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Analysis and Comment (45)

Google’s Project Zero targets the shadowy world of cybercrime. Google’s Project Zero targets the shadowy world of cybercrime. Flickr/Robert Scoble

Google is playing catch-up on cybercrime with Project Zero

Google’s new Project Zero team adds some welcome muscle in the fight against cybercrime and could also lead to better privacy for all, making it harder for intelligence agencies to spy. The team will be…
We’re most at risk from cyber scams when distracted by events such as the World Cup. We’re most at risk from cyber scams when distracted by events such as the World Cup. Flickr/Nelson Oliveira

World Cup fans are the latest to be targeted by cyber criminals

As rival football teams have been battling it out in this year’s World Cup, cyber criminals have had their eye on a different goal – to cash in on this global distraction at any opportunity. Among the…
New bugs in the code for OpenSSL. New bugs in the code for OpenSSL. Flickr/Guilherme Tavares

Six more bugs found in popular OpenSSL security tool

Computer system administrators around the world are groaning again as six new security problems have been found in the OpenSSL security library. OpenSSL is a security tool that provides facilities to other…
Zeus is coming. Not the cool one. Zeus is coming. Not the cool one. ElDave

Two weeks to stop Gameover Zeus: what you need to know

It’s little wonder that computer experts are warning that computer users could be experiencing “notification fatigue” after the past few weeks. But even if you’re feeling overwhelmed following the Heartbleed…
What do you mean ‘IHATECAT’ is not a strong password? What do you mean ‘IHATECAT’ is not a strong password? konsvi

Four steps to a simpler, safer password system

Several high-profile security breaches have, of late, got many people wondering about their passwords. It would be great news if I could tell you a perfect sure-fire system to manage your passwords; the…
The internet’s original auction site is in a spot of bother. The internet’s original auction site is in a spot of bother. cytech

Massive eBay hack: change your password now

The latest internet giant to have its security compromised is eBay. A database containing user information has been hacked, leaving potentially millions of people vulnerable. The revelation is clearly…
Who is really in charge of an organisation’s IT security? Who is really in charge of an organisation’s IT security? Flickr/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

What’s your IT department’s role in preventing a data breach?

How do organisations and their Information Technology departments rate when it comes to protecting themselves and their organisations against the ever present cyber risks and cybercrime? The answer is…
The US Justice Department says members of the People’s Liberation Army hacked into US businesses to steal trade secrets. The US Justice Department says members of the People’s Liberation Army hacked into US businesses to steal trade secrets. Jim Lo Scalzo/AAP

US Chinese military charges a smokescreen for its own spying

In a surprising move, a US District Court has charged five members of the Chinese military with hacking six US companies to obtain commercial secrets over the last eight years. The move has been denounced…
You could hire an army to protect yourself. Or just do your research. You could hire an army to protect yourself. Or just do your research. Michael Li

Malware is everywhere so watch out for the fake healers

There is nothing worse than having a fake healer offer a cure that does absolutely nothing. History is full of tales of frauds and quacks offering a cure for all, which eventually turn out to be nothing…
More than 5 million Australians were victims of cybercrime in 2012 and cyber breaches are only going to get bigger and more disruptive. More than 5 million Australians were victims of cybercrime in 2012 and cyber breaches are only going to get bigger and more disruptive. Jim Prosser/Flickr

Lock down cybersecurity or face another Heartbleed – or worse

The recently released Commission of Audit report recommends that the Australian government needs to become “digital by default”. The continued shift to digital service delivery is intended to reduce costs…
Popular web browser Internet Explorer the target for the latest security vulnerability. Popular web browser Internet Explorer the target for the latest security vulnerability. Flickr/Hash Milhan

With bugs in the system how safe is the internet?

It seems hardly a week goes by without a major cyber security flaw exposed that could be exploited across millions of internet and mobile connected devices. This week it was the Internet Explorer browser’s…
Take a duster to your password collection. It’s as good a time as any. Take a duster to your password collection. It’s as good a time as any. Karen Blakeman

Don’t panic about Heartbleed but have a spring clean anyway

The web is full of scare stories about the Heartbleed security vulnerability but panicking won’t help. Better to use this situation as an opportunity to clean up our acts. Few of us do it but we should…
Don’t break your heart over this issue but stay secure. Don’t break your heart over this issue but stay secure. Optx

Explainer: should you change your password after Heartbleed?

