David Cameron’s internet surveillance plans rival Syria, Russia and Iran

By Cory Doctorow for the guardian.com

13 January 2015

Cameron says there should be no means of communication that ‘we cannot read’. Let’s examine what that actually means.

What David Cameron thinks he’s saying is: “We will command all the software creators we can reach to introduce back doors into their tools for us.” There are enormous problems with this: there’s no back door that only lets good guys go through it. If your WhatsApp or Google Hangouts has a deliberately introduced flaw in it, then foreign spies, criminals, crooked police (such as those who fed sensitive information to the tabloids who were implicated in the phone-hacking scandal – and like the high-level police who secretly worked for organised crime for years) and criminals will eventually discover this vulnerability. They – and not just the security services – will be able to use it to intercept all of our communications, from the pictures of your kids in your bath you send to your parents to the trade secrets you send to co-workers.

Full article at: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/13/david-cameron-internet-surveillance-syria-russia-iran-communication

Web Sends Lovers Flocking to Private Eyes to Find Out Truth

Background Checks for Deal-Breaking Secrets and Habits Surge in Recent Years

Updated Jan. 16, 2015 5:44 p.m. ET

Private detectives increasingly are helping lovers solve an age-old question: Is my partner marriage-material?

Investigators across the nation (USA) say business has boomed in recent years from clients who want their sweethearts investigated for potentially deal-breaking habits and secrets.

Copyright: The Wall Street Journal

Full article at: http://www.wsj.com/articles/web-sends-lovers-flocking-to-private-eyes-to-find-out-the-truth-1421436350

Barack Obama and David Cameron fail to see eye to eye on surveillance

Nicholas Watt in Washington
The Guardian, Friday 16 January

Barack Obama and David Cameron struck different notes on surveillance powers after the president conceded that there is an important balance to be struck between monitoring terror suspects and protecting civil liberties.

As Cameron warned the internet giants that they must do more to ensure they do not become platforms for terrorist communications, the US president said he welcomed the way in which civil liberties groups hold them to account by tapping them on the shoulder.

Obama agreed with the prime minister that there could be no spaces on the internet for terrorists to communicate that could not be monitored by the intelligences agencies, subject to proper oversight. But, unlike Cameron, the president encouraged groups to ensure that he and other leaders do not abandon civil liberties.

The prime minister adopted a harder stance on the need for big internet companies such as Facebook and Twitter to do more to cooperate with the surveillance of terror suspects.

Full article at: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jan/16/barack-obama-david-cameron-surveillance-terrorists

Microsoft May Soon Replace Internet Explorer With a New Web Browser

This is a slightly older article but the subject is significant enough to take note of it. 


By Davey Alba
29 December 2014 
Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system will debut with an entirely new web browser code-named Spartan, according to a report citing anonymous sources.ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reports that this new browser is a departure from Internet Explorer, the Microsoft browser whose relevance has waned in recent years. According to Foley, it will be a “lightweight” browser that looks and feels more like the Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers. 

…Internet Explorer is no longer the force it once was. There was a time when it handled about over 90 percent of all web traffic on desktop and laptop machines, but according to research outfit Net Applications, its share has now dropped to 58 percent. On mobile, its share is about 2 percent.

Full article at: http://www.wired.com/2014/12/microsoft-spartan-browser/

Google vs. Microsoft — Google reveals Third unpatched Zero-Day Vulnerability in Windows

By Swati Khandelwal
Friday, January 16, 2015
Microsoft has heavily criticized Google and its 90-days security disclosure policy after the firm publicly revealed two zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 operating system one after one just days before Microsoft planned to issue a patch to kill the bugs. But, seemingly Google don’t give a damn thought.
Once again, Google has publicly disclosed a new serious vulnerability in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 before Microsoft has been able to produce a patch, leaving users of both the operating systems exposed to hackers until next month, when the company plans to deliver a fix…
This is third time in less than a month when the Google’s Project Zero released details of the vulnerability in Microsoft’s operating system, following its 90-day public disclosure deadline policy. Few days ago, Google released details of a new privilege escalation bug in Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 operating system just two days before Microsoft planned to patch the bug.


