by online charity YouthNet, also found that four out of five young people used the web to look for advice.

About one third added that they felt no need to talk to a person face to face about their problems because of the resources available online. The survey looked at how the web influences the well-being of people aged between 16 and 24.

 

(Source: BBC)

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BBC 

Thursday, October 15, 2009 1:30:38 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Getting Everyone Online Would Save Billions

The founder of lastminute.com, Martha Lane Fox, has unveiled an ambitious policy to get everyone in Britain online by 2012, backed by a study that says it would save the government up to £1bn annually in customer service costs and boost the economy by more than £20bn.

Lane Fox, who is now chair of the government-created Digital Inclusion Task Force, says that getting the 10m Britons who have never used the internet to go online could generate at least £22.6bn in economic benefit – including at least £10.6bn over the lifetimes of the 1.6m children who have never used it.

 

(Source: Guardian)

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Guardian

Thursday, October 15, 2009 1:26:44 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
People In North East 'Are Most Timid Internet Users' In England

Internet users in the North East of England have the most nervous attitude towards the web, according to research that highlights the country's "digital divide".

Online engagement will soon replace social class as the most powerful determiner of economic success, damaging the career prospects of internet refuseniks, according to the social anthologist who analysed the survey. Nearly one-third (31 per cent) of in the North East are reluctant to use the internet for anything more than sending email and occasional browsing, higher than the national average of 23 per cent.

 

(Source: Telegraph)

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Telegraph

Thursday, October 15, 2009 1:18:36 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Twitter: Don't Change Your Log-in Data Until Further Notice

Twitter users should refrain from changing their log-in data until further notice or else risk getting locked out of their accounts. Twitter is investigating instances of users who have lost access to their accounts after modifying their usernames, passwords or e-mail addresses, the microblogging company said on Tuesday.

Until the problem is resolved, Twitter users shouldn't modify their log-in data, according to an official posting on Twitter's Status Web site. "This seems to affect new users as well as long term users," the note reads.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

Full story

ComputerWorld

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 2:09:06 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 09, 2009
7 Things You Should Know About Web Filters

1. There's always a friend's computer. 2. They're a form of censorship. 3. They give you a false sense of security. 4. Kids resent them -- and you. 5. Kids can defeat them. 6. They catch too much. 7. They don't catch everything.

Most parental control programs use a combination of filtering techniques to block access to unwanted sites. But each method is vulnerable, and none promises 100% accuracy. Text-based filters can't really determine the context of words or phrases, so they can block access to perfectly acceptable sites. Words like "sucking," for example, might get caught in the filter and prevent your kid from researching, say, mosquitoes.

 

(Source: Common Sense)

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Common Sense

Friday, October 09, 2009 9:37:36 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 02, 2009
No Texting At Dinner! Parenting In The Digital Era

"We were at a restaurant for my mom's birthday. I looked over and there are my daughter and my oldest son texting, holding their phones under the table," said the mom of four in Lewiston, Idaho. "I just came unglued. I was like, `Are you kidding? You're at your grandma's birthday party. Put those phones away now!'"

We all know teens love their gadgets — more for texting than talking. But the devices are posing some new challenges for parents. How can they teach their tech-savvy kids some electronic etiquette? So far, parents are learning on the fly, imposing new rules for their young offenders such as "no texting at dinner."

 

(Source: AP)

Full story

AP

Friday, October 02, 2009 11:50:05 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 01, 2009
Social Media An Inviting Target For Cybercriminals

It's your birthday. And thanks to your Facebook profile, everybody knows that. Your wall fills up with well wishes from hundreds of "friends." Sure, it's nice to be noticed. But security experts are skeptical about whether sharing information, such as birthdays, with a broad audience is a bright idea. "It's all about providing the bad guy with intelligence," said Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDtheftsecurity.com.

Many people use their birthdate in passwords and personal identification numbers, and security questions often ask for it to resend a lost password. So broadcasting a birthdate could help cybercriminals pose as others as they log on to various Web sites, experts warned.

 

(Source: CNN)

Full story

CNN

Thursday, October 01, 2009 2:09:32 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Protect Your Privacy On Facebook And Twitter

Web surfing is no longer a solo affair. Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks have quickly become an integral part of the online culture, and with them comes a whole new array of potential security threats.

Social networking is built on the idea of sharing information openly and fostering a sense of community. Unfortunately, an online network of individuals actively sharing their experiences and seeking connections with other like-minded people can be easy prey for hackers bent on social-engineering and phishing attacks. It's important to be aware of the threats, and to maintain a healthy skepticism in your online interactions.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

Full story

ComputerWorld

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 1:02:00 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 28, 2009
15% Decline in Domain Name Registrations

 

Weak Economic Conditions a Factor Says Report

 

VeriSign today released its second quarter 2009 Domain Name Industry Brief where it reports that the total base of domain name registrations across all of the Top-Level Domains [TLDs] has now reached 184 million. However the report also indicates that there has been a 15% decline compared to the same quarter last year. From the report:

"Around nine million new domain names were registered across all of the TLDs in the second quarter of 2009. This reflects a reduction in new registrations with a 14 percent decline from the first quarter 2009 and a 15 percent decline from the same quarter in the previous year. As seen in past years, there is seasonality in domain name registrations with the second quarter of the year dropping from the first quarter. In second quarter 2009, the impact of seasonality as well as the overall weak economic conditions impacted the number of new registrations for both gTLD [generic Top-Level Domains] and ccTLD [country code Top-Level Domains] registrations, though the ccTLD decline was much larger."

 

Read more

Monday, September 28, 2009 4:36:38 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Regulating the Internet: ICANN be independent

 

For the past decade America has delegated some of its authority over the internet to a non-profit organisation called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)—an arrangement other countries have complained about, both because they have little say in it and because ICANN’s management has occasionally proved erratic. ICANN’s latest mandate is due to expire on September 30th. The day before, a new accord is planned to come into effect, whereby America will pass some of its authority over ICANN to the “internet community” of businesses, individual users and other governments. 

Previous agreements had maintained close American oversight over ICANN and imposed detailed reforms, but the latest document, called an “affirmation of commitments”, is only four pages long. It gives ICANN the autonomy to manage its own affairs. Whereas prior agreements had to be renewed every few years, the new one has no fixed term.

      

      (Source: Economist) 

       Full story

Monday, September 28, 2009 4:16:06 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 24, 2009
Age-old Kids' Query In A Text Message: Wuz4dina?

Teens and texting is a subject that's often discussed in pathological terms. They're texting in class! They're sexting! They need thumb therapy! But texting isn't always bad. In some families, it's become a primary form of communication between parents and children. In fact, one of my favorite texts from kids is the earth-shattering query "Wuz4dina?"

Psychologist Thomas W. Phelan says one of the biggest problems with teens is getting them to communicate at all, so if they're willing to text their parents, we should embrace the trend. "Instead of seeing the whole text thing as an enemy, see it as an ally."

 

(Source: AP)

Full story

AP

Thursday, September 24, 2009 3:10:50 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 14, 2009
Too Much Online Sharing May Haunt You, Study Warns

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)

Full story

PCWorld

Monday, September 14, 2009 10:03:27 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Summit on Climate Change to take place in New York on 22 September 2009

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is convening a Summit on Climate Change to focus Heads of State and Government on the need for urgent action, and to mobilize the highest level political will needed to reach a fair, effective and scientifically ambitious global climate deal at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December.

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Find out more on ITU's activities on climate change

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 4:18:10 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
South Korea Plans Smart Grid by 2030

South Korea aims to build the world's first nationwide smart grid system to reduce its emissions by monitoring energy use more carefully.

Unlike conventional "dumb" electricity grids, smart grids allow two-way communication between electricity suppliers and consumers, as well as enabling more dispersed generation and storage of power.

The grid, to be set up by 2030, is part of the country's $103bn initiative to increase its generation of green energy from the current 2.4 per cent of total power to 11 per cent in the next two decades. According to a government-led committee, South Korea could lower its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 million tonnes annually with a national smart grid.

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Find out more on ITU's activities on climate change

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 2:08:50 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
First ITU/WMO Seminar on the Use of Radio Spectrum for Meteorology: Weather, Water and Climate Monitoring and Prediction (16-18 September 2009)

Between 1980 and 2005, over 7,000 natural disasters worldwide took the lives of more than 2 million people and produced economic losses estimated at over 1.2 trillion US dollars. Ninety per cent of these natural disasters, 72 per cent of casualties and 75 per cent of economic losses were caused by weather-, climate- and water-related hazards, such as droughts, floods, severe storms and tropical cyclones. For this reason, climate change monitoring and disaster prediction mechanisms are increasingly vital for our personal safety and economic wellbeing. Currently, radio-based applications such as remote sensors are the main source of information about the Earth´s atmosphere and surface.

For 135 years, there has been excellent collaboration and partnership between WMO and ITU. Whilst WMO focuses its efforts on meeting the needs for environmental information and the corresponding radio frequency spectrum resources, ITU, as international steward of the spectrum, allocates the necessary radio frequencies to allow the interference-free operation of radio-based applications and radiocommunication systems (terrestrial and space) used for climate monitoring and prediction, weather forecasting and disaster early warning and detection.

This seminar is organized as an open forum for discussion of the ITU and WMO roles in the use of radio spectrum, space orbits and radio-based meteorological tools and systems for monitoring, mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

The primary goal of this seminar is to provide information and exchange of the experience National Meteorological and Radio-Frequency Spectrum Management Services/Authorities have on the use and further development of radio-based space and terrestrial systems and applications employed for weather, water and climate monitoring and the relevant radio-frequency spectrum management activities.

The main issues proposed for discussion are as follows: The role of information communication technologies (ICTs) in general, and radio-based technologies in particular, in monitoring climate change - general overview; WMO and ITU roles in development, use and effective operation of systems and applications for monitoring of the environment, prediction, detection of natural disasters and mitigation of negative effects of disasters initiated by climate change; Current status and development of radio-based systems and applications for weather, water and climate monitoring and prediction; Operation of meteorological systems and quality of meteorological measurements; Activities of other national and international organizations in climate monitoring and disaster prediction, detection and mitigation of negative effects of disasters.

The seminar will be conducted in English.

More information on the seminar can be found here

Find out more on ITU's activities on climate change

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 1:59:30 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
How Mobile Can Enable a Low Carbon Economy: Live Online Debate Scheduled for September 30

In 2008, The Climate Change Group’s Smart 2020 report recognized the ICT (information communications technology) industry’s potential clout in the global battle against climate change. Smart 2020 estimated ICT as a whole could save 15% of predicted greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, with wireless applications playing a significant part.

The projected 15% reduction in emissions stems from energy savings worth €600 billion. Savings that are especially important as they are five times the industry’s own footprint. In the new report Carbon Connections: Quantifying mobile's role in tackling climate change, published by Accenture and Vodafone, 13 wireless telecommunications opportunities are identified that have the potential to reduce carbon emissions by 113 Mt CO2e a year and cut associated energy costs by €43 billion across the EU-25 countries in 2020.

Spurred by this new report, Ethical Corporation has teamed up with Vodafone to host an online Live Debate on September 30th 2009 to provide the platform for a robust and challenging discussion on how mobile can enable a low carbon economy.

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Find out more on ITU's activities on climate change

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 1:55:44 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Ericsson Calls on Delegates to Raise ICT to Top of Agenda at UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen

Ericsson said that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector is crucial to creating a low-carbon 21st century infrastructure. Using today's communications infrastructure in a smart way can maintain economic development while dramatically reducing emissions.

Giving a keynote address at the Broadband World Forum in Paris today, Ericsson CFO and incoming CEO Hans Vestberg said: "For too long the need for CO2 reductions has been seen as a trade off between economic development and care for the planet. This does not have to be the case. Because the ICT sector can reduce CO2emissions substantially, government representatives have an opportunity to bring ICT onto the agenda for the upcoming United Nations framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen (COP15) in December." Vestberg continued: "Studies show that ICT can reduce global CO2emissions by 15% by 2020. Ericsson believes that with an innovation-driven climate agenda, reductions could be even greater.

Modern ICT solutions, ranging from education and information services, health as well as transport, can give access to vital services all over the world, without sacrificing our environment."

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Find out more on ITU's activities on climate change

ITU's contribution to the UNFCCC negotiations can be found here

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 1:49:54 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Obama Warns Teens Of Perils Of Facebook

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)

Full story

Reuter

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 9:22:51 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Privacy Bill Would Set Rules For Online Marketing

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)

Full story

AP

Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:23:39 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
EU urges wise-up to combat rampant ATM crime

The rise in ATM-related crime has prompted a EU security agency to urge consumers to be more careful about withdrawing money from cash machines. ENISA (European Network and Information Security Agency) estimates that annual cash machine losses in Europe have increased to around €500m, a 149 per cent increase year-on-year. ENISA blames more sophisticated attacks and fraud alongside the rapid growth in the number of ATMs for the increase.

A  paper by ENISA entitled ATM Crime: Overview of the European situation and golden rules on how to avoid it contains tips on choosing which ATMs to use and other precautions. Many of Europe's 400,000 ATMs (up six per cent since last year) are located in convenience stores, airports and petrol stations where they are at greater risk of tampering than those within banks or shopping malls. The UK, Spain, Germany, France and Italy collectively account for 72 per cent of these ATMs.

Fraudsters obtain card details and PINs using a wide range of tactics ranging from "shoulder surfing" to hardware skimmers. Other tactics include trapping and then retrieving users' cards. More recently the use of malware has been implicated in these scams. During 2008, a total of 10,302 skimming incidents were reported in Europe, ENISA reports.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Tuesday, September 08, 2009 8:47:36 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 07, 2009
`Don't Post That!' — Networking Etiquette Emerges

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)

Full story

AP

Monday, September 07, 2009 12:08:11 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Man arrested for £1m online tax fraud

Police investigating a complex online fraud which scammed more than a million pounds from taxpayers have arrested a man in London. The 32-year-old's home in Poplar, east London was raided in the early hours of Thursday. He was taken to Bethnal Green police station on suspicion of fraud and money laundering.

The arrest follows HMRC's discovery in June of "an e-crime attack" on its self-assessment system. The attack was part of a tax repayment claim fraud. The Met's recently-formed Police Central e-Crime Unit (PceU) said with HMRC it is now looking into "a criminal network" thought to be behind the attack.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Monday, September 07, 2009 9:12:44 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Faux Facebook 'friend' takes US woman for $4,000

A US woman has been stung for $4,000 via a fraudulent Facebook "friend in peril" scam. Jayne Scherrman, a pediatric dentist from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, wired the money via Western Union to what she thought was her friend Grace Parry in response to requests for help via Facebook. The messages claimed that Grace and her husband had lost everything after being robbed while on holiday in London and requested $600 in order to resolve their difficulties.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Monday, September 07, 2009 9:09:47 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
New IIS attacks (greatly) expand number of vulnerable servers

Attackers have begun actively targeting an unpatched hole in Microsoft's Internet Information Services webserver using new exploit code that greatly expands the number of systems that are vulnerable to the bug.

In an updated advisory published Friday, Microsoft researchers said they are seeing "limited attacks" exploiting the vulnerability, which resides in a file transfer protocol component of IIS. Exploit code publicly released in the past 24 hours is now able to cause vulnerable servers to crash even when users don't have the ability to create their own directories.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Monday, September 07, 2009 9:07:08 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 04, 2009
Internet Addiction Center Opens In US

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)

Full story

AP

Friday, September 04, 2009 8:46:19 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 01, 2009
MySpace suicide case: conviction overturned

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.

But that law, the judge found, cannot be stretched so far that it would include mere violations of website terms of service. Something more than violating a TOS is needed. Otherwise, the law would “convert a multitude of otherwise innocent Internet users into misdemeanant criminals.”

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. The verdict drew consternation because it seemed to suggest that merely violating a website’s terms of service could be the basis for criminal prosecution.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Tuesday, September 01, 2009 10:48:52 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Accused TJX hacker faces 15 to 20

The hacker accused of orchestrating the largest-known identity theft in US history will serve between 15 to 25 years in prison under a plea deal filed Friday.

Albert "Segvec" Gonzalez is accused of leading a hacking circle that stole 130 million credit and debit card numbers from major retail chains like Barnes and Noble, T.J. Maxx, Sports Authority, and OfficeMax.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Tuesday, September 01, 2009 10:44:24 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Microsoft says US is top malware target

Windows users based in the United States are the most likely to benefit from Microsoft's malicious software removal tool, which has removed malware from nearly 2.2 million US machines, more than the other nine top countries combined.

Over the same period, the MSRT has disinfected 383,378 machines in China, 282,152 in Brazil, 278,207 in the UK, and 262,539 in Korea, according to statistics Microsoft published here. In all, 2.18 million US-based machines were cleaned, compared with 1.87 million machines based in the other countries contained on the top-10 list.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Tuesday, September 01, 2009 10:42:00 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 31, 2009
Facebook Changes Privacy Policy

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)

Full story

BBC

Monday, August 31, 2009 9:53:24 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 28, 2009
Facebook And Twitter Users 'Could Be Targeted By Burglars'

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)

Full story

Telegraph

Friday, August 28, 2009 2:23:03 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 21, 2009
One-in-four hackers runs Opera to ward off other criminals

Computerworld - Hackers using multi-exploit attack "toolkits" take defensive measures of their own against other criminals, a security researcher said today.

"Exploit kit operators do use mainstream browsers, but they're much more likely to use Opera than the average user, because they know that the browser isn't targeted by other hackers," said Paul Royal, a principal security researcher with Atlanta-based Purewire.

While the most generous Web measurements peg Opera, a browser made by Norwegian company Opera Software, at a 2% share of the global market, 26% of the hackers who Purewire identified use the far-from-popular application.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Friday, August 21, 2009 8:40:17 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
IEEE group aims to forge malware sharing standard

The IEEE has brought together an alliance of anti-virus vendors in an industry group that aims to improve and better organise collaboration, with an initial focus on better standards for malware sample sharing.  Vendors including AVG, McAfee, Microsoft, Sophos, Symantec and Trend Micro have signed up to the newly newly-formed Industry Connections Security Group (ICSG). Anti-virus researchers at these firms (and others such as Kaspersky and F-secure yet to sign up to ICSG) have been sharing virus samples for years. What the ICSG wants to bring to the party is better organisation and standardisation to this process, as its mission statement explains:

"While there has been some ad-hoc co-operation in the industry in areas such as malware and phish URL sharing, this co-operation has not been standardized or documented in a format that lends itself to systematic improvement in operational efficiency or visibility and review by people outside the vertical industries. ICSG currently has one Working Group looking at Malware, but expects to add other Working Groups over time."

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

 

Friday, August 21, 2009 8:30:01 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Adobe patches 'critical' flaws in ColdFusion, JRun

Adobe Systems has released updates that patch vulnerabilities in two widely used web development applications, several of which let attackers steal sensitive data or take complete control of users' machines.

In all, the patches fix seven flaws in versions 8.0.1 and earlier of ColdFusion and JRun 4.0. The most serious of them are XSS, or cross-site scripting, bugs that allow attackers to execute malicious code on an underlying system by supplying a target with a booby-trapped web link.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 8:36:54 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Hackers break into police computer as sting backfires

An Australian Federal Police boast, on the ABC's Four Corners program, about officers breaking up an underground hacker forum, has backfired after hackers broke into a federal police computer system. Security consultants say police appear to have been using the computer as a honeypot to collect information on members of the forum but the scheme came undone after the officers forgot to set a password. Last Wednesday, federal police officers in co-operation with Victoria Police executed a search warrant on premises in Brighton, Melbourne, connected to the administrator of an underground hacking forum, r00t-y0u.org, which had about 5000 members.

Many details of the investigation were revealed for the first time on Four Corners last night. After the raid, the federal police covertly assumed control of the forum and began using it to gather evidence about members. "We can operate in a covert activity here fairly seamlessly with no harm to our members with continual and actual significant penetration," Neil Gaughan, national manager of the federal police's High Tech Crimes Operation, told Four Corners.

However, what the federal police did not know was that hackers had already cottoned on to their plan. Police were monitoring the forum by logging into the account of the administrator they had raided, but this aroused suspicion among members who knew the raid had taken place. A hacker broke into the federal police's computer system and, according to a source close to the investigation, accessed both police evidence and intelligence about federal police systems such as its IP addresses.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 8:33:40 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Woman charged with cyberbullying teen on Craigslist

A Missouri woman has become the first person to be charged with felony cyberbullying in that state after she allegedly posted photos and personal information of a teenage girl to the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist.

Prosecutors said Elizabeth A. Thrasher, 40, posted the 17-year-old's picture, cell phone number, email address, and employer to the Craigslist section, which is frequented by adults looking for anonymous, no-strings-attached sex. The girl received lewd emails and calls in response, including pornographic pictures from men she didn't know.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 8:26:26 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 18, 2009
US man 'stole 130m card numbers'

US prosecutors have charged a man with stealing data relating to 130 million credit and debit cards.

Officials say it is the biggest case of identity theft in American history. They say Albert Gonzalez, 28, and two unnamed Russian co-conspirators hacked into the payment systems of retailers, including the 7-Eleven chain. Prosecutors say they aimed to sell the data on. If convicted, Mr Gonzalez faces up to 20 years in jail for wire fraud and five years for conspiracy.

He would also have to pay a fine of $250,000 (£150,000) for each of the two charges. Mr Gonzalez used a complicated technique known as an "SQL injection attack" to penetrate networks' firewalls and steal information, the US Department of Justice said. His corporate victims included Heartland Payment Systems - a card payment processor, convenience store 7-Eleven and Hannaford Brothers, a supermarket chain, the DOJ said.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 8:07:59 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 17, 2009
Georgia cyberattacks linked to Russian organized crime

IDG News Service - 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. A 100-page technical analysis is only being made available to the U.S. government and some cybersecurity professionals, but the organization did release a nine-page summary early Monday.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Monday, August 17, 2009 9:50:43 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 14, 2009
Virus arms race primes malware numbers surge

Half (52 per cent) of new malware strains only stick around for 24 hours or less. The prevalence of short lived variants reflects a tactic by miscreants aimed at overloading security firms so that more damaging strains of malware remain undetected for longer, according to a study by Panda Security.

The security firm, based in Bilbao, Spain, detects an average of 37,000 new viruses, worms, Trojans and other security threats per day. Around an average of 19,240 spread and try to infect users for just 24 hours, after which they become inactive as they are replaced by other, new variants.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Friday, August 14, 2009 8:27:54 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Australian police charge banking Trojan suspect

Australian police have charged an as yet unnamed 20 year-old man on suspicion of creating a banking Trojan that infected an estimated 3,000 computers worldwide, as well as building up a 74,000 strong botnet of compromised machines.

The name of the suspect will not be revealed until he faces magistrates in Adelaide, South Australia, on 4 September. South Australia state police charged the man with computer crimes offences, including hacking and developing "capabilities to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks with up to 74,000 computers world wide".

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Friday, August 14, 2009 8:24:23 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Twitter transformed into botnet command channel

For the past couple weeks, Twitter has come under attacks that besieged it with more traffic than it could handle. Now comes evidence that the microblogging website is being used to feed the very types of infected machines that took it out of commission.

That's the conclusion of Jose Nazario, the manager of security research at Arbor Networks. On Thursday, he stumbled upon a Twitter account that was being used as part of an improvised update server for computers that are part of a botnet.

The account, which Twitter promptly suspended, issued tweets containing a single line of text that looked indecipherable to the naked eye. Using what's known as a base64 decoder, however, the dispatches pointed to links where infected computers could receive malware updates.

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ITU Global Cyberecurity Agenda

Friday, August 14, 2009 8:22:00 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 13, 2009
Voting machine hack costs less than $100,000

IDG News Service - Why spend millions of dollars campaigning when you can hack an election for less than 100 grand? That's a question raised by university researchers who recently bought a Sequoia AVC Advantage voting machine and then used a new hacking technique to circumvent its security. Although they've been hacked before, Sequoia's AVC machines are considered a pretty tough target because they have a special memory-protection mechanism that allows them to only run software they're hardwired to execute in the machine's ROM (read-only memory).

But using a new hacking technique, called a return-oriented programming attack, researchers were able to trick the machine into changing the results of an election, according to Alex Halderman, one of the university researchers behind the work. Halderman is with the University of Michigan, but researchers from the University of California, San Diego and Princeton University were also involved in the project. They presented their results at the Usenix 2009 Electronic Voting Workshop, held in Montreal this week.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Thursday, August 13, 2009 8:52:13 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Android security chief: Mobile-phone attacks coming

IDG News Service - As smartphones become more popular, they're going to get some unwanted attention from criminals, Google Inc.'s head of Android security said today. "The smartphone OS will become a major security target," said Android Security Leader Rich Cannings, speaking at the Usenix Security Symposium. Attackers can already hit millions of victims with a smartphone attack, and soon that number will be even larger. "Personally I think this will become an epiphany to malware authors," he said.

Microsoft's Windows operating system is the prime target of criminal attacks, and hackers have generally steered clear of mobile devices. Security experts say that this is because mobile phones haven't traditionally stored a lot of sensitive data, and because there are so many different devices to attack, it's hard to create a single virus that can infect a large number of users.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Thursday, August 13, 2009 8:48:45 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Man gets 3 years in prison for stealing IDs over LimeWire

A Washington state man who admitted using the LimeWire file-sharing program to steal tax returns and other sensitive documents has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison.

Frederick Eugene Wood of Seattle was ordered to serve 39 months for a fraud scheme that prosecutors said was a "particularly pernicious and devious one." In it, Wood would search the hard drives of LimeWire users for files that contained words such as "statement," "account" and "tax.pdf." He would then download tax returns, bank statements, and other sensitive documents and use them to forge counterfeit checks and steal the identity of the individuals who filled out the documents.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Thursday, August 13, 2009 8:42:09 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Vuln exposes eBay developer accounts

eBay security officials are requiring members of its developer program to change their passwords following the discovery of a vulnerability that could allow attackers to intercept sensitive account details.

"eBay has recently identified a means by which someone could gain access to eBay Developers Program account information," Kumar Kandaswamy, manager of the eBay Developers Program, wrote in an advisory posted on the auctioneer's website. "Out of an abundance of caution and to help ensure the security of the eBay Developers Program, we are requiring that all developers" change their passwords.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Thursday, August 13, 2009 8:39:57 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Apple update patches serious DNS flaw in Mac OS X

Two weeks after internet overlords warned of a serious vulnerability in one of the most widely used programs for resolving domain names, Apple has updated its Mac OS X operating systems to fix the security bug.

The update, released Wednesday, patches a hole in BIND, the net's most popular domain name system package. It's available for both client and server versions of the Mac OS and follows an update released last week that plugged 18 holes and a separate fix issued on Tuesday for six holes in Apple's Safari browser.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Thursday, August 13, 2009 8:38:57 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 10, 2009
Booming scareware biz raking in $34m a month

Fraudsters are making approximately $34m per month through scareware attacks, designed to trick surfers into purchasing rogue security packages supposedly needed to deal with non-existent threats. A new study, The Business of Rogueware, by Panda Security researchers Luis Corrons and Sean-Paul Correll, found that scareware distributors are successfully infecting 35 million machines a month.

Social engineering attacks, often featuring social networking sites, that attempt to trick computer users into sites hosting scareware software have become a frequently used technique for distributing scareware. Tactics include manipulating the search engine rank of pages hosting scareware. Panda reckons that there are 200 different families of rogueware, with more new variants coming on stream all the time.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Monday, August 10, 2009 8:13:02 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
US appeals court cans CAN-SPAM suit

In a decision that could make it harder for internet users to take spammers to court, a federal appeals court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit against a company that sent a man more than 13,000 unsolicited emails.

A three-judge panel from the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower-court judge that under a federal law that went into effect in 2004, plaintiff James S. Gordon Jr. lacked standing to sue online marketing business Virtumundo. The panel ruled that under the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing, or CAN-SPAM, act, lawsuits can only be brought by select law-enforcement agencies and providers of an IAS, or "internet access service."

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Monday, August 10, 2009 8:11:17 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 07, 2009
Security risks of Web 2.0 tools should not be overlooked by enterprises, individuals

Like it or not, the use of Web 2.0 technology use in enterprises is here to stay. Even longstanding enterprise software providers, such as Salesforce.com, have created tools for integrating social networks into the customer support and lead generation process. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a Fortune 500 company that doesn’t, at the very least, have a corporate blog.

Over the last few weeks, two organizations issued study results focusing on the use of social networking within the enterprise. RSA Conference, in its “What Security Issues Are You Currently Facing?” report, surveyed nearly 150 C-level executives and professionals charged with directing, managing and engineering security infrastructures within their respective organizations.

Social networking and security was a consideration, however it appears that organizations thus far claim to have been minimally impacted by social network threats. According to the survey, 84 percent of respondents allow Twitter and Facebook in the enterprise, however only 3 percent were seriously affected by the recent Facebook and Twitter phishing attacks.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Friday, August 07, 2009 8:42:12 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
XML flaws threaten 'enormous' array of apps

Updated Security researchers have uncovered critical flaws in open-source software that implements the Extensible Markup Language in a staggering array of applications used by banks, e-commerce websites, and consumers.

The bugs uncovered by researchers at Finland-based Codenomicon were contained in virtually every open-source XML library available, Ari Takanen, CTO of Finland-based security testing firm Codenomicon, told The Register. Many of them could allow attackers to crash machines running applications that use the libraries or even remotely execute malicious code. The Python and Java programming languages and Apache Xerces are already known to be affected, and Takanen said many more could be as well.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Friday, August 07, 2009 8:34:28 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Feds seek $566m from man in online gambling case

Federal prosecutors have accused a Canadian man of laundering more than $350m for offshore internet gambling operations to skirt US laws prohibiting payments to American citizens trying to cash out their winnings.

