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FBI indicts five members of the Chinese military for hacking US companies

Posted by Kevin on May 21, 2014

Eric Holder yesterday announced: “Today, we are announcing an indictment against five officers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army for serious cybersecurity breaches against six American victim entities.” The five officers are known by the aliases UglyGorilla, Jack Sun, Lao Wen, hzy_1hx and KandyGoo. They are members of the PLA’s military unit 61398 (you may […]

Worldwide crackdown on BlackShades RAT users

Posted by Kevin on May 20, 2014

First official indications emerged at the Reuters Cybersecurity Summit (although there have been rumblings in hacker circles for a couple of weeks now). This was last Wednesday. The FBI executive assistant director Robert Anderson, appointed in March to oversee ‘all FBI criminal and cyber investigations worldwide, international operations, critical incident response, and victim assistance’, announced: […]

C-13 – a two-faced law from a two-faced government

Posted by Kevin on May 20, 2014

One of the nastiest little tricks of nasty little governments is to hide new laws that they don’t want us to know about in popular laws that we all welcome. All governments do it — and the latest example is being done to us in Canada. The Bill is C-13. It is called the Protecting […]

The hypocrisy of the European Union’s Freedom of Expression guidelines

Posted by Kevin on May 20, 2014

Last week the Council of the EU published the EU Human Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline. It is really aimed at non-EU states that show little regard for human rights — but the reality is the EU should look closely at its own behaviour. Consider just three extracts: 1. Free, diverse […]

Privacy International’s new complaint against GCHQ is like pissing in the wind

Posted by Kevin on May 16, 2014

Fresh from its success against HMRC, Privacy International (PI) is now taking on GCHQ. It announced Tuesday that it has “filed a legal complaint demanding an end to the unlawful hacking being carried out by GCHQ which, in partnership with the NSA, is infecting potentially millions of computer and mobile devices around the world with […]

ECJ says Google, and other search engines, must abide by European data protection laws

Posted by Kevin on May 16, 2014

This is going to upset the apple cart – the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has decided in favour of Mario Costeja González in his dispute with Google. Way back in 1998, a Spanish newspaper published reports on certain pecuniary difficulties in which González found himself. By 2010 those difficulties were long past – but […]

Unintended consequence and the US military crashed $2.4 billion computer system

Posted by Kevin on May 16, 2014

Earlier this month a $2.4 billion air traffic control system built by Lockheed Martin went down for just less than one hour at Los Angeles, and forced multiple commercial flights to be diverted or grounded. Had the crash lasted longer, the ripple effects would have been much worse. The ERAM system is designed to predict […]

HMRC ordered by the judge to think again about withholding information from Privacy International

Posted by Kevin on May 13, 2014

Privacy International has been attempting to get blood from a stone; otherwise known as getting information out of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. It has wanted to know if Gamma International is being investigated for potential breach of UK export controls. Gamma International, you may recall, is the company behind the FinFisher surveillance malware. FinFisher […]

DoJ wants to make it easier for the FBI to legally hack innocent Americans

Posted by Kevin on May 11, 2014

The precarious balance between law enforcement and personal privacy is highlighted by a new proposal from the Department of Justice — it wants greater leeway in its ability to place malware on multiple computers. It can do this already, but not easily — it requires a judicial warrant that is only valid in the judge’s […]

Snapchat settlement shines a light on a potential EU / FTC safe harbour stitch-up

Posted by Kevin on May 11, 2014

When Europe learned about the extent of NSA surveillance on the personal information of European citizens there was immediate concern over the effectiveness of the EU/US safe harbour agreement. Under European data protection laws, personal data cannot be exported to a foreign country that does not have data protection laws considered comparable to EU laws. […]