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Analysis and Comment (48)

Roll up, roll up for your free money. Roll up, roll up for your free money. Kaspersky Lab

When the ATM runs Windows, how safe is your money?

How safe is Microsoft Windows? After all, the list of malware that has caused major headaches worldwide over the last 15 years is long – viruses, worms and Trojans have forced computers to shut down, knocked…
The internet has made crime bigger in scope and easier in practice. The internet has made crime bigger in scope and easier in practice. Photosani/Shutterstock

In the web’s hidden darknet, criminal enterprise is thriving

Criminals have always done their best to use new technology to their advantage and the rapid development of new digital technologies and online markets has provided the criminal entrepreneur with as much…
Stolen credit card details, cheaper by the dozen when you buy online. Stolen credit card details, cheaper by the dozen when you buy online. Chris Young/PA

Home Depot hack shows online card fraud still as easy as shooting fish in a barrel

Imagine if UK banks decided to send out new credit cards to all their customers, but they were all “lost in the post” and the details ended up for sale on some dubious website. The recently discovered…
Making hackers happy. Making hackers happy. erautio

Google must make Android safer – our data is at risk

Over the past few months, the Android platform developed by Google and based on the Linux operating system has been having a difficult time. Hackers, with malicious intent and those without, have been…
Mouses not guns, a future view of the battlefield. Mouses not guns, a future view of the battlefield. Carrie Kessler/USAF

Ready, aim, click: we need new laws to govern cyberwarfare

President Bush is reported to have said: “When I take action, I’m not going to fire a US$2m missile at a US$10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It’s going to be decisive.” As the quote suggests…
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…
Health check failed. Health check failed. El Payo

Heartbleed patched but security time bomb is still ticking

Heartbleed, the bug that has preoccupied thousands of websites and millions of users over the past week, may well have been the biggest security flaw in internet history but it is unlikely to be the last…
Popular online games such as League of Legends were brought down, one by one, as a hacker group trolled a single gamer in December. Popular online games such as League of Legends were brought down, one by one, as a hacker group trolled a single gamer in December. rafaelgames

How hackers turned online gaming into a real-life fiasco

A spate of internet hacking during the New Year period – including an attack on Skype by hacker group the Syrian Electronic Army, and another on social media photo sharing app Snapchat by website SnapchatDB…
A home-made hexapod robot on display at a Mini Maker Faire at Somerville in the US. A home-made hexapod robot on display at a Mini Maker Faire at Somerville in the US. Chris Devers

Makers bridge the gap between science and art

One evening when I was young, my father confiscated my radio because he said I was playing it too loud (I wasn’t). Fortunately, I had a bunch of broken down receivers in my room, so I built a new one…
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…
There is hope that Xi Jinping could help usher in a new era of cyber-collaboration. There is hope that Xi Jinping could help usher in a new era of cyber-collaboration. PA

Cyber-security a key issue for US-China presidential summit

US President Barack Obama hopes to lay the foundations for a long-term relationship when he meets Xi Jinping, China’s new president, for a two-day summit in Southern California on Friday. Obama has a difficult…
Chinese intelligence operatives have allegedly hacked into ASIO servers: is this the new world of cyber espionage in action? Chinese intelligence operatives have allegedly hacked into ASIO servers: is this the new world of cyber espionage in action? EPA/Diego Azubel

Welcome to the strange new world of cyber espionage

Chinese intelligence operatives are said to have obtained the floor plans of ASIO’s new Canberra headquarters. And at the same time, having been badly burned when Australian “tradesmen” installed bugs…
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…
An embarrassing Twitter hack caused a plunge in the markets and revealed the weakness in our reliance on technology. An embarrassing Twitter hack caused a plunge in the markets and revealed the weakness in our reliance on technology. AAP

Why the AP hack is likely to happen again

It has been a bad couple of weeks for social media and Twitter in particular. The degree of misinformation spread by social media sites in the aftermath of the bombings at the Boston marathon has given…
The blanket term “hack” can encompass a whole range of attacks – but what are they? The blanket term “hack” can encompass a whole range of attacks – but what are they? Anant N S

Explainer: what is hacking?