If you’re struggling to understand the deluge of information about the Heartbleed vulnerability, you’re not alone. Some reports tell us to change all our online passwords immediately, others warn us that…
You don’t even need a match to burn a digital book. You don’t even need a match to burn a digital book. Jason Verwey

In cyber-war, you could change history at the touch of a button

Not all violence in war and conflict is simply strategic. And not all the destruction that takes place is a consequence of territorial or geopolitical objectives. Taking over the next village, blocking…
@N has spent months trying to get his username back from thieves. @N has spent months trying to get his username back from thieves. Twitter

Joyriders make a black market of prestige Twitter handles

Joyriding – stealing a car just for the fun of it – is a signature act of troublemaking teenagers seeking excitement and a chance to show off their bravado. But while car theft is among the most common…
When is a broken phone not really broken? When is a broken phone not really broken? Hugovk

A self-destructing phone isn’t the last word in security

Businesses battling to keep their information safe pricked up their ears last week as it was announce that Boeing has produced a mobile phone that self-destructs should the wrong person try to use it…
Something fishy going on in the next cubicle? Check your inbox for clues. Something fishy going on in the next cubicle? Check your inbox for clues. Mark Drago

Employers can predict rogue behaviour using your emails

Most office workers send dozens of electronic communications to colleagues in any given working day, through email, instant messaging and intranet systems. So many in fact that you might not notice subtle…
Stalking is an increasing crime trend in the wider community, which is exacerbated by the availability and use of social media. Stalking is an increasing crime trend in the wider community, which is exacerbated by the availability and use of social media. shutterstock

Hunting the hunter: how to effectively combat stalking

What do Steven Spielberg, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sandra Bullock, Hugh Jackman, Madonna and John Lennon have in common? They have each, at one time or another, been victims of stalking. Local radio host Sophie…
Davos attendees compare firewall software. Davos attendees compare firewall software. World Economic Forum

People come before computers in cybersecurity

As business leaders and politicians gather in Davos to discuss how to reshape the world, one of the topics on their agenda will be cyber-resilience, which is all about preparing organisations and individuals…
Poverty and population growth have driven child exploitation in the Philippines for decades. Poverty and population growth have driven child exploitation in the Philippines for decades. Pat Roque/AP

Philippines webcam child abuse arrests come after decades of exploitation and inequality

Long before the advent of the internet, the Philippines was a prime destination for Western child sex tourists. The US military presence in the country during and following the Vietnam War fuelled a demand…
Online retail continues to grow, despite the shadow of cybercrime. Online retail continues to grow, despite the shadow of cybercrime. Dolinski/Flickr

Easy Target? The shadow hanging over online retail

The recent hack and subsequent data loss by US retailer Target involved the personal information of at least 70 million customers, including names, phone numbers, email and mailing addresses. It follows…
Cyber-security takes more than cautious laptop ownership. Cyber-security takes more than cautious laptop ownership. sridgway

UK trails European neighbours on cyber-security

To my amazement, the latest Eurobarometer survey on Cyber Security across Europe received very little attention in the UK, despite its quite revealing findings. The report shows in no uncertain terms that…
The dark web is under threat. The dark web is under threat. Fir0002

Anonymity will be the next victim of internet censorship

The worrying developments in UK internet freedom over the last year make predictions for 2014 gloomy to say the least. Censorship now affects us all, so we should be thinking about it. And it’s not politically…
Like butter wouldn’t melt: Francis Maude thinks we’re doing pretty well on cybersecurity. Like butter wouldn’t melt: Francis Maude thinks we’re doing pretty well on cybersecurity. Cabinet Office

The UK government is working in a Snowden-free bubble

Anyone who took the time to read the UK government’s latest update on its cybersecurity strategy could be forgiven for thinking that a man called Edward Snowden never existed. Most people who are even…
Chin up, mate, there’s money to be made. Chin up, mate, there’s money to be made. marsmet473a

Cybersecurity isn’t all about doom and gloom

Much is made in the press of the devastating effects that weak cybersecurity is having on the economy in the UK and globally. We regularly see news articles about companies having their secrets stolen…
The sheer scope of cyber vulnerabilities alone helps make a compelling case for national security concern. The sheer scope of cyber vulnerabilities alone helps make a compelling case for national security concern. Don Hankins

Computer crime is on the rise

I received the same email five times in as many weeks informing me of an A$18.60 refund following a “billing error” with a “mobile phone provider”. Not a huge sum, but believable. I don’t have a mobile…
Just sending one last email from the bar … before my phone gets nicked. Just sending one last email from the bar … before my phone gets nicked. philcampbell

Bring your own device, lose your employer’s secrets

A survey of 2,500 British adults has revealed 27% have had up to three devices containing sensitive work-related data stolen or have lost them. Of these, 52% admitted that they were out drinking when it…
Sgt Barclays reporting for duty. Sgt Barclays reporting for duty. Dunechaser

