Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Monday, 26 October 2009

Burglary outcomes

How silly can some be? to burglar and then bosts on line by contacting the victims?! Home Burglar Returns To Taunt Couple Via Facebook? (TechDirt, 17 August 2009)

ISP & co Liability

Google Not Liable For 'Defamatory' Search Result Snippets In The UK (TechDirt, 17 July 2009)

Fraud and Russia

Self-explanatory. Soca: Russian cyber gang bribed police (ZDnet.co.uk, 22 October 2009)

Virtual property or no property?

with obviously its repercussion on criminal law which is based on the notion of having property rights... Why Virtual Property Doesn't Make Sense (TechDirt, 17 August 2009)

Linden Lab Sued Over Copied Virtual Goods (TechDirt, 18 September 2009)

sex offenders and the use of social networking

Illinois Says Sex Offenders Can't Use Social Networks (TechDirt, 13 august 2009)
Well, I would not put it that way, but the point is valid in legal terms. ID theft is theft only to the extent that the information has been accessed, but it is not to be confused with the use of the information, i.e. mainly fraud.
Is It ID Theft Or Was The Bank Robbed? (TechDirt, 19 August 2009)

Is It Identity Theft Or A Bank Robbery, Part II: Couple Sues Bank Over Money Taken (TechDirt, 11 September 2009) - well the side effect of crime: civil liability for the banks, especially if they were grossly negligent. However, in criminal terms, there is rarely crime by omission.

Funny side of sentencing

I found it really funny: a spammer realising that the fine cannot be paid by his insurance!
Spammer Discovers His Insurance Policy Doesn't Cover $6 Million Spam Fines (TechDirt, 3 August 2009)

Use of Twitter in courts

Again, the issue about adapting or not juries to the 21st century, i.e. in a world where writing is predominant and oral transmission of information does not represent anymore 95% of the transmission of information
Michigan Supreme Court Issues New Stop Twittering Rule For Juries (TechDirt, 17 July 2009)

Google blocking account

Quite an extreme measure for misplaced 'post', even if ordered by a court. I am unsure we would have acted identically had post mail been used. I don't see a court order for a citizen not to receive his mail until further notice. Is it because of the ease with which one can block e-mail accounts that we resort to such extreme measures?

Google deactivates Gmail account after bank error (ZDnet.co.uk, 29 September 2009)

IT expertise for law enforcement

Police hunt down IT forensics expertise (ZDnet.co.uk, 02 october 2009) the Metropolitan police puts £32 millions aside to buy IT equipments...

And the US Governement is looking for 10000 IT experts US on hunt for 1,000 cybersecurity experts (ZDnet.co.uk, 05 October 2009)

And the new Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), has been opened at Queen's University Belfast (ZDnet.co.uk, 24 september 2009)

Diversity of access to computers/information

URL website based to distribute malware:
Trojan swipes money from your banking site (ZDNet.co.uk, 30 september 2009)

with a similar method:
Facebook closes fake profiles spreading malware (ZDnet.co.uk, 2 oct 2009)
Fake Outlook Web Access update sets malware trap (ZDnet.co.uk, 16 October 2009)

Un botnet s'attaque aux r├ęsultats de recherche des moteurs (JDN, 05 October 2009) with a botnet allowing fraud/spread of malware resulting from clicks on results from search engines, the click redirecting towards a website. See its English version, Botnet click fraud hits a high (ZDnet.co.uk, 23 October 2009)

Access/use of webmail accounts
Phishing attack hits thousands of Hotmail accounts (ZDnet.co.uk, 06 october 2009)
and a resurgence of the 419 scams! Washington Post Says Economy Is Bad... No, Good... No, Bad For Nigerian 419 Scammers (TechDirt, 10 August 2009)

Hacked web mail accounts used to send spam (ZDnet.co.uk, 09 October 2009)

Reports of crime: difficulties in the UK

Whereas France has now a unique website to report cybercrimes, the UK still struggles, with no sight of relief yet.

E-crime victims uncertain where to turn (ZDnet.co.uk, 27 August 2009)

hacking in the US

Three indicted in largest-ever US hacking prosecution (ZDnet.co.uk, 18 August 2009)

with one of them pleading guilty to ID theft

Hacker pleads guilty to ID thefts worth millions (ZDnet.co.uk, 2009)

DoS attack - Australia

Australian gov't calls on experts over DDoS attack (ZDnet.co.uk, 10 September 2009)

and Australian police probe government cyberattack (ZDnet.co.uk, 09 september 2009)

Uses of social networking

Research was done to understand where the eye is set on various pages: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter. It is the technology of eye-tracking with the movements of the eyes being captured and giving an image of where the eye goes. The study is in English by OneUpWeb (oneupweb.com) but the comments are here in French by Journal du Net -26 August 2009. In red, is where the internet user stays, in green where s/he barely has a look.
It is quite fascinating in terms of what it reveals: how people use different websites and adapt to them, how adverts could better target consumers...

For a less positive outlook on social networking, a series of reports/news:
- the EU preoccupation with Facebook as a portal to cybercrime. Facebook: A new battleground for cyber-crime (Euractiv, 27 July 2009)

- the security issues Facebook faced and that allowed for data to be 'stolen'. Warning as rogue Facebook apps steal log-in data (ZDNet.co.uk, 20 August 2009)

Twitter, Facebook and DoS: security and hactivism

Facts of 1st attack: a Georgian account in Twitter, Facebook and Google' blogger, was targeted by multiple attacks. It caused Twitter to shut down, Facebook had problems. And the suspicion is on Russia, obviously (although it remained to be proved).
Apart from the costs of it all, what is interesting is the fact that the attack against one person/entity triggered problems for everybody else using the services of Twitter, Facebook and Google. The collateral effects are damning.

Blogger targeted in