Last week, we woke to news that the largest cyber attack ever was underway in Europe, with reports of global internet speeds falling as a result of an assault on the anti-spamming company Spamhaus. In…
The RBA has been the subject of hacking attacks – but that is not unusual. The RBA has been the subject of hacking attacks – but that is not unusual. AAP/Sergio Dionisio

The RBA state-sponsored hack attack (or phishing for a story)

You’ll have seen the fallout this week regarding a so-called “spearphishing” attack on the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) in 2011. As with most media reports on cyber-attacks, this one appears to have…
If someone got access to your personal information, wouldn’t you want to know? If someone got access to your personal information, wouldn’t you want to know? subcircle/Flickr

‘You’ve been hacked’: why data-breach reporting should be mandatory

In an age of Facebook, eBay and online banking, data privacy is becoming more important than ever before. The majority of Australians have personal information stored online with a range of organisations…
The Origin Smart portal provides customers with an estimate of future electricity bills. The Origin Smart portal provides customers with an estimate of future electricity bills. fudj

Is Origin Smart sleepwalking into a shocking personal data breach?

Early last week, Origin Energy, Australia’s pre-eminent energy retailer, launched an online energy-use monitoring portal Origin Smart to much fanfare. All good – but what about the the privacy and security…
What’s being done about the latest spate of Anonymous attacks? What’s being done about the latest spate of Anonymous attacks? zigazou76

Anonymous' Operation Australia – can the federal police stop them?

About 10am this morning, Anonymous used Twitter to announce an attack on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) website. Anonymous claimed the ASIO website would be unavailable for the…
Hacktivists are campaigning against the Australian government’s proposed changes to privacy laws. Hacktivists are campaigning against the Australian government’s proposed changes to privacy laws. Tina Mailhot-Roberge

Why is Anonymous hacking Australia?

A few days ago, Anonymous activists hacked into AAPT, stole 40GB of data including customer information and forced offline ten Australian government websites. Anonymous members stated in an online internet…
Could hacking Mark Zuckerberg’s social media giant lead to a fruitful career? Could hacking Mark Zuckerberg’s social media giant lead to a fruitful career? Hegemony77 doll clothes

Facebook welcomes hackers, if they wear a white hat

As reported late last week, Facebook is encouraging hackers to try hacking its security systems to find weaknesses. Those who succeed will receive a reward of US$500 or more and have their name added to…
Modern pay-TV systems have improved security, but the techniques for getting into them are also better. Modern pay-TV systems have improved security, but the techniques for getting into them are also better. goodbanta

Pay-TV smartcard hacking – how easy is it?

Over the last couple of days a small furore has erupted over allegations a News Corp subsidiary, NDS, has been hacking the pay-TV smartcards of News Corp’s competitors, and even News Corp’s own companies…
Stopping the internet isn’t impossible, but it’s unlikely any time soon. Stopping the internet isn’t impossible, but it’s unlikely any time soon. iNKMan

Could Anonymous really shut down the internet?

In a statement posted online last month, hacker collective Anonymous announced plans to shut down the internet. Yes, you read that right. Operation Global Blackout, planned for March 31, is apparently…
Have the corporate exposés by Anonymous already backfired? Have the corporate exposés by Anonymous already backfired? mr.smashy

Anonymous, WikiLeaks and email dumps – the ultimate weapon?

Of all the tactics used by hacker collective Anonymous in any of its “operations”, the release of their victims' emails has been one that potentially could cause the most damage. Previous releases have…
You can’t believe everything you read in the papers … but you probably will. You can’t believe everything you read in the papers … but you probably will. EPA/Ian Nicholson

Why The Guardian’s correction won’t change your mind about Milly Dowler

So The Guardian has now retracted its earlier reports that News of the World journalists had deleted Milly Dowler’s voicemails. Those journalists hacked the dead girl’s phone but they may not have deleted…
Faced with the latest recruitment challenge, would Sean Connery have cracked it? Faced with the latest recruitment challenge, would Sean Connery have cracked it? x-ray delta one

Hiring James Bond 00.7 … ‘illegal’ hackers need not apply

It’s unlikely James Bond would have been recruited this way. The perks of this job do not include driving an Aston Martin, sipping martinis in exotic locations or saving the UK by shooting the cat-stroking…
The scandal isn’t the emails, it’s the hacking. The scandal isn’t the emails, it’s the hacking. UN Climate Change

There is a real climategate out there

Emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit have once again been hacked and released on the internet. The timing is similar to the “climategate” scandal of 2009, with emails published…
Compromising E-commerce sites has become the bread and butter of many hackers. Compromising E-commerce sites has become the bread and butter of many hackers. http://store.steampowered.com

Hackers hit Steam: is it time to open the Valve on e-commerce regulation?

One of the world’s largest online video gaming networks, Steam, has been hacked and its 35 million users may have had their accounts “compromised”. And yes, “compromised” means their (encrypted) credit…
Threats of exposure have been met with threats of murder – or so it seems. Threats of exposure have been met with threats of murder – or so it seems. Eneas.