Douglas Rennick, 34, was charged with three felony counts related to the alleged scheme by the US Attorney's office in Manhattan. Between February 2007 and June 2009, he and several unnamed co-conspirators established sham businesses that provided false information to banks so they could carry out large financial transactions that otherwise would have been barred, according to an indictment filed Thursday.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Friday, August 07, 2009 8:31:33 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Researcher: Twitter attack targeted anti-Russian blogger

As Twitter struggled to return to normal Wednesday evening, a trickle of details suggested that the outage that left 30 million users unable to use the micro-blogging service for several hours - at least in part - may have been the result of a spam campaign that targeted a single user who vocally supports the Republic of Georgia.

 

According to Bill Woodcock, research director at the non-profit Packet Clearing House, the torrent of traffic that brought the site to its knees wasn't the result of a traditional DDoS, or distributed denial of service attack, but rather people who clicked on a link in spam messages that referenced a well-known blogger called Cyxymu.

 

As spam goes, the emails looked benign enough. One of them carried the subject "Visit my blog" and contained the words "thanks for looking at my blog" in the body. They contained respective links to Cyxymu's accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal and YouTube, all of which also reported receiving abnormal amounts of traffic on Thursday.

 

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Friday, August 07, 2009 8:19:15 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Court allows extradition of British hacker to proceed

IDG News Service - A British hacker who broke into U.S. government computer systems seeking evidence of alien life has failed in his latest efforts to block extradition to the U.S. to face trial.

On Friday, the High Court ruled the extradition of Gary McKinnon, whose hacking exploits have drawn high-profile attention from U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and celebrities such as David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, should proceed. Karen Todner, McKinnon's attorney, said they will lodge an appeal within 28 days.

McKinnon's attorneys had asked the court to review a refusal by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for England and Wales to prosecute the him in the U.K. British prosecutors maintain that the U.S. wants jurisdiction and that most evidence and witnesses are in the U.S.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Tuesday, August 04, 2009 10:28:32 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
cPanel, Netgear and Linksys susceptible to attack

Defcon If you use cPanel to administer your website or certain Linksys or Netgear devices to route traffic over your wireless network, you're susceptible to web-based attacks that could take complete control of your systems, two security researchers said Saturday.

All three wares contain CSRF, or cross-site request forgery, holes that can be exploited when the user does nothing more than surf to the wrong site. Web-application security experts Russ McRee of HolisticInfoSec.org and Mike Bailey of Skeptikal.org said they've alerted officials at all three companies to the weaknesses and so far all have failed to fix them.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Tuesday, August 04, 2009 10:22:30 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Teens react to online warnings

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. He’s worried this makes people get too many temporary friends instead of real, genuine ones. He said: “It’s 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 it’s right.” 

But speaking to Newsbeat a group of teenagers mainly rejected what the spiritual leader of the four million Catholics in England and Wales had to say. Ash is 19 and from London. He said: "These sites are just a different way of socialising and I think the nation’s the friendliest it’s ever been because of that.

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ITU Child Online Protection

Tuesday, August 04, 2009 10:17:29 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
US cyber-security tsar steps down

The White House's acting cyber-security tsar has resigned from her post, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Melissa Hathaway told the paper she was leaving for "personal reasons" and would return to the private sector. The former strategist was appointed as acting national cyber-adviser in February and was expected to be offered the post of full time. President Barack Obama has made cyber-security a high priority for his administration. In May, the President announced plans for securing American computer networks against cyber attacks.

In recent years, US government and military bodies have reported attempts to infiltrate systems by hackers. He announced the creation of a cyber-security office in the White House, and said he would personally appoint a "cyber-tsar". Ms Hathaway was widely regarded as the person to fill that post after taking on the role as acting senior director for cyberspace for the National Security and Homeland Security Councils in February. A successor has not yet been named by the White House.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Tuesday, August 04, 2009 10:13:50 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 20, 2009
IMPACT: ITU calls for borderless effort on cybersecurity

Concerted borderless cooperation is needed to tackle today's cyber-attacks, according to international agencies, the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This, in response to recent reports of more than two dozen attacks against prominent government websites in South Korea and the US.

Speaking at IMPACT global headquarters in Malaysia, chairman Datuk Mohd Noor Amin said: "Though the attacks, which included websites belonging to the White House, US Treasury, and the Pentagon, were small in scale and low in sophistication, these attacks could have been more destructive."

"Websites all over the world are constantly targetted by hackers, but increasingly, the number of critical sector websites and systems being attacked has increased," said Amin. "In recent years, large scale attacks on critical infrastructures have started to take place such as the cyber-attack that occurred in Estonia in 2007 that subsequently paralysed the country's entire critical infrastructure for almost two weeks." [Read full article on infoworld...]

Monday, July 20, 2009 3:07:19 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 10, 2009
President Fernandez of Dominican Republic decorates ITU Secretary-General Dr Toure

ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré was last night honoured by the President of the Dominican Republic, Dr Leonel Fernández, when he was accorded the title of Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of Duarte, Sánchez and Mella (Orden al Mérito de Duarte, Sánchez y Mella).

The Order of Merit of Duarte, Sánchez and Mella is the principal Order of the Dominican Republic. It was established in 1931, and is conferred by the Head of State on both civilians and military for distinguished services. Read the information note

Friday, July 10, 2009 4:44:40 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
South Korea and U.S. websites hit by DDoS attacks
South Korean and the United States websites have been targets of sustained distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) since the 4th of July, government websites as well as financial and commercial websites have been targeted with most of the targets withstanding the DDoS attacks.

At least 35 websites have been targeted by the DDoS attacks which aim to make websites unreachable by flooding them with more web traffic than they can handle, effectively taking them offline. The web traffic originates from the computers of ordinary people infected with malware, usually from visiting a compromised website, after which the attackers can command the computers to carry out the DDoS attacks.

These attacks on the US and South Korea appear to be carried out by "a few tens of thousands" compromised computers, the impact of which so far has been considerably muted, it does however demonstrate weaknesses that could be exploited to much more devastating effect.

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Friday, July 10, 2009 4:28:29 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 09, 2009
Google to launch OS

Google has announced they are currently developing an operating system (OS), called Chrome OS, planned for release in the second half of 2010. Google Chrome OS, designed to be a "fast and lightweight" operating system, will initially be targeted at netbooks.

The operating system is designed "for people who spend most of their time on the web" with a "minimal user-interface" where "most of the user experience takes place on the web". Google Chrome OS will be open source which will allow third party developers to create applications for it: similar to the system behind much of the iPhone's success.

With Microsoft's Windows 7 OS set for release later on this year, whether Google's offering can challenge Microsoft's roughly 90% market share remains to be seen.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009 8:30:38 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 19, 2009
UK.gov to create central cybersecurity agency

Secret operations currently carried out by parts of the intelligence and security services will be centralised in Whitehall as part of an ongoing major review of cybersecurity, according to a report.

The Cabinet Office is due to publish the UK's version of Barack Obama's cybersecurity stategy before the summer Parliamentary recess, which begins in late July. The US President last month announced a new "cyber tsar" role and agency to oversee efforts to prepare for and respond to attacks by enemy states and organised criminals.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Friday, June 19, 2009 11:28:31 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Canadian bill forces personal data from ISPs sans warrant

Canada is considering legislation allowing the country's police and national security agency to readily access the online communications and the personal information of ISP subscribers.

"We must ensure that law enforcement has the necessary tools to catch up to the bad guys and ultimately bring them to justice. Twenty-first century technology calls for 21st-century tools," Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said in announcing two new bills at a press conference in Ottawa, the CBC has reported.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

 

Friday, June 19, 2009 11:26:17 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Google cloud told to encrypt itself

Updated A small army of security and privacy researchers has called on Google to automatically encrypt all data transmitted via its Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar services.

Google already uses Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (https) encryption to mask login information on this trio of cloud-based web-based applications. And netizens have the option of turning on https for all transmissions. But full-fledged https protection isn't flipped on by default.

"Google’s default settings put customers at risk unnecessarily," reads a letter lobbed to Google CEO Eric Schmidt by 37 academics and researchers. "Google’s services protect customers’ usernames and passwords from interception and theft. However, when a user composes email, documents, spreadsheets, presentations and calendar plans, this potentially sensitive content is transferred to Google’s servers in the clear, allowing anyone with the right tools to steal that information".

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Friday, June 19, 2009 11:24:52 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 11, 2009
China's computers at hacking risk

Every PC in China could be at risk of being taken over by malicious hackers because of flaws in compulsory government software.

The potential faults were brought to light by Chinese computer experts who said the flaw could lead to a "large-scale disaster". The Chinese government has mandated that all computers in the country must have the screening software installed. It is intended to filter out offensive material from the net.

The Chinese government said that the Green Dam Youth Escort software, as it is known, was intended to push forward the "healthy development of the internet" and "effectively manage harmful material for the public and prevent it from being spread." "We found a series of software flaws," explained Isaac Mao, a blogger and social entrepreneur in China, as well as a research fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Thursday, June 11, 2009 8:47:52 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 08, 2009
Twitter Trends exploited to promote scareware

Hackers are manipulating a hot topics feature of Twitter to promote malware-infected websites. The gaming of the Twitter Trends feature recalls the manipulation of Google search results using black-hat search engine optimisation techniques.

In the case of the Twitter attack, cyber-criminals created hundreds of accounts and posted multiple messages under the topic "PhishTube Broadcast", a reference to the US rock band Phish, but containing links to a spoof pornographic Web page. The topic appeared in the Trending Topic list, achieving greater visibility and therefore more user traffic to comments made under that category.

Users intrigued enough to visit the supposed websites promoted through the Twitter social-engineering ruse risk exposure to the PrivacyCenter fake antivirus (scareware) package. The software runs a spoof scan of system before falsely informing users that their computers are infected with malware, whether they are or not, in order to induce frightened users into buying software of little or not utility.
 
 
Monday, June 08, 2009 9:08:22 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Pondlife scammers abuse Air France tragedy

Cybercrooks are once again taking advantage of current events to push malware.

Prurient interest in the death of Kill Bill star David Carradine is being used to promote Twitter updates containing links to sites punting rogueware. The attack is the latest in a string of assaults over the last week or so that abuse the Trending Topics feature of Twitter to promote scareware.

Meanwhile, search engine result poisoning is being used so that searches involving the disappearance of Air France Flight 447 off the coast of Brazil point to scareware affiliate websites. The complex attack uses multiple site redirections, as explained in a blog posting by Trend Micro here.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Monday, June 08, 2009 9:00:11 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 05, 2009
ITU Secretary-General addresses Annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

In his address to the Forum, Dr Hamadoun Touré emphasized the power of innovation and how ICTs will play an important role in overcoming the economic crisis.

Dr Touré met His Excellency Dmitry A. Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation, who reconfirmed the commitment of the Russian Federation to ITU. During his visit, he had the opportunity to discuss with Minister Shchegolev and other senior officials key issues related to the Union's objectives, including cybersecurity, climate change and the upcoming Connect CIS Summit.

His visit generated much interest in the planned ITU ICT Exploratorium which is scheduled for opening in 2010.

Friday, June 05, 2009 12:28:28 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 02, 2009
New Search Engines launched

Microsoft launches Bing


Bing, Microsoft's new search engine, is now live. Launched on Monday June 1 in the United Sates, Bing will be fully deployed worldwide on Wednesday June 3. Successor to Live Search, Bing is billed as a "decision engine" designed to "enable people to find information quickly and use the information they’ve found to accomplish tasks and make smart decisions".

Bing offers a number of innovative features as well as several rebranded Live Search tools and services, such as Bing Health (formerly Live Search Health): a search engine specifically for health-related information. Of the new features, one of the most prominent is the "Explore Pane": this is intended to make Bing "a richer, more organized search experience" by consolidating related searches, search specific tools and services and a session history in a single place.  

WolframAlpha

Launched on the Monday May 18, WolframAlpha is a "computational knowledge engine", designed to provide answers to factual queries by "doing computations from its own internal knowledge base", "instead of searching the web and returning links" as a search engine does.

WolframAlpha offers an innovative service very different to what is currently available in most traditional search engines. WolframAlpha will give answers to not only mathematical questions but also fact-based questions. For example a simple mathematical question: 'what is the square root of 49?' will give the answer 7. Put the same query in the Google search engine, and through Google Calculator, you will get a similar answer. However, ask a factual question, such as 'When was the United Nations founded?', and WolframAlpha will answer directly with the the date (in a variety of formats), other historic events that occurred on that day, what time the sun rose and set as well the phase of the moon.

Developed by Stephen Wolfram and Wolfram Research, WolframAlpha is built on their previous computational software platform, Mathematica, as well as algorithm discoveries published in Stephen Wolfram's book 'A New Kind of Science'.

Read More: Bing, WolframAlpha

Tuesday, June 02, 2009 5:18:53 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 01, 2009
EU backs advanced network tech to boost resilience

An EU security agency is calling for greater use of advanced networking technologies - specifically IPv6, DNSSec and MPLS - to improve the resilience of communication networks.

The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) argues that these advanced technologies have the potential to improve the security and resilience of telecom networks from hacking attacks or other forms of disruption. However, knowledge of how to deploy these commercially available next-generation technologies is thin on the ground.

ENISA advocates the pooling of best practice and operational experience as a way to bring everyone up to speed. The agency interviewed 12 network operators in the EU and found that lack of management and coordination between stakeholders, as well as a dearth of operational best practices, were potential potholes on the road to building more secure networks.

The agency carried out two reports. One looked at the benefits of the selected technologies in improving network resilience (here (pdf)) while the other looked into deployment issues and other practical concerns (here (pdf)), drawing its findings largely from interviews with network operators.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Monday, June 01, 2009 8:48:49 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
A Corporate Identity

A corporate identity theft ring that exploited the identities of local corporations, religious institutions, hospitals and even schools to run a cheque fraud scam has been busted in New York.

 

Investigators reckon the gang of 18 suspects made millions by impersonating workers from an estimated 350 New York-based organisations. Data purchased from corrupt bank insiders was used to lay the groundwork for the scam, which relied on cashing thousands of counterfeit payroll cheques. The fraudsters also plundered the bank accounts of individual victims, using data obtained from corrupt bank insiders to transfer funds to banks under the control of the gang.

 

Mules were recruited as payees on the counterfeit cheques, which were forged using scanners, cheque stock, magnetic ink, company logos and specialist software. The scam ran between October 2007 and February 2009. One bank alone lost $1.4m through the scam.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Monday, June 01, 2009 8:46:39 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Turkish hackers breach US Army servers, says report

US government investigators are probing breaches of two sensitive Army webservers by suspected Turkish hackers, according to a report by InformationWeek.

One of the servers, located at the Army's McAlester Ammunition Plant in Oklahoma, was penetrated on January 26, according to the publication, which cited investigative records it reviewed. The hack was carried out by a Turkey-based collective known as "m0sted" and caused people attempting to access the site to be redirected to a webpage protesting climate change.

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ITU Global Cyberscurity Agenda

 

Monday, June 01, 2009 8:44:15 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
PC-pwning infection hits 30,000 legit websites

A nasty infection that attempts to install a potent malware cocktail on the machines of end users has spread to about 30,000 websites run by businesses, government agencies and other organizations, researchers warned Friday.

The infection sneaks malicious javascript onto the front page of websites, most likely by exploiting a common application that leads to a SQL injection, said Stephan Chenette, manager for security research at security firm Websense. The injected code is designed to look like a Google Analytics script, and it uses obfuscated javascript, so it is hard to spot.

The malicious payload silently redirects visitors of infected sites to servers that analyze the end-user PC. Based on the results, it attempts to exploit one or more of about 10 different unpatched vulnerabilities on the visitor's machine. If none exist, the webserver delivers a popup window that claims the PC is infected in an attempt to trick the person into installing rogue anti-virus software.

The rogue anti-virus software uses polymorphic techniques to constantly alter its digital signature, allowing it to evade detection by the vast majority of legitimate anti-virus programs. Because it uses obfuscation, the javascript is also hard to detect by antivirus programs and impossible to spot using Google searches that scour the web for a common string or variable.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Monday, June 01, 2009 8:41:25 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Obama fights cyber threats with new White House post

US President Barack Obama will create a new White House post that's responsible for protecting the country's critical computer networks, a step he said was crucial to confronting one of the biggest national security challenges.

For what is likely the first time ever, the leader of the free world spoke publicly about botnets, phishing, malware, and other internet-based attacks that not only threaten millions of individuals, but the country's military and intelligence networks as well. He also recounted his personal brush with cyber espionage, confirming for the first time a report that travel plans, policy papers, and other files were accessed after hackers penetrated his presidential campaign's computer system.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Monday, June 01, 2009 8:37:56 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Viral web infection siphons ad dollars from Google

A compromise that is moving virally across websites is making unwitting people who surf to them part of a botnet that redirects Google search results, a security researcher has warned.

During the past week, the number of websites identified as infected have almost tripled, according to researcher Mary Landesman with real-time malware scanning specialist ScanSafe tracking the attacks since March. Normally, web compromises die out after a few weeks, as search engines and anti-virus programs grow wise to them. But that's not happening this time.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 9:09:03 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Electricity to power 'smart grid'

Global electricity networks could become smart grids that can help us monitor and control our energy usage, if plans from net firm Cisco take off.

The giant US firm, whose technology helps underpin the net, is building a two-way link into electricity grids. Smart grids would allow devices to communicate with utility firms to give an accurate view of energy use that could cut CO2 emissions by 211m tonnes. Cisco believes the market could be worth up to $20 billion a year. The basic premise is to link different parts of the electrical grid - from a single home to the largest of power stations - using a customised network based on Internet Protocol (IP). Cisco say the proposal would be a "once in a generation capital investment". With the rising cost of electrical power and concerns about how that power is generated - especially when it comes to fossil fuels - a number of other firms are also making a bid to modernise the electrical networks.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 8:47:01 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 18, 2009
Hackers 'launch attack' on Facebook

Facebook has been working to clean up its site after its 200 million members were targeted by hackers.

Facebook spokesperson Barry Schnitt wouldn't comment on how many accounts had been hit but he did confirm it was blocking any that had been compromised. The hackers used a common "phishing" scam to get hold of users' passwords. After breaking in to people's Facebook accounts they sent out emails to friends of members asking them to click on links to fake websites. The sites are designed to look like legitimate pages from Facebook but have been set up and are controlled by the hackers.

Spreading spam

Then it's a simple case of tricking users into handing over all sorts of details from passwords to e-mail addresses. All of this is done with the overall aim of being able to provide lists of addresses which can then be targeted to help spread spam. It's not the first time Facebook has been attacked like this. Last year a malicious virus called Koobface hit the site, tricking people into downloading it onto their computers by sending links pretending to be from friend's accounts. Security experts say part of the problem is that members are using passwords that are just too weak, ones like family or pet names that are often on a person's homepage and so can be easily guessed.

Read

ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Monday, May 18, 2009 3:25:12 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 14, 2009
Cyber attack could bring US military response

The United States' top commanding officer for the space and cyber domains told reporters last week that a cyber attack could merit a more conventional military response.

During a press briefing on Thursday, US Air Force General Kevin Chilton, who heads the US Strategic Command, said that top Pentagon advisors would not rule out a physical attack on any force that attacks the United States through the internet. Currently, the military's networks are probed thousands of times a day, but the goal of attackers seems to be espionage, not to take down critical networks, he told reporters.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Thursday, May 14, 2009 3:54:11 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Home Sec: No more funds to e-crime unit

The newly established Police Central e-crime Unit is unlikely to get increased UK government funding, according to a response to questions in the House by the Home Secretary on Tuesday. The reply by Jacqui Smith is a sign that the present home secretary is less inclined to invest in the nascent unit than her predecessor David Blunkett.

Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne asked Jacqui Smith about whether "she will make an assessment of the adequacy of the IT resources provided to Metropolitan Police officers in policing fraud". The Home Secretary responded to this question by suggesting the micro-management of resources was down to the Met Police. She also mentioned the £3.5m granted by central government over three years towards the establishment of a long-awaited central e-crime unit, Hansard reports.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Thursday, May 14, 2009 3:53:12 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Microsoft teams up with US gov

Microsoft has teamed with the US government to refine a locked-down, more secure configuration of Windows XP.

 

Originally developed by the US Air Force in cooperation with Microsoft, the special XP set-up uses hardened Group Policy Objects (a technology in Microsoft's Active Directory) and images, which the Air Force used as the standard OS image for its desktop Windows machines.

 

The project evolved into the Federal Desktop Core Configuration (fdcc) recommendations maintained by US standards organisation NIST. Sys admins can download the configuration along with group policy objects.

 

Earlier reports by Wired suggested that Microsoft has worked with the government to develop a secure configuration of XP for use by the military and that this might be somehow out of reach to the hoi polloi, who are left with a system whose out-of-the-box configuration leaves it open to all manner of worms as soon as it's connected to the net.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Thursday, May 14, 2009 3:51:59 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Hackers 'destroy' flight sim site

Flight simulator site Avsim has been "destroyed" by malicious hackers.

The site, which launched in 1996, covered all aspects of flight simulation, although its main focus was on Microsoft's Flight Simulator.

The attack took down the site's two servers and the owners had not established an external backup system.

The site's founder, Tom Allensworth, said that the site would be down for the foreseeable future and was unsure "if we can come back at all".

"The method of the hack makes recovery difficult, if not impossible, to recover from," Mr Allensworth said in a statement.

"AVSIM is totally offline at this time and we expect to be so for some time to come. We are not able to predict when we will be back online, if we can come back at all. "

Read More

ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

 

Thursday, May 14, 2009 3:48:48 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 11, 2009
Viviane Reding (EU- Commissioner for Information Society and Media) calls for a 'G12 for Internet Governance'

In a video posted on her website on May 4th, 2009, Viviane Reding (EU- Commissioner for Information Society and Media) called for greater transparency and accountability in Internet Governance as of October 2009. Commissioner Reding outlined a new governance model for the internet and called for the  creation of a "G-12 for Internet Governance", an informal group of government representatives that meets at least twice a year and can make, by majority, recommendations to ICANN.

The full transcript of Commissioner Reding's message is available here.

Monday, May 11, 2009 10:03:39 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 29, 2009
ITU Secretary-General presents COP initiative to the Pope

During his visit to the Vatican on 29 April 2009, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré met His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and presented to him ITU's Child Online Protection initiative (COP). COP has been established as an international collaborative network for action to promote the online protection of children worldwide by providing guidance on safe online behaviour in conjunction with other UN agencies and partners. COP's key objectives are:

  • Identify risks and vulnerabilities to children in cyberspace
  • Create awareness
  • Develop practical tools to help minimize risk
  • Share knowledge and experience

More information about COP...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 9:50:37 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 28, 2009
US Government issues Notice of Inquiry regarding the upcoming expiration of the JPA with ICANN

The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) seeks comment regarding the upcoming expiration of the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This agreement has been in existence since November 25, 1998, and is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2009.

DATES: Comments are due on or before June 8, 2009.

more...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 2:00:44 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 27, 2009
ICTD 2009

ICT for Development Conference (ICTD 2009 http://ictd2009.org/cfp.html

Monday, April 27, 2009 8:41:36 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU Sub-Regional Seminar

The ITU Sub-Regional Seminar was held in Belgrade, Republic of Serbia from 27-29 April. Dr Touré met with H.E. Mr Mirko Cvetkovic, Prime Minister of Serbia. As an integral part of the Seminar, the Ministerial Round Table on "Switchover from Analogue to Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting in Central and Eastern Europe" was chaired by H.E. Ms Jasna Matic, Minister of Telecommunications & Information Society, Republic of Serbia and Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General. This event gathered about 155 high-level participants and gave an opportunity to better understand the complexity of the switchover from analogue to digital as well as facilitated a strategic dialogue aimed at considering the most important technical, regulatory and economical aspects of the process.

 

 

 

Monday, April 27, 2009 8:39:53 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Call to rally against cyber crime

Security professionals are being called on to band together to fight the highly organised cyber criminals of the world.

The call was made at a San Francisco conference organised by security firm RSA - the largest event of its kind. RSA President Art Coviello said the online fraudsters "are not bound by any rules of law" and "control massive armies of zombie computers". Recent reports claimed cyber criminals had infiltrated everything from the US power grid to the Pentagon.

In his keynote speech to the conference, Mr Coviello urged the industry not to underestimate the global cyber security threat and the sophistication of criminals. "Our adversaries operate as a true ecosystem that thrives through interdependence and constantly adapts to ensure its growth and survival. Mr Coviello said that meant it was time for the security industry to come together to defeat the criminal element at large. "We must evolve from acting independently to solve discreet information security problems to acting collaboratively to create a common development process.

Read More

ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 8:54:48 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Botnet 'ensnares government PCs'

Almost two million PCs globally, including machines inside UK and US government departments, have been taken over by malicious hackers.

Security experts Finjan traced the giant network of remotely-controlled PCs, called a botnet, back to a gang of cyber criminals in Ukraine. Several PCs inside six UK government bodies were compromised by the botnet. Finjan has contacted the Metropolitan Police with details of the government PCs and it is now investigating. A spokesman for the Cabinet Office, which is charged with setting standards for the use of information technology across government, said it would not comment on specific attacks "for security reasons".

Read More

ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 8:51:42 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF)

The World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF-2009) was preceded by a Special Strategic Dialogue: on the theme "Confronting the Crisis". The outcome of WTPF was the Lisbon Consensus.

 

Press releases

SG’s Speeches:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 8:31:08 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 21, 2009
ITU Corporate Annual Report 2008 released online

The ITU Corporate Annual Report 2008 reviews the activities of the Union for 2008, in the context of its overall Strategic Plan. The Report describes how ITU is fulfilling its seven strategic goals in progress and achievements. The message from the Secretary-General considers how Members' needs are changing and how ITU's work programme has been reviewed, in light of the financial crisis. ITU Corporate Annual Report 2008 is available online free of charge.

 

 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 6:57:21 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 16, 2009
New e-crime units nabs nine banking Trojan suspects

Nine suspects in a banking Trojan case have been arrested by specialist cybercops from the UK's new Police Central E-Crime Unit (PCeU).  The suspects - four women and five men - were arrested following police raids in south east London. Investigators reckon the group of UK-based eastern European nationals used malware planted on compromised machines to steal login credentials and plunder online banking accounts.

The arrests follow the establishments of a virtual crime force, involving more than 50 officers from the PCeU and the Met's specialist crime directorate. Deputy assistance commissioner Janet Williams, ACPO lead for e-crime, said Wednesday's operation illustrated that the long-awaited national e-crime unit was already up and running Computer Weekly reports.

Read More

ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Thursday, April 16, 2009 3:39:08 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Microsoft supplies Interpol with DIY forensics tool

Interpol plans to distribute a Microsoft DIY computer forensics tool to its 187 member countries under an agreement announced Wednesday.  Cofee, short for Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor, is a thumb drive containing more than 150 investigative applications police can use to collect digital evidence at crime scenes. When Microsoft announced the free tool last year, it said some 2,000 officers in 15 countries were using it.

 

The proliferation of cell phones, digital cameras, and other electronics devices means that even old-world crimes such as muggings and burglaries have the potential to be cracked by sifting through digital footprints inadvertently left behind by perpetrators. But collecting that evidence and preserving its integrity so it can be admitted into court trials isn't easy.

 

Cofee is designed to ease that burden by providing investigators with easy-to-use tools that allows them to collect electronic data on the fly. It also allows them to collect data without necessarily having to lug gear to headquarters first. Not that Cofee has been well received by everyone. Some of the more conspiratorially minded posited that some of the password-cracking features worked by exploiting backdoors secretly built into Windows. Microsoft has insisted Cofee is solely a collection of forensics tools.

 

Read More

 

ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Thursday, April 16, 2009 3:33:03 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
EC starts legal action over Phorm

The European Commission has started legal action against Britain over the online advertising technology Phorm.

It follows complaints to the EC over how the behavioural advertising service was tested on BT's broadband network without the consent of users.

Last year Britain had said it was happy Phorm conformed to European data laws.

But the commission has said Phorm "intercepted" user data without clear consent and the UK need to look again at its online privacy laws.

In a statement, Phorm said its technology was "fully compliant with UK legislation and relevant EU directives".

It added that it did not believe the Commission's legal action would have "any impact on the company's plans going forwards".

At the heart of the legal action by the EC is whether users have given their consent to have their data intercepted by the advertising system.

Read More

ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Thursday, April 16, 2009 3:12:27 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Spam 'produces 17m tons of CO2'

A study into spam has blamed it for the production of more than 33bn kilowatt-hours of energy every year, enough to power more than 2.4m homes.

The Carbon Footprint of e-mail Spam report estimated that 62 trillion spam emails are sent globally every year.

This amounted to emissions of more than 17 million tons of CO2, the research by climate consultants ICF International and anti-virus firm McAfee found.

Searching for legitimate e-mails and deleting spam used some 80% of energy.

The study found that the average business user generates 131kg of CO2 every year, of which 22% is related to spam.

Read More

ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Thursday, April 16, 2009 3:11:14 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Federation Office for Information Security (BSI)

Mr Udo Helmbrecht, President of the Federation Office for Information Security (BSI) paid a visit to Dr Touré, on 14 April 
The presentations by both BSI and ITU were informative and productive meeting and will lead to further discussions between ITU and ENISA. Future collaboration between ITU, BSI, ENISA and the Federal Government of Germany is envisaged in the domain of cybersecurity.
The ENISA Management Board has nominated Mr Udo Helmbrecht as the new Executive Director.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 8:23:19 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Spam overwhelms e-mail messages

More than 97% of all e-mails sent over the net are unwanted, according to a Microsoft security report.

The e-mails are dominated by spam adverts for drugs, and general product pitches and often have malicious attachments.

The report found that the global ratio of infected machines was 8.6 for every 1,000 uninfected machines.

It also found that Office document attachments and PDF files were increasingly being targeted by hackers.

Microsoft said people should not panic about the high levels of unwanted e-mail.

Cliff Evans, head of security and privacy for Microsoft in the UK, told BBC News: "The good news is that the majority of that never hits your inbox although some will get through."

Read More

ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 1:49:39 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 06, 2009
Net firms start storing user data

Details of user e-mails, website visits and net phone calls will be stored by internet service providers (ISPs) under an EU directive.

