Dropbox has banned the new BitTorrent startup Boxopus from accessing its API. The company fears that BitTorrent’s piracy stigma may rub off on the successful cloud storage service. The Boxopus team is disappointed by this anti-innovation move. Thousands of dollars in developments costs have gone down the drain for what they believe is an irrational fear imposed by a growing copyright lobby.
Archive for 2012/06/26
Young adults who have been around computers all their lives tend to prioritise entertainment and community over security and privacyPosted: 2012/06/26 in Education / Awareness, Privacy / Data Protection, Stats / reports
A serious error committed by an “inexperienced operative” caused the IT meltdown which crippled the RBS banks last weekPosted: 2012/06/26 in Education / Awareness, Network Security, Privacy / Data Protection, Stats / reports
…a source familiar with the matter has told The Register. Job adverts show that at least some of the team responsible for the blunder were recruited earlier this year in India following IT job cuts at RBS in the UK.
Following our revelation yesterday that a bungled update to CA-7 batch processing software used by RBS lay behind the collapse, further details have emerged. According to a Register source who worked at RBS for several years, an inexperienced operative made a major error while performing the relatively routine task of backing out of an upgrade to the CA-7 tool. It is normal to find that a software update has caused a problem; IT staff expect to back out in such cases.
But in the process of backing out a major blunder was committed, according to our source. It was this error which made the task of restoring services so prolonged:
When they did the back-out, a major error was made. An inexperienced person cleared the whole queue … they erased all the scheduling.
That created a large backlog as all the wiped information had to be re-inputted to the system and reprocessed. A complicated legacy mainframe system at RBS and a team inexperienced in its quirks made the problem harder to fix, our source adds.
CA Technologies – the makers of the CA-7 software at the heart of the snarl-up – are helping RBS to fix the disaster that has affected 16.9 million UK bank accounts.
“RBS is a valued CA Technologies customer, we are offering all assistance possible to help them resolve their technical issues,” a spokeswoman told The Register.
The Director General of MI5 said that both business and government was on the front line of cyber attacks – and that assaults by both criminal hackers and foreign governments had reached an industrial scale.
Delivering Lord Mayor’s Annual Defence and Security Lecture in London last night, Jonathan Evans revealed that MI5 is investigating cyber attacks against more than a dozen companies. He added that one major (unnamed) London business had suffered £800m in losses following an attack.
McAfee and Guardian Analytics have uncovered a highly sophisticated, global financial services fraud campaign that has reached the American banking systemPosted: 2012/06/26 in Cybercrime, Education / Awareness, Network Security, New Business Models, Privacy / Data Protection, Stats / reports, Tech Evolution
As this research study goes to press, we are working actively with international law enforcement organizations to shut down these attacks.
Unlike standard SpyEye and Zeus attacks that typically feature live (manual) interventions, we have discovered at least a dozen groups now using server-side components and heavy automation. The fraudsters’ objective in these attacks is to siphon large amounts from high balance accounts, hence the name chosen for this research: Operation High Roller.
With no human participation required, each attack moves quickly and scales neatly. This operation combines an insider level of understanding of banking transaction systems with both custom and off the shelf malicious code and appears to be worthy of the term “organized crime.”
This study found 60 servers processing thousands of attempted thefts from high-value commercial accounts and some high net worth individuals. As the attack shifted emphasis from consumers to businesses, mule business accounts allowed attempted transfers averaging in the thousands of Euros, with some transfers as high as €100,000 (US$130,000). Three distinct attack strategies have emerged as the targets have expanded from the European Union, to Latin America, to the United States.
Debunking the popular wisdom that only big banks are affected, the research documents attacks at every class of financial institution: credit union, large global bank, and regional bank. So far, we estimate the criminals have attempted at least €60 million (US$78 million) in fraudulent transfers from accounts at 60 or more financial institutions (FIs).
If all of the attempted fraud campaigns were as successful as the Netherlands example we describe in this report, the total attempted fraud could be as high as €2 billion.
The UK communications regulator, Ofcom, has today released its revised Initial Obligations Code proposal, which is designed to clampdown on “illegal” internet piracy (copyright infringement) by customers of the largest broadband ISPs. The code is seen as a vital part of the controversial and much delayed Digital Economy Act (DEAct).
The revised code describes how and when internet providers should issue Notifications Letters (warning notices) to their customers. It will only apply to the largest ISPs (i.e. providers with more than 400,000 fixed line broadband connections), which covers 93% of the UK retail broadband market. This includes BT, Orange UK (EE), O2, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk and Virgin Media.
As a result Mobile Broadband operators and providers of WiFi (wireless internet) services (sadly this does NOT include shared home wireless networks) are deemed to be “outside the scope of the Code“, which is because the costs of participation would be disproportionately high compared to the expected low reduction in overall levels of online copyright infringement. But this only applies to commercial operators, with libraries and similar services still potentially being vulnerable to its remit.
The regulator currently envisages the first notifications being sent in early 2014, while a review of which ISPs are included within the scope of the Code will be conducted after it has been in operation for 6 months. Ofcom states that it will report regularly to the Government on the effectiveness of both the code and any broader initiatives from copyright owners.