Anonymous versus Los Zetas drug cartel … a merry Mexican dance

In recent weeks, the fractured nature of Anonymous, the hacktivist collective, has come to the fore after it declared war on Los Zetas, a Mexican drug cartel. Dubbed “Operation Cartel”, it was announced…
R2D2 could be listening to conversations and logging keystrokes, with high-level backing. R2D2 could be listening to conversations and logging keystrokes, with high-level backing. practical owl

Ein spy: is the German government using a trojan to watch its citizens?

On October 8, Berlin’s hacking collective the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) announced it had analysed a piece of software it believed had been written by the German Government. Once installed on a computer…
Keep your friends close and your enemies, wherever possible, at bay. Keep your friends close and your enemies, wherever possible, at bay. Karat

Betrayed? LulzSec arrest over Sony hack reveals trust issues

On September 22, 23-year-old college student Cody Kretsinger was arrested by the FBI for his part in the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment by the high-profile hacking group LulzSec. The hack resulted…
America and Australia have made moves towards defending against online attacks. America and Australia have made moves towards defending against online attacks. Johnson Cameraface

Last online of defence: why is ANZUS prepping for a cyber war?

How worried should we be about cyber warfare? The latest amendment to the ANZUS treaty between the US and Australia, announced at the end of last week suggests it’s a genuine threat to the national security…
We’ve come to view operating securely online as a given, but it’s not. We’ve come to view operating securely online as a given, but it’s not. shellygrrl

Comodo Hacker, TurkGuvenligi … out for lulz or breaking the internet?

Two recent hacking incidents have highlighted the increasing fragility of the internet’s core infrastructure. They serve as a stark reminder that online security is somewhat illusory. The weaknesses have…
Has TeaMp0isoN missed the point with its latest hacking stunt? Has TeaMp0isoN missed the point with its latest hacking stunt? Kerim Okten/AAP

Hackers squeeze BlackBerry for spilling juice on London riots

The hacking of BlackBerry’s official blog by the mysterious collective TeaMp0isoN raises serious questions. This black-hat hacking group, founded in 2009, has so far claimed responsibility for more than…
What would Hunter S. Thompson have made of DefCon 2011? What would Hunter S. Thompson have made of DefCon 2011? Profound Whatever

Fear and loathing in Las Vegas: tipping a black hat to the DefCon hackers

Las Vegas has a long association with people on the fringe of society but even Hunter S. Thompson’s characters Raoul Duke and his drug-soaked Samoan lawyer would have found visitors to the DefCon hacker…
A successful attack on PayPal could cause havoc. A successful attack on PayPal could cause havoc. [!!!] Sweet Peas Photography [!!!]

Are Anonymous and LulzSec about to hack PayPal for WikiLeaks?

In a joint statement published earlier this week, hacking groups Anonymous and LulzSec urged readers to boycott e-commerce giant PayPal, claiming: “PayPal continues to withhold funds from WikiLeaks, a…
Great headlines … shame about the reality. Great headlines … shame about the reality. Australian Federal Police/AAP

Evil descends on the NBN? Erm, not quite

Another day, another hacking exploit makes headlines. This time it’s a “self-taught, lone hacker”, David Cecil, apparently known online as “Evil”, who allegedly broke into Platform Networks' site, one…
Cyber crime is a growth industry, if you have the head for it. Cyber crime is a growth industry, if you have the head for it. Truthout.org

Pentagon, LulzSec, News of The World … we live in interesting times for hacking

The hacking stories just keep on coming. Of course, The News of the World is the big one at the moment, matched, for the moment at least, by the hacking of The Sun’s website by celebrity – and proficient…
In the fight against cyber crime, a winning move is proving hard to find. In the fight against cyber crime, a winning move is proving hard to find. dlkinney

Cyber security and the online arms race: the battle has just begun

Cyber security has been in the news a lot lately. Corporate giants have had their data stolen, intelligence agencies have had their websites taken down and hacker groups have become household names. Closer…
Does Sony have unique vulnerabilities, or has it just been unlucky? Does Sony have unique vulnerabilities, or has it just been unlucky? Everett Kennedy Brown/EPA

Sony hacked again: ‘it’s very worrying from a customer’s point of view’

Recent high-profile cyber attacks have dented the image of Japanese technology giant Sony and left millions of customers worried about the security of their personal information. An attack in April resulted…
Is it time to get tougher on hackers, whatever their motivations? Is it time to get tougher on hackers, whatever their motivations? Philippe Huguen/AFP

Hacking, cracking and the wild, wild web

PRIVACY – Who are hackers and what do they want from you? Pop culture would have us believe they live in dank basements, wear black leather from head to toe and have pseudonyms such as Warlock or Neo…

Research and News (4)