All ISPs in the European Union will have to store the records for a year. An EU directive which requires telecoms firms to hold on to telephone records for 12 months is already in force. The data stored does not include the content of e-mails and websites, nor a recording of a net phone call, but is used to determine connections between individuals.

more...

 

Monday, April 06, 2009 1:34:21 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
IGF Secretariat initiates formal IGF Review process

The IGF secretariat has initiated the process of formal consultation with the IGF Forum participants in accordance with Paragraph 76 of the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society which calls on the Secretary-General “to examine the desirability of the continuation of the Forum, in formal consultation with Forum participants”. This consultation will be held at the Sharm El Sheikh meeting.

As a first step, the IGF Secretariat has posted an online survey for stakeholders to provide feedback on the IGF process. It's at:

http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/index.php/component/chronocontact/?chronoformname=FormalConsult032009

The comments received by April 24th would be put in a synthesis paper, conceived as a rolling document. A first document would be made available for the 13 May Open Consultations and a revised version would be made available for the 16 September Open Consultations. The final version would be submitted to the IGF meeting in Sharm El Sheikh.

More...

 

Monday, April 06, 2009 9:22:00 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Talks with French Government Officials and Industry Leaders

During the UN CEB meeting held at UNESCO in Paris, Dr Touré took the opportunity to have extensive talks with French Government officials and industry Leaders, touching upon issues of great importance to both France and ITU: The negative impact of the economic crisis on the ICT sector as well as the solutions and opportunities ICTs present for global economic revival. The promotion of the forthcoming ITU Telecom World 2009 was received positively.

Monday, April 06, 2009 8:05:08 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, April 04, 2009
The United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB)

The United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) Spring Session was hosted by UNESCO in Paris, 4-5 April 2009. The Final Report is currently under review. The Autumn Session will be hosted by UNIDO in Vienna, Austria, 30-31 October 2009.

Saturday, April 04, 2009 7:54:42 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 02, 2009
Researchers find Conficker cure

Security experts have made a breakthrough in their five-month battle against the Conficker worm, with the discovery that the malware leaves a fingerprint on infected machines that is easy to detect using a variety of off-the-shelf network scanners.

 

The finding means that, for the first time, administrators around the world have easy-to-use tools to positively identify machines on their networks that are contaminated by the worm. As of mid-Monday, signatures will be available for at least half a dozen network scanning programs, including the open-source Nmap, McAfee's Foundstone Enterprise and Nessus, made by Tenable Network Security.

 

Up to now there were only two ways to detect Conficker, and neither was easy. One was to monitor outbound connections for each computer on a network, an effort that had already proved difficult for organizations with machines that count into the hundreds of thousands or millions. With the advent of the Conficker C variant, traffic monitoring became a fruitless endeavour because the malware has been programmed to remain dormant until April 1.

Read More

ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Thursday, April 02, 2009 9:30:48 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Cybersecurity law would give feds unprecedented net control

US senators have drafted legislation that would give the federal government unprecedented authority over the nation's critical infrastructure, including the power to shut down or limit traffic on private networks during emergencies.

 

The bill would also establish a broad set of cybersecurity standards that would be imposed on the government and the private sector, including companies that provide software, IT work or other services to networks that are deemed to be critical infrastructure. It would also mandate licenses for all individuals administering to strategically important networks.

 

The bill, which is being co-sponsored by Senate Commerce Committee chairman John Rockefeller IV and Senator Olympia Snowe, was expected to be referred to a senate committee on Wednesday. Shortly after a working draft of the legislation began circulating, some industry groups lined up to criticize it for giving the government too much control over the internet and the private companies that make it possible.

 

Read More

ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda

Thursday, April 02, 2009 9:13:44 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Worm attack chaos fails to strike

The chaos predicted by some as the Conficker worm updates itself have so far failed to materialise.

There had been concerns that the worm could trigger poisoned machines to access personal files, send spam, clog networks or crash sites. Many of the infected machines are based in Asia where there have been no reports of unusual PC behaviour. Conficker is believed to have infected up to 15 million computers to date. Those monitoring the progress of the worm as 1 April dawned around the globe said there was no evidence it was doing anything other than modifying itself to be harder to exterminate.

Read More

Wednesday, April 01, 2009 2:50:00 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 30, 2009
'Three-strikes' law for net users

French internet users persisting in illicit downloading of music and films could have the plug pulled on their internet if a controversial new law is approved.

 

Under plans by the French government, illegal downloaders would be barred from broadband access by their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) after three warnings.

The three-strikes law means alleged wrongdoers will first get a warning e-mail, then a letter through the post, followed by their connection being cut off for up to a year.

A proposed state agency would gather the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of people involved in illegal file-sharing.

Marc Guez, managing director of France's Society of Phonographic Producers (SCPP), said record companies are losing millions in profits to piracy.

He said the internet is "killing all of the creative industries little by little" and that governments must take action against piracy.

Read More

Monday, March 30, 2009 9:27:37 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 25, 2009
UN-backed anti-cyber-threat coalition launches headquarters in Malaysia

20 March 2009 – The headquarters of the global coalition to tackle the world’s most serious cybersecurity threats, backed by the United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU), was inaugurated outside of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur today.

The new state-of-the-art facilities of the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber-Threats (IMPACT) in Cyberjaya will host the ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA), which promotes international cooperation to make cyberspace more secure in an increasingly networked information society.

The joint effort by the ITU and IMPACT – an initiative which brings together governments, industry leaders and cybersecurity experts to enhance the global community’s capacity to prevent, defend and respond to cyberthreats – aims to provide real-time analysis, aggregation and dissemination of global cyber threat information.

“Cybersecurity is one of the most critical issues of our time,” said Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General, noting that the problem demands “a truly global approach.”

Last September, the heads of ITU and IMPACT signed an agreement to operationalize the GCA at IMPACT’s Cyberjaya site.

Although the GCA will be housed at the IMPACT centre, ITU will have a “virtual showcase” at its headquarters in Geneva of the early warning system, crisis management and real-time analysis of global cyber threats.

Read More

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 9:15:48 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 23, 2009
ITU's Global Cybersecurity Agenda housed in new centre in Malaysia

Geneva, 20 March 2009 - The global headquarters of the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT) was inaugurated today in Cyberjaya on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The new IMPACT facilities will host ITU's Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA), which is an international framework for cooperation aimed at finding strategic solutions to boost confidence and security in an increasingly networked information society.

The new IMPACT headquarters was inaugurated by Malaysia's Prime Minister Dato' Seri Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi, who is also Chairman of IMPACT's International Advisory Board, and ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré.

more...

Monday, March 23, 2009 2:13:26 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 20, 2009
IMPACT's Headquarters is inaugurated in Malaysia

The headquarters of the world's first global public-private partnership against cyber threats, IMPACT, was inaugurated on 20 March in Malaysia by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, in the presence of senior government officials including Deputy Prime Minister, Dato' Sri Haji Mohd. Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak.

IMPACT's headquarters will, through the partnership with ITU, run the operations of the Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) and provide services to interested ITU Member States. The event provided an operational physical home for the GCA and made possible its transition from strategy into operations. This transition is led by Mr. Sami Al-Basheer, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Developpement Bureau. The GCA through its partnership with IMPACT enters a phase of deployment in 20 countries with 50 planned for the next 12 months. During the event, ITU logo was unveiled by ITU Secretary-General, Malaysian Prime Minister and IMPACT's Chairman.

Friday, March 20, 2009 11:34:04 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 19, 2009
Holes in the machine

Malicious software may just be a property of the network, says regular contributor Bill Thompson


The Conficker worm will be active again on 1 April, according to an analysis of its most recent variant, Conficker.C, by the net security firm CA.

This malicious piece of software, also known as Downup, Downadup and Kido, spreads among computers running most variants of the Windows operating system and turns them into nodes on a multi-million member "botnet" of zombie computers that can be controlled remotely by the worm's as yet unidentified authors.

Since it first appeared in October 2008 it has apparently infected more than 15 million computers around the internet, though even that number is no more than an educated guess because the worm works very hard to disguise its presence on a PC.

Read More

Thursday, March 19, 2009 1:41:57 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Card-sniffing trojans target Diebold ATM software

Security researchers from Sophos have discovered sophisticated malware that siphons payment card information out of automatic teller machines made by Diebold and possibly other manufacturers.

Sophos researcher Vanja Svajcer found three samples after combing through VirusTotal and a similar online database earlier this month. If installed, all three trojans contained functions that allowed them to log information recorded by an ATM's magnetic card reader. They also appeared to include routines for encrypting the stolen data and instructions for retrieving the captured passwords using the ATM's printing capabilities. That would allow mules outfitted with the proper codes to fetch the pilfered information from the targeted machines, Svajcer told The Register.

Diebold became aware of the trojans in January, after an incident "isolated in Russia" attempted to use the malware to intercept sensitive information, according to an advisory the company sent its customers. Suspects in the incident have been apprehended, and Diebold is working with authorities "to assist with the investigation into these recent crimes," the advisory added.

Read More

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 4:02:07 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Children work round web controls

British parents grossly underestimate how much time their children spend on the net, suggests a report.

Written by security firm Symantec, it found that UK parents believe their children are online for 18.8 hours per week. The true figure is 43.5 hours.

The report found that British parents were among those with the worst grasp of how long their children are online.

The research also found that in many cases the net was providing a new way for families to communicate.

The Online Living report from Symantec found that 20% of the 6,427 adults questioned had caught their children looking at unsuitable net sites.

Of the British parents questioned, 81% said they were confident that they knew what they children were looking at online.

By contrast, 31% of the UK children in the survey said their parents did not know what they were doing online.

Read More

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 3:49:22 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Mobile users at risk of ID theft

A survey of London commuters suggests that 4.2m Britons store data on their mobiles that could be used in identity theft in the event they are stolen.

Only six in 10 use a password to limit entry into the phones, according to the survey by security firm Credant.

The survey found that 99% of people use their phones for business in some way, despite 26% of them being told not to.

Security experts say that password protection and, where possible, data encryption, is essential.

The advent of smartphones has seen the types of information that pass through handsets proliferate and it is now much more common to store sensitive information and work-related details on handsets.

Read More

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 3:26:07 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, March 15, 2009
Queen of Sweden grants an audience to ITU Secretary-General during his visit to Stockholm, Sweden

Her Majesty the Queen of Sweden granted an audience to ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré during his visit to Stockholm. In the presence of the Secretary-General and Deputy-Secretary General of the World Childhood Foundation and the Secretary-General of ECPAT, Dr Touré gave an introduction to the goals of ITU's Initiative "Child online Protection". Her Majesty the Queen was invited to become the Patron of the COP Initiative.
 
The mission was marked by a visit to the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) and to the Ericsson Group  where he had extensive talks with the respective Presidents. Dr Touré also met CEOs of Swedish Sector Members (Ericsson, Teliasonera, Dolby Sweden, Rymdbolaget, Teracom) to lay emphasis on ITU's activities and the opportunities of partnership for the Private Sector.

Sunday, March 15, 2009 11:22:39 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 12, 2009
Commission Pushes ICT Use for a Greener Europe

As part of its effort to combat climate change and drive economic recovery, the European Commission today called on Member States and industry to use information and communications technologies (ICT) to improve energy efficiency.

These technologies are expected to reduce total carbon emissions in Europe by up to 15% by 2020. ICT can not only improve monitoring and management of energy use in factories, offices and in public spaces but above all help make people more aware of how they use energy.

With smart metering in their homes, for example, consumers have been found to reduce their energy consumption by as much as 10%.

Read more

Find out more on ITU's activities on climate change

Thursday, March 12, 2009 6:27:20 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Ultra Battery

A breakthrough technology is holding forth the promise of charging electronic gadgets in minutes, never having to replace a battery again, and dropping the cost of hybrid cars.

Indeed, the technology has the potential to provide an energy storage device ten times more powerful than even the latest batteries in hybrid cars -- while outliving the vehicle itself. The new technology, developed at MIT's Laboratory for Electromagnetic and Electronic Systems, should improve ultracapacitors by swapping in carbon nanotubes, thereby greatly increasing the surface area of electrodes and the ability to store energy.

Read more.

Find out more on ITU's activities on climate change.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 1:17:47 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Koobface variant worms across social networking sites

A new strain of the Koobface worm is spreading across social networking sites including Facebook, MySpace and Bebo.

The malware posts invitations to the friends of infected users inviting them to view a video. The linked website tries to trick prospective marks into believing they need an updated version of Adobe Flash Player plugin to view the clip. The software offered is, of course, loaded with Windows-specific Trojan code. This malware establishes a back-door on compromised Windows machines.

Read More

Thursday, March 12, 2009 11:51:34 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
BBC team exposes cyber crime risk

Software used to control thousands of home computers has been acquired online by the BBC as part of an investigation into global cyber crime.

The technology programme Click has demonstrated just how at risk PCs are of being taken over by hackers. Almost 22,000 computers made up Click's network of hijacked machines, which has now been disabled. The BBC has now warned users that their PCs are infected, and advised them on how to make their systems more secure.

Concerted attack

Click managed to acquire its own low-value botnet - the name given to a network of hijacked computers - after visiting chatrooms on the internet. The programme did not access any personal information on the infected PCs. If this exercise had been done with criminal intent it would be breaking the law. But our purpose was to demonstrate botnets' collective power when in the hands of criminals. Click ordered its PCs to send out spam to two specific test e-mail addresses set up by the programme. Within hours, the inboxes started to fill up with thousands of junk messages. But a botnet can also be used to launch a concerted attack on commercial websites to take them out of action.

Read More

Thursday, March 12, 2009 9:52:17 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 09, 2009
Online brand abuse 'on the rise'

Online abuse of the world's top brands is rising, according to a report.

Cyber-squatting - in which someone registers a domain name with the aim of selling it on at a later date - remains the most common form of abuse. Cyber-squatting rose by 18% in 2008, to 1,722,133 reported incidents, according to brand specialist MarkMonitor. The study also found that 80% of sites identified in 2007 as "abusive" were still in existence today. The report suggests that brand owners need to take a more aggressive stance against people or companies abusing a trademark, brand or domain name.

"That 80% of sites identified in our study last year remain active today confirms that abuse is economically sustainable for fraudsters," said Frederick Felman, chief marketing officer for MarkMonitor. "We expect attacks to grow both internationally and in complexity, further increasing the threat to organisations' reputations and revenues." 

Read More

Monday, March 09, 2009 11:56:41 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 06, 2009
EU fights huge increase in web child abuse

The number of child sex abuse websites in Europe has soared and the violence shown has become more extreme, the European commission and Europol, the European police agency, warned yesterday.

Jacques Barrot, EU commissioner for freedom, justice and security said Europe was facing "an extremely dramatic situation" after the number of child abuse websites increased fourfold between 2004 and 2007. At the launch of an international coalition to disrupt finances of the online child sex trade, he warned that organised criminal gangs were making an "indecent profit" for "horrific crimes against the most vulnerable people - children".

British police who tackle online child abuse and will lead the work of the European Financial Coalition said that up to 300 commercial child abuse websites were available at any one time and earnt well in excess of €30m (£26.8m) a year. Officers at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) in London processed 1.6m images in the past year alone and identified and rescued 50 children.

Read More

Friday, March 06, 2009 4:08:00 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 05, 2009
German cops bust cybercrime forum

German police have arrested several members of a hacking forum linked to the distribution of Trojan horse software that infected 80,000 computers.

The www.codesoft.cc messageboard was being abused by cybercrooks to exchange tips on ways to use malware and other means to create counterfeit credit cards, according to cybercops from the LKA (Landeskriminalamt) internet crime unit (statement in German here [pdf]).

Police have raided the home of an unnamed 22-year-old Swiss man from Lucerne, Switzerland, on suspicion of running the forum. He allegedly used the online alias tr1p0d to flog password-stealing software. Police recovered what's claimed to be a database of codesoft.cc's users and their IP addresses from a raid on the Swiss suspect's home, net security firm Sophos adds.

Read More

Thursday, March 05, 2009 11:30:02 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Google Earth faces terrorist target airbrush bill

Concerned that international terrorists are prepping their attacks with help from services like Google Earth, Microsoft Virtual Earth, and Google Street View, a California lawmaker hopes to airbrush certain structural details from countless public buildings pictured on these web-based virtual landscapes.

San Diego-based Assemblyman Joel Anderson recently introduced a California bill that would bar "online mapping services" from serving up overly-revealing images of schools, hospitals, churches, and government buildings.

"This bill does not impact people's ability to go from one location to another on these services," Anderson tells The Reg. "But the current level of detail invites bad behavior. So we're asking these services to limit the level of detail. There's no reason they need to show where all a school's air ducts are and the elevator shafts and all the entry and exit points...

Read More

Thursday, March 05, 2009 11:26:22 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 04, 2009
ITU Secretary-General visits Morocco

Through an extensive programme prepared by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and New Technologies, the Secretary-General of ITU, Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré,  was able to visit: HACA (Hautes Autorités de l'Audiovisuel), actively involved in the liberalization of audio-visual communication; CND The National Centre for Documentation, while rendering more dynamic the public’s ability to access historical and present day e-information is invested in its main "zero paper" plan; APEBI (Professionnels of Telecoms and Information Technologies), firmly believing in a policy of determination and global information technologies in order to be part of a globalisation dominated by the economy and knowledge; AjialCom  The "Maison des Jeunes" in Casablanca, one of many to come; is a regional youth empowerment project initiated by UNDP/ICTDAR in 2004;  Dr Touré visited the Lycée Hassan II where he met with the future leaders of Morocco and exposed his vision and shared his views on cyber-space; The Casanearshore (MedZ), the first Moroccan nearshore pole, was by far the most impressive breeding-ground of human resources with an incentive and competitive environment. During this mission, Dr Touré could witness that through the harmonious combining of efforts, the tremendous progress made towards an information society at the national level has propelled Morocco into a country with a leading role in ICT.

Speeches by ITU Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré:

Wednesday, March 04, 2009 3:32:18 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
New guidelines on behavioural ads

The online advertising industry has launched a set of guidelines for a genre of adverts that have been causing controversy.

The code of practice drawn up by the Internet Advertising Bureau looks specifically at behavioural advertising. This form of advertising delivers ads based on people's browsing activity and is therefore far more targeted. UK ISP BT is planning to roll out such advertising developed by US firm Phorm. The guidelines which have been signed by key players including Phorm, AOL, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo agree on three core commitments:

  • Notice. A company collecting and using online information for behavioural advertising must clearly inform a consumer that data is being collected for this purpose
  • Consent. A company collecting and using online data for behavioural advertising must provide a mechanism for users to decline behavioural advertising and where applicable seek a consumer's consent.
  • Education. A company collecting and using online data for behavioural advertising must provide consumer with clear and simple information about their use of data for this purpose and how users can decline.

Read More

Wednesday, March 04, 2009 9:52:33 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Child abuse image trade targeted

Profits made by peddlers of child sex abuse images are being targeted by a pan-European alliance.

The European Financial Coalition brings together payment firms, law enforcement agencies and child protection groups to disrupt commerce in the images. By tracking cash made by sites selling abuse images, investigators hope to stop the trade and find abusers.

Backers include Mastercard, Visa, Paypal and UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). Funded by the European Commission, the coalition is intended to serve as a "stark warning" to those involved in the sale and distribution of child sex images.

"It is a reality that the rapid growth of the internet has opened up a market for images of child abuse," said EC vice president Jacques Barrot in a statement. "The European Financial Coalition (EFC) will help identify and protect victims of this horrific crime by following the money trail that takes the police to the offender," he said.

Read More

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 5:33:18 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 26, 2009
ITU launches on YouTube a video contest on the future of ICTs


ITU has launched a video contest on YouTube asking young people for their vision on the future of information & communication technologies. Winners will be invited to take part in the upcoming World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF). WTPF is a high-level international event to exchange views on the key policy issues arising from today’s fast changing information and communication technology (ICT) environment. WTPF 2009 will take place in Lisbon from 21-24 April


 

Thursday, February 26, 2009 5:49:21 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 23, 2009
Hackers target Xbox Live players

Xbox Live is being targeted by malicious hackers selling services that kick players off the network.

The booting services are proving popular with players who want a way to get revenge on those who beat them in an Xbox Live game. The attackers are employing data flooding tools that have been used against websites for many years. Microsoft is "investigating" the use of the tools and said those caught using them would be banned from Xbox Live. "There's been a definite increase in the amount of people talking about and distributing these things over the last three to four weeks," said Chris Boyd, director of malware research at Facetime Communications.

Read More

Monday, February 23, 2009 9:34:15 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Online child abuse image warning

Children's charities have expressed "serious concerns" many UK households still have access to images showing child sex abuse via their computers.

The government had asked all internet service providers (ISPs) to block illegal websites by the end of 2007. But firms providing 5% of broadband connections have still failed to act. One of them, Zen Internet, said in a statement: "We have not yet implemented the IWF's recommended system because we have concerns over its effectiveness."

It is understood other ISPs have cited the cost of blocking the illegal material as a reason not to participate in the scheme. But the NSPCC's Zoe Hilton said: "Allowing this loophole helps feed the appalling trade in images featuring real children being seriously sexually assaulted." The blocked websites come from a list supplied by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), but some smaller providers refuse to use the list.

Read More

Monday, February 23, 2009 9:32:54 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Romanian Hacker Breaches Third Security Vendor Site

The hacker who broke through the Website defenses of two prominent security vendors has claimed a third victim.

According to a posting on hackersblog.com, the Romanian attacker who launched SQL injection attacks on Kaspersky and BitDefender has now successfully penetrated the Web defenses of F-Secure, as well.

"[The F-Secure site is] vulnerable to SQL injection plus cross site scripting," the posting says. "Fortunately, F-Secure doesn't leak sensitive data, just some statistics regarding past virus activity."

An F-Secure spokesman told news reporters the breach occurred on a low-level server that doesn't contain sensitive data, only marketing statistics. "It is slightly embarrassing as a security company that we have had the breach," said F-Secure's David Frazer, in a news report. "We certainly, as a security company, want to ensure that all of our servers are patched to the levels that they should be."

On Monday Kaspersky conceded that a Romanian hacker had launched a SQL injection attack on its newly implemented U.S. customer support site, exposing a potentially data-threatening vulnerability in its Website. The attacker did not publish any sensitive data, even though he could have gained access to it, Kaspersky said.

Read More

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 2:29:42 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Italy police warn of Skype threat

Criminals in Italy are increasingly making phone calls over the internet in order to avoid getting caught through mobile phone intercepts, police say.

Officers in Milan say organised crime, arms and drugs traffickers, and prostitution rings are turning to Skype in order to frustrate investigators.

The police say Skype's encryption system is a secret which the company refuses to share with the authorities.

Investigators have become increasingly reliant on wiretaps in recent years.

Customs and tax police in Milan have highlighted the Skype issue.

They overheard a suspected cocaine trafficker telling an accomplice to switch to Skype in order to get details of a 2kg (4.4lb) drug consignment.

Read More

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 1:48:23 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Pirate Bay in the dock as filesharing trial begins

One of most high-profile trials over copyright infringement in years began today in Sweden. Four men behind The Pirate Bay website – which enables people to find others willing to share audio, video, games and other files with them – appeared in court in Stockholm to answer the charge that they had assisted in copyright infringement.

The film, music and games industries are saying that the defendants not only encouraged copyright infringement but also profited from it, while the defendants argue that they hosted no shared files and therefore are not responsible for infringement.

The Pirate Bay is a "torrent" tracker, which uses the peer-to-peer file sharing technology called BitTorrent. Trackers don't host the music, video or software files themselves, but allow users to search for and download "torrent" files. Those in turn allow users to find other people who have the file they want, and to share the files amongst themselves. Each BitTorrent user with a copy of the file contributes a piece to others who are downloading it.

Read More

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 10:02:49 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Hackers: BitDefender site exposes private data

Romanian hackers have discovered a security flaw in the website of anti-virus provider BitDefender. They said it was the second time in a week the company has inadvertently exposed a database that is supposed to remain private.

According to an item posted to HackersBlog, BitDefender's main website can be tricked into disclosing database contents by embedding commands into the BitDefender.com URL.

"This parameter gives access to the DB," a hacker by the name of Unu reported. "I will not publish too much now as I am waiting for the problem to be solved."

Unu went on to say he had reported the vulnerability to the site's webmaster but had received no reply. "Therefore, knowing they read our articles, I will let them know here that they have a vulnerable parameter," he wrote.

A BitDefender spokesman confirmed the site had an unchecked parameter that was fixed on Saturday. But he denied the flaw exposed any private information or resulted in an SQL injection.

Read More

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 9:57:03 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 16, 2009
GSMA - Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain

ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, participated in the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where he extended cooperation with Telecom Private Sector and chaired the Telecom Board Meeting on 18th February. The GSMA Mobile World Congress (formerly 3GSM World Congress) combines the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry with a stimulating and insightful congress that brings together prominent leaders and personalities from mobile operators and equipment vendors, as well as Internet and entertainment professionals. 

 

Monday, February 16, 2009 11:09:15 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 13, 2009
Microsoft bounty for worm creator

A reward of $250,000 (£172,000) has been offered by Microsoft to find who is behind the Downadup/Conficker virus.

Since it started circulating in October 2008 the Conficker worm has managed to infect millions of computers worldwide.

The software giant is offering the cash reward because it views the Conficker worm as a criminal attack.

"People who write this malware have to be held accountable," said George Stathakopulos, of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group.

He told BBC News the company was "not prepared to sit back and let this kind of activity go unchecked".

"Our message is very clear - whoever wrote this caused significant pain to our customers and we are sending a message that we will do everything we can to help with your arrest," said Mr Stathakopulos.

Arbor Networks said as many as 12 million computers could be affected globally by Conficker/Downadup since it began prowling the web looking for vulnerable machines to infect in October.

Read More

Friday, February 13, 2009 3:53:30 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 12, 2009
Report finds that mobile telephony in developing countries still not affected by the financial crisis

A major new report to be published by the ITU on Monday 16 February finds that so far, mobile telephony in developing countries has survived the economic turmoil largely unscathed.  The widespread expectation among some leading industry analysts contributing to the report is that the full impact of the financial crisis on mobile telephony has yet to materialize.

Worldwide, ITU statistics reveal that the total number of mobile subscribers grew by nearly 650 million over 2008 to reach nearly 4 billion subscribers in December 2008, representing total growth of 19% or nearly a fifth of total market size.  According to the consultancy The Mobile World, Q3 2008 additions represented the fourth-best quarter ever.

These gains were driven mainly by growth in developing markets. In September 2008, India became the first mobile market to add more than ten million customers in one month, before beating its own record with 10.4 million additions in October 2008. The world's biggest mobile operator, China Mobile, added 74 million subscribers in the year to October 2008. In Nigeria, the number of new mobile subscribers has increased in every quarter to September 2008, while Brazil added four million mobile subscribers in October 2008, over twice as many as in October 2007.

Despite an unexpected softening in some markets (e.g. Pakistan and Bangladesh), overall, these results lead to the conclusion that there had still only been a limited impact of the financial crisis on mobile communications in developing countries by the end of last year.

For more information, read here from Monday 16 February 2009.

Thursday, February 12, 2009 2:36:43 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Report finds that mobile operators are better placed to weather the economic storm

A new report from the ITU finds that in general, mobile operators are better placed to weather the economic storm. Mobile operators generally enjoy greater flexibility in terms of capex commitments, as capex commitments represent only 20-30% of their total cost base.  Mobile operators have invested heavily in 3G networks, but the cost of incremental upgrades (e.g. to those based on high-speed packet access or HSPA) is comparatively low.  Mobile operators can also undertake greater network-sharing to limit costs and boost gains in coverage, for only limited amounts of additional capital.  ABI Research notes that growth rates in regional mobile capex may slow, but capex will probably not decline on a global basis.

In contrast, investment in NGN may be less discretionary for fixed-line operators, however, competing with new market entrants, capacity resellers and cable TV, as well as increasingly, mobile broadband. Universal service obligations may also prevent fixed carriers from reducing their capex commitments substantially.  Several carriers such as AT&T have reported cuts of capex of between 10-15%, but industry analysts Informa find that operators' investment plans have not been 'severely altered' so far, with many operators acknowledging the importance of investment in ensuring that quality of services is maintained.

Read more in ITU's forthcoming report, "Confronting the Crisis: Its Impact on the ICT Industry", which will be published on Monday 16 February 2009.

Thursday, February 12, 2009 2:05:15 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Report finds that the most immediate impact of the financial crisis is on investment & financing

A new report from the ITU finds that the most immediate impact of the financial crisis on the global ICT industry is on telco investment and financing.  A prolonged recession could potentially starve operators of the capital investment needed to upgrade their network infrastructure.

The report finds that investment funds are less readily available, while refinancing costs have rised sharply, with recent telco debt issuance in Europe being secured at spreads of up to 4.75% in late 2008, some 3-4% higher than the situation pre-crisis (with the exact rate depending on individual firms' debt ratings). Where bonds can be refinanced, it is clear that they are incurring higher interest costs. For example, Sprint Nextel recently renegotiated its debt from its original credit line of US$ 6 billion at LIBOR plus 0.75% for a new line of US$ 4 billion at LIBOR plus 4% (depending on the company's debt rating).  In their industry strategy paper, "A defensive sector for defensive times", Deutsche Bank estimates that European incumbents alone have some EUR 21 billion of bonds matruing soon in 2009, with a further EUR 26 billion of other financial liabilities, which may need to be refinanced over the coming year.

Read more in ITU's forthcoming report, "Confronting the Crisis: Its Impact on the ICT Industry", which will be published on Monday 16 February 2009.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 1:54:30 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU and European Commission Mark Safer Internet Day

ITU and the European Commission have joined forces to mark Safer Internet Day. This year, the focus is on protecting children online. Children are among the most active — and most vulnerable — participants online.

According to recent surveys, over 60 per cent of children and teenagers talk in chat rooms on a daily basis. Three in four children online are willing to share personal information about themselves and their family in exchange for goods and services. One in five children will be targeted by a predator or paedophile each year. Protecting children in cyberspace is, therefore, clearly our duty.

