Legal & Security

26 January 2015

Spyware and smartphones: how abusive men track their partners The Guardian

Apps offer abusers a terrifying new toolbox to control their partners and exes. Phone software allows them to follow people's movements, monitor their calls, texts and emails - and even watch them

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21 January 2015

France, Germany Seek Help From Tech Firms in Policing Terrorism Online Wall Street Journal

France and Germany demanded that U.S. tech companies help them police terrorism on the Internet, escalating European efforts to wrangle more law-enforcement help from Silicon Valley.

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20 January 2015

Without Drugs, What's the Point of Bitcoin? The trial of the Silk Road founder reveals enormous flaws in the decentralised currency. The Atlantic

The trial of Ross Ulbricht, which began last week in Manhattan, doesn't lack for entertainment value. The 30-year-old is accused of founding and administering Silk Road, an online market that allowed users to buy and sell illegal drugs using bitcoin as currency. Founded in 2011, prosecutors allege that Silk Road generated $1.2 billion in revenue -- including an estimated $80 million paid in commissions -- until the FBI shut it down in 2013. Ulbricht has pled not guilty. But whatever the verdict, the legacy of Ulbricht's high-profile case may strike a blow against Bitcoin's future viability.

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19 January 2015

Think of a number and double it: Businesses would benefit from reliable information on cyber-crime's costs The Economist

Chick-fil-a, a fast-food chain, and Morgan Stanley, a bank, have in recent days joined a long list of big American companies to admit that their systems have been hacked into, putting customers' financial information at risk. But how many businesses suffer from cyber-crime, and how much it ultimately costs them, are huge unknowns. In part this is because much hacking goes undetected, and partly it is because businesses sometimes try to cover up breaches of data security, to avoid embarrassment. On January 12th President Obama launched a new drive to improve data security and privacy, to include a new Personal Data Notification and Protection Act. This would require companies to tell customers within 30 days of discovering that their information has been hacked into.

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17 January 2015

Silk Road trial to begin as prosecution may introduce evidence of murder plots The Guardian

Murder-for-hire allegations are central to a New York trial starting this week for a San Francisco man charged with running an online black market where drugs were sold as easily as books and electronics.

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Charlie Hebdo: 'Islamist cyber attacks' hit France BBC News

Numerous French media websites have gone down a day after warnings of a wave of Islamist cyber attacks.

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16 January 2015

Marriot hotels do U-turn over wi-fi hotspot blocks BBC News

Hotel group Marriott International has announced it will stop blocking guests from using personal wi-fi kits.

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14 January 2015

Obama makes push for stronger cyber security laws BBC News

US President Barack Obama has unveiled proposals to strengthen cyber security laws following a spate of attacks against high-profile US targets.

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13 January 2015

Obama to propose legislation to protect firms that share cyberthreat data Washington Post

President Obama plans to announce legislation Tuesday that would shield companies from lawsuits for sharing computer threat data with the government in an effort to prevent cyber­attacks.

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11 January 2015

Obama to Announce Cybersecurity Plans in State of the Union Preview New York Times

President Obama will announce new initiatives next week designed to bolster online security and improve access to cyberspace, White House officials said Saturday.

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07 January 2015

North Korea boosted 'cyber forces' to 6,000 troops, South says Reuters

North Korean military's "cyber army" has boosted its numbers to 6,000 troops, the South Korean Defence Ministry said on Tuesday, double Seoul's estimate for the force in 2013, and is working to cause "physical and psychological paralysis" in the South.

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04 January 2015

Is Kim Jong Un innocent? America was too quick to blame North Korea for the hack attack on Sony The Economist

North Korea made no secret of its delight when hackers attacked Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio behind "The Interview", a film that lampoons Kim Jong Un, the world's youngest and worst head of state. The regime's propaganda arm crowed that a blow had been struck against the "ill-famed cesspool of injustice" [ie, America], and added that North Korea "highly estimates the righteous action taken by the "Guardians of Peace" [as the hackers styled themselves], though it is not aware of their residence."