A consultation for Ofcom’s revised draft code will be open until 26th July 2012 and, once complete, will still be subject to further review by the European Commission (EC). The goal is to have it laid out in Parliament “around the end of 2012“. A related consultation on the sharing of costs between copyright owners and ISPs (75% : 25%) is also open until 18th September 2012.
Ofcom’s Revised Online Copyright Infringement Code of Practice
Ofcom’s Revised Sharing of Costs Order for Copyright Holders and ISPs
A political website that contained stinging criticism of the Obama administration and its handling of the Fast and Furious scandal was ordered to be shut down by the Obama campaign’s ‘Truth Team’Posted: 2012/06/26 in Blocking, Education / Awareness, Enforcement, New Business Models, Public Policy, Stats / reports
…according to private investigator Douglas Hagmann, who was told by ISP GoDaddy his site contained information that was “maliciously harmful to individuals in the government.”
Hagmann was told the reason for the shut down was because the website featured “morally objectionable” material. After GoDaddy refused to identify the complainant, only saying that it was not “any official government agency,” further investigation by Hagmann revealed that the order came from a group tied to Obama campaign headquarters.
Speaking with the chief investigator in the GoDaddy Abuse division, Hagmann discovered, “Ultimately it was found that the complaint originated ostensibly with a group associated with the campaign to re-elect Barack Hussein Obama.”
Turning to his contacts within government, Hagmann then spoke with another source who confirmed that the ‘Obama Truth Team’ was responsible for the shut down order.
“I’m laying this right on the doorstep of the Obama Truth Team,” said Hagmann.
Airport mass surveillance. It’s all about getting the public conditioned to the fact that the police state is comingPosted: 2012/06/26 in Education / Awareness, Enforcement, New Business Models, Public Policy, Stats / reports
Rob also divulged how TSA screeners were being ordered by their supervisors to check bags of people arriving at the airport who were merely there to pick up passengers, adding how he was directed to search a diaper bag belonging to a woman who had come to pick up her husband.
“We’re doing patrols in the parking lot with dogs, we’re even going as far out to the train station because the train station is connected to the airport here and we have guys walking around the train station, walking around the rental cars, we’re inspecting cars coming into the parking garage, I mean we’ve fully expanded – we’re no longer just at the gate and just at the security checkpoint,” he added.
Rob also explained how he was part of a coalition of TSA agents working at the airport in question who refused to grope passengers in certain areas, but that supervisors were firing those who took this stance.
Google’s engineers have been working on creating an artificial brain. With 16,000 computer processors and freedom to learn whatever it chooses from the internetPosted: 2012/06/26 in Education / Awareness, Google, New Business Models, Stats / reports, Tech Evolution
The project has produced one of the largest neural networks ever created. The idea is that such technology can take data sets and notice patterns and trends with them, all by itself. But when presented with a data set of 10 million digital images found in YouTube videos, it decided to, umm, learn how to identify cats. From the New York Times:
“We never told it during the training, ‘This is a cat,’ ” said Dr. Dean, who originally helped Google design the software that lets it easily break programs into many tasks that can be computed simultaneously. “It basically invented the concept of a cat. We probably have other ones that are side views of cats.”
The Google brain assembled a dreamlike digital image of a cat by employing a hierarchy of memory locations to successively cull out general features after being exposed to millions of images. The scientists said, however, that it appeared they had developed a cybernetic cousin to what takes place in the brain’s visual cortex.
The notion of a private secret sounds contradictory, but in the Facebook Age, it makes sad sense. There’s a whole horde of uninformed FB users who broadcast their weed smoking and boss hating for the entire internet. Read it here.
Due to years of simultaneously trying to simplify privacy settings and urging us to share more, Facebook’s population is confused. Savvy users know how to share certain things with certain people and make the rest public if they wish, but as Weknowwhatyouredoing.com makes clear, plenty of people have no idea what they’re doing. If they did, they wouldn’t be posting public Facebook statuses about how much they hate their job, what a dick their boss is, how hungover they are, and how much they love drugs.
The site neatly organizes these vice reports, though through an act either humane or cowardly, doesn’t go the extra step to show each Facebook fool’s last name for full internet shame-a-thon. But it’s still pretty bad!
Yesterday, we reported that talks on a new international agreement on the protection of intellectual property rights of performing artists were held by a WIPO Conference in Beijng, China. Today, WIPO announced that the Beijng Treaty on Audiovisual Performances is successfully concluded. The treaty strengthens the position of performers in the audiovisual industry by providing a clearer international legal framework for their protection, including protection in the digital environment. The treaty will enter into force when it has been ratified by 30 eligible parties, including countries or certain intergovernmental organizations. So far, 122 countries signed the Final Act of the treaty and 48 countries have signed the treaty itself. By signing, a state demonstrates it’s intent to examine the treaty domestically and consider ratification. States that didn’t sign the treaty can also ratify it after the right domestic procedures have been completed.
Source: WIPO Press Release
By: Marjolein van der Heide