"Children are very resourceful in making the most of online services such as social networking sites and mobile phones," said Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media. "But many still underestimate the hidden risks of using these, from cyber-bullying to sexual grooming online. Today, I call upon all decision-makers, from both the public and the private sector, to listen and learn from children and to improve awareness strategies and tools to protect minors." Ms Reding added: "The Internet binds the whole world together. The safety of children who use it is a concern for everyone. I am therefore very happy that ITU is associated with us in doing this, today on Safer Internet Day, and all year round."

"Child online safety must be on the global agenda," said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré. "We must ensure that everyone is aware of the dangers for children online. And we want to promote and strengthen the many outstanding efforts that are being made around the world, such as the Safer Internet Programme, to limit these dangers."

This year, the 6th edition of Safer Internet Day includes more than 500 events in 50 countries worldwide. ITU and the European Commission will collaborate on this and future events, such as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, 17 May 2009, which is dedicated to "Protecting Children in Cyberspace". The European Commission’s Directorate General for Information Society and Media has declared its full support for ITU’s Child Online Protection (COP) Initiative.

Read full press release.

Find out more information on ITU's Child Online Protection Initiative.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 10:32:27 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 10, 2009
XIII Informática 2009, Havana, Cuba

ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré participated actively at the last XIII Informática 2009 held in Havana, Cuba from 9-13 February 2009. Dr Touré, spoke about ICTs and the Millennium Development Goals, ICT convergence, and ICTs and climate change. among other important topics.

The Convention Informática is the union of 14 thematic events that are held simultaneously at the same venue being some of its key objectives:

  1. Encourage research, development, and technological innovation in the field of ICT
  2. Exchange experiences and specialized information in the field of ICT
  3. Spread knowledge
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 11:01:47 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Teens targeted in net safety push

Half of Europe's teenagers browse the web with no parental oversight or supervision, a survey suggests.

The research into the web habits of 20,000 14 to 19-year-olds across Europe found that 51% enjoy unfettered access to any and every website.

The MSN research also found that 29% of the teenagers it quizzed have suffered bullying while using the web.

It comes as the EU marks Safer Internet Day with pledges from 17 social sites to do more to protect younger users.

"We were surprised that it's over 50% without any parental control," said John Mangelaars, head of Microsoft's consumer and online divisions in Europe.

Read More

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 9:49:30 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 09, 2009
GAID - LAC Seminar on ICT and Education

A priority in the national development of Latin American and Caribbean countries has been the inclusion of ICTs in education. It has also been on the agenda of the Regional Action Plan for Information Society eLAC2010. This Seminar was composed of two inter-active discussions panels which reviewed and analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of ICTs in education, identified innovative solutions and aimed at establishing long-term sectoral policies to secure the incorporation of technology.
ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré pointed out that "...Education is a bridge between generations... With determination, there is no reason why today's children should not inherit an equitable, inclusive and thriving Information Society..."

Monday, February 09, 2009 10:49:17 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 05, 2009
'Spam-friendly' domain registrars named and shamed

The vast majority of spam (83 per cent) is linked to sites established through ten domain name registrars, according to a new study. An analysis of junk mail messages by anti-spam firm Knujon ("no junk" spelled backwards) found that while there are 900 accredited domain name registrars, spammers register their spamvertised domains though only a tiny sample. Knujon's study names and shames the registrars who are contributing (unwittingly or not) to the junk mail problem.

  1. XinNet Cyber Information Company Limited
  2. eNom
  3. Network Solutions
  4. Register.com
  5. Planet Online
  6. Regtime Ltd.
  7. OnlineNIC Inc.
  8. Spot Domain LLC
  9. Wild West Domains
  10. Hichina Web Solutions
Thursday, February 05, 2009 4:38:05 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Parking ticket leads to a virus

Hackers have discovered a new way of duping users onto fraudulent websites: fake parking tickets.

Cars in the US had traffic violation tickets placed on the windscreen, which then directed users to a website. The website claimed to have photos of the alleged parking violation, but then tricks users into downloading a virus. Anti-virus firm McAfee says the Vundo Trojan then gets users to install a fake anti-virus scanner. Vehicles in Grand Forks, North Dakota were the targets for this new type of fraud. Drivers found the following message on the yellow ticket on their windscreen: "PARKING VIOLATION This vehicle is in violation of standard parking regulations". The ticket then instructed drivers to visit a website, where drivers could "view pictures with information about your parking preferences".

Thursday, February 05, 2009 4:32:30 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Google Earth Dives Under the Sea

Google has lifted the lid on its first major upgrade to its global mapping software, Google Earth. Google Ocean expands this map to include large swathes of the ocean floor and abyssal plain. Users can dive beneath a dynamic water surface to explore the 3D sea floor terrain.

The map also includes 20 content layers, containing information from the world's leading scientists, researchers, and ocean explorers. Al Gore was at the launch event in San Francisco which, Google hopes, will take its mapping software a step closer to total coverage of the entire globe.

Read more

Find out more on ITU's activities on climate change

Tuesday, February 03, 2009 9:58:30 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 02, 2009
Report finds that mobile telephony in developing countries still not affected by the financial crisis

A major new report to be published by the ITU on Monday 16 February finds that so far, mobile telephony in developing countries has survived the economic turmoil largely unscathed.  The widespread expectation among some leading industry analysts contributing to the report is that the full impact of the financial crisis on mobile telephony has yet to materialize.

Worldwide, ITU statistics reveal that the total number of mobile subscribers grew by nearly 650 million over 2008 to reach nearly 4 billion subscribers in December 2008, representing total growth of 19% or nearly a fifth of total market size.  According to the consultancy The Mobile World, Q3 2008 additions represented the fourth-best quarter ever.

These gains were driven mainly by growth in developing markets. In September 2008, India became the first mobile market to add more than ten million customers in one month, before beating its own record with 10.4 million additions in October 2008. The world's biggest mobile operator, China Mobile, added 74 million subscribers in the year to October 2008. In Nigeria, the number of new mobile subscribers has increased in every quarter to September 2008, while Brazil added four million mobile subscribers in October 2008, over twice as many as in October 2007.

Despite an unexpected softening in some markets (e.g. Pakistan and Bangladesh), overall, these results lead to the conclusion that there had still only been a limited impact of the financial crisis on mobile communications in developing countries by the end of last year.

For more information, read here from Monday, 16 February 2009.

Monday, February 02, 2009 2:35:22 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Passport RFIDs cloned wholesale by $250 eBay auction spree

Using inexpensive off-the-shelf components, an information security expert has built a mobile platform that can clone large numbers of the unique electronic identifiers used in US passport cards and next generation drivers licenses.

The $250 proof-of-concept device - which researcher Chris Paget built in his spare time - operates out of his vehicle and contains everything needed to sniff and then clone RFID, or radio frequency identification, tags. During a recent 20-minute drive in downtown San Francisco, it successfully copied the RFID tags of two passport cards without the knowledge of their owners.

Read More

Monday, February 02, 2009 9:36:28 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
'Human error' hits Google search

Google's search service has been hit by technical problems, with users unable to access search results.

For a period on Saturday, all search results were flagged as potentially harmful, with users warned that the site "may harm your computer".

Users who clicked on their preferred search result were advised to pick another one.

Google attributed the fault to human error and said most users were affected for about 40 minutes.

Read More

Monday, February 02, 2009 9:35:09 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Cyber crime tool kits go on sale

Malicious hackers are producing easy to use tools that automate attacks to cash in on a boom in hi-tech crime.

On sale, say security experts, are everything from individual viruses to comprehensive kits that let budding cyber thieves craft their own attacks.

The top hacking tools are being offered for prices ranging up to £500.

Some of the most expensive tools are sold with 12 months of technical support that ensures they stay armed with the latest vulnerabilities.

Tool time

"They are starting to pop up left and right," said Tim Eades from security company Sana, of the sites offering downloadable hacking tools. "It's the classic verticalisation of a market as it starts to mature."

Malicious hackers had evolved over the last few years, he said, and were now selling the tools they used to use to the growing numbers of fledgling cyber thieves.

Read More

Monday, February 02, 2009 9:32:56 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Cybercrime threat rising sharply

The threat of cybercrime is rising sharply, experts have warned at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

They called for a new system to tackle well-organised gangs of cybercriminals.

Online theft costs $1 trillion a year, the number of attacks is rising sharply and too many people do not know how to protect themselves, they said.

The internet was vulnerable, they said, but as it was now part of society's central nervous system, attacks could threaten whole economies.

The past year had seen "more vulnerabilities, more cybercrime, more malicious software than ever before", more than had been seen in the past five years combined, one of the experts reported.

Read More

Monday, February 02, 2009 9:30:04 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, February 01, 2009
ITU's Secretary-General invited to the 12th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly
The Secretary-General of ITU, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, was invited by Dr Jean Ping, Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, to participate in the 12th Odinary Session of the African Union Assembly from 1st to 3rd February. The Assembly was honoured with a very high panel of participants. The ITU Secretary-General had the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with several Presidents and Prime Ministers, receiving very positive feedback regarding the participation of highest level Government Representatives to ITU Telecom World 2009 in Geneva.
 
 
Sunday, February 01, 2009 3:51:40 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 30, 2009
CDM Methodologies Panel Report and Annexes Released

The report of the 36th meeting of the Panel on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) baseline and monitoring methodologies and its annexes are now available on the CDM website. The meeting convened from 19-23 January 2009, at the UN Campus in Bonn, Germany.

The report outlines the issues considered by the Panel at its 36th meeting, which include: proposed new methodologies; requests for clarification on and revision to approved methodologies; issues of general guidance and tools; and schedule of meetings and rounds of submissions of proposed new methodologies. On the proposed new methodologies, the Panel recommended four for approval and four for non-approval. The Panel could not complete its consideration of some of the methodologies because of some pending and/or unresolved issues.

The Panel’s recommendations, made to the Executive Board for its consideration, are final and are also published on the CDM website. Regarding the schedule of meetings, the Panel confirmed that its 37th meeting will be held from 2-6 March 2009, as per annex 16 of the report of the 43rd meeting of the Executive Board.

Read more.

Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change

Friday, January 30, 2009 2:18:14 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
European Commission Releases Proposals for “Comprehensive Climate Change Agreement in Copenhagen”

The European Commission has released a communication entitled “Towards a comprehensive climate change agreement in Copenhagen,” which sets out proposals to achieve the EU’s objective to ensure that global average temperature does not increase more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

It addresses three key challenges:

  • targets by developed countries and appropriate actions by developing countries;
  • the need to address the financing of actions by developing countries (both to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change);
  • and the need to build an effective global carbon market.

Read more.

Find out more on ITU's actvities on climate change.

Friday, January 30, 2009 2:14:51 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Urges Leaders to Forge ‘Green New Deal’ to Fight World Recession

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the world’s business and other leaders to use the current economic crisis to launch a global “Green New Deal” that creates jobs and fights climate change by investing in renewable energy and technological development.

“Climate change threatens all our goals for development and social progress. Indeed, it is the one true existential threat to the planet,” he told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in a speech that drew parallels from the Global Compact of corporate responsibility launched 10 years ago by then-Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the same hall.

Read more

Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change

Friday, January 30, 2009 2:07:50 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 29, 2009
Why conventional protection fails against web threats

Web threats: Why conventional protection doesn't work

This white paper from Trend Micro describes web threats, how they function, and their impacts. The paper argues that conventional security practices cannot cope with today's "blended techniques, an explosion of variants, and targeted regional attacks often based on social engineering to defraud users".

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Thursday, January 29, 2009 5:28:09 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
DDoS attack boots Kyrgyzstan from net

The central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan was effectively knocked offline for more than a week by a Russian cybermilitia that continues to flood the country's internet providers with crippling data attacks, a security expert said.

The attacks, which began on January 18, bear the signature of pro-Russian nationalists believed to have launched similar cyber assaults on the republic of Georgia in August, said Don Jackson, a researcher with Atlanta-based security provider SecureWorks. The attacks on Kyrgyzstan were so potent that most net traffic in and out of the country was completely blocked during the first seven days.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009 5:25:46 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Judges grant McKinnon extradition review

Judges have granted a review of the Home Secretary's decision to continue with extradition proceedings against Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon.

The decision - by Lord Justice Maurice Key and Mr Justice Simon - places a judicial block on attempts to haul McKinnon over to the US on hacking offences, irrespective of whether UK prosecutors decide to press charges in Britain. In a statement issued on Friday, McKinnon's lawyers Kaim Todner welcomed the decision, pointing out that even though McKinnon took his appeal against extradition all the way up to the House of Lords, no court has considered the impact of extradition in light of McKinnon's recent diagnosis with Asperger's syndrome.

Since his diagnosis, autism experts have expressed concern over whether the 43-year-old could handle extradition, let alone the likelihood of trial and imprisonment in the US. It's unclear whether the Home Office has obtained promises that McKinnon would be immediately repatriated to the UK after any prospective US trial, assurance obtained at the last minute in the case of the NatWest Three, who were extradited to the US in 2006.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009 10:20:20 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Spammers target Twitter

After undermining the usefulness of email, turning newsgroups into a forum for promoting sex sites and filling blog comment sections with adverts for penis pill adverts and get rich quick schemes, spammers have set their sights on a new target - Twitter.

Richard Stiennon of ThreatChaos.com has published an analysis explaining how spammers are lining up to exploit the popular micro-blogging service as a medium for junk mail messages.

An application called TweetTornado takes advantage of the fact most Twitter users permit followers to join their feeds without permission. The application creates a large number of bogus Twitter IDs, each following a large number of users, before posting Tweets with links from a text file.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009 10:08:00 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ICANN freezes over fast flux fury

The non-profit group that oversees the internet's address system is seeking the public's help in deciding what to do about the growing use of a technology known as fast flux, which is used by cybercriminals to thwart take-down efforts, but which can also be used for legitimate purposes as well.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) opened a 20-day comment period on Monday, the same day its Working Group on Fast Flux issued a report saying, essentially, that its members are deadlocked on key questions about how to proceed.

"Some members of the Working Group provided reasons as to why policy development to address fast flux is outside the scope of ICANN's remit, while others disagreed," the interim report (PDF) stated. "Gaining a common appreciation and broad understanding of the motivations behind the employment of fast flux or adaptive networking techniques proved to be a particularly thorny problem for the WG."

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009 10:06:25 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Microsoft boasts 'out of box' IE8 clickjack protection

Microsoft has beefed up its latest Internet Explorer browser with an "out of the box" feature that it says will protect users against a serious class of attacks that allows maliciously controlled websites to manipulate the links visitors click on.

The new measure, baked into Redmond's first release candidate for IE8, blocks so-called clickjacking attacks, a threat that security researchers warn plagues users of every major browser.

Once lured to a malicious address, a user may think she's clicking on a link that leads to Google - when in fact it takes her to a money transfer page, a banner ad that's part of a click-fraud scheme, or any other destination the attacker chooses. Because it exploits architectural flaws in the internet's core, clickjacking has proved an extremely vexing problem to fix.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009 10:05:01 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UK will not legislate on piracy

The UK's Intellectual Property minister David Lammy has said the government will not force internet service providers to pursue file sharers.

There had been mounting speculation about government legislation on the issue as the music industry steps up its fight against the pirates.

Other countries, such as France, have supported tough action on file-sharers, who cost the industry millions.

But Mr Lammy said legislation would be too complex.

"We can't have a system where we're talking about arresting teenagers in their bedrooms," he told The Times newspaper.

Talk of the government forcing internet service providers to evict file-sharers from their networks grew last year as the British Phonographic Industry adopted a tougher stance.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009 10:02:22 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The Board of the "Digital Solidarity Fund" meets in Bamako: "World Digital Solidarity Day" to be celebrated on 17 May

Bamako's meeting on "Digital Solidarity for Education and Development" took place in Bamako, as a follow-up to the first digital solidarity conference held last November in Lyon. heads of state, government members, national representatives, international organizations and private sector companies participated in a fruitful discussion. Various intiatives were launched at the meeting, such as the  "Digital education for all" programme, the "Sankoré" website and the celebration, under the umbrella of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), of the World Digital Solidarity Day on 17 May.

ITU was represented at the meeting by its Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 4:48:23 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Job website hit by major breach

Hackers are believed to have stolen the personal details of millions of people using the online job site Monster.

Users around the world have been affected, including the 4.5 million users of the UK site.

If all are affected it would make it the biggest data theft in the UK since the details of 25 million child benefit claimants went missing last year.

The recruitment giant has advised people to change their passwords and be on the lookout for phishing e-mails.

Recruitment sites have proved rich pickings for criminally-minded hackers in the past and it is not the first time Monster has fallen foul of cyber thieves.

In 2007, 1.3 million details were downloaded to servers based in Ukraine.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009 2:34:17 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Internet 2008 in numbers

What happened with the Internet in 2008? How many websites were added? How many emails were sent? How many blog posts were published? This very interesting post has answers to those questions and many others with more interesting statistics.

http://royal.pingdom.com/2009/01/22/internet-2008-in-numbers/

They have used a wide variety of sources from around the Web. A full list of source references is available at the bottom of the post for those interested.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 10:34:43 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Britannica reaches out to the web

The Encyclopaedia Britannica has unveiled a plan to let readers help keep the reference work up to date. Under the plan, readers and contributing experts will help expand and maintain entries online. Experts will also be enrolled in a reward scheme and given help to promote their command of a subject. However, Britannica said it would not follow Wikipedia in letting a wide range of people make contributions to its encyclopaedia.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009 10:33:43 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Google publishes "Browser Security Handbook"

This handbook is meant to provide web application developers, browser engineers, and information security researchers with a one-stop reference to key security properties of contemporary web browsers. Insufficient understanding of these often poorly-documented characteristics is a major contributing factor to the prevalence of several classes of security vulnerabilities.

Available at http://code.google.com/p/browsersec/wiki/Main

 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 10:30:55 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 23, 2009
White House plans open government

Searching for data about the Obama administration should get easier as the Whitehouse.gov website gets overhauled.

Mr Obama's new media team is letting search engines index almost everything on the site. By contrast, after eight years of government the Bush administration was stopping huge swathes of data from being searchable. The move is part of President Obama'

Open rule

Many websites limit what search engines can index by use of what is known as a robots.txt file. The robots.txt file the Bush administration set up for Whitehouse.gov ran to almost 2377 lines and limited the way search engines could log the data found on the site. On the first day of the Barack administration the robots.txt file shrunk to two lines allowing, for the moment, search sites to index everything it contains. The new media team also created a Whitehouse.gov blog that will act as an informal record of events, speeches and decisions.s larger push to make the US government more open and transparent.

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Friday, January 23, 2009 9:58:12 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 22, 2009
ICT for a Global Sustainable Future: How can ICT durably contribute to the wellbeing of all citizens?

From left to right: Luiz Fernando Ferreirada Silva, Eduard Dundler, Hamadoun Toure, Basievon Solms, Roland BurgeThe European Commission Conference on ICT for a Global Sustainable Future was held in Brussels on 22-23 January 2009. As one of the keynote speakers ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, offered his views on how ICTs can estimulate economic growth and boost business. He also addressed the issue of Climate Change and how ICTs can be effective in helping reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

Thursday, January 22, 2009 5:40:29 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Windows virus infects 9m computers

The number of Windows computers infected with the new "downadup" worm – also known as "Conficker" and "Kido" – has exploded to almost 9 million worldwide, from roughly 2.4m last Thursday, according to the computer security company F-Secure.

The growth in the number of infected machines – which the company's researchers called "just amazing" – makes it one of the worst malware outbreaks of the past five years. The principal targets are corporate Windows servers belonging to small businesses who have not installed security updates released by Microsoft last October. F-Secure estimates that a third of all potentially vulnerable systems have not had the update.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009 12:00:57 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Conficker seizes city's hospital network

Staff at hospitals across Sheffield are battling a major computer worm outbreak after managers turned off Windows security updates for all 8,000 PCs on the vital network, The Register has learned.

It's been confirmed that more than 800 computers have been infected with self-replicating Conficker code. Insiders at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust said they suspect many more machines are affected but have not been reported to IT.

The Trust told The Register it now has the outbreak under control and is engaged in "clearing up" remnants. Non-urgent appointments in the medical imaging department had to be cancelled while its computers were disinfected. A Trust spokeswoman said no other direct impact on patient care was known.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009 11:53:07 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
US credit card payment house breached by sniffing malware

Heartland Payment Systems - a payments processor that serves more than 250,000 US businesses - warned consumers Tuesday that their card data may have been compromised following a security breach of the company's payment system.

The Princeton, New Jersey firm said forensic investigators discovered malicious software on its computer network last week. Executives urged cardholders to closely examine their monthly credit and debit card statements and report any unauthorized charges to the issuers.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009 11:51:40 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
New OS X research warns of stealthier Mac attacks

A  computer security researcher has discovered a new way to inject hostile code directly into the memory of machines running Apple's OS X operating system, a technique that makes it significantly harder for investigators to detect Mac attacks using today's forensics practices.

The technique, which Italian researcher Vincenzo Iozzo plans to detail at the Black Hat security conference in Washington next month, makes it possible to carry out stealthy Mac attacks that until now have not been possible. The in-memory injection approach allows unauthorized software to be installed on a Mac without leaving traces of the attack code or other tell-tale signs that the machine has been compromised.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009 11:50:21 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 19, 2009
Video message on multilinguism by ITU Secretary-General

19-21 January 2009, Bamako (Mali)
ITU's Secretray-General, Dr hamadoun I. Touré, participated through a video message at Bamako's International Forum on Multilinguism, organized by MAAYA (World Network for Linguistic Diversity).

Monday, January 19, 2009 1:25:22 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UNGA Adopts Climate Change-Related Resolutions

Among 34 development-related actions put forward by its Second Committee (Economic and Financial), the UN General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted a number of resolutions reflecting the breadth of the Committee’s agenda, including consideration of the economic ramifications of climate change, and addressing the need for a more equitable international financial system and to bolster developing countries’ resilience to financial risk.

Among the climate change-related resolutions, the UNGA: proclaimed 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry, with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as the lead agency and focal point for the Year, and emphasized that chemistry education is critical to addressing the challenge of global climate change (document A/63/414); supported international efforts and funding to prevent and manage natural disasters, as well as extreme weather patterns; called upon the international community to step up efforts for full implementation of the Hyogo Declaration and the Hyogo Framework for Action; called upon the international community, the Secretary-General and relevant UN bodies to help strengthen the International Research Centre on El Niño (document A/63/414/Add.3); stressed the need to further advance and implement the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-Building (document A/63/414/Add.7); called for urgent global action to address climate change for the benefit of present and future generations, and urged parties to the UNFCCC to continue using the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in their work (document A/63/414/Add.4); urged all governments, relevant organizations, UN bodies and the Global Environment Facility to take timely action to effectively follow-up and implement the Strategy and the Mauritius Declaration, and called upon the international community to help Small Island Developing States adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change (document A/63/414/Add.2); encouraged governments to promote sustainable urbanization to improve the living conditions of vulnerable populations, including slum-dwellers and the urban poor, and to help mitigate climate change (UN-Habitat document A/63/415); and reaffirmed its partnership with the Pacific Island Forum through the lens of the serious threats posed to vulnerable island States by climate change and the global economic recession (document A/63/L.56).

UN Press release

Find out more on ITU's actvities on climate change

Monday, January 19, 2009 1:09:50 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UN Secretary-General: Climate Change is the “One True Existential Threat to Our Planet”
In his first press conference of the year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that 2009 is “the year of climate change.” He stressed that the climate change summit in Copenhagen is only 11 months away and indicated that he would engage world leaders on the key issues in the negotiations, beginning later this month at the World Economic Forum in Davos and working toward a high-level meeting on the margins of the general debate in September.

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Find out more on ITU's actvities on climate change

Monday, January 19, 2009 12:59:47 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 16, 2009
Ban Marks UN Year of Climate Change

In his New Year’s message to Koreans, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the Korean government to take a more active role in global efforts to tackle climate change.

Ban stressed that this is the UN Year of Climate Change, urging Seoul to live up to its growing status in the international community.

“Climate change, which is threatening the future of all mankind and the entire globe, is an urgent task that all members of the international community, regardless of ethnicity or national boundaries, must tackle altogether,” the former Korean foreign minister said in the message.

“So I designated 2009 as the UN Year of Climate Change and expect the Korean government and the international community to participate more actively and offer support for the UN’s efforts to tackle the problem.”

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Find out more on ITU's actvities on climate change

Friday, January 16, 2009 2:16:33 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Computing's Carbon Footprint Gets Bigger

The global computing industry is starting to rival aviation in its contribution to global warming. The computing sector has come under increasing scrutiny over energy consumption and the carbon emissions of data centers, in particular, as the debate over emissions widens beyond the traditional targets like coal plants, heavy industry and planes.

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Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change

Friday, January 16, 2009 2:05:16 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Prolific worm infects 3.5m Windows PCs

A prolific new worm has spread to infect more than 3.5m Windows PCs, according to net security firm F-secure. The success of the Conficker (AKA Downadup) worm is explained by its use of multiple attack vectors and new social engineering ruses, designed to hoodwink the unwary into getting infected.

The worm uses a complex algorithm to develop a changing daily list of domains which infected machines attempt to establish contact with. Hackers need only register one of these possible names to establish contact with the botnet established by Conficker. The tactic is designed to frustrate attempts by security watchers to dismantle the command and control network associated with compromised machines.

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Friday, January 16, 2009 9:46:45 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
419ers take Canadian for $150,000

Canadian man who fell for a 419 scam was taken for $150,000 by advance fee fraudsters who conducted a textbook operation to fleece their victim.

John Rempel of Leamington, Ontario, got an email back in 2007 from "someone claiming to be a lawyer with a client named David Rempel who died in a 2005 bomb attack in London", the Windsor Star reports. The email claimed the "deceased" had left $12.8m, and since he had no family "wanted to leave the money to a Rempel".

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Friday, January 16, 2009 9:42:35 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Child porn in the age of teenage 'sexting'

An international child pornography ring that traded more than 400,000 illegal images and videos - some depicting pre-pubescent children in sexual and sadistic acts - is the kind of heinous behavior that makes you glad there are strict laws against such things. Seven US men were convicted of the crime on Wednesday.

Then there are the miscarriages of such laws, like the charging this week of six Pennsylvania teens alleged to have sent and received nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves on cell phones. It's the kind of case overzealous prosecutors have begun bringing with alarming frequency over the past year or two.

There's a stark difference between the two sorts of crimes. The first represent the almost unspeakable depravity of adult monsters who prey on the utterly defenseless. The latter threaten to brand individuals who have yet to reach the age of 18 as sex offenders for indiscretions that are largely victimless. [Source: The Register]

Read More...

Friday, January 16, 2009 9:37:49 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Next-gen botnet armies fill spam void

The demise late last year of four of the world's biggest spam botnets was good news for anyone with an email inbox, as spam levels were cut in half - almost overnight. But the vacuum has created opportunities for a new breed of bots, some of which could be much tougher to bring down, several security experts are warning.

New botnets with names like Waledac and Xarvester are filling the void left by the dismantling of Storm and the impairment of Bobax, Rustock, and Srizbi, these researchers say. The new breed of botnets - massive networks of infected Windows machines that spammers use to blast out billions of junk messages - sport some new designs that may make them more immune to current take-down tactics.

Waledac is a good example. It appears to be a complete revision of Storm, that includes the same state-of-the-art peer-to-peer technology and fast-flux hosting found in its predecessor, according to researcher Joe Stewart of Atlanta-based security provider SecureWorks. But it differs from Storm in one significant way: Weak encryption protocols, which proved to be an Achilles Heel that led to its downfall, have been completely revamped.

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Friday, January 16, 2009 9:34:44 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 14, 2009
School's links to porn site end

A school in Ipswich has finally got the internet domain of its own name after a three-year battle.

Instead of directing people to the school, the site has been directing users to online dating which then link to sites advertising "Mature Sex."

Framlingham College first tried to get the site at www.framlinghamcollege.co.uk shut in 2005, but was unsuccessful.

The domain registry Nominet has now ruled in the school's favour on appeal.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009 2:53:45 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Gaza crisis spills onto the web

A propaganda war is being waged on the internet between supporters of the Israeli and Palestinian sides in the current conflict in the Gaza Strip.

Activists have turned to defacing websites, taking over computers, and shutting down Facebook groups.

US Military sites, Nato, and an Israeli Bank have all been targeted.

Experts have warned users to be on the lookout for phishing emails and webmasters to ensure their servers are secure.

The hacking of security barriers for political or ideological reasons has been branded by some as hacktivism. And it is thought that as use of the internet grows, so too will the number of attacks.

Defaced

On 7 January, pro-Palestinian hackers defaced several high-profile websites, including a US Army website, and the Nato Parliamentary Assembly's website.

Calling themselves "Agd_Scorp/Peace Crew", they replaced pages with white space and a well-known photograph of a boy throwing stones at an Israeli tank in Gaza, and the Israeli, American and British flags with a red strike through them.

"Stop attacks u israel and usa ! you cursed nations ! one day muslims will clean the world from you!" wrote the hackers.

Dwight Griswold, the Nato Parliamentary Assembly's head of IT, says that the attackers persisted in attempting access for a number of days following the initial attack, adding that the intruders did not gain access to any of the Assembly's internal servers.

[...]

Facebook fight

The battle also looms large on social networking site Facebook, where dozens of groups related to the conflict in Gaza have sprung up.

 

The clash flared up when a group using the logo of the Jewish Internet Defence Force (JIDF) took control of several of these groups.

They removed content and replaced it with statements supporting Israeli policy and criticising the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which controls Gaza, and replaced the groups' images with the JIDF logo.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009 2:50:45 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 22, 2008
New guidelines boost web access

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced a new standard to make sites more accessible to older and disabled people.

Version 2.0 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) will apply to text, images, audio and video.

It also covers web applications and is said to give developers more flexibility than the old guidelines.

According to the consortium, WCAG 2.0 should also be easier to understand and use.

The guidance is designed to address barriers encountered by people with visual, hearing, physical, cognitive and neurological disabilities and older people with access needs.