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03 January 2015

Facebook defamation: man wins lawsuit over estranged wife's domestic violence post The Guardian

A West Australian man has successfully sued his estranged wife for defamation over a Facebook post that suggested she was the victim of domestic violence, after a Perth court found she could not prove the statement was true.

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Canadian ISPs and VPNs Now Have to Alert Pirating Customers TorrentFreak

Starting today Canadian Internet providers are required to forward copyright infringement notices to their subscribers. This notification scheme provides a safe harbor for ISPs but is also expected to result in a surge in piracy settlement schemes. The new law further causes trouble for VPN providers, who are now required to log customers for at least six months.

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01 January 2015

Sony Hacking Attack, First a Nuisance, Swiftly Grew Into a Firestorm New York Times

It was three days before Thanksgiving, the beginning of a quiet week for Sony Pictures. But Michael Lynton, the studio's chief executive, was nonetheless driving his Volkswagen GTI toward Sony's lot at 6 a.m. Final planning for corporate meetings in Tokyo was on his agenda -- at least until his cellphone rang.

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31 December 2014

Editorial: Deterring Cyberattacks From North Korea New York Times

The recent cyberattack on Sony Pictures, which the Obama administration said was committed by North Korea, shows how far the United States still has to go to deter such intrusions, despite warnings by officials and experts about cybersecurity dangers. Countless assaults on America's computer networks by China and other foreign governments, hackers and criminals have demonstrated the urgent need for safeguards.

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29 December 2014

Surge in illegal sales of drugs as gangs exploit 'phenomenal market' online The Guardian

The rise of social media and greater internet access through smartphones are factors behind a huge rise in illicit sales of pharmaceuticals, according to the chief enforcement official at Britain's medicines regulator.

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28 December 2014

North Korea Accuses U.S. of Staging Internet Failure New York Times

North Korea lashed out at the United States on Saturday, blaming it for disruptions that cut off the nation's already limited connections to the Internet, while once again rejecting American accusations that it was behind the hacking of Sony Pictures.

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27 December 2014

New Study May Add to Skepticism Among Security Experts New York Times

A number of private security researchers are increasingly voicing doubts that the hack of Sony's computer systems was the work of North Korea.

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25 December 2014

When Does a Cyberattack Warrant a Military Response? New York Times

President Obama said that the United States would "respond proportionally" against North Korea for its cyberattack against Sony, calling it an act of "cybervandalism." Senator John McCain disagreed with the president, telling CNN that the hacking was "a manifestation of a new form of warfare" and advocated for reacting "vigorously."

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24 December 2014

Countering Cyberattacks Without a Playbook New York Times

For years now, the Obama administration has warned of the risks of a "cyber-Pearl Harbor," a nightmare attack that takes out America's power grids and cellphone networks and looks like the opening battle in a full-scale digital war.

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North Korea Now Has Its Internet Back Up -- and a Global Reputation for How Easy It Is to Take Down Bloomberg

North Korea's limited access to the Internet was restored after being cut off for hours, days after the U.S. government accused the country of hacking into Sony Corp.'s files.

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23 December 2014

North Korea Experiencing Internet Outages, Raising Questions About US Retaliation Dark Reading

Three days after the US government officially blamed the North Korean government for masterminding the Sony attacks and President Obama promised that the US would "respond proportionally" to them, North Korea is reportedly experiencing widespread Internet outages -- prompting the question of whether or not the US has struck back with a cyberattack of its own.

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21 December 2014

U.S. Asks China to Help Rein In Korean Hackers New York Times

The Obama administration has sought China's help in recent days in blocking North Korea's ability to launch cyberattacks, the first steps toward the "proportional response" President Obama vowed to make the North pay for the assault on Sony Pictures -- and as part of a campaign to issue a broader warning against future hacking, according to senior administration officials.

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20 December 2014

Obama Vows U.S. Response to North Korea Cyberattack on Sony New York Times

President Obama on Friday said that the United States "will respond proportionally" against North Korea for its cyberattacks on Sony Pictures, and criticized the studio for giving in to intimidation and pulling the satirical movie that provoked the attacks.

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