Cybercriminals do stuff online, so punish them by taking away their internet access. It’s as simple as taking a crowbar from a burglar. Or is it? Some outside-the-box thinking by a top cop this week has triggered a debate among cybersecurity types about young offending and punishment.
Gavin Thomas, the president of the Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales, suggested that Wi-Fi jammers – devices worn on the ankle or wrist to block the internet – could serve as a smarter punishment for cybercrimes than prison. “We have got to stop using 19th-century punishments to deal with 21st-century crimes,” he said.Read more
In the trove of documents provided by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is a treasure. It begins with a riddle: “What do the President of Pakistan, a cigar smuggler, an arms dealer, a counterterrorism target, and a combatting proliferation target have in common? They all used their everyday GSM phone during a flight.”
This riddle appeared in 2010 in SIDtoday, the internal newsletter of the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate, or SID, and it was classified “top secret.” It announced the emergence of a new field of espionage that had not yet been explored: the interception of data from phone calls made on board civil aircraft.Read more
Thousands of TalkTalk and Post Office customers have had their internet access cut by an attack targeting certain types of internet routers. A spokeswoman for the Post Office told that the problem began on Sunday and had affected about 100,000 of its customers.
TalkTalk also confirmed that some of its customers had been affected, and it was working on a fix. It is not yet known who is responsible for the attack. Earlier in the week, Germany's Deutsche Telekom revealed that up to 900,000 of its customers had lost their internet connection as a result of the attack. It involves the use of a modified form of the Mirai worm.Read more
The UK is due to pass its controversial new surveillance law, the Investigatory Powers Act, according to the Home Office. The Act, which has received overwhelming support in both the House of Commons and Lords, formally legalizes a number of mass surveillance programs.
It also introduces a new power which will force internet service providers to store browsing data on all customers for 12 months. Civil liberties campaigners have described the Act as one of the most extreme surveillance laws in any democracy, while law enforcement agencies believe that the collection of browsing data is vital in an age of ubiquitous internet communications.Read more
Michael Page, a global recruitment consultancy, has been hacked and a wide range of personal information on 710,000 applicants has been stolen. The company has formally admitted the attack in the past hour.
The company claimed that the attack was perpetrated on 31 October and uncovered the next day. It also claimed that the hackers are all very nice boys and girls and have agreed to destroy the purloined data, a suggestion we find somewhat odd. Michael Page warned in an email to clients that, while names, email addresses and passwords were all accessed, the passwords were encrypted. However, the company admitted that the level of personal information spilled is much broader.Read more
Ministers have been barred from wearing Apple Watches during Cabinet meetings amid concerns that they could be hacked by Russian spies.
Under David Cameron, several cabinet ministers wore the smart watches, including Michael Gove, the former Justice Secretary. However, under Theresa May ministers have been barred from wearing them amid concerns that they could be used by hackers as listening devices. Concerns have been raised after hackers obtained confidential emails from the Democratic National Congress during the US election. Mobile phones have already been barred from the Cabinet.Read more
Security experts have disclosed three vulnerabilities in the system the company created to "enhance security" of the Android operating system. Researchers exposed the flaws in Samsung's Knox system, which they say "allowed full control" of a Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy Note 5 used for testing back in June.
The vulnerabilities, which require an existing flaw to operate, were reported to Samsung earlier this year. The company says it fixed them in a recent security update. In a white paper provided and later published online the researchers detail how hackers could get around the protections that are intended to protect data stored on a phone.Read more
Researchers at University College London have taught a computer to imitate anyone's handwriting. They have created an algorithm that can take a sample of handwritten text, examine its qualities, and then write any text in the same style.
There are already typefaces in word processing programs that produce text in a fairly uniform handwritten style. But what Tom Haines and his fellow UCL researchers have done is create software that they claim reproduces the messy details of any individual writer's hand. They call their system My Text In Your Handwriting and have tried it out on samples of handwritten text from historical figures.Read more
A security researcher has discovered limitations in Samsung Pay's security, which, if exploited by an attacker, could be used in another phone to allow someone else to fraudulently make payments.
The magnetic-based contactless payment system, which comes standard in many newer Samsung phones, works by translating credit card data into tokens so that a hacker can't grab credit card numbers from the device. But those tokens aren't as secure as one might hope. Expert explained that the tokenization process gets weaker after the app generates the first token from a specific card, meaning that there's a greater chance that future tokens could be predicted.Read more
Almost six million fraud and cyber crimes were committed last year in England and Wales, the Office for National Statistics has said. It estimated there were two million computer misuse offences and 3.8 million fraud offences in the 12 months to the end of March - suggesting fraud is the most common type of crime.
Most related to bank account fraud. The Crime Survey for England and Wales asks people about crime they have experienced and includes offences not reported to police. The most common types of fraud experienced were bank and credit account fraud, followed by "non-investment" fraud, such as scams related to online shopping.Read more