It is vital that our banks score well in cyber war games

A war gaming exercise began in London recently to test financial institutions' effectiveness against a range of simulated attacks from cyberspace. It was called Waking Shark II, which sounds very exciting…
Cyber-crime knows know borders and nor should our defences. Cyber-crime knows know borders and nor should our defences. dirkb86

Nations can no longer afford to go it alone on cyber-security

Senior representatives from more than 90 governments met in Seoul recently to discuss cyber-space, including cyber-security and cyber-crime. It was the third in a series of international conferences that…
In the good old days you could spot a robber from his glossy finish. In the good old days you could spot a robber from his glossy finish. foilman

How to commit a bank robbery (or stop one) using the internet

Two recent incidents have shown that you no longer need to risk life and limb to rob a bank. In September, an attempted cyber-robbery at a London branch of Santander was stopped in its tracks and shortly…
Many internet users don’t know what they’re clicking on. Many internet users don’t know what they’re clicking on. drubuntu

Malware hits new low with abuse image attacks

The Internet Watch Foundation, an organisation that aims to eliminate access to indecent images of children online, says it has received 227 reports in the past six weeks of business websites being compromised…
Hacker to mastercrook by way of HMP Pentonville. Hacker to mastercrook by way of HMP Pentonville. DFectuoso

Locking up hackers could do more harm than good

Following an agreement in the European Parliament on the 4th July, EU countries are to strengthen their domestic laws against the more serious forms of cyber-crime. We can now expect to see prison sentences…
Should the arrest of Arthur Budovsky, founder of online currency exchange Liberty Reserve concern other online models that use anonymity as part of their model? Should the arrest of Arthur Budovsky, founder of online currency exchange Liberty Reserve concern other online models that use anonymity as part of their model?

Does anonymity mean criminality? Bitcoin feels Liberty Reserve pressure

The shutdown of online currency exchange Liberty Reserve and the arrest of its CEO and founder Arthur Budovsky may not have surprised some in the security industry. The company did not require its users…
You’ve got a message. Hackers knew that before you. You’ve got a message. Hackers knew that before you. Akshat Rathi

The real phone hacking scandal is in your pocket

There are now more mobile devices than people on our planet. The amount of personal data we share through mobile devices is also increasing. So it is not surprising that cyber-criminals want a piece of…
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak shut down the country’s internet in 2011 in an effort to stop the uprising. But does Syria’s recent online blackout have a darker motive? Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak shut down the country’s internet in 2011 in an effort to stop the uprising. But does Syria’s recent online blackout have a darker motive? Mataparda

Syria is back online – so who has the internet kill switch?

Syrian residents found themselves without the internet for some 19 hours on May 7 and 8, in what many see as a long-term government campaign to use the internet as method of state control. According to…
Basic tenets of internet security are being ignored by some users and website developers. Basic tenets of internet security are being ignored by some users and website developers. dustball

The ABC’s website has been hacked … but how?

Yesterday the ABC was attacked, supposedly in response to the network giving coverage to an Australian visit by the controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders. A Twitter user, “Phr0zenMyst”, claimed…
A Pandora’s box may have been opened, without a clear idea of how best to proceed. A Pandora’s box may have been opened, without a clear idea of how best to proceed. smithi1

Unlimited government and police control of the internet? There’s no filter for that

Good news. A decision made earlier this month by Australia’s Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy may have inadvertently opened the door for unlimited government…
Facebook is no slouch at putting names to faces. Facebook is no slouch at putting names to faces. christoph_aigner

Facebook tagging and face recognition should be restricted

It may be time to move beyond Facebook’s assurance of its trustworthiness and specifically restrict the company’s use of face recognition. Changes within Facebook Europe would seem to suggest so. For gullible…
Robbie Farah has called for Twitter trolls to be made accountable for their actions … but he could be in strife himself. Robbie Farah has called for Twitter trolls to be made accountable for their actions … but he could be in strife himself. AAP/April Fonti

Farah twitter storm shows it’s women who are trolled the worst

Online harassment against two prominent Australian personalities within the last fortnight has ignited fresh calls for the regulation of cyber “trolling”. The recent episodes experienced by television…
Websites and social networking sites must be designed to be defensible. Websites and social networking sites must be designed to be defensible. Z33 art centre, Hasselt

Cutting cybercrime is a question of smart design

Is it possible to “design out” online crime? It’s definitely worth a try. Back in 1989, the Australian Institute of Criminology released a report containing advice for home-owners and builders to manipulate…

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