Second UK man Arrested Following PlayStation and Xbox DDoS attacks

By Swati Khandelwal      

Friday, January 16, 2015

A UK man linked to the notorious hacking group, Lizard Squad, that claimed responsibility for knocking Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live offline on Christmas Day has been arrested by the United Kingdom police.
Lizard Squad launched simultaneous Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks against the largest online gaming networks, Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, on Dec. 25, 2014. Then offered to sell its own Lizard-branded DDoS-for-hire tool called Lizard Stresser.
As part of an investigation, the UK Regional Organised Crime Unit, in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), have arrested an 18 year old teenager in Southport, near Liverpool, UK on Friday morning, and seized his electronic and digital devices as well. 
So far, this is the second arrest made in connection to the attack after Thames Valley Police arrested a 22-year old, named Vinnie Omari, also believed to have been an alleged member of Lizard Squad group, while raiding his London home. Law enforcement officials reportedly seized phones, laptops and an Xbox from his home.
Full article at: http://goo.gl/6fvBIC


Will Bitcoin Collapse In 2015? – Financial Times

By  Giulio Prisco

The Financial Times is running a story titled “FT Predictions: the world in 2015” where Financial Times writers offer their forecasts for the year ahead, from the oil price to Putin’s next moves. Bitcoin makes the Financial Times list of important topics to watch with a headline “Will this be the year that bitcoin and other crypto currencies collapse?”

The answer is:

No. There are too many deep-pocketed interests standing ready to throw good money after bad defending the cryptocurrency experiment, thus preventing an outright or dramatic collapse.

Nevertheless, the chances of bitcoin, the most popular of this new breed of self-clearing financial instruments, making it as a mainstream currency are now zero.

Full article at: https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/will-bitcoin-collapse-2015-financial-times/



Young Pirate pulls off Wi-Fi privacy prank – sucks in security experts

By Paul Ducklin on January 16, 2015

Rogue Wi-Fi access points!

You’ll have seen them in any number of places, likely and unlikely.

Admittedly, some of them might have been entirely innocent, set up as altruistic gestures by friendly locals willing to help out visitors.

But a lot of those Wi-Fi networks with names that start with Guest... or end with ...Free Wi-Fi are genuinely fake, even if they’re only there for experimental purposes to see how recklessly passers-by might behave.

From: Naked Security by Sophos

Full article at: http://goo.gl/OtRq9y


Hold data on EU citizens? Check if you’ll be compliant with the new Data Protection Regulation

By Anna Brading on January 16, 2015
It seems like we hear about new data breaches every week. Last year we saw shops, banks, restaurants and other companies lose data on customers, not to mention an epidemic of medical data breaches.

The European Union (EU) has been working on a new regulation which will apply one consistent set of requirements to all EU countries and all organisations that hold data on European citizens, even if the organisations are not based in the EU.

The proposed legislation will require everyone who holds data on European citizens to implement appropriate security measures to protect the data, which may include names, photos, email addresses, bank details, posts on social networks, medical information or a computer’s IP address.

It will also introduce fines of up to €100 million or 5% of annual turnover in the event of a personal data breach.

Copyright: Naked Security by Sophos

For more information: http://goo.gl/P28t5T

Marriott hotels do U-turn over wi-fi hotspot blocks

BBC News, 15 January 2015

Hotel group Marriott International has announced it will stop blocking guests from using personal wi-fi kits.

The firm was fined $600,000 (£395,000) last year by a US watchdogafter a complaint that it had jammed mobile hotspots at a hotel in Nashville.

Marriott responded at the time saying it wanted to block such devices only in its conference and meeting spaces and believed it had the right to do so.

But it has changed tack after facing a backlash from customers and the press.

Copyright: BBC News

Full article at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-30827706