Legal & Security

11 July 2014

Prevention is better than cure: More vigilance and better defences can make cyberspace a lot safer The Economist

Cyberspace will never be completely secure. The threats posed by what Sir David Omand, an academic and former head of Britain's GCHQ intelligence agency, calls "the cesspit of modernity" -- online crime, espionage, sabotage and subversion -- are not going to disappear. Nor is the temptation for governments to treat the internet as a new combat zone, alongside land, sea, air and space.

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10 July 2014

Microsoft Aims for Cybercrime, Hits Regular Internet Users Wall Street Journal

Microsoft settled a suit it filed against a small Internet company, acknowledging that its actions to take down a cybercrime ring last month wound up knocking regular Internet users offline.

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09 July 2014

Many British consumers misled by copycat websites, ASA finds The Guardian

Consumers admit they are most misled by the use of official-looking crown logos and the prominence of disclaimers which fools them into mistaking copycat websites for the official government versions, according to research published on Tuesday by the advertising watchdog.

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08 July 2014

Kim Dotcom extradition hearing delayed again BBC News

An extradition hearing for Kim Dotcom, who stands accused of "massive" piracy, has again been delayed.

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03 July 2014

Scams: Trickling into the mobile phones, email accounts and personal lives of Australians ABC News

They once appeared in letterboxes in colourful envelopes promising millions, but scams are becoming increasingly difficult to spot as they trickle into the mobile phones, email accounts and personal lives of Australians.

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02 July 2014

UK Justice Secretary indicates 'revenge pornography' could soon be outlawed The Guardian

Publishing sexually explicit pictures of former partners - known as "revenge pornography" - could soon become a crime, the justice secretary has said.

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01 July 2014

Microsoft Darkens 4MM Sites in Malware Fight Krebs On Security

Millions of Web sites were shuttered Monday morning after Microsoft executed a legal sneak attack against a malware network thought to be responsible for more than 7.4 million infections of Windows PCs worldwide.

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26 June 2014

U.S. Ambassador Baucus Says China Cyber Theft Is a Threat Bloomberg

The U.S. will use diplomatic and legal means to halt China's computer theft of trade secrets, its new ambassador in Beijing said today, amid escalating tensions between the two sides over cybersecurity.

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22 June 2014

The case that might cripple Facebook Washington Post

An Irish judge has rendered a preliminary judgment that may have sweeping consequences for U.S. e-commerce firms. The judgment involves a case by a European privacy activist against Facebook. Businesses like Facebook, Google and Microsoft use an arrangement called Safe Harbor (which I've written about at length) to export personal data from Europe to the U.S. They also base their operations in Ireland for tax reasons, and because they see Irish privacy officials as more flexible than their mainland European counterparts. The activist claimed that the Safe Harbor arrangement didn't protect his personal data, because Snowden's revelations about NSA surveillance shows that the U.S. don't protect the privacy of foreigners. The judge seems inclined to think that he's right.

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Bad Day for Bad Patents: US Supreme Court Unanimously Strikes Down Abstract Software Patent Electronic Frontier Foundation

In a long-awaited decision, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank today, striking down an abstract software patent. Essentially, the Court ruled that adding "on a computer" to an abstract idea does not make it patentable. Many thousands of software patents -- particularly the vague and overbroad patents so beloved by patent trolls -- should be struck down under this standard. Because the opinion leaves many details to be worked out (such as the scope of an "abstract idea"), it might be a few years until we understand its full impact.

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21 June 2014

Tally of Cyber Extortion Attacks on Tech Companies Grows New York Times

Tech start-ups continue to get hit by extortion attempts from cybercriminals who aim to shut down their systems until companies pay their ransom.

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19 June 2014

German publishers start legal action against Google over news snippets PC World

German news publishers are escalating their fight to get a cut of the ad revenue that Google makes when it republishes parts of their news articles.

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16 June 2014

Scams cost Australians $89 million in 2013, says Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ABC News

Tens of thousands of Australians are being scammed each year, with dating and romance scams topping the list of financial losses for 2013, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

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14 June 2014

Is it right to jail someone for being offensive on Facebook or Twitter? The Guardian

Jake Newsome was jailed last week for posting offensive comments online. His is the latest in a string of cases that have led to prison terms, raising concern that free speech may be under threat from over-zealous prosecutors

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13 June 2014

Defend yourself against World Cup scams PC World

The 2014 World Cup tournament kicks off today in Brazil. Soccer (or football anywhere outside of the United States) is the most popular sport in the world, and billions of people will be following the matches closely. While you're busy figuring out how to stream games to your work PC while appearing to be busy with an Excel spreadsheet, you should be aware that World Cup will also be a feeding frenzy of malware and phishing attacks.

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11 June 2014

Bank of England raises bar in cybercrime war Financial News

The Bank of England has launched a new cyber security strategy for financial institutions in the UK, as the sector struggles to protect itself against the increased threat of cyber attacks.

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Soccer fans are excited about the World Cup. So are cybercriminals. Washington Post

As soccer fans around with globe prepare for the World Cup, hackers are getting excited, too, according to a new report on cybersecurity in Latin America from Symantec. The tournament, which kicks off this week in Brazil, is a "rich target for criminals," the cybersecurity company said.

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10 June 2014

2nd China Army Unit Implicated in Online Spying New York Times

The email attachment looked like a brochure for a yoga studio in Toulouse, France, the center of the European aerospace industry. But once it was opened, it allowed hackers to sidestep their victim's network security and steal closely guarded satellite technology.

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09 June 2014

Kim Dotcom offers NZ$5m bounty in online piracy case The Guardian

Kim Dotcom is offering a $5m (£3m) "bounty" to whistleblowers for information to help fight an online piracy case brought by the US.

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Kim Dotcom faces fresh legal bid to have his assets frozen The Guardian

Music and movie giants have joined forces to freeze Kim Dotcom's assets, but they'll have to negotiate conditions first.

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Cybercrime Remains Growth Industry With $445 Billion Lost Globally Bloomberg

That's the main message from former U.S. intelligence officials, who in a report today outlined scenarios for how $445 billion a year in trade theft due to computer hackers will worsen. They warned that financial companies, retailers and energy companies are at risk from thieves who are becoming more sophisticated at pilfering data from their servers.

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08 June 2014

The war against cybercrime goes private Independent on Sunday

He takes on international criminals, refuses to be paid, and laughs in the face of danger. He has received death threats, cracked scams and helped police make arrests. Not a bad evening's work for a man who spends his day on the car assembly line.

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07 June 2014

Secret Global Strike Kills 2 Malicious Web Viruses New York Times

Federal agents over the weekend secretly seized control of two computer networks that hackers used to steal millions of dollars from unsuspecting victims. In doing so, the Justice Department disrupted the circulation of two of the world's most pernicious viruses and turned a 30-year-old Russian computer hacker into a most-wanted fugitive.

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The Internet of Things Expected to Bring New Security Threats: Report The Whir

IT decision makers at US SMBs are nearly unanimous that the Internet of Things (IoT) will produce negative impacts for their organizations, according to a survey released this week by GFI Software. While 96.5 percent of those surveyed expect at least some downside, 26.7 percent fear that device management will spiral out of control.

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05 June 2014

Life sentences for serious cyberattacks are proposed in Queen's speech The Guardian

The UK government has said it wants to hand out life sentences to anyone found guilty of a cyberattack that has a catastrophic effect, under plans announced in the Queen's speech.

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