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Cybercrime / Recently Commented

Business Email Compromised (BEC) Scams Explode Under the GDPR Implementation

Business email compromised (BEC) attacks targeting American companies are exploding, with an increase of over 476% in incidents between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018. Up as well is email fraud with companies experiencing an increase of over 226%. These highly targeted attacks use social engineering to identify specific company employees, usually in the finance department and then convince these employees to wire large sums of money to third-party banking accounts owned by the attackers. more

Putting Cyber Threats Into Perspective

As society uses more digital technologies we are increasingly also faced with its problems. Most of us will have some horror stories to tell about using computers, smartphones, and the internet. But this hasn't stopped us from using the technology more and more. I believe that most people would say that their lives would be worse without technology -- in developed countries but equally in the developing world. more

Internet Economics

One year ago, in late 2017, much of the policy debate in the telecommunications sector was raised to a fever pitch over the vexed on-again off-again question of Net Neutrality in the United States. It seemed as it the process of determination of national communications policy had become a spectator sport, replete with commentators who lauded our champions and demonized their opponents. more

Why Is It So Hard to Run a Bitcoin Exchange?

One of the chronic features of the Bitcoin landscape is that Bitcoin exchanges screw up and fail, starting with Mt. Gox. There's nothing conceptually very hard about running an exchange, so what's the problem? The first problem is that Bitcoin and other blockchains are by design completely unforgiving. If there is a bug in your software which lets people steal coins, too bad, nothing to be done. more

Strange Email Used to Inform Marriott Customers About the Massive Data Breach

Millions of email warnings were sent out by Marriot on Friday to warn customers about the massive data breach which has affected close to half a billion guest data. more

Hackers Behind Marriott Breach Left Clues Suggesting Link to Chinese Government

Hackers behind the massive data breach of the hotel group Marriott International Inc have left clues suggesting ties to the Chinese government intelligence-gathering operation. more

Traceability

At a recent workshop on cybersecurity at Ditchley House sponsored by the Ditchley Foundation in the U.K., a primary topic of consideration was how to preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet while protecting against the harmful behaviors that have emerged in this global medium. That this is a significant challenge cannot be overstated... That these harmful behaviors can and do cross international boundaries only makes it more difficult to fashion effective responses. more

Trump's Tweets Flouting the Cybercrime Treaty Curbs on Racist and Xenophobic Incitement

The existence of the 2001 Cybercrime Convention is generally well known. The treaty has now been ratified/acceded to by 60 countries worldwide, including the United States. Less well known is the existence of the Additional Protocol to the Convention "concerning the criminalization of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems." more

GDPR PII Time-Bomb? Kill it With Fire!

Hi! My name is spamfighter. I investigate spam and phish in a post-GDPR dystopia. Recently, I invented Fire, to save you millions of €uros. One day, my Boss suggested I automate some of my processes. I, for one, welcome our Robot Overlords (and a happy boss), but I can be exacting about the tools I use. Perhaps not to the degree of the infamous Van Halen 'no brown M&M's' contractual clause but I have no patience for poorly-designed software, and truly dislike typing when... more

Why Are the EU Data Protection Authorities Taking Away Our Fundamental Right to be Safe?

What if we created a rule that gave everyone - good or bad - the right to hide their license plate, where they live, who they are, and just go incognito? What if we made it a right to walk into any building in the world, and simply say "No, thank you" when the security guards asked for one's identification? The criminals would celebrate, and we'd all be utterly alarmed. We would immediately be afraid for our personal safety. more

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today we remember that the Nazis rounded up Jews, Roma, political dissidents, and other "undesirables" using the best data and technology of the day and sent them off to concentration camps. We don't normally deal with this type of political reality in ICANN, but now is the time to do so. In 1995, the recently formed European Union passed the EU Data Protection Directive. more

ICANN Proposed Interim GDPR Compliance Model Would Kill Operational Transparency of the Internet

ICANN has consistently said its intention in complying with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is to comply while at the same time maintaining access to the WHOIS domain name registration database "to greatest extent possible." On February 28, ICANN published its proposed model. Strangely, while ICANN acknowledges that some of the critical purposes for WHOIS include consumer protection, investigation of cybercrimes, mitigation of DNS abuse, and intellectual property protection, the model ICANN proposes provides no meaningful pathway to use WHOIS in those ways. more

Humming an Open Internet Demise in London?

In mid-March, the group dubbed by Wired Magazine 20 years ago as Crypto-Rebels and Anarchists - the IETF - is meeting in London. With what is likely some loud humming, the activists will likely seek to rain mayhem upon the world of network and societal security using extreme end-to-end encryption, and collaterally diminish some remaining vestiges of an "open internet." Ironically, the IETF uses what has become known as the "NRA defence": extreme encryption doesn't cause harm, criminals and terrorists do. more

WHOIS: How Could I Have Been So Blind?

A colleague was recently commenting on an article by Michele Neylon "European Data Protection Authorities Send Clear Message to ICANN" citing the EU Data Commissioners of the Article 29 Working Party, the grouping a determinate factor In the impending death of WHOIS. He is on point when he said: What the European Data Protection authorities have not yet put together is that the protection of people's mental integrity on the Internet is not solely due to the action of law enforcement... more

Voluntary Reporting of Cybersecurity Incidents

One of the problems with trying to secure systems is the lack of knowledge in the community about what has or hasn't worked. I'm on record as calling for an analog to the National Transportation Safety Board: a government agency that investigates major outages and publishes the results. In the current, deregulatory political climate, though, that isn't going to happen. But how about a voluntary system? more