Read more

Monday, December 22, 2008 12:31:06 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 18, 2008
Nine in ten emails now spam

Nine in ten emails are now spam with an estimated 200bn junk mail messages a day clogging up the internet, according to a new report by networking and security giant Cisco.

Drive-by download attacks - planting redirection scripts on legitimate sites that lead onto hacker controlled websites full of exploits - have become a popular method for spreading all forms of malware, including botnet clients that turn PCs into spam-churning zombies.

The US is the single biggest source of spam, accounting for 17.2 per cent of junk mail. Other big offenders include Turkey (9.2 per cent), Russia (8 per cent), Canada (4.7 per cent), Brazil (4.1 per cent), India (3.5 per cent), South Korea (3.3 per cent), Germany and the UK (2.9 per cent each).

The latest 2008 edition of Cisco's annual security report notes a 90 percent growth in threats stemming from legitimate domains, nearly double that recorded in 2007. Numerous mainstream websites were loaded with iFrames, malicious scripts that redirect visitors to malware-downloading sites.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008 10:00:34 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Microsoft issues emergency IE patch as attacks escalate

Microsoft has issued a rare emergency update for its Internet Explorer browser as miscreants stepped up attacks targeting a vulnerability on hundreds of thousands of webpages.

In many cases, the websites distributing the toxic payload are legitimate destinations that have been commandeered, allowing an attacker to snare victims as they surf to online banks, forums, and other trusted sites. There are at least six distinct versions of attack code circulating in the wild, according to researchers at iDefense, a security lab owned by VeriSign.

A web search showed 233,000 pages containing the string ardoshanghai.com/s.js, just one of many web addresses exploiting a weakness in the way IE's data-binding function works. Most of the attacks silently install keylogging software as soon as a victim surfs to a site carrying the exploit. Once installed, the software steals login credentials for online games.

"The vulnerability is so juicy that we expect it to show up in tool kits fairly shortly," said Rick Howard, intelligence director of iDefense.

The patch was released eight days after reports began circulating that websites were targeting a vulnerability in fully patched versions of IE. This is only the second time in 18 months that Microsoft has issued an unscheduled update. Typically, patches are available on the second Tuesday of each month to allow system administrators time for planning.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008 9:53:02 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Discussion on cybersecurity at the Erice Prize Award in Rome, held at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Vatican, 17 December 2008: On the ocasion of the Erice Prize Award in Rome, world reknown scientists discuss global cybersecurity perspectives, their legal challenges and the threat of cyberwar. ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré speaks on cyber conflict and cyber defence in the framework of ITU's Global Cybersecurity Agenda and sends an invitation to the global negotiating table.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 5:05:59 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Legal papers served via Facebook

An Australian couple have been served with legal documents via the popular social networking site Facebook.

Mark McCormack, a lawyer in Canberra, persuaded a court to allow him to use the unusual method after other attempts to reach them failed. The couple's home is being repossessed after they reportedly missed payments on a loan of over A$100,000 ($67,000; £44,000). It is believed to be the first time Facebook has been used in this way.

'Friends'

Mr McCormack says he resorted to Facebook to trace the couple after unsuccessful attempts to contact them at their home address and via email, and they failed to attend a court appearance on 3 October.  He found the woman's page, and used details listed there such as her date of birth to argue in the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court that she was the person in question. Her partner was listed as one of her "friends".

In granting permission to use the social networking site, the judge stipulated that the papers be sent via a private email so that other people visiting the page could not read their contents. "It's somewhat novel, however we do see it as a valid method of bringing the matter to the attention of a defendant," Mr McCormack said.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 2:22:18 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 12, 2008
Net firms rebuff filtering plan

Australian government plans to filter net use have been rebuffed by local internet service providers (ISPs).

Telstra, Australia's largest ISP, has said it will not join trials of the filters and others say they will only back a scaled-down system. The government wants to filter all net traffic and block access to 10,000 sites deemed to hold illegal content. The initial trials of the filtering technology were due to take place before Christmas.

Protest plan

Australian newspaper The Age reports that both Telstra and Internode have declared they will not participate in the trials. iiNet said it wanted to take part to show that the filters do not work and Optus would only work with a scaled back plan. The plan to set up mandatory filters followed research by the Australian Communications and Media Authority which found that existing filters did a poor job of blocking illegal content. Responding to the rebuff by ISPs, Australia's communications minister Stephen Conroy said the initial trials would not be "closed" and involve no actual customers.

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Friday, December 12, 2008 5:05:51 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
US shuts down 'scareware' sellers

The US government has moved to shut down sellers of fake security software.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has won a restraining order that stops several sellers of "scareware" from continuing to trade. Millions of people are thought to have been caught out by the software which, once installed, issues false alerts about viruses and illegal porn. The FTC is pursuing further legal action to win a permanent ban on those peddling the scareware.

Frozen funds

Court papers submitted by the FTC show that the peddlers of the fake security software tricked websites into advertising their products. The companies behind the fake security software won customers via adverts on many popular websites. Anyone clicking on an advert was taken to the webpages run by the fake security firms which then ran a "scan" looking for security problems.

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Friday, December 12, 2008 5:04:35 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU World Radiocommunication Seminar: Focus on revised ITU Radio Regulations

Geneva, 12 December 2008: The ITU World Radiocommunication Seminar 2008 (WRS-08) closed in Geneva today. The week-long meeting dealt with international regulations on the use of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits. Discussions centred on the application of the ITU Radio Regulations, the treaty which regulates international wireless communications. The Seminar also examined the activities of the ITU Radiocommunication Study Groups and focused on the use of ICT in emergency situations and as a solution to combat climate change.

WRS-08 was opened by ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré and Director of ITU’s Radicommunication Bureau Valery Timofeev in the presence of 461 participants, representing 121 countries and 13 organizations. The Chairman of the ITU Radio Regulations Board, Ms Julie Zoller also participated. The European Broadcasting Union, represented by Ms Elena Puigrefagut, presented the challenges and lessons learned by the switchover to digital broadcasting. [Read de full note to the press...]

 

Friday, December 12, 2008 3:48:55 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 11, 2008
Men charged for global porn links

Australian police have charged at least 19 men with being part of a global child pornography network involving people in 70 countries.

The investigation was prompted by a tip-off from Brazilian police. The men who have been charged include a police officer, a senior lawyer and a childcare worker. Some 500,000 images of child abuse and 15,000 videos were seized, and the Australian Federal Police said more arrests were expected later this week. Some of the seized videos showed victims as young as 12 months old, while others showed children being abused for more than two hours. "These are some of the worst images, I must say, that the Federal Police have ever seen," Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Andrew Colvin told reporters. The Australians said that information supplied by Brazil to the international policing network, Interpol, had helped identify more than 200 suspects in 70 countries. [Source: BBC News]

Read More...

Thursday, December 11, 2008 12:20:43 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Facebook worm hijacks web search

A new variant of the Koobface worm has returned to menace users of Facebook. As before, the malware generates messages to friends of infected users on the social networking website. These messages direct the unwary into visiting websites that supposedly offer video clips. Would-be marks are told they need the latest copy of Adobe Flash to view this content and are prompted to download a file, which actually contains the worm's payload.

If the code executes on a vulnerable Windows PC the user gets infected. The worm's lifecycle then begins anew, ready to target their Facebook friends too.  The malware was first spotted in late July.

Read More

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 11:31:01 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
21 million German bank accounts - yours for only €12m

Identity thieves who claim they stole details of 21 million German bank accounts are offering to sell the data on the black market for €12 million (US$15.3 million), a German magazine reported over the weekend.

To prove they weren't bluffing, the crooks produced the compact disc containing the names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdays account numbers, and bank routing numbers of 1.2 million accounts. Two investigative reporters for WirtschaftsWoche say they obtained the CD during a face-to-face meeting at a hotel in Hamburg with two individuals involved with the theft. The journalists were posing as interested buyers working for a gambling operation.

"We took away with us the first delivery, a CD with 1.2 million accounts, that we couldn't imagine," said one of the editors overseeing the investigation. "In the worst case, three out of four German households would have to be afraid that some money could be taken from their checking account without their authorisation, and perhaps even without their realising it," the magazine stated.

Read More

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 11:29:00 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 08, 2008
United Nations Climate Change Conference - Poznañ, Poland

The United Nations Climate Change Conference - Poznañ, Poland kicked off Monday, 1 December. The two-week meeting, the fourteenth Conference of the 192 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the fourth meeting of the 183 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, is the half-way mark in the negotiations on an ambitious and effective international response to climate change.

The deal is to be clinched in Copenhagen at the end of 2009 and will take effect in 2013, the year after the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol expires. Close to eleven thousand participants, including government delegates from 186 Parties to the UNFCCC and representatives from business and industry, environmental organizations and research institutions, are attending the two-week gathering.

ITU is organizing a side-event on "ICT and Climate Change: Finding Solutions" which will take place on 10 December 2008 from 10.00 to 12.30 hours, Econcern Sustainable Energy Event at The World Trade Center - Conference Room 1, Poznan, Poland.

Information about this side-event can be found here or by contacting Ms. Cristina Bueti at climate@itu.int

Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change.

UNFCCC Press release can be found here.

Monday, December 08, 2008 10:10:04 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
New trojan in mass DNS hijack

Researchers have identified a new trojan that can tamper with a wide array of devices on a local network, an exploit that sends them to impostor websites even if they are hardened machines that are fully patched or run non-Windows operating systems.

The malware is a new variant of the DNSChanger, a trojan that has long been known to change the domain name system settings of PCs and Macs alike. According to researchers with anti-virus provider McAfee's Avert Labs, the update allows a single infected machine to pollute the DNS settings of potentially hundreds of other devices running on the same local area network by undermining its dynamic host configuration protocol, or DHCP, which dynamically allocates IP addresses.

"Systems that are not infected with the malware can still have the payload of communicating with the rogue DNS servers delivered to them," McAfee's Craig Schmugar writes here of the new variant. "This is achieved without exploiting any security vulnerability."

Read More

Monday, December 08, 2008 10:16:54 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Brit ISPs censor Wikipedia over 'child porn' album cover

Six British ISPs are filtering access to Wikipedia after the site was added to an Internet Watch Foundation child-pornography blacklist, according to Wikipedia administrators.

As of Sunday morning UK time, certain British web surfers were unable to view at least one Wikipedia article tagged with ostensible child porn. And, in a roundabout way, the filtering has resulted in Wikipedia admins banning large swaths of the United Kingdom from editing the "free encyclopedia anyone can edit."

On Friday, Wikipedia administrators noticed that Virgin Media, Be Unlimited/O2/Telefonica, EasyNet/UK Online, PlusNet, Demon, and Opal were routing Wikipedia traffic through a small number of transparent proxy servers as a way of blocking access to the encyclopedia's article on Virgin Killer, a mid-1970s record album from German heavy band Scorpions.

At it stands, the article includes an image of the album's original cover, which depicts a naked prepubescent girl. The cover was banned in many countries and replaced by another when the album made its 1976 debut. And apparently, the image is now on a blacklist compiled by the Internet Watch Foundation, a government-backed organization charged with fighting online child pornography in the UK and Europe. [Source: The Register]

Read More...

Monday, December 08, 2008 10:15:37 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 05, 2008
Don't miss: ICTs and Climate Change:Finding Solutions Side-event, Poznan (Poland), 10 December 2008

ICTs and Climate Change:Finding Solutions Side-event will be held in Poznan (Poland), from 09.00 to 12.30 hours, on Wednesday 10 December 2008.

ICTs are a vital tool in every aspect of our daily lives and they also present the best possible hope we have for combating climate change, and tackling the 98% of emissions produced by sectors other than ICTs.

At ITU, we’re promoting ICTs as a powerful cross-cutting solution to not only reduce the emissions within its own industry but also significantly reduce the GHG emissions of other sectors.

With ICTs an essential part of the ongoing global discussion, come to our side-event on Wednesday to find out:

-- How ICTs can provide solutions to reduce the GHG emissions produced by other sectors of the economy.

-- How ICTs can help developing countries to adapt to climate change.

-- Why ICTs are essential in measuring climate change.

-- How ICTs can help mitigate disasters and emergencies

-- What cost savings can be leveraged by applying ICTs to global infrastructure and industry.

-- How the ICT industry could help reduce global emissions by as much as 15 per cent by 2020.

Practical information:

What: Side-event on ICTs and Climate Change: Finding Solutions

When: 10.00-12.30, Wednesday 10 December

Where: Conference Room 1, World Trade Center, Poznan, Poland

Organizers: ITU -- the UN specialized agency for ICTs -- in partnership with Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and the European Business Council for Sustainable Energy (e5)

Website: http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/events/2008-12-10.html

List of speakers:

Mr. Houlin Zhao, Deputy Secretary-General of ITU
Mr. Luis Neves, GeSI Chairman
Mr. Sebastian Gallehr, Chief Executive Director, e5 European Business Council for Sustainable Energy
Mr. Bjorn Stigson, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
Dr. Ignacio Campino, Senior Executive Vice President and Representative of the Board of Management for Sustainability and Climate Protection, Deutsche Telekom
Dr. Chris Tuppen, Chief Sustainability Officer, BT Group
Mr. Joaquim Croca, Corporate Responsibility Executive, Vodafone
Mr. Pierre Delforge, Manager, Energy and Climate Strategy, HP
Mr. Shailendra Mudgal, Senior Vice President, BIO Intelligence Service
Ms. Cristina Bueti, Policy Analyst, ITU

Information about this side event can be found here or by contacting us at climate@itu.int

Find out more on ITU's actvities on climate change.

Friday, December 05, 2008 6:59:06 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 03, 2008
ITU Secretary-General speaks at the Opening Session of the Internet Governance Forum in Hyderabad, India

At the 2008 Internet Governance Forum (3-6 December, Hyberabad, India) ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, presented the latest ITU activities and achievements in this domain. He also underlined the most critical issues to be addressed in the future.

 

Wednesday, December 03, 2008 2:53:42 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 01, 2008
EU to search out cyber criminals

Remote searches of suspect computers will form part of an EU plan to tackle hi-tech crime.

The five-year action plan will take steps to combat the growth in cyber theft and the machines used to spread spam and other malicious programs.

It will also encourage better sharing of data among European police forces to track down and prosecute criminals.

Europol will co-ordinate the investigative work and also issue alerts about cyber crime sprees.

Data share

The five-year plan won the backing of the EU ministers at a meeting which also granted 300,000 euros (£250,000) to Europol to create the system to pool crime reports and issue alerts about emerging threats.

The ministerial meeting also backed the anti-cyber crime strategy that will see the creation of cross-border investigation teams and sanction the use of virtual patrols to police some areas of the net.

Other "practical measures" include encouraging better sharing of information between police forces in member nations and private companies on investigative methods and trends.

In particular the strategy aims to tackle the trade in images of children being sexually abused. In a statement outlining the strategy the EU claimed "half of all internet crime involves the production, distribution and sale of child pornography".

Forces will also take part in "remote searches" and patrol online to track down criminals. The EU said controls were in place to ensure that data protection laws were not breached as this information was gathered and shared.

"The strategy encourages the much needed operational cooperation and information exchange between the Member States," said EC vice-president Jacques Barrot in a statement.

"If the strategy is to make the fight against cyber crime more efficient, all stakeholders have to be fully committed to its implementation," he added. [Source: BBC News]

Read More...

Monday, December 01, 2008 4:12:46 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, November 29, 2008
Global broadband subscribers exceeded 400 million in November 2008

TelecomWeb is reporting that the number of broadband subscribers in the world surpassed the 400 million mark in November 2008. Global broadband subscribers amounted to only 57,000 ten years ago in 1998, but are projected to exceed 680 million in another five years (2013), despite the current economic situation.

Source: Point Topic.

However, the geographical distribution of broadband subscribers is very concentrated. ITU monitors prices for fixed broadband access around the world and estimates that commercial fixed broadband access was available in some 181 countries in 2007.  According to Point Topic, only forty countries account for some 98% of all global broadband subscribers presently. 

Such an intense concentration of broadband subscribers (in mainly OECD countries, China and a few other countries) has strong implications for reshaping the digital divide - broadband technology offers opportunities for using advanced applications in enhanced Internet access, but Internet users in many countries may continue to be excluded from high-speed Internet access. ITU continues to monitor the development of the digital divide and is undertaking many projects to bring high-speed broadband Internet access to rural and underserved areas.

Read more here.

Saturday, November 29, 2008 10:01:47 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 28, 2008
The Lyon Conference for Digital Solidarity asks ITU Secretary-General to forward the final declaration of the Conference to the WSIS + 3 meeting held in Hammamet this week.

The Lyon Conference for Digital Solidarity was held in Lyon on 24 November 2008 at the invitation of President Nicolas Sarkozy, on a proposal made by the President of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, and under the French presidency of the European Union. The Conference concluded with a final declaration recalling the importance of bridging the digital divide to help achieving the UN Millenium Development Goals. This final declaration asks the ITU Secretary-General to forward the document to the WSIS + 3 meeting taking place in Hammamet, Tunisia, on 27-28 November 2008.  

Friday, November 28, 2008 11:47:06 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Booming cybercrime economy sucks in recruits

The underground economy is booming even as the rest of the economy lurches towards recession, according to a new study by Symantec.

The net security giant reports that the cybercrime economy has grown into an efficient, global marketplace to handle the trade in stolen goods and fraud-related services. It estimates the combined value of goods in underground forums at $276m for the 12 months prior to the end of June 2008.

Credit card data made up nearly a third (31 per cent) of the advertised sales logged, recorded the Symantec study. Purloined credit card numbers sold for between $0.10 to $25 per card, with the average advertised stolen credit card limit coming in at around $4,000. Credit card information is often sold to fraudsters in job lots, with discounts for large purchases.

Login details for online accounts were the subject of one in five sales and the second most commonly offered commodity in underground crooks bazaars. Stolen login details were offered for anything between $10 and $1,000, depending on the balance and location of compromised accounts. The average balance of these accounts was around 40,000.

Other items up for sale included email accounts and pirated computer games or application software.

Online currency accounts were by far most popular method of payment, used to settle 63 percent of the sales monitored by Symantec.

Read More

A summary of Symantec's study can be found here. The full report is here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 4:18:29 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The battle against bogus e-mails

Spammers must send out around 12.5 million unsolicited e-mail messages before someone takes the bait and responds, according to research by the University of California, Berkeley.

David Reid finds out that despite many inboxes filling up with bulk messages, the profit margins of malicious spammers are rather vulnerable.

Any threat to their operation can erode away their profits, with 350 million junk e-mails a month earning just over $100 (£68) a day for those behind them.

"Fight for rights"

Microsoft is co-ordinating the latest attack on spammers by bringing together a coalition of companies, including Western Union and the African Development Bank, to fight lottery scams.

"Lottery scams in particular are e-mails or spam e-mails that tell you that you've won the lottery, and here's this huge amount of money and all you need to do is to pay these taxes up front or something like that in order to get your winnings," said Tim Cranton, the associate general counsel for Microsoft.

Read More

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 3:56:05 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Online fraudsters 'steal £3.3bn'

Hi-tech thieves who specialise in card fraud have a credit line in excess of $5bn (£3.35bn), research suggests.

Security firm Symantec calculated the figure to quantify the scale of fraud it found during a year-long look at the net's underground economy.

Credit card numbers were the most popular item on sale and made up 31% of all the goods on offer.

Coming in second were bank details which made up 20% of the items being offered on criminal chat channels.

The $5.3bn figure was reached by multiplying the average amount of fraud perpetrated on a stolen card, $350 (£234), by the many millions Symantec observed being offered for sale.

Similarly, the report said, if hi-tech thieves plundered all the bank accounts offered for sale they could net up to $1.7bn.

Read More

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 3:54:22 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 20, 2008
Dead network provider arms Rustock botnet

McColo, a network provider that was yanked offline following reports it enabled more than half the world's spam, briefly returned from the dead over the weekend so it could hand-off command and control channels to a new source, security researchers said.

The rogue network provider regained connectivity for about 12 hours on Saturday by making use of a backup arrangement it had with Swedish internet service provider TeliaSonera. During that time, McColo was observed pushing as much as 15MB of data per second to servers located in Russia, according to Paul Ferguson, a security researcher for anti-virus software maker Trend Micro.

The brief resurrection allowed miscreants who rely on McColo to update a portion of the massive botnets they use to push spam and malware. Researchers from FireEye saw PCs infected by the Rustock botnet being updated so they'd report to a new server located at abilena.podolsk-mo.ru for instructions. That means the sharp drop in spam levels reported immediately after McColo's demise isn't likely to last.

"It's going to take a little while before we probably see the spam levels go back up again, at least from those botnets," Ferguson told The Register. Because McColo was cut off so quickly after regaining connectivity, botnet operators were probably not able to update as many nodes as hoped, he added. Rustock is capable of sending 30 billion spam messages per day, according to researchers from anti-virus provider Sophos, which also witnessed the Rustock transition.

Read More

Thursday, November 20, 2008 10:44:27 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Microsoft to offer free security

In a surprise move, Microsoft has announced it will offer a free anti-virus and security solution from the second half of next year.

It will stop selling OneCare, its all-in-one security and PC management service, from the end of June 2009.

The new software, code-named Morro, will be a no-frills program suited to smaller and less powerful computers.

The software will be free to download and will support Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.

The move comes as sales of the OneCare subscription service are flagging - reportedly because the anti-virus marketplace is already flooded with big-name players such as Symantec and McAfee.

Since its launch in May 2006, OneCare has garnered less than 2% of the security software market share.

In a statement, Microsoft said that Morro would be designed specifically to be a small-footprint program that uses fewer system resources. This, it said, would be ideal for users with low-bandwidth connections or computers without much processing power.

Read More

Thursday, November 20, 2008 10:26:55 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 19, 2008
US 'cyber-bullying' case begins

Initial jury selection has begun in the trial of a Missouri woman alleged to have used a fake MySpace profile to bully a girl who later killed herself.

Lori Drew, 49, allegedly posed as a boy on the website to befriend Megan Meier, 13, who hanged herself after the "boy" broke off the virtual relationship.

Ms Drew denies charges of conspiracy and accessing protected computers without authorisation.

The trial is being seen as a landmark case concerning internet law.

Megan, a neighbour of Ms Drew in St Louis and a former friend of her daughter, took her own life in October 2006.

It is alleged that she killed herself after receiving several cruel messages from a fictitious 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans, including one saying the world would be better off without her.

Prosecutors say Ms Drew and several others created the boy on MySpace, the social networking website, after Megan Meier fell out with her daughter.

Read More

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 9:44:56 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Computer virus affects hospitals

Three London hospitals have been forced to shut down their entire computer systems for at least 24 hours after being hit by a virus.

The facilities together make up St Bartholomew's (Barts) and The London NHS Trust.

As well as Barts in the City, the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and The London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green are affected.

A spokesman said well-rehearsed emergency procedures were in place.

He could not say whether patient services, including scheduled procedures, have been affected by the glitch, which was first detected at 1200 GMT on Monday.

Read more

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 2:29:23 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 14, 2008
DoS and distributed hacking tools finally criminalised

Computer Misuse Act updated

A law criminalising denial of service attacks and the supply of hacking tools has been brought into force in England and Wales after a number of delays. The law was already in force in Scotland.

Denial of service (DoS) attacks involve the simultaneous sending of millions of messages or page requests to an organisation's servers. The sudden, massive deluge of information can render website and email servers inoperable.

The UK's main cybercrime law is the Computer Misuse Act, passed 18 years ago. Its application to denial of service attacks had been the subject of some confusion.

In 2005, charges were brought under that Act against teenager David Lennon who sent his former employer five million emails at once. The massive volume of email disabled the office server. A Magistrates' Court said that Lennon had no case to answer because the employer's system was designed to receive email. But the High Court later said that the original judge had erred in that ruling. Lennon eventually pleaded guilty and, in 2006, he was sentenced to two months' curfew with an electronic tag.

Read More

Friday, November 14, 2008 2:50:24 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
HLS-08 concludes with ITU Secretary-General's Declaration on Cybersecurity and Climate Change

The 63rd Session of ITU Council opened with a High-Level Segment, 12−13 November 2008. The meeting was inaugurated by two Heads of State, H.E. Mr Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, and H.E. Mr Blaise Compaoré, President of Burkina Faso, as well as by United Nations Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-moon via video message. It was attended by some 400 participants, 21 Ministers, Ambassadors and heads of regulatory organizations and UN agencies. The High-Level Segment concluded on 13 November 2008 with a Declaration by ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun Touré.

Extract from Dr Touré's Declaration:

"Cybersecurity is one of the most important challenges of our time. The rapid growth of ICT networks has enabled opportunists to exploit online vulnerabilities and attack countries’ critical infrastructure...

... Climate change is another profound challenge that is at work, transforming the face of the world. Whatever the underlying cause, at current rates of extinction, scientists predict that two-thirds of all bird, mammal, butterfly, and plant species will be extinct by the end of this century...
"

 

Friday, November 14, 2008 2:18:42 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 13, 2008
Climate Change and ICT Issues debated at the ITU High-Level Segment

The ITU High-Level Meeting on emerging trends in the ICT sector, including climate change and cybersecurity, brought together the Presidents of Burkina Faso and Rwanda along with Ministers, regulators and heads of UN agencies.

In his message to the gathering, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed ITU's commitment to 'connecting the world'. Commending ITU's work in striving to make the ICT sector climate neutral, Mr Ban said, "Climate change is the defining challenge of our era. Your work to cut greenhouse gas emissions, develop standards and use 'e-environment' systems can speed up the global shift to a low-carbon economy."

"Climate change is a grave concern for all humanity," stressed ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré. "Redressing the damage already done and mitigating future impact will require concerted efforts on the part of everyone, including the information and communication technology sector." He said ITU can play an active and valuable role in helping reduce carbon emissions - for example, through the development of technical standards that lower the power requirements of ICT equipment and services, and through helping pioneer new technologies that help reduce the carbon footprint of other industries, such as the automotive sector.

The programme of the High-Level Segment of ITU Council can be found here.

Find out more on ITU's actvities on climate change

Press Release: Presidents of Burkina Faso and Rwanda address new trends in ICT during the High-Level Segment.  

 

Thursday, November 13, 2008 3:50:42 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Spam plummets as gang leaves net

The closure of a web hosting firm that is believed to have had spam gangs as clients has led to a drastic reduction in junk mail.

Two US internet service providers have pulled the plug on the firm McColo following an investigation by the Washington Post newspaper. Anti-spam firm Ironport has seen junk mail levels drop by 70% since McColo was taken offline on 11 November. But, it warned, it will be a temporary respite from the menace of spam.

Plug pulled

"It is an unprecedented drop but will be a temporary outage as the networks move from North America to places where there is less scrutiny," said Jason Steer, a spokesman for Ironport. The Washington Post has been gathering data on McColo for the past four months and passed the information to its internet service providers, Global Crossing and Hurricane Electric. Both decided to pull the plug on the firm on Tuesday. It is believed that it hosted gangs running botnets - networks of computers that have been taken over by criminals to send malicious software and spam. According to MessageLabs, botnets are responsible for over 90% of spam. Increasingly the tech industry is fighting back.

Read More

Thursday, November 13, 2008 12:10:10 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Catching up with the 'internet pimps'

Nine people from Thailand have been jailed for up to two-and-a-half-years for their part in exploiting women who were advertised in "online brothels". They are thought to have made millions of pounds from women trafficked from Asia to the UK for use in the sex trade.

 

Every night thousands of men trawl websites in the UK advertising women offering sex for sale.

Many of them are run by prostitutes, or escorts as they often like to describe themselves, who are essentially self-employed entrepreneurs using the internet to cut out the pimps.

But some are advertising women who have been trafficked into the country and are being exploited for profit.

Oriental Gems was one such "online brothel", which as its name suggested, specialised in girls from the South East Asia.

A gallery on the site showed photographs of more than 60 naked and semi-naked women. Many of them were effectively commodities who had been traded and invested in by "bondholders".

Read More

Thursday, November 13, 2008 12:08:34 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 10, 2008
Visa trials PIN payment card to fight online fraud

Visa cards with a built in one-time code generator are to be trialled by four European banks. The technology is designed to tackle the growing problem of online credit card fraud.

MBNA, a Bank of America company in the UK, Corner Bank in Switzerland, Cal in Israel and IW Bank in Italy are to take part in limited trials of Visa's new one-time code card.

The next-generation cards feature a numeric keypad on the back of a plastic card. Customers enter their PIN code to generate a one-time password. This code, displayed on a card’s display panel, is then used to authenticate online purchases.

The approach is an alternative to using a password when authenticating online purchases through the much-criticised Verified by Visa scheme. As previously reported, VbyV passwords can often be easily reset knowing only card details and a user's birthday.

The new cards, developed in conjunction with Australian firm Emue Technologies, are far more secure - though not infallible. Some banks have already introduced two-factor authentication technologies, which grew up in the corporate remote access market, to provide extra protection to online banking transactions.

Read more

Monday, November 10, 2008 4:50:27 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Study shows how spammers cash in

Spammers are turning a profit despite only getting one response for every 12.5m e-mails they send, finds a study.

By hijacking a working spam network, US researchers have uncovered some of the economics of being a junk mailer. The analysis suggests that such a tiny response rate means a big spam operation can turn over millions of pounds in profit every year. It also suggests that spammers may be susceptible to attacks that make it more costly to send junk mail.

Slim pickings

The spam study was carried out in early 2008 by computer scientists from University of California, Berkeley and UC, San Diego (UCSD). For their month-long study the seven-strong team of computer scientists infiltrated the Storm network that uses hijacked home computers as relays for junk mail. At its height Storm was believed to have more than one million machines under its control. The team, led by Assistant Professor Stefan Savage from UCSD, took over a chunk of the Storm network to make it easier to run their study.

Read more

Monday, November 10, 2008 4:48:38 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 07, 2008
ITU Members Agree to Reduce GHG Emissions from ICT Use

World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 21-30 October 2008, adopted a resolution whereby ITU members will work towards reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from the use of information and communication technologies (ICT).

The resolution also recognizes that such technologies can help mitigate the effects of climate change by limiting and reducing emissions across all industry sectors. It further acknowledges that the ITU has committed to achieving climate neutrality within three years. ITU estimates that ICTs contribute around 2 to 2.5% of global GHG emissions, and that this share is likely to increase as ICTs become more widely available. The meeting brought together 768 delegates, including 13 ministers or vice-ministers from 99 countries.

Find out more on ITU's actvities on climate change.

 

Friday, November 07, 2008 11:20:57 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Climate Change Chaos Looms

Flooded bridges, airports and roads, electricity blackouts, severe tropical storms and crumbling footpaths are among the consequences of climate change to Australia, a new report by climate and engineering experts has found. Australia's energy, water and transport infrastructure are most at risk from global climate change and rising sea levels and more must be done to reinforce buildings and better plan future projects, a risk assessment on infrastructure by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering says.

Bushfire, drought and higher winds were all expected to play havoc with buildings, roads, telecommunications and other public assets unless better planning and mitigation was put in place. The ATSE report, launched in Melbourne yesterday by Federal Climate Change Minister Penny Wong, also found that new investment in water storage and efficiency was needed to counter continuing drought, particularly in southern Australia.

As a core function of its development mission, ITU will assist Member States in the use of ICT applications for e-environment and sustainable development and to use telecommunication/ICTs to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change, including the use of emergency telecommunications and alerting systems for disaster relief.

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Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change.

Friday, November 07, 2008 9:12:16 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Delegates at UN Telecom Forum Agree to Reduce Emissions from ICT Use

Close to 800 information and communication technology (ICT) experts from nearly 100 countries have wrapped up a United Nations meeting in Johannesburg by agreeing to work towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions arising from the use of ICTs.

The UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates that ICTs contribute around 2.0% to 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and this is likely to grow as ICTs become more widely available. In a resolution adopted at the close of the ten-day World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly in South Africa yesterday, ITU members agreed to reduce the emissions arising from the use of ICTs, in line with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They also recognised that ICTs can be a major mitigating factor in efforts to tackle climate change and to limit and ultimately reduce emissions across all industry sectors.

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Find out more about ITU's activities on climate change.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008 11:00:39 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Media Advisory: High-level intervention on ICTs and Climate Change and Cybersecurity

Press conference with Presidents of Burkina Faso and Rwanda

What: High-level meeting on Climate Change and ICTs and Cybersecurity: Press conference
When: 12 November 2008 at 11 am
Where: ITU Headquarters, Place des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
Why: Climate Change:

    1. Combating Climate Change through information and communication technologies (ICT)
    2. Adapting to Climate Change: The Role of Emergency Telecommunications

Cybersecurity:

  1. Managing cyberthreats through harmonized policies and organizational structures
  2. Addressing the technical and legal challenges of the borderless nature of cybercrime
  3. Protect children online: New ITU initiative to safeguard the most vulnerable users of the Internet
  4. ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda: Towards an International Roadmap

Who:

  • President of Burkina Faso H.E. Mr Blaise Compaoré
  • President of Rwanda H.E. Mr Paul Kagame
  • ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun Touré

Some 25 Ministers and leading policy makers, regulators and UN agencies will attend. See programme: www.itu.int/council/C2008/hls/programme.html

Read the Media Advisory...

 

Tuesday, November 04, 2008 5:31:14 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 03, 2008
Smart Solutions to Global Emissions in ICT Sector

The ever expanding Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector contributes two per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions and this is all set to double in the future. Few know the emissions from the sector are as high as aviation, one of the worst offenders.

Yet ICT can come to the rescue of the problem with smart solutions that are energy efficient, according to a new report by a U.K.-based, independent non-profit organisation, The Climate Group and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI).

Read more..

Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change

Monday, November 03, 2008 8:57:22 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
U.N. Chief Urges Climate Change Help Despite Slowdown
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged developed countries not to neglect climate change as they tend to a global economic slowdown and called on rich nations to help poor countries prone to global warming.

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Find out about ITU's actvities on climate change

Monday, November 03, 2008 8:51:59 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Firms demand aid on hi-tech crime

UK businesses have little faith that the government is doing enough to tackle hi-tech crime, says a report.

Of those questioned 57% said any malicious hi-tech crime in the workplace would not be dealt with properly by the police.

Only 4% of respondents said they bothered to report every incident of hi-tech crime, it revealed.

The results come at a time when businesses report that they are almost under siege by cyber criminals.

The survey of the 3,500 members of the Corporate IT Forum, which represents technology managers at the UK's largest firms, found that 69% reported seeing increases in the amount of hi-tech crime committed against them.

Firms were being hit by viruses, denial of service attacks and website defacements, the survey said. The variety and intensity of attacks led many to believe that hi-tech crime has been taken over by professional criminals.

Said the survey: "It has... become too easy and too risk-free for criminals to become involved in cyber crime."

Responding to a question about what would make a difference, 48% of respondents called for "consistent and appropriate penalties for cyber criminals and cross-border e-crime legislation".

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Monday, November 03, 2008 10:13:00 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Undetectable data-stealing trojan nabs 500,000 virtual wallets

A well-organized crime gang has stolen credentials for more than a half-million financial accounts in less than three years using a sophisticated trojan that remains undetectable to the vast majority of its victims, a report published Friday warns.

The haul of bank, credit, and debit card account numbers stolen by the Sinowal trojan is among the largest ever discovered. It was unearthed by researchers at RSA's FraudAction Research Lab. They say the program, which is also known as Torpig and Mebroot, has been operating non-stop for almost three years, an unusually long time in the fly-by-night world of cybercrime.

"Only rarely do we come across crimeware that has been continually stealing and collecting personal information and payment card data, and compromising bank accounts as far back as 2006," RSA researchers wrote.

Read more

Monday, November 03, 2008 9:49:20 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, November 02, 2008
ICT to Steer Economic Growth and Climate Change

ITU has called for increased emphasis on key areas that could drive economic growth including Information Communications Technology- ICTs and climate change.

The suggestion came at the end of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The meeting resolved to recognize that ICTs can be a major mitigating factor in efforts to moderate climate change and to limit and ultimately reduce green house gas - GHG emissions across all industry sectors.

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Find out more about ITU's activities on climate change.

Sunday, November 02, 2008 11:06:58 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 31, 2008
Closing of WTSA 2008, 30 October 2008: ITU Secretary-General summarizes the Assembly's main achievements

Photo: Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-GeneralIn his closing speech, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré summarized the key achievements of ITU's World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly 2008, held in Johannesburg, South Africa:

"...Ladies and Gentlemen I would like to list for you some of the Assembly’s notable achievements:

  • It is the first time we have had a WTSA in Africa…
  • The first time we have had an exhibition
  • We have been honoured by the presence of the highest number of Ministers and Vice Ministers of any WTSA
  • We have seen the highest number of documents
  • And, the highest number of new Resolutions adopted
  • It is the first time that we have had a woman chairman
  • And the first time that we have invited students
  • We have achieved a restructuring of the sector that takes into account market realities and allows for greater efficiency in our work and keep ITU-T as the leading standardization body in the world.
  • We have achieved a strengthening of the resolve of ITU to bridge the standardization gap, what a new opportunity we have created.
  • And a fine tuning of working methods
  • We have adopted key Resolutions on:
    • ICTs and climate change
    • Accessibility to ICTs for persons with disabilities
    • Conformance and interoperability testing and possible future ITU-Mark
    • Encouraging academic participation \
    • Encouraging sector members from developing countries
    • Studies regarding nomadic telecommunication services and applications
    • The creation of national Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), particularly for Developing countries... "

 

Friday, October 31, 2008 4:28:33 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU Press Release: World Assembly heralds new era in setting global ICT standards

Photo: Malcolm Johnson WTSA-08Geneva, 31 October 2008 — The World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08) drew to a close yesterday in Johannesburg, South Africa with decisions on a wide range of issues that will impact the future direction of the information and communication technology (ICT) industry.

ITU members, spanning the global ICT industry and administrations from across the world, asked for increased emphasis on key areas such as ICTs and climate change, the deployment of IPv6, accessibility to ICTs for persons with disabilities, conformance and interoperability testing, and encouraging academic participation in ITU’s work.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) said in his closing speech, "We have received a strong message from our members that ITU is, and will remain the world’s pre-eminent global telecommunication and ICT standards body. And we also hear very clearly that ITU should continue on its mission to connect the world, and that bridging the standardization gap — by increasing developing country participation in our work — is an essential prerequisite to achieve this goal."... [Read more...]

Friday, October 31, 2008 4:05:54 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 30, 2008
Cybercrime wave sweeping Britain

Cybercrime in the UK rose by more than 9% in 2007, according to a new report.

Online identity firm Garlik's cybercrime report claims that more than 3.5 million online crimes were committed in the UK last year.

The majority of crimes related to fraud and abusive or threatening e-mails. There was an 8% drop in online identity theft and sexual offences fell 2%.

Tom Ilube, of Garlick, said he expected to see a growth in online financial fraud due to the credit crunch.

In 2007, the sharpest rise was in online financial fraud, with more than 250,000 incidents reported in 2007; a 20% rise on the previous year.

The report highlighted a growing professionalism among online criminals, with personal and credit details being traded online.

Garlik said that the information black market had doubled, with more than 19,000 illicit traders identified.

Read more

Thursday, October 30, 2008 1:53:35 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Take a Glimpse Into The Future

What does the future hold? What will life be like in 2031? Of course no one really knows. But there is a man whose job it is to look ahead.

Read more..

Find out more about ITU's activities on climate change

Thursday, October 30, 2008 12:46:01 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 29, 2008
China's Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change

The Information Office of China's State Council on Wednesday issued a white paper titled "China's Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change".

Read more...

Find out more about ITU's activities on climate change

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 1:27:53 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
High Level Segment of ITU Council 2008 (Geneva, 12-13 November) will focus on climate change and cybersecurity

The High-Level Segment (HLS) follows the opening of Council and is designed to provide Ministers and Councillors with an opportunity to exchange views on issues of strategic importance to the Union and on emerging trends in the sector.

This year, speakers will offer their perspectives on different topics around two main themes: Climate Change and ICTs and Cybersecurity
 

Further details on sessions and speakers available in the High Level Segment 2008 Programme

Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:53:43 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 27, 2008
Credit card fraud has amounted to 300 million pounds so far this year in the UK

The UK ITV's Tonight programme, Card Criminals Uncovered, conducted an investigation into credit card fraud in the UK in its programme which aired on 27 October 2008. Credit card fraud is estimated to have cost UK banks and consumers 300 million pounds so far this year.

The research team set up a false website, Gotcha Gadgets, selling hi-tech goods to track orders and credit card activity. The programme emphasized the truly international reach of credit card fraud. In one case, the goods were ordered in Ghana using a credit card registered in Venezuela, with goods being delivered to a UK address. Another woman had been duped by a man purportedly living in America whom she had met over a dating website into accepting goods bought using a stolen credit card, supposedly for an orphanage in Africa. The UK currently has an Electronic Crime Police Unit, but it operates only based out of London. The UK Government is taking new steps to address the issue of credit card fraud.

Monday, October 27, 2008 9:09:17 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Alarm raised on teenage hackers

Increasing numbers of teenagers are starting to dabble in hi-tech crime, say experts.

Computer security professionals say many net forums are populated by teenagers swapping credit card numbers, phishing kits and hacking tips.

The poor technical skills of many young hackers means they are very likely to get caught and arrested, they say.

Youth workers added that any teenager getting a criminal record would be putting their future at risk.

Slippery slope

"I see kids of 11 and 12 sharing credit card details and asking for hacks," said Chris Boyd, director of malware research at FaceTime Security.

Many teenagers got into low level crime by looking for exploits and cracks for their favourite computer games.

Communities and forums spring up where people start to swap malicious programs, knowledge and sometimes stolen data. Some also look for exploits and virus code that can be run against the social networking sites popular with many young people. Some then try to peddle or use the details or accounts they net in this way."

Read more

Monday, October 27, 2008 1:26:18 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Egyptian Government launches new ICT stats portal

The Egyptian Government launched a new ICT portal on 23 October 2008 as a collective effort between Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) and its affiliates, the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) and Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). The portal covers many different sectors, including telecommunication infrastructure, households, the business sector, the Governmental sector, public access points (IT clubs and Internet cafes) and the education sector.

The project builds a database within MCIT for ICT indicators which will help in measuring and analyzing the information society in Egypt, according to international standards and analysis. It aims to build capacity in the area of ICT indicators, monitor ICT usage in Egypt within different sectors and across different geographic regions. Providing decision-makers with early, accurate ICT indicators will help them in setting policies and strategies related to the ICT sector.

The portal uses the categories of ICT indicators as defined by the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development, of which ITU is a founding member.

Read more...

Monday, October 27, 2008 9:03:11 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 24, 2008
Don't have security nightmares

How worried should we be about net security scares, asks Bill Thompson.

Anyone concerned about the security of their computers and the data held on them might sleep a little uneasily tonight.

Over the past few weeks we've heard reports of serious vulnerabilities in wireless networking and chip and pin readers, and seen how web browsers could fall victim to "clickjacking" and trick us into inadvertently visiting fake websites.

The longstanding fear that malicious software might start infecting our mobile phones was given a boost when the Information Security Center at US university Georgia Tech outlined how phone software could be hijacked to create "botnets" and allow handsets to be remotely controlled.

And now a group of researchers at the Security and Cryptography Laboratory at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland have shown that you can read what is typed on a keyboard from 20m away.

It takes some sophisticated equipment to do it, but with the right antennae and a bit of luck it seems you can detect the radio emissions coming from the wires that connect keyboards to computers and tell just what someone is typing.

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Friday, October 24, 2008 10:49:25 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Web content 'disturbing children'

Three out of four children have seen images on the internet that disturbed them, an NSPCC poll suggests.

The charity is renewing its call for computer manufacturers and retailers to install security to stop children finding violent or sexual content. The NSPCC, which polled visitors to its children's website There4me.com, said it was "alarmed" by the accessibility of potentially disturbing material. Some 377 of 497 votes cast claimed to have been disturbed by internet images.

One child posted a comment on a There4me message board saying: "I've seen violent images I didn't search for. I was freaked out." Another said his eight-year-old sister's search for "pictures of animals" generated pornography adverts. The NSPCC wants social networking and video hosting sites to remove offensive material within hours of finding it.

Policy adviser Zoe Hilton said the NSPCC was "alarmed" by how easy it was for children to access "disturbing internet material". She said: "Children are just a few clicks away from innocently stumbling across upsetting or even dangerous pictures and films such as adult sex scenes, violent dog fights, people self-harming and children being assaulted."

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Friday, October 24, 2008 10:44:36 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Woman in jail over virtual murder

A woman has been arrested in Japan after she allegedly killed her virtual husband in a popular video game.

The 43-year-old was reportedly furious at finding herself suddenly divorced in the online game Maplestory.

Police say she illegally accessed log-in details of the man playing her husband, and killed off his character.

The woman, a piano teacher, is in jail in Sapporo waiting to learn if she faces charges of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating data.

She was arrested on Wednesday and taken 620 miles (1,000 km) from her home in southern Miyazaki to Sapporo - where her "husband", a 33-year-old office worker lives.

If charged with the offences, and convicted, she faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

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Friday, October 24, 2008 10:39:34 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 23, 2008
The Future Role of ICT in Meeting Operational Challenges in Energy Utilities

Shifting By Degrees To A Modern World

A Datamonitor whitepaper prepared for Alcatel Lucent was published in September 2008.

Energy utilities are operating in an environment where significant market and operational challenges exist. The deployment and implementation of appropriate Information Communication Technology (ICT) solutions plays an intrinsic role in meeting these challenges.

Read more....

Find out more about ITU's activities on climate change

Thursday, October 23, 2008 7:10:04 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
African Nations Urged to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emission

The Global Standards Symposium that ended in Johannesburg, South Africa has called for measures to limit the emission of greenhouse gases using information communications technology.

African governments were urged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and their carbon footprints while ensuring that the expansion of the global communications network is done in an environmentally friendly manner.

ITU Focus Group on Climate Change was also asked to research into the impacts of Information Communications Technology - ICTs on the reduction of greenhouse gas - GHG emissions.

Malcolm Johnson, ITU-T Director,  noted that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had underscored the need for ITU to play a significant role in addressing climate change terming it the moral challenge of our times. "Industry is faced with probably its biggest ever challenge but also its biggest ever opportunity in terms of corporate social responsibility. There is the challenge for the ICT industry to limit its own emissions, but also the opportunity to maximize its potential to help other sectors reduce their emissions. This could make for a tremendously good news story for the ICT industry," said Johnson.

Find more about ITU actvities on climate change.

Thursday, October 23, 2008 7:04:52 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Green ICT: Banking on a Software Solution to Climate Change

Information and communication technology firms are at the forefront of reducing our carbon footprint, and they are set to reap the rewards.

As businesses scramble to reduce their energy consumption internally and across supply chains, the information and communication technology sector stands to gain significantly. Holding the keys to smart information management, green ICT systems are being heralded by governments and NGOs as the climate-change solution.

Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist to software giant Microsoft, says, “Software can deliver an alternative to fossil fuels.” In other words, for ICT companies the nascent green market looks like a very attractive place to invest.

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Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change

Thursday, October 23, 2008 7:00:39 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
EU’s Climate Change Role May Be Weakened By Credit Crisis
Just recently, European Union countries agreed to maintain their targets and schedule to tackle climate change. But once again, Europe’s leadership in tackling climate change may be weakened by the credit crisis as Italy, Poland, Latvia and others at the EU meeting last week threatened to veto Europe’s carbon plan unless they were softened, New York Times reports.

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Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change

Thursday, October 23, 2008 6:57:50 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Commission welcomes European Parliament’s strong support for a new Safer Internet Programme

The European Parliament cast an overwhelmingly positive vote today on the report drafted by MEP Roberta Angelilli which supports the launch of a new EU Safer Internet programme. The 5-year programme (2009–13), proposed by the European Commission last February, will have a budget of € 55 million to combat illegal online content but also to tackle illegal and harmful conduct such as grooming and cyberbullying.

“Today’s children and teenagers face new challenges when they use Web 2.0 services. The EU will coordinate actions to empower children and protect them”, said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media in response to the positive outcome of the vote in Parliament. “I am particularly glad that the Parliament addressed the Commission’s proposal so promptly and strongly endorsed our proposals to make the Internet safer for children. I am convinced that the new Safer Internet programme will play an important role in our understanding of the challenges regarding online risks for young people and children, and will provide concrete help to many young internet users and their parents.“

Today's vote during the European Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg followed a debate on the Commission’s proposal, which was applauded by all political groups. Some MEPs even considered the programme as “one of the best things Europe could do”. The new Programme is now expected to be approved by the Council before the end of 2008.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008 10:47:01 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Top Global Businesses Gather for UN ‘Caring for Climate’ Initiative

United Nations-backed “Caring for Climate” gathering today is drawing representatives from more than 150 corporations, civil society organizations and governments from around the world to discuss business solutions to the problem of global warming and speed up action on climate change. The UN Global Compact, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched the “Caring for Climate” scheme last year, with chief executive officers (CEOs) of 150 companies – including 30 from the Fortune Global 500 – signing on.

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Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 5:58:19 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UN Climate-Change Body Holds First Irish Meeting

Opening the three-day session, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan said it was "a great honour for Ireland" to host the meeting. "Climate change is a global problem and will only be solved by countries working together," he added.

"We need to develop the technology to help us in this task", the Minister said. "Developing countries are bearing the brunt of climate change; industrialised countries should work with them for a common solution to a problem that affects all of us." "The negotiations on technology have come to the fore of the international negotiations, and I hope that the meetings in Dublin this week help move us towards an equitable and effective global agreement on climate change."

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Find more about ITU actvities on climate change.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 5:54:06 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Japan to Introduce Voluntary Carbon Market

The Japanese government said Tuesday that it would introduce a voluntary carbon market based on companies' pledged emissions cuts and hoped that thousands of firms would sign up to what could become a forerunner of a mandatory cap-and-trade project. The project, once it is up and running next year, is expected to be the broadest emissions market in the country.

But some say it still falls short of what Japan needs to make deep emission cuts and could backfire. Japan has been reluctant to impose mandatory limits on emissions. Despite being one of the world's most energy-efficient countries, Japan, like all wealthy nations, has come under increasing pressure from developing countries to pledge deeper cuts in emissions as part of a global effort to tackle climate change.

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Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 5:52:28 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UN Chief: Climate Change is World's Defining Issue

Calling global warming "the defining issue of our time," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged immediate international action to counteract the "imminent threat" of climate change.

In a wide-ranging speech this afternoon at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Ban said it was crucial to ratify an international treaty on greenhouse-gas emissions before the Kyoto Accord expires in 2012.

Climate change "is no longer theory, it has become a fact," he told an audience of several hundred. "We cannot afford to delay any action."

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Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 9:23:26 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Global Standards Symposium Meets in Johannesburg

The first-ever Global Standards Symposium concluded yesterday in Johannesburg, South Africa, with broad agreement on the need to take aggressive action to streamline standards work and end the duplication of efforts within the sector. The one-day symposium brought together government ministers, diplomats, senior executives from the private sector and lead officials from other standards bodies.

Opening the Symposium, ITU standards chief Malcolm Johnson noted that without global standards the ICT world would be a very different place. "Imagine a world with no Internet or no telephone calling from one side of the world to the other. Literally thousands of standards pin together this framework of technologies that keeps the world's businesses and consumers connected," Johnson said, adding that clarity and efficiency must be brought to bear as the standardization scenario gets more complex by the day.

"We must ensure we all pull together and avoid duplication of effort and waste our increasingly limited resources. Even large organizations are having difficulty resourcing this effort, so how can small organizations, especially from developing countries, hope to play a role?"

Addressing Global Challenges

Participants at the Global Standards Symposium also addressed ICTs and climate change, increasing developing country participation in the standardization process, and accessibility to ICTs for persons with disabilities. Delegates were called on to set an example by committing to specific programs to limit their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduce their carbon footprint and help ensure that the expansion of the global communications network is done in an environmentally friendly manner.

The importance of the work of the ITU Focus Group on Climate Change was recognized; in particular the need for a standardized approach to measuring the impact of ICTs on the reduction of GHG emissions. Malcolm Johnson noted that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had underlined ITU's role in addressing climate change.

 "From a standardization perspective, ITU has already produced a checklist for standards authors to ensure climate change is taken into account in the development of our standards," Johnson said. "Industry is faced with probably it's biggest ever challenge but also its biggest every opportunity in terms of corporate social responsibility. There is the challenge for the ICT industry to limit its own emissions, but also the opportunity to maximize its potential to help other sectors reduce their emissions. This could make for a tremendously good news story for the ICT industry."

Read more...

Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change and the Global Standards Symposium

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 8:03:55 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Children Artists to Join Forces with UN to Combat Climate Change in New York on 23 October 2008

Young artists from around the world are lending their support to global efforts to combat climate change through Paint for the Planet , an exhibit and auction of children’s art to be held in New York starting on 23 October 2008. The event will spur the ‘UNite to Combat Climate Change’ campaign to support the call for a definitive agreement at the climate change talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December 2009.

Read more...                     

Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 9:23:04 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Climate Change Accelerating Far Beyond the IPCC Forecast, WWF says

Climate change is happening much faster than the world's best scientists predicted and will wreak havoc unless action is taken on a global scale, a new report warns.

Extreme weather events such as the hot summer of 2003, which caused an extra 35,000 deaths across southern Europe from heat stress and poor air quality, will happen more frequently.

The report says that the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - a study of global warming by 4,000 scientists from more than 150 countries which alerted the world to the possible consequences of global warming - is now out of date. WWF's report, Climate Change: Faster, stronger, sooner, has updated all the scientific data and concluded that global warming is accelerating far beyond the IPCC's forecasts.

Read more..

Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 7:15:21 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU Secretary-General opens World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly 2008 in Johannesburg

Photo: ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. TouréAt the opening of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly 2008 (WTSA-08) on 21 October, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré recalled the importance of standards for international communications and global trade: "Globalisation requires global standards, and a global standards body like ITU clearly has an increasing role to play. Global standards avoid costly market battles over preferred technologies, and for companies from emerging markets, they create a level playing field which provides access to new markets" Dr Touré said.

WTSA is a quadrennial event where ITU members decide on the direction of ITU’s standardization work for the next four years.

 

 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 1:37:31 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Insights into growth in mobile transmission capacity from CMO of Harris Stratex

BNAmericas summarizes insights from an interview with Shaun McFall, Harris Stratex Networks' Chief Marketing Officer. According to McFall, IP mobile backhaul is growing 20% worldwide annually in the most developed markets, due to the rising penetration of smartphones and growing use of data. Data transport over mobile networks grew four times in 2007 and is projected to grow another four times this year: "Growth in demand for capacity runs all the way from the core network to the base station. When they get to radio access networks, they're going to start running into difficulties because these networks were not designed for that capacity," McFall said. "The modernization of those networks is what we see as our opportunity; to migrate it to Ethernet or allow [gradual migration] so they can still keep the legacy TDM network on the air for 5-10 yrs."

"Future mobile networks some years from now will probably eventually be all Ethernet and between now and then they will be increasingly a mix of Ethernet and TDM. The latest generation of microwave products are designed to transport both," he added.

Read more...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 8:03:52 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
FibroLAN unveils new 10 Gigabit Ethernet NTU

Telecom Web is reporting that fiber-optic access specialist FibroLAN has unveiled a new 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Local Area Network (LAN) Network Termination Unit (NTU) extender/demarcation device that it claims is an industry first.
The new offering, designated the GA10, is aimed at such very large bandwidth users as Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs) or very large enterprise users. FibroLAN, based in Yoqneam, Israel, but with U.S. headquarters in Rochelle Park, N.J., says its new product fills three clear market niches:
- As an NTU, the GA10 terminates a 10 GbE service to very large users, whilst it can handle lower rates as well.
- For wholesale operations, the GA10 can be used as a clear demarcation device between primary carriers and their partners.
- The GA10 can be used to extend transmission distances and/or to change wavelengths - for example, several GA10s can be cascaded to extend transmission well-beyond the current 80 kilometer limit for 10 GbE without reverting to more expensive technologies.

In addition, when combined with its recently introduced extended wavelength division multiplexer (WDM) line, up to ten 10 GbE services can be transmitted concurrently over a fiber pair.  Such technology offers the business segment multiple new applications, but also offers exciting new prospects for helping bridge the digital divide.

Read more...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 7:55:29 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 20, 2008
ITU News magazine - issue 8, October 2008: World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly 2008

Issue 8, October 2008: World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly 2008

  • Global standardization in the spotlight
  • Welcome to South Africa
  • Emmy Award for ITU, ISO and IEC
  • Expectations for WTSA-08
  • Kaleidoscope 2009 - Call for papers on Innovations for Digital Inclusion
  • The Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG)
  • Combating climate change
  • More Internet addresses required
  • Ubiquitous sensor networks
  • Internet protocol television
  • Highlights from ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008
  • MoU signed by ITU and Geneva’s Observatoire Technologique
  • Official announcements
Monday, October 20, 2008 8:02:16 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 17, 2008
Global response needed to tackle ‘daunting’ development challenges, Migiro says
Concerted international action is crucial in addressing development challenges, whose scope has intensified in recent months due to climate change, soaring food and energy prices and the global financial turmoil, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said on 14 October 2008.

Read more.

Friday, October 17, 2008 1:22:20 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
World Summit of Regions to be held in Saint Malo, France (29-30 October 2008)

While France has made energy and climate one of the priorities of its Presidency of the European Union and the UN is preparing a new global climate conference to take place in December in Poznañ, the Regional Council of Brittany and the international nrg4SD network will bring together, in Saint-Malo, 450 representatives of Regions, States, the European Union, NGOs, civil society and several UN agencies. The United Nations has expressed specific interest in this proactive and innovative regional-scale approach for the first time. 

Find out more about World Summit of Regions.

Find out more about ITU's activities on climate change.

Friday, October 17, 2008 12:01:33 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Fraudsters' website shut in swoop

A website used by criminals to buy and sell credit card details and bank log-ins has been shut down after a police operation, the BBC has learned.

International forum Darkmarket ran for three years and led to fraud totalling millions of pounds.

Nearly 60 people connected with the site have been arrested in Manchester, Hull and London, as well as Germany, Turkey and the US.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency said it was "a one-stop shop" for criminals.

Soca deputy director Sharon Lemon told the BBC that one individual had spent £250,000 on personal data in just six weeks.

Had he realised the full potential of the information he had, he could have obtained up to £10m, she said.

Read more

Friday, October 17, 2008 9:59:12 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 16, 2008
World Standards Day Focus On Sustainable Buildings

World Standards Day is celebrated each year on October 14 to pay tribute to the efforts of thousands of experts worldwide who collaborate within the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to develop voluntary international standards that facilitate trade, spread knowledge and disseminate technological advances.

Read more...

Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change

Thursday, October 16, 2008 2:59:59 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
What living in a Hyperconnected world means - juggling devices & applications

Maravedis is reporting that, according to a recent survey by Nortel (based on a survey of 2,400 people), there is a growing trend towards hyperconnectivity: 16% of Internet users live a “hyperconnected” life, meaning they regularly use more than 7 devices and more than 9 applications; 36% are “increasingly connected,” meaning they use 4 devices and 9 applications; 20% are passive online users, and 28% are not very connected. Today’s users want networks that support voice services, while entertainment and media applications are also increasingly popular.

Read more.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 7:29:16 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Vodacom SA improves its 3G offering with Alcatel as partner

Vodacom South Africa, the wireless carrier owned 50/50 by Telkom SA and the Vodafone Group, has given Alcatel-Lucent a nearly $30 million contract to design, build and deploy an upgrade of its existing 3G network. Vodacom is a Pan-African carrier providing GSM service to more than 34 million customers in South Africa, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho and Mozambique. Vodacom South Africa launched its 3G network in December 2004, its 3G HSDPA network in March 2006 and its 3G HSDPA 3.6 with HSUPA network this past February. Vodacom's South African GSM and 3G networks cover more than 98 percent of the population.

On commercial launch, Vodacom says the network modernization project “will boost the capacity and coverage of Vodacom’s network and will enable the carrier to offer its customers a wide range of advanced next-generation mobile broadband services in future.” The enhanced 3G wireless network, which will be based on Alcatel-Lucent UMTS and HSDPA/HSUPA technologies, will improve Vodacom’s network voice-quality and data-transmission speeds while further strengthening indoor coverage in urban areas.

Read more.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 7:14:39 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 15, 2008
European leaders timetabled to sign the EU's climate and energy package today

European leaders are timetabled to sign the EU's climate and energy package at the EU Summit today, Wednesday 15 October 2008. Under the terms of the plan approved by Parliament last week, faster pricing of emissions allowances could be adopted to encourage cleaner, greener industry - power stations will have to buy their pollution allowances from 2013 (instead of getting any for free) and heavy industry permits will be phased out from 2013. Offsets were cut significantly, and bold new longer-term targets of 50% emissions reductions by 2035 and 60-80% by 2050 were set. For the first time, an emissions ceiling was set to stop dirty coal-fired power and significant funds were allocated to help developing countries go green, as well as research into carbon capture.

The EU's climate and energy package proposes key reforms to the emissions trading scheme after 2012, measures to cut non-industrial emissions, and the creation of a legal framework to promote technology to capture and store carbon from coal-fired power stations. However, recent concerns over the financial crisis have threatened to push the climate and energy package down the policy agenda and approval by European leaders is not yet guaranteed. 

To be continued...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 1:59:56 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Emerging markets accounted for 60% of WiMAX subscribers in 2007

WiMAX has now seen the light of day in 305 deployments across 118 countries, according to the WiMAX Forum’s count in June 2008. In an example of technological leapfrogging, emerging markets, short on broadband offerings, accounted for more than 60% of subscribers on WiMAX networks globally in 2007.

Pyramid Research has just published a report analysing the deployment of commercial WiMAX networks and operators' market strategies in emerging economies. The report examines the competitive dynamics, end-user demand patterns and market potential of WiMAX, from adoption rates to spectrum licensing trends.

Read more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 1:49:15 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Feds hamstring world's largest spam gang

US regulators have struck a body blow at two men accused of masterminding the world's largest spam enterprise by obtaining a court order that shuts down some half-dozen companies they operated and freezing assets earned in the operation.

Lance Atkinson, a New Zealand citizen living in Australia, and Jody Smith, a businessman from McKinney, Texas, stand accused of overseeing an operation that raked in millions of dollars sending billions of spam messages. According to a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission, the men recruited spammers from around the world to send unsolicited junk mail related to male-enhancement pills, prescription drugs, and other items.

Spam opponents cheered the FTC's action.

"They are probably the most prolific spammers at the moment," Richard Cox, CIO of Spamhaus.org said of Atkinson and Smith. "This is probably the first time that an action by law enforcement will affect the level of spam in people's inboxes."

Attempts to contact Atkinson and Smith for comment were not successful.

Using an affiliate program called "Affking," they were at one point believed to be responsible for one-third of the world's spam, according to the FTC. The men took great pains to distance themselves from the operation, creating a handful of shell companies located throughout the world to launder the large sums of money they brought in and to purchase domain names and credit card services.

According to the FTC's complaint, Atkinson has been involved in the spam trade for years and is the sole director and shareholder of Inet Ventures Pty Ltd of Australia. Even after the FTC obtained a $2.2m judgment against Atkinson in 2005, he continued to recruit spammers to promote his various websites, FTC attorneys said in court documents.

To bolster their claim, the attorneys included a December 2007 conversation between Atkinson and his brother Shane Atkinson shortly after he was contacted by the BBC and asked about Gencash, a spam operation allegedly maintained by the brothers.

Read more here

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 10:52:26 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
NGN Forum and IMS Forum have merged

Telecom Web is reporting that the NGN Forum and the IMS Forum, the two major trade groups promoting the convergence of telecommunication voice and data services, have merged. Both have been working to promote the integration of wired and wireless technologies, with the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) viewed as focusing on consumer markets and the NGN Forum focusing on enterprise-oriented services, using the term Unified Communications (UC) rather than IMS. Telecom Web reports that in recent months, the two had already begun cooperating in endeavors including plugfests. By combining IMS with SIP and UC, and using Service Delivery Platforms (SDP), the united organization is expected to bring together developers, service providers, integrators and solution vendors.

ITU has carried out notable work in developing the detailed standards for the deployment of NGN. ITU has launched the NGN Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI) to give service providers the means to offer the wide range of services expected in NGN and to harmonize different approaches to NGN architecture worldwide. ITU's Study Group 13 (SG13) has developed a standard (ITU-T Recommendation) for interworking between the two dominant technologies in NGN, Ethernet and MPLS (multiprotocol label switching). SG 13 has also done significant work in the field of Virtual Private Networks (VPN) on standards that will allow VPNs to work over all kinds of networks - optical, MPLS, IP etc.

Read more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 8:08:16 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 13, 2008
Press Conference on Negotiations Towards Global Climate Change Agreement

The credit crisis should be seen as an opportunity to rebuild the world financial system in a way that underpins “green” growth, Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, told correspondents at a Headquarters press conference last Friday.

Governments now have an opportunity to create and enforce policy which stimulates private competition to fund clean industry,” Mr. de Boer said, as he briefed on the upcoming Poznan Conference and other negotiations towards a new post-Kyoto Protocol climate change agreement that must be finalized by December 2009, in Copenhagen, Denmark. [The Protocol’s first commitment period ends on 31 December 2012, and international talks began late last year on a subsequent deal on specific outlooks in greenhouse gas emissions].

Global energy demand would grow by 55 per cent by 2030, he said, and in the period leading up to that date, worldwide energy supply infrastructure required a total investment of $22 trillion, with about half of that needed in developing countries. If those investments were not directed towards green investment, there would be a marked increase in greenhouse gas emissions, rather than the necessary decrease, he stressed.

Read more...

Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change

Monday, October 13, 2008 12:50:12 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Ministers in Warsaw to Address Climate Change

Environment ministers from more than 30 countries are holding talks in the Polish capital this week to prepare for a major U.N. climate conference. The two days of informal meetings in Warsaw that start Monday mark the first time top-ranking officials from the key players in the climate change debate — including the United States, the European Union, India and China — have gathered since hard-nosed international talks last December in Bali, Indonesia.

Poland is preparing to host the U.N. climate summit in December with delegates from more than 190 countries in the western Polish city of Poznan. That conference aims to work out the details of a climate change accord to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

Read more...

Monday, October 13, 2008 12:42:41 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UN Says Credit Crisis Could Enable "Green Growth"

UNITED NATIONS - Instead of sidelining the fight against climate change, the global credit crisis could hasten countries' efforts to create "green growth" industries by revamping the financial system behind them, the UN climate chief said on Friday.

Read more...

Find out more about ITU's actvities on climate change

Monday, October 13, 2008 12:40:11 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Organized crime tampers with European card swipe devices

Hundreds of card swipers used by retail stores across Europe are believed to have been tampered by organized crime syndicates in China and Pakistan, according to US National Counterintelligence Executive Joel Brenner.

Brenner told The Daily Telegraph that criminals have doctored chip and PIN machines either during manufacturing in China or shortly after leaving the production line in order to send shopper credit card account details overseas. The devices were then expertly resealed and exported to Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Belgium.

"Previously only a nation state's intelligence service would have been capable of pulling off this type of operation," Brenner told the publication. "It's scary."

Hundreds of devices have been copying credit and debit card details over the past nine months and sending the data by way of mobile phone networks to tech-savvy criminals in Lahore, Pakistan, The Telegraph reports.

Read more...

Monday, October 13, 2008 9:06:15 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Phishers adapt old scams to exploit bank turmoil

Scammers are exploiting meltdown in the banking sector in an attempt to trick users into handing over sensitive financial information.

Phishing emails commonly pose as security checks from a prospective mark's bank. The latest generation of the scam imitates communiques about bank mergers.

US consumer watchdog the Federal Trade Commission warned customers on Thursday not to take the bait. The FTC's alert - Bank Failures, Mergers and Takeovers: A "Phish-erman’s Special" - can be found here.

Although phishing scams have been around for at least five years - if not more - there are still plenty of suckers around to keep the scam profitable, even without considering the extra confusion added by the current banking crisis.

Read more...

Monday, October 13, 2008 9:05:28 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 09, 2008
Smarter Technology Use Could Reduce Global Emissions by 15%

Transformation in the way people and businesses use technology could reduce annual man-made global emissions by 15 per cent by 2020 and deliver energy efficiency savings to global businesses of over EUR 500 billion [GBP 400 billion / USD 800 billion], according to a new report published by independent non-profit The Climate Group and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI).

Read more...

Find out more about ITU's activities on climate change.

Thursday, October 09, 2008 12:27:16 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
China overtakes USA to become the world's Broadband Number One

UK consultancy Point Topic is reporting that China and the US are currently neck and neck in terms of their absolute numbers of broadband subscribers, but that, at current growth rates, China is set to forge ahead and overtake the US to become the world's largest broadband market. Point Topic CEO, Oliver Johnson, calls it "a major milestone for China", noting that “launching people into space is spectacular, but having the biggest broadband market down here on earth means a lot more for building a modern, hi-tech economy.”

When broadband first surged ahead in China, some observers predicted that it would overtake the USA in 2006. But then, broadband growth in China levelled off, just as it speeded up in the USA. For 18 months, the two countries ran in parallel, with similar additions in each quarter. Then, trends diverged sharply in 2008. In the USA, new broadband additions fell from 3.4 million in Q4 of 2007 to barely 1.1 million in Q2 of 2008, while in China, new broadband lines suddenly rose from 3.5 million to 5.0 million over the same period. By the end of June, China was home to 76.0 million broadband connections, only 900,000 fewer than the US. This gap was smaller than the total number that China added in July alone, at some 1.14 million according to Chinese official figures.

“It’s not so surprising that the US has been overtaken in absolute numbers – after all, China has more than three times as many homes and people”, Johnson points out. “But the US has also fallen behind the leading European and Asian countries in percentage take-up of broadband".

Read more...

Thursday, October 09, 2008 11:34:19 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Net game turns PC into undercover surveillance zombie

Underscoring the severity of a new class of vulnerability known as clickjacking, a blogger has created a proof-of-concept game that uses a PC's video cam and microphone to secretly spy on the player.

The demo, which is available here, appears to be a simple game that tests how quickly a user can click on a series of moving targets. Behind the scenes, it combines a generic clickjacking attack with weaknesses in Adobe's Flash technology to record the player using the PC's video camera and microphone.

The proof of concept is a powerful demonstration of the spooky implications behind clickjacking. The vulnerability allows malicious webmasters to control the links visitors click on. Once lured to a booby-trapped page, a user may think he's clicking on a link that leads to Google - when in fact it takes him to a money transfer page, a banner ad that's part of a click-fraud scheme, or any other destination the attacker chooses.

It plagues every major browser, Adobe Flash, and many other browsing technologies, according to Jeremiah Grossman and Robert "RSnake" Hansen, the researchers who first sounded the clickjacking alarm. The pair was scheduled to detail the threat two weeks ago at at OWASP's AppSec 2008 Conference in New York, but canceled the talk at the request of Adobe.

For more information, see here.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008 9:45:28 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Shell fingers IT contractor in theft of employee data

October 6, 2008 (IDG News Service) Shell Oil Co. is warning its employees that an IT contractor used the personal data of four Shell workers as part of an unemployment insurance claims scam in Texas.

Shell Oil, the U.S. subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, began notifying employees of the data breach on Friday, via a written notice that was posted on the Houston-based company's Web site.

Shell spokeswoman Robin Lebovitz said company officials noticed early last month that someone had used Shell employee data to file fake unemployment compensation claims with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). After investigating, Shell determined that an employee of a third-party contractor had misused information stored in a corporate database, Lebovitz said.

For more information, see here.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008 9:40:49 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 06, 2008
Drivers of Broadband in Latin America

As reported by BN Americas, the incoming Vice President of Sales & Customer Services Joe Manuele of Actelis, the Californian-based Ethernet over copper provider, has observed that they are seeing a big boom in broadband in Latin America driven by triple play, 3G and web 2.0 applications. Many operators are moving away from legacy-based ATM DSLAMs (network devices that receive signals from DSL lines and backhaul them to a central office) towards new IP DSLAMs.  Actelis' technology uses advanced digital techniques to provide backhaul from DSLAMs to the central office with Ethernet quality using existing legacy copper infrastructure, rather than fiber. Operators can benefit as they can meet growing demand for bandwidth from 3G services, without having to invest in fiber.

"Everyone is really spooked about the cost of oil and the cost of travel", Manuele observed. "All these new services like teleconferencing and telepresence over IP require very high speeds and symmetrical traffic, which have to be bidirectional. So we're launching services with carriers that are offering web 2.0 applications using [existing] copper infrastructure.  Actelis' "Ethernet bonding capabilities over copper" allow carriers to reach speeds of up to 100Mbps for symmetrical data transport, making bandwidth hungry applications - such as telepresence - possible over copper.  Actelis is backhauling DSL and WiMax traffic.

Such technology could boost the use of teleconferencing and telepresence over existing infrastructure, reducing the need for business travel and hence the carbon footprint of executive travel.  For more information, see here.

Monday, October 06, 2008 8:48:16 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 03, 2008
Strong growth in revenues for Red Hat, especially in Latin America

Business News Americas is reporting that US Linux open source technology provider Red Hat has posted strong overall global growth with total revenues of US$164mn for 2Q 2009, a year-over-year increase of 29% or nearly a third.

According to Red Hat's Latin American marketing manager, Martín D'Elia, Latin America recorded the fastest growth due to good levels of IT adoption and faster decision cycles compared with more mature regions, and a higher penetration of open source than in other regions.

In terms of technologies, Red Hat will concentrate its efforts in virtualization for the operating system - an area that the company recently bolstered with the acquisition of Israeli IT firm Qumranet, which provides virtualization technologies for the desktops. D'Elia noted that, "while data centers are evolving to virtualized environments, they need to increase their virtualization offering to the desktop. This is a good business model for smaller companies, which can't afford an IT department, and is also good for large firms and the government, since there are big savings in hardware, energy and administration".

For more information, see here.

Friday, October 03, 2008 10:44:24 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Different business strategies for WiMAX deployments

Business News Americas conducted an insightful interview with Aptilo Networks' CEO Torbjorn Ward. Aptilo Networks, a Swedish vendor of integrated service management and access control solutions for WiMAX networks, is witnessing considerable growth in WiMAX markets in the Caribbean and South American regions.

Speaking from the WiMAX World conference in Chicago earlier this week, Ward noted that the business case for WiMAX in developing markets is very different to that in developed markets. In developing nations, wireless infrastructure is deployed to provide voice and Internet coverage to remote areas lacking fixed-line infrastructure. While mobile penetration is often high, broadband penetration is typically very low. In developed markets, WiMAX operators are pushing the concept of advanced 4G connectivity.

On the debate about whether WiMAX or LTE will prove more dominant, Ward observed "this not a horse race in which there is going to be a winner or loser". He noted that there are a variety of technologies competing to provide fixed broadband to the home (such as DSL over copper or fiber and cable).  Ward suggested that LTE is the obvious migration path for mobile operators, while WiMAX may appeal more to greenfield operators. "Who is winning [between cable or wireline operators]?  If you are a cable operator you can only work with cable and if you're a wireline operator you can only work with DSL," Ward said. "My point is that's exactly the same thing when it comes to WiMax and GSM and LTE. If you're a GSM operator, you can offer that over mobile broadband and later LTE. If you're not a GSM license holder, you can offer WiMAX".

Ward quoted Ron Resnick, president of the WiMAX Forum, as stating that there are 1,700 WiMAX licenses in the process of being issued worldwide, in addition to the 300-400 WiMAX operators already active today.

For more information, please see here.

Friday, October 03, 2008 8:00:18 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 01, 2008
UK banking fraud losses rise to £301.7m

UK banking losses due to fraud in the first half of 2008 hit £301.7m compared to £263.6m in the same period last year, according to the latest figures from UK banking association APACS.

Fraud abroad made up 40 per cent of total card fraud losses reaching £121.2m in the period, up 11 per cent of the £108.8m lost last year. That loss was through tactics such as the use of counterfeit plastic cards with stolen PINs on machines overseas that only check magnetic strips, not chips.

Once the European banking industry meets its target on the roll-out of plastic cards and readers that rely on chip-based technology - due to be completed by 2010 - this type of fast-growing scam will be contained, APACS predicts.

Card-not-present fraud (a category that includes ecommerce fraud as well as phone and mail order scams) also rose 18 per cent to reach £161.9m for the first six months of 2008, according to APACS stats published on Wednesday. This type of fraud has trebled - up 207 per cent - since 2001 but over the same six month period ecommerce transactions increased 415 per cent; so these particular figures, although hardly encouraging, are not quite as bad as they might first appear.

Read Full Story

Wednesday, October 01, 2008 2:35:02 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 29, 2008
World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly 2008, Setting the standardization future for ICT

Standards for ICTs underpin the Internet and the global telecommunications network. No call is made or message exchanged without the use of ITU standards. As the only international intergovernmental standards organization, ITU is hosting WTSA and GSS to set the stage for the future development of ICT.
The Global Standards Symposium (GSS) is a first-ever one day event (20 October 2008) designed to focus on key standardization issues in the ICT world, such as bridging the digital divide, climate change, accessibility, and the proliferation of standards bodies. GSS will provide inputs to the landmark World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08) that follows immediately (21-30 October 2008).

Monday, September 29, 2008 7:27:34 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 25, 2008
China is pursuing a multi-pronged approach to 3G

China is pursuing a multi-technology approach to 3G, according to Telecom Web. Telecom Web is reporting that Chinese authorities are in the process of awarding several licenses for 3G, ending years of speculation about China's 3G licensing process.

China Mobile, with 392 million of China's 583.5 million mobile subscribers, is in line to get a 3G license requiring it to use China's home-grown TD-SCDMA. China Telecom, the largest fixed-line operator with 216 million customers, bought China Unicom's CDMA network (which currently has 43 million customers) and merged with China Satellite Communications Corp. The company has been awarded a 3G license for CDMA 1x EV-DO. Meanwhile, China Unicom, which has 125.4 million GSM subscribers and is now without its CDMA network (which was merged with Netcom, China's Number Two fixed-line provider) is getting a 3G license for WCDMA. Licenses are being awarded for 300 Chinese cities.

For more information, see here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008 2:14:46 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Point Topic Survey - mobile broadband has finally overtaken WiFi as the most popular mobile Internet access

The UK research firm Point Topic report in the results of their latest survey that mobile phone networks have finally overtaken WiFi hotspots as UK consumers' most popular way of accessing the Internet, whilst on the move. Point Topic’s recent survey of mobile broadband users shows that the UK mobile phone companies have managed to grow their market share to 47% of users accessing the Internet away from home or work, compared with 42% who prefer WiFi hotspots. One year earlier, the ratio was 40:30 in favour of WiFi.

Point Topic suggest that a year of heavy marketing of mobile broadband in the intensely competitive market is the main reason for the growth inmobile broadband's popularity, with five operators fighting for market share. Their research suggested that 26% or a quarter of those who use a mobile network to access the Internet are customers of O2, while Orange and Vodafone each take about a fifth or 20% of the market. T-Mobile and 3 have 14% and 12% respectively.

Mobile operators have a big size advantage over the WiFi service providers, who are relatively small and fragmented. But it is a lot cheaper to send data over WiFi and, unlike the mobile networks, WiFi has no problems with capacity. Point Topic predicts that "dual-mode operation, with mobile broadband users defaulting to WiFi where it’s available, will be the way of the future".

For more information, see here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008 2:04:42 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Worldwide mobile cellular subscribers to reach 4 billion mark late 2008

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré announced in New York that worldwide mobile cellular subscribers are likely to reach the 4 billion mark before the end of this year.

Dr Touré was speaking at the high-level event on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in New York, where he also participated in UN Private Sector Forums addressing the global food crisis and the role of technological innovation in meeting the MDGs.

The MDGs were adopted following the United Nations Millennium Declaration by UN Member states in 2000, representing an international commitment to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat epidemics such as HIV/AIDS and malaria, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development that would include making available the benefits of information and communication technologies. ICTs have been recognized as an important tool to achieve the MDGs.

Since the turn of the century, the growth of mobile cellular subscribers has been impressive, with year-on-year growth averaging 24 per cent between 2000 and 2008. While in 2000, mobile penetration stood at only 12 per cent, it surpassed the 50 per cent mark by early 2008. It is estimated to reach about 61 per cent by the end of 2008.

"The fact that 4 billion subscribers have been registered worldwide indicates that it is technically feasible to connect the world to the benefits of ICT and that it is a viable business opportunity," said Dr Touré. "Clearly, ICTs have the potential to act as catalysts to achieve the 2015 targets of the MDGs." [More...]

Thursday, September 25, 2008 11:14:29 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Signature of a MoU between ITU and Geneva's Observatoire Technologique

ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, and Mr. Mark Muller, Conseiller d'Etat from Siwtzerland, signed today a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the area of new and emerging Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). This MoU will enable the Union and its Membership to be aware of new and emerging technologies and their potential impact to the information society and in meeting socio-economic developmental targets such as the Millennium Development Goals and WSIS Targets. It will also enable ITU to take account of emerging ICTs and new technologies in the adjustment of its work programme to meet the Union’s Strategic Goals and orientations.

The main areas of cooperation are:

  1. Future and emerging ICTs and other new technologies
  2. Sustainable development and economic growth
  3. User benefits of new technologies
  4. Emerging web technologies and applications

[Media kit...]

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 10:21:41 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, September 13, 2008
ITU TELECOM Asia 2008 - Interview with ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Toure

Video: Interview with ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré is interviewed by Tony Poulos from TelecomTV on the theme of ITU Telecom Asia 2008: New Generation, New Values.

Dr Touré explains how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), being the tools for all other sectors of economy, are key to achieving United Nations Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Other subjects such as climate change and cybersecurity are also discussed in the course of the interview. [Full video interview...]

 

Saturday, September 13, 2008 8:22:32 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 08, 2008
GSMAP 2008: One in two of the world’s inhabitants have access to a mobile phone

The Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré , highlighted at the GSMA Asia-Pacific Conference (Colombo, Sri Lanka, 7-10 September 2008), that in August last year we surpassed the milestone of three billion mobile phone subscriptions and today, one in two of the world's inhabitants have access to a mobile phone. Mobile cellular subscribers are likely to reach the 4 billion mark before the end of this year.

ITU is working closely with the GSMA under a Memorandum of Understanding signed at the 7th Global Symposium for Regulators in Dubai last year. This project aims strengthening cooperation and improving access to mobile phone services to bridge the digital divide in least developed and developing nations. It concentrates on three key areas: supporting developing market projects for low-cost access to ICTs in underserved areas; industry and government cooperation; and benchmarking of the global industry, on the basis of a close monitoring of the markets.

Monday, September 08, 2008 3:18:24 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 05, 2008
ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 closes with bullish outlook for ICT industry: Baton passes from Bangkok to Geneva for ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009

ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 brought the shutters down in Bangkok with a focus on new business opportunities to sustain growth in the dynamic ICT industry in the Asia-Pacific region as well as on the younger generation of users and innovators.

With over two billion telephones, including 1.4 billion mobile subscribers, and 42 per cent of the world’s Internet users, Asia is a region of superlatives in the ICT arena. It is also the world’s largest broadband market with a 39 per cent share of the world’s total at the end of 2007, as noted in ITU’s 2008 Asia Pacific Telecommunications and ICT Indicators Report that was launched at the event. ‘New Generation, New Values’, the theme of ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 addressed the demands of a young population that is clearly setting the tone for a new generation of ICT developers and development.

Over 170 exhibitors from around the world occupied some 15 000 square meters of covered space at the IMPACT Centre, a modern convention and exhibition complex on the outskirts of Bangkok. Business was brisk with trade visitors and exhibitors meeting on the show floor as well as in the national pavilions of China, France, Korea (Republic of), Japan, Russia, Thailand and the United States.

"Business as usual" was the common refrain among all participants at ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008, despite the developing political situation in Thailand. While news reports of the unfolding scenario kept some foreign participants from attending, which resulted in lower numbers of visitors than expected, the IMPACT Centre as well as most of Bangkok city appeared unaffected. The Forum Halls were full to overflowing and the trade show bustled with activity. [More...]

Friday, September 05, 2008 12:30:06 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 04, 2008
ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda housed in Malaysia - Centre to combat cyber threats established near Kuala Lumpur

ITU concluded an agreement with the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber-Terrorism (IMPACT) to operationalize the ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA). IMPACT’S state-of-the-art global headquarters in Cyberjaya, Kuala Lumpur will be the home of ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda.

The collaboration between ITU and IMPACT is aimed at building synergies to provide:

  • Real-time analysis, aggregation and dissemination of global cyber threat information
  • Early warning system and emergency response to global cyber threats
  • Training and skills development on the technical, legal and policy aspects of cybersecurity

The agreement is in line with the decision of the World Summit on the Information Society to build security and confidence in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). The Summit also called for the coordination of multi-stakeholder implementation of information exchange, creation of knowledge, sharing of best practices, and assistance in developing public/private partnerships.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Bangkok during ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 by ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré and Chairman of the IMPACT Management Board Mr Mohammad Noor Amin. [More...]

 

Thursday, September 04, 2008 12:27:00 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 02, 2008
ITU TELECOM ASIA opens in Bangkok: Global leader in ICT, Asia focuses on younger generation of ICT users and innovators
ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 opened its doors today in Bangkok, Thailand unveiling an array of leading edge information and communication technologies (ICT) as well as a high-profile Forum focused on today’s connected generation and sustainable new business models for growing the ICT sector.

This followed the formal opening yesterday by HRH Princess of Thailand Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. In her opening address, the Princess stated, "ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 is the leading showcase of the latest technology innovation of the ICT industry within the Asia-Pacific region. I sincerely hope that ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 will provide benefits for the advancement of ICT as well as telecommunication towards the people sector, business, trade and investment, and promote collaboration within the Asia-Pacific region and beyond."

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn is renowned for her expertise in information technology and for applying it in the development of her country. She visited the TELECOM ASIA Exhibition show floor and expressed her deep interest in the technologies, applications and services on display. ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré presented the ITU Award for Connecting the World to the Princess in recognition of her exceptional contribution in promoting ICTs in Thailand and around the world.

The Prime Minister of Thailand, Mr Samak Sundaravej introduced the salient features of ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 at the royal opening ceremony. [More...]

Tuesday, September 02, 2008 12:45:42 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 01, 2008
ITU's Asia-Pacific Telecommunication and ICT Indicators Report focuses on broadband connectivity: Too much or too little?

Asia-Pacific region leads high-speed Internet connectivity, but wide divide prevails.

ITU launched its key Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Report for the Asia-Pacific region at ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008, which got under way today in Bangkok, Thailand. The Report focuses on broadband connectivity as a vehicle for content to drive development and build a knowledge-based information society.

While some Asia-Pacific economies are world leaders in information and communication technologies (ICT) where broadband access is ultra-high speed, affordable and close to ubiquitous, in most of the region's poorer countries Internet access remains limited and predominantly low-speed. The Report finds evidence that ICTs and broadband uptake foster growth and development, but the question remains as to the optimal speed that should be targeted in view of limited resources.

The Asia-Pacific Telecommunication/ICT Indicators 2008 Report is an invaluable information tool to inform and guide policy-makers, investors, analysts and other observers of the region's telecommunications landscape. It contains an extensive overview of key sector developments, and includes a number of recommendations to sustain growth and deepen access to ICTs in the region. [More...]

Monday, September 01, 2008 8:58:47 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 28, 2008
ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 - Youth Forum participants to get free laptops: One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) donates 100 computers to ITU

Young participants at ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand are set to receive free laptops at the opening of the Youth Forum on 31 August.

The gift of the computers is part of ITU's initiative to promote affordable devices to increase access to ICT. ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré said, "ITU is committed to connecting the world. And to achieve this goal, affordable devices have to be made available for people everywhere to access the benefits of a knowledge-based Information Society." [More...]

Thursday, August 28, 2008 8:53:12 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 27, 2008
ITU Secretary-General opens the 4th International Symposium on Telecommunications in Tehran, Iran

Dr Touré talks about ITU's technical leadership, its current standardization priorities as well as its policy-making activities.

"... As the broker of global consensus on the technologies and frameworks that will underpin the next wave of innovation, ITU is active in every facet of ICT development, from access networks, transmission, next generation networks and broadband, to billing and numbering, satellite systems and of course wireless, which continues to notch up exponential growth while expanding its reach into new areas.

In 2007, ITU-T alone produced over 160 new and revised standards, covering everything from core public phone network functionality to next-generation services like IPTV.

And to meet the needs of an industry where today’s breakthrough technology quickly becomes yester-year’s legacy installation, we’ve dramatically streamlined our processes, paring back the average development time for an ITU Recommendation from four years in 1988 to around just one year today.

The pace of work continues to accelerate: 13% more ITU-T Recommendations were approved in 2007 than in 2006, and, with the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly set to kick off in Johannesburg, South Africa in October, this year’s achievement is already set to be higher still.

In September last year, to promote and enhance worldwide access to globally-agreed ITU Recommendations, we also took the radical step of making over 3,000 core ITU standards downloadable directly over the Internet, free of charge. As hoped, this move has been particularly beneficial to developing countries, which downloaded over 300,000 copies of ITU-T standards in 2007.

Looking ahead, priority areas of focus include Next Generation Networks, multimedia codecs, digital identity management systems, fast broadband platforms, and of course the next wave in cellular mobile, which is being developed under the auspices of our IMT-Advanced project..." [Full speech...]

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 4:05:56 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 25, 2008
Hollywood presents Emmy Award to ITU, ISO and IEC - Revolutionary video standard , H.264 | MPEG-4 AVC , recognized by US TV Academy

The US Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awarded the prestigious Primetime Emmy Award for Excellence to ITU, ISO and IEC - global leaders in making standards - for their work in producing an advanced video coding standard, formally known as Recommendation ITU-T H.264 | ISO/IEC Standard 14496-10 on Advanced Video Coding (AVC).

The Joint Video Team (JVT), made up of experts from the three international standards organizations, received industry recognition for its landmark achievement in developing a "high profile" that extends the reach of high quality video from mobile telephones right through to High Definition Television (HDTV). The JVT was formed in 2001 by the ITU Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG).

H.264 | MPEG-4 AVC is a highly efficient video compression method that substantially reduces the bandwidth needed to deliver high quality video and the space required to store it. Seven sets of capabilities, referred to as "profiles", have been created for use in specific applications. It is a combination of the great efficiency of the codec as well as its scalability in delivering excellent quality across the entire bandwidth spectrum — from high definition television to videoconferencing and 3G-mobile multimedia — that has led to its increasing popularity. [More...]

Monday, August 25, 2008 11:03:01 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Conference on planetary emergencies in Erice, Italy: Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General, warns about pervasive computer use

Extract from the International Herald Tribune: ...More than 120 scientists, engineers, analysts and economists from 30 countries were hunkered down here for the 40th annual conference on "planetary emergencies." The term was coined by Antonino Zichichi, a native son and a theoretical physicist who has made Erice a hub for experts to discuss persistent, and potentially catastrophic, global challenges...

... In a session on information security, Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, warned that pervasive computer use, while offering the prospect of a global "knowledge society," also made billions of individuals into potential superpowers. "Every single brain on earth is equal and can trigger an attack," he said... [Full article on the International Herald Tribune]

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:01:04 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 set for Bangkok, 2-5 September - ITU Asia-Pacific Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Report will be released on 1 September

ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 is set to open in Bangkok, Thailand in two weeks. The leading showcase for information and communication technologies (ICT) and the foremost networking platform for policy makers, regulators and the ICT industry from across the Asia-Pacific region will open its doors 2-5 September 2008 at the IMPACT Convention Centre, Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok.

The VIP/Press Day will be held on 1 September, beginning with the Opening Ceremony at 9:00 am. The Press conference will take place at 12 Noon followed by a Press lunch at 13:00 and a Press tour of the exhibition. A Ministerial round table and high-level dialogue between Ministers and industry leaders will also be held at the venue. The ITU Asia Pacific Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Report will be launched at the Press conference. [More...]

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 8:37:15 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 18, 2008
ITU Secretary-General talks on the occasion of ITU TELECOM Asia 2008 about the new agenda of ITU

Since taking office in January 2007, Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré has set an ambitious new agenda for the ITU designed to help lead the way towards a more equitable and responsible ICT-based economy. A native of Mali whose long career in ICT spans senior private and public sector roles on three continents, Dr Touré seeks to get to grips with the changing realities of a brand new socio-economic paradigm.

Q:  Let's start with ITU's Global Cybersecurity Agenda. Why did ITU feel the need to launch this, and what does it hope to achieve?

A:   ITU recognized an urgent need to raise awareness about the very real threat already posed by cybercrime, and to build global consensus on practical ways forward in combating this scourge.

Cyberspace has no borders, no constraining frontiers. The global nature of today's threats means no country can regard itself as an island. This is therefore a truly international problem demanding action on an international level. ITU boasts a long and successful history of forging consensus on the way the world manages globally shared ICT resources - such as satellite orbits and radiofrequency spectrum. Now we're leveraging that track record to help build an international set of principles and best practice that countries around the world can follow, so that efforts to stamp out cybercrime have maximum impact and effectiveness.

The GCA's role is to link existing initiatives and provide a framework for consensus. We've already got lots of key organizations sharing ideas - INTERPOL with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, for example. Working together significantly increases our chances of success. And by involving global experts in the process from the beginning, we'll help make sure that the solutions decided upon get implemented properly.

Q:  Where are we in terms of progress on the Agenda?

A:   To ensure all countries and stakeholders had the chance to voice their views and concerns, ITU convened a High-Level Experts Group comprising a broad spectrum of representatives from government, international and regional organizations, private industry and academia. This global multi-stakeholder think-tank was tasked with preparing a strategic report and a set of recommendations on how to best achieve the seven strategic goals of the GCA, which span legislation, hardware and software authentication, digital identity certification, and international frameworks for proactive cooperation, as well as early warning on cyber threats.

The HLEG met on 26 June 2008 to submit its recommendations, and I'll be presenting these to ITU Council in November this year. So just over one year since launch, we're moving from talk to action. In the past three months alone we've seen a number of exciting developments, including new collaboration with IMPACT, the global initiative launched by Malaysian Prime Minister, which has offered to serve as one of the GCA physical homes; launch of the GCA Strategic Partnership Program to forge alliances with key stakeholders; mounting interest from leading ICT firms; and a second Patron from Africa - the President of Burkina Faso.

We still have a lot of complex work ahead of us, but with ITU's proven ability to broker effective, workable international agreements on a whole range of contentious issues - from emergency communications to third-generation mobile telephony - I'm quite confident we'll get there.

Q:  Child protection has emerged as one of the most urgent cybersecurity priorities. What's ITU position here?

A:   There's no doubt this needs to be one of the very first issues addressed. Today’s children are increasingly vulnerable - yet their parents, teachers, guardians and even governments are often unaware of the dangers.

We all tell our children to be careful out on the street. What many people haven’t realized is that, equipped with a computer, a child’s bedroom can suddenly become a very dangerous neighbourhood - and that their children are walking through that neighbourhood in the dark, alone. So the first step is to raise awareness at a parental, educational and social level. We need to urgently integrate cyber protection into our community education programmes, and into our school curricula.

At the same time, we need to work towards a harmonized international framework against child pornography and cybercriminals who target and prey on children. Without this framework, some countries will become unwilling hubs for illegal activities of the most undesirable kind - something no nation would want. Much good work has already been done by various agencies and organizations around the world. Through ITU, we can bring key stakeholders together to leverage the progress made so far and develop an internationally effective strategy to eradicate these activities.

To that end, we’ve just announced the creation of a multi-stakeholder coalition under the GCA framework to undertake concrete actions for the protection of children online. The Child Online Protection (COP) will be launched later this year, and will actively work with partners from industry, governments, international organizations and others to develop concrete actions for protecting children in cyber space.

I believe ITU, which is committed to connecting the world, also has a responsibility to help ensure that these connections are safe. At the same time, it’s vital that our initiatives do nothing to stifle or smother the enormous benefits the Internet can bring young people, both as a traditional educational resource and as a tool for peer to peer networking and learning.

Q:  You talk of ‘Connecting the World’ - and you held the highly successful ÂConnect Africa event in Rwanda last year. Can we expect to see more ‘Connect’ events - and which regions would be targeted next?

A:   We held the first Connect event in Africa because, as home to 36 of the 49 UN-designated Least Developed Countries, the African continent is still the most urgently in need. The unprecedented interest this event generated, including over US$ 55 billion in project commitments, is clear proof that the industry is now aggressively looking to developing markets for new opportunities. The next Connect event - Connect CIS - is already on the agenda, and will be held in Belarus in 2009. We’re confident that it will match the success of our first event, as participants take advantage of enormous untapped demand in fast-emerging markets across this exciting region.

We’ll be following that up with other Connect events for key world regions - Connect Americas, and Connect Asia - with a special focus as well on the small island states of the Pacific.

Q:  How do ITU Connect events differ from the many other ICT trade shows and conferences targeting regional markets?

A:   ICTs are the engine driving every other economic sector. And over the past five years, two thirds of all new jobs created have been in the ICT sector. In defining our Connect events, our motto has been ‘wealth creation, not poverty alleviation’. Unlike many events, we’re not focusing on the latest gizmos, but rather on ICT development through partnership - particularly constructive partnership between governments and the private sector. Regionally-focused events are very useful, because they can address common problems in areas like licensing, regulation and infrastructure sharing. In deciding the venue for future regional Connect events, we’ll be looking for strong commitments from host governments to forging local ICT markets that favour business opportunity and promote good, competitively-priced services.

Q:  In addition to Connect CIS, there’s another important event on the ITU horizon next year - the fourth World Telecommunication Policy Forum in Lisbon. What will this event focus on?

A:   With so much happening across the industry, we’ve chosen the broad theme of ‘Convergence’ to encompass a range of paradigm shifts. The event will look at new network technologies - for example, the standardization work now underway within ITU on Next Generation Networks and IMT-Advanced mobile technology. But we’ll also be looking at other important global issues, such as ICTs and climate change.

Q:  Climate change is a relatively new item on ITU’s work plan

A:   Yes, but in fact we’ve already been very active here for a number of years, through the development of technologies for environmental monitoring, through early warning systems to help communities mitigate the effects of the growing number of natural disasters provoked by global warming, and through technologies designed to minimize human impact on our environment.

I believe we can go much, much further, by helping industries across all sectors reduce their carbon footprint. Sure, as products that consume energy - through both their manufacture and their use - ICTs are part of the problem, accounting for around three per cent of global CO2 emissions. But they can also be a huge part of the solution - for example, by reducing the need for paper, by automatically switching both themselves and other electrical appliances to ‘sleep’ mode to cut energy consumption, by reducing the need for travel, and by more efficiently managing energy needs in our homes or in our cars.

Following two international Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change held earlier this year, the important role of ICTs in mitigating climate change was addressed at the G8 meeting in Lake Toya in July. ITU will continue to proactively work towards even better technological solutions to reducing our carbon footprint, through standardization efforts in areas like NGN, where new technologies can dramatically reduce the power consumption of network infrastructure, and through special areas of focus like the Networked Home and the Networked Car. We’re also stepping up our work in the area of emergency communications, to help communities deal with the often catastrophic effects of a shift in climate patterns.

Q:  ITU took the lead back in 1998 in brokering the Tampere Convention on the cross-border use of mobile communications for humanitarian relief. What other activities are you involved in?

A:   The Tampere Convention was a major landmark in emergency response, and has now been ratified by 36 nations. This is a priority area for us, and we’re partnering with a wide range of public and private sector organizations across a range of different areas.

Following the Asian tsunami in 2004, we’ve been working with the Australian government and others on developing early-warning technology for maritime disasters. The most recent World Radiocommunication Conference here in Geneva last year approved new key spectrum allocations for environmental monitoring and disaster mitigation.

And we’re active on the ground, providing communications equipment for disaster relief, and technical expertise to help authorities get backbone links up again quickly after a disaster.

During the course of 2008 alone, we’ve deployed 100 satellite terminals for emergency relief in Myanmar - we were one of the very few agencies authorized to enter - and in Sichuan, China, following the earthquake there. We also have excellent partnerships with most of the major satellite service providers, such as ICO and Inmarsat, with equipment vendors like Thuraya, and with specialist relief organizations like Télécoms Sans Frontières.

More, however, still needs to be done. That’s why we developed a new international framework that was put in place in December 2007. This framework focuses on putting in place national and international disaster prevention and response agreements that can serve as the basis of relief efforts in the event of a catastrophe. When disaster strikes, no-one should be wasting time brokering deals. And no-one should be arguing as to who might get credit for the rescue and clean-up. All our efforts must be directed to helping the victims - as efficiently and as quickly as possible.

Q:  What can we expect to see at the industry’s flagship trade show, ITU Telecom Asia 2008 in Thailand in September?

A:   With Asia now leading the world in technological innovation, there are always plenty of surprises! I’m sure we’ll see much to excite us on the show floor from major global players and rising Asian stars. As to the Forum programme, we can expect plenty of healthy debate. The new, more interactive format we piloted at our Cairo event in May was very well received, so we’ll be reinforcing that model in Bangkok. I believe ‘from friction comes light’ - so we’ll be aiming to provoke a few clashes of opinion from industry leadersÂ…

Asia is a fascinating region because it encompasses both ends of the ICT development spectrum. It’s home to the most wired, most technophile communities in the world. And it’s also home to LDCs and marginalized island states. That makes it a great test bed for new ideas, new technologies - and exciting new applications.

Q:  The theme for this year’s ITU Telecom event is New Generation, New Values. What does this mean, in practice?

A:   We chose this theme because, quite simply, no region of the world embraces ICTs like Asia. Entire generations now define themselves through technology. That’s a huge force for innovation, as manufacturers and service providers alike clamber to make the most of the opportunities by devising compelling new products and services designed to capture the consumer imagination - and wallet. In other countries, technology tends to be applied as a tool, to meet user needs. In Asia, it’s already very much a lifestyle.

Q:  So Asia’s really shaping today’s market developments, setting the tone and pace of trends?

A:   There’s no doubt that this is true in areas like mobile and broadband. Asia spans some of the most sophisticated markets with the highest levels of ICT penetration and growth in the world. China and India are the world’s largest and fastest growing markets, with mobile subscribers alone totalling over 600 million and 280 million respectively by mid-2008. The Republic of Korea leads the world with close to 80% of households connected to broadband. Both Singapore and Hong Kong, China are not far behind, with 70%. That’s why ITU Telecom Asia has always served as a bellwether for the industry - it not only opens doors to some of the biggest opportunities for exhibitors, but provides a crucial snapshot of where the industry’s heading in terms of technologies, applications and new business models.

That’s particularly important in Asia, which remains a region of stark contrasts. While some countries now boast excess broadband capacity, others - particularly geographically isolated nations like Small Island States - are still struggling to get their populations connected. New technologies will help. The next Connect Asia Summit that ITU is organizing with other partners will be a key milestone in setting the strategies at regional level. Discussions during Asia 2008 with business and political leaders will be timely for achieving the expected results.

Monday, August 18, 2008 8:44:55 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 14, 2008
Media Advisory: ITU TELECOM ASIA Forum addresses policy for next-generation networks - New regulatory approaches to match innovation in telecommunication/ICT technology

This ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 Forum session addresses the theme: Meeting the Needs of Society. Today's modern world of communications is witness to innovative systems that present a host of both opportunities and challenges for public policy frameworks. The current telecommunications regulatory model applies to legacy publicly switched telecommunications networks (PSTN). However, the rapid investment in next-generation networks (NGN) is creating new regulatory issues and challenges, calling for a paradigm shift in ICT regulation.

NGN is a packet-based Internet Protocol (IP) network designed to deliver a full range of services - from broadband Internet to fixed, wireless and mobile voice and data, and even broadcast television -- over a single network with guaranteed quality of service. The imminent replacement of circuit-switched phone systems with the new packet-switched architecture illustrates how regulatory approaches must match innovation. A significant challenge with NGN is matching the right policy and regulatory settings to facilitate migration to NGN and stimulate investment in the new networks. This session will consider the costs and benefits of investing in the still uncharted NGN terrain. [More...]

Thursday, August 14, 2008 11:00:38 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 04, 2008
Media Advisory: ITU TELECOM ASIA Forum to address climate change - Business opportunities seen in adopting environment-friendly ICT

Climate change is a global challenge that demands urgent attention. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are vital instruments in monitoring the spread of global warming as well as part of the solution in promoting carbon displacement technologies. At the same time, in an increasingly ‘switched on’ society, ICTs are also becoming a part of the cause of global warming. Although ICTs contribute only an estimated 2.5 per cent of total greenhouse gases, this is set to increase as ICT usage expands globally.

New technologies that increase efficiencies provide opportunities for monitoring and protecting the environment, mitigating the effects of global warming and adapting to climate change. In its commitment to connecting the world, ITU advances a green ICT agenda and leads environment-friendly initiatives to monitor climate change and reduce the carbon footprint of ICT while enabling other sectors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [More...]

Monday, August 04, 2008 9:39:10 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 30, 2008
ITU Secretary-General at the 24th Universal Postal Congress: ITU and UPU have long worked towards the ideal of universal access

Extract from Dr Touré's address: ... ITU and UPU have long worked towards the ideal of universal access. Now, at a time when the digitalization of our industries is rapidly changing the communication landscape, we are still working towards this ideal.

The goal of universal access was the reason for ITU’s Connect Africa initiative, launched at a high-level Summit in Kigali last October. While great gains have been made in the African continent in recent years, there remains much to do if we want to eliminate the digital divide. Bringing connectivity to every region in Africa requires mobilizing all possible human, technical and financial resources – both public and private. At the same time, Connect Africa has demonstrated that such mobilization of resources can create exciting business and investment opportunities.

UPU, of course, has had its own role to play in this process. As has been so often the case in the history of our two organizations, we again find ourselves not only standing side-by-side, but working actively together. Let me give you 3 examples... [Full speech]

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 2:04:33 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 25, 2008
Second African tour of ITU Secretary-General to Connect Africa: Dr Touré visits Mali

During the audience granted to Dr Touré on 25 July by His Excellency Amadou Toumani Touré, President of the Republic of Mali, discussions focused on the successes achieved in the ICT sector with a view to facilitating access to communication for people from all layers of society nationwide and thereby attaining the Millennium Goals. Reference was also made to ITU's support, which will result in the implementation of priority projects relating to smooth privatization of SOTELMA, optical fibre networks, multipurpose community centres in post offices and training centres.

Friday, July 25, 2008 12:51:30 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 23, 2008
ITU standard assists rescue workers to notify victim's next of kin - Global mobile phone directory code for use in emergencies

Emergency workers searching for next-of-kin contact information for an injured person now have a globally recognized way of doing so, thanks to a new standard from ITU.

By simply prefixing the Arabic numericals 01, 02, 03, and so on to a nominated contact, such as "01father", "02wife" or "03husband" written in any script in the mobile telephone directory, will help emergency workers in any part of the world identify contacts in order of priority and notify them.

ITU will work with non-profit organization ICE4SAFETY to promote this new way of identifying an emergency contact in a mobile handset's directory.

"In Case of Emergency" — or ICE — has emerged in some English-speaking countries encouraging people to list emergency contact numbers in their mobile phone’s directory in the form of "ICE father", for example, or "ICE doctor". However, this precludes people who do not use or recognize the Roman script from readily identifying what the term "ICE" represents. ITU members expressed the need to identify emergency contacts independent of language or script. [More...]

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 9:41:29 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 21, 2008
Second African tour of ITU Secretary-General to Connect Africa: Dr Touré visits Senegal

An audience with His Excellency Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal, was granted on 21 July to the ITU Secretary-General, who had previously paid personal visits to ongoing projects such as extension of the Governmental Intranet, the Pompenguine Cybercase pilot project, and the computer-recycling programme involving disabled persons. Operational missions relating to feasibility studies in close collaboration with the African Union were entrusted to ITU.

Monday, July 21, 2008 12:49:26 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU TELECOM ASIA Forum to address cybersecurity

TELECOM Forum: Security, Privacy and Trust - Who Protects Whom? And From What?

In an increasingly networked world, achieving cybersecurity and cyberpeace is critically important. Recognizing the magnitude of the issue, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) called for building confidence and security in the use of ICTs. And ITU, in keeping with its lead role, launched the Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) to fast-track a global response to enhance cybersecurity.

Considering the major role that ICTs play as an engine of growth in the world economy, the ITU TELECOM Forum in Bangkok, Thailand will address the key issues of security, privacy and trust.

Huge investments have been made worldwide to put government services online, and cross-border collaboration is critical for the effective implementation of those services. Users are often rightly suspicious about technology that aggregates massive amounts of personal data which, in the hands of identity thieves and cyber criminals, could lead to disastrous consequences.

How can the rights and privacy of citizens be safeguarded while still facilitating the convenience of electronic identity systems? What principles have been learned and where should attention be focused? This Forum session at ITU TELECOM ASIA will dig deep to find the answers! [More...]

Monday, July 21, 2008 7:53:13 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, July 13, 2008
ITU Secretary-General participates in CANTO's 24th Annual Telecommunications Conference and Trade Exhibition on Connect the Caribbean

The Connect the Caribbean event was hosted by the National Telecommunications Provider, Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) and was attended by well over 680 delegates, ten Ministers of Government from around the region and other invited guests from The Bahamas. The theme of this year’s event was “CANTO"- Caribbean Unity through Connectivity and was centered on the Connect the Caribbean (CTC) Initiative of CANTO. The Connect the Caribbean Initiative is the Caribbean’s response to the “Connect the World Initiative”, consistent with the framework of Connect the World project of the ITU. The project will function as a partnership to mobilize the human, financial and technical resources required to bridge major gaps in ICT infrastructure development, enabling a harmonized policy framework and developing relevant and affordable services and applications.

Sunday, July 13, 2008 2:19:10 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 11, 2008
ITU responds to industry call to accelerate work on cleaner and greener environment - New group to focus on the impact of ICT and climate change

Responding to an industry call, ITU has set up a new group to work on standards related to the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on climate change. The new group will focus in particular on the reduction of ICT emissions and how ICTs can assist in cutting emissions in other industry sectors such as energy, transportation and buildings.

Since the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, in December 1997, the number of ICT users has tripled worldwide. It is estimated that the ICT sector produces between two to three per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. But ICTs are also seen as a part of the solution to the climate change challenge.

ICTs could help cut global emissions by between 15 to 40 per cent, depending on the methodology used to make these estimates. Two recent ITU symposia on ICTs and climate change in Kyoto in April and in London in June this year drew attention to the wide variation in these estimates. A key objective of the Focus Group will be to develop internationally agreed methodologies to describe and estimate the impact of ICTs on climate change, both directly and through their application in other industry sectors... [More... ]

Friday, July 11, 2008 7:08:32 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 09, 2008
ITU and Servei de Telecomunicacions d'Andorra join forces to connect least developed countries and Small Island Developing States

The International Telecommunication Union and Andorra's telecommunications operator, Servei de Telecomunicacions d'Andorra (STA), have signed a non-exclusive partnership cooperation agreement to help boost access to telecommunication and information and communication technology (ICT) services in least developed countries and Small Island Developing States. In particular, the two parties will work together to develop and implement projects that aim to improve rural or outer island communication infrastructure; provide basic telecommunications, as well as high-speed Internet services; strengthen local capacity in information technology skills; and enhance ICT capacity, especially for emergency and disaster preparedness and management. [More...]

Wednesday, July 09, 2008 10:47:34 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 08, 2008
BBC Radio - Digital Planet: Interview with Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Standardization Sector of ITU

Reducing energy consumption is on the agenda at the G8 summit in Japan. Gareth from BBC Radio speaks to Malcolm Johnson, from the International Telecommunication Union, about the global issues facing technology providers and users... [Interview]

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 12:00:17 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 07, 2008
ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 aims at the younger generation - Bangkok, Thailand to focus on new generation values at ICT showcase

ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008, the regional ICT showcase, is set for Bangkok, Thailand from 2 to 5 September. The first such event to be hosted by Thailand, Asia 2008 will promote information and communication technologies (ICT) both globally and within the Asia-Pacific region.

"New Generation, New Values" the theme for ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 sets the stage for both the Exhibition and the Forum. The Exhibition showcases a comprehensive range of ICT-related products and services, reflecting the ever extending reach of industry. Parallel to individual stands, a number of initiatives are underway to showcase national competitive advantages. Pavilions registered thus far include: China, France, Japan, Korea, Russia, Thailand and USA. ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 will be held at the modern IMPACT Challenger Centre in Bangkok. As ASIA 2008 coincides with the dates for Bangkok International ICT Expo that has been organized for the last four years by Thailand’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), the entire central hall of the IMPACT Challenger venue is dedicated to showcasing the ICT industry in Thailand.

"Thailand is very supportive of this year’s event and has organized an impressive Pavilion that firmly establishes Thailand as an ICT hub," said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré. "The location is ideal because of its strategic and geographic situation in the Asia-Pacific region, noting the fast-growing markets in China and India and the huge potential of the rest of the region. At the same time, more developed markets in neighbouring countries continue to embrace cutting edge information and communication technologies." [More...]

Monday, July 07, 2008 9:46:51 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 02, 2008
European Commission wants a web that is better enabled for the disabled

15% of Europeans suffer from some form of disability, and many face barriers such as reading a website's small text or even knowing how to access websites and online services. Despite repeated calls by the EU and government leaders to improve this situation, progress remains limited: by far the majority of websites fail to use universally accepted user-friendly solutions. Today the European Commission launched a public consultation on further measures to make websites in Europe accessible, starting with those of public administrations, and invites stakeholders to give their views. It also addresses other technologies like digital television. The consultation is open until 27 August 2008. [More...]

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 3:23:13 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Effective regulatory framework to spur investment in Africa - African ICT regulators and policy makers meet in Dakar

African regulators and policy makers met in Dakar, Senegal to address the challenges of connecting Africa to information and communication technologies (ICT). Achieving connectivity is seen as a catalyst for achieving the broader targets of the Millennium Development Goals.

The ninth Forum on Telecommunication/ICT Regulation and Partnership in Africa was held 4-6 June 2008 in the context of the Connect Africa Summit, which met in Kigali, Rwanda last October.

Opening the Forum, Mr Habib Sy, Minister for Infrastructures, Land Transport, Telecommunications and ICT of Senegal emphasized the importance of establishing a regulatory framework to build a modern and successful Africa perfectly integrated in the information society.

ITU was represented by Mr Yury Grin, Deputy Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau. He highlighted ITU’s role as a facilitator in supporting African countries to establish effective regulatory frameworks. He said the creation of an enabling environment would foster investment and stimulate growth in the ICT sector.

Over 140 delegates from 43 countries attended the Forum. [More...]

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 9:51:33 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré opens the Meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group in Geneva, Switzerland

Speech from Dr Hamadoun I. Touré:

Excellencies,

I am pleased to be with you this morning at this especially important TSAG meeting, the last before WTSA in Johannesburg.

As you know ITU's mission is to connect the world. I am proud of the strong resolve that TSAG has shown in supporting this number one goal of ITU.

In my address to TSAG in December last year I laid out the five key priorities that were identified by the new management team.

  • Bridging the digital divide
  • Stewardship of the radio spectrum
  • Adopting international standards to ensure seamless global communications and interoperability
  • Building confidence and security in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs)
  • Emergency communications.

As a direct result of that last TSAG meeting ICTs and climate change has become an item to add to this list and is now very strongly fixed on our agenda. I am very appreciative of the drive that has come from TSAG and ITU-T on this topic and note with pleasure the excellent outcome of the recent symposiums in Kyoto and London... [Full speech...]

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 6:37:55 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 26, 2008
ITU and Microsoft to collaborate on achieving development goals

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates met with ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré along with a high-level ITU delegation including the Director of the ITU Standardization Bureau, Mr Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Development Bureau, Mr Sami Al Basheer, and Ms Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Chief of Strategic Planning and Membership.

The meeting in Redmond, WA, USA aimed at extending the collaboration between ITU and Microsoft. Discussions ranged from improving education through information and communication technologies (ICT), developing digital resources, providing access to low-cost ICT devices and building human capacity to expanding e-health services and other e-applications.

At the meeting, Mr Bill Gates emphasized that ICT is a key component for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

He expressed interest in ITU's standardization work, especially on audio and video coding. [More...]

Thursday, June 26, 2008 8:36:21 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 19, 2008
ITU Secretary-General visits Japan

After the OECD Ministerial Meeting and on his way to Seattle,  Dr. Touré visited Japan for the first time since the begining of his mandate as Secretary-General and met with high-level officials in Tokyo to discuss subjects such as Cybersecurity, Climate Change, and the Digital Divide, with the view to intensify efforts in these important areas. The Secretary-General also thanked the Governement of Japan for its generous support towards an ITU pilot study project on Wireless Broadband Technology. Within the framework of his mission, Dr Touré was received by Mr. K. Aritomi Kaníchiro, President of the ITU Association of Japan and emphasized the catalytic role of ITU to link the new technologies and services of the Japanese industry with developping countries and develop this through partnerships.

Thursday, June 19, 2008 2:40:35 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 17, 2008
OECD - The ICGN's 13th Annual Conference and AGM

The OECD Ministerial Meeting that took place in Seoul, Korea was attended by more than 70 countries.
Dr Touré, ITU Secretary-General met with Presidents and CEOs of prominent ICT companies from Korea where the developments and innovations of the ICT industry have brought a significant benefit to the region. The industry leaders shared initiatives at multilateral and bilateral levels. Many themes were tackled and "the Global Internet Economy" was the topic of roundtable 5 at which Dr Touré addressed the mobile success story of today and defended the priority of tomorrow which is the broadband Internet as a basic and vital infrastructure to the economy and social development.  The Secretary-General urged participants to bring the broadband networks within easy reach of all in order to avoid creating a devastating new Digital Divide. In face of today's new threats, the task of ensuring the right infrastructure and empowering people to use the new tools will build confidence in Internet becomes an essential goal to global technology.

Speech | OECD Ministerial Meeting | International Corporate Governance Network

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 8:45:47 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Intelsat Global Telecommunications Meeting (GTM-2008)

Dr. Touré attended the GTM 2008 in Washington on 3 June 2008. Intelsat has been hosting GTM for the past 30 years where communications companies, satellite industry and organizations from all over the world gather in sharing their network and knowledge to address the benefit of ICT to people in the most remote places on the globe. This year GTM event opened its doors to corporate network operators, government services sectors and carriers.  GTM 08 tackled the networking environment and focused on business and social issues affecting the world telecom industry. “Connect the World” having been the theme of this years’ GTM, Dr. Touré, a keynote speaker at this event, found this forum a perfect platform to share one of the principal missions of ITU to expand access and connectivity in a view to reaching its goal to “connect the unconnected by 2015”.

Speech

Tuesday, June 03, 2008 11:25:29 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 26, 2008
Dr Touré receives Ms Khédija Ghariani, Secretary-General of AICTO (Arab Information and Communication Technologies Organization)

toure-ghariani

Geneva, Switzerland
Ms Khédija Hamouda Ghariani, Secretary-General of the Arab Information and Communication Technology Organization (AICTO) visited the Geneva headquarters of ITU and met with Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré and Deputy Secretary-General Mr Houlin Zhao on 26 May 2008. Established in January 2008 to meet the goals of the Information Society in the Arab States through the development of ICT, AICTO has applied to become a Sector Member of ITU.

Photos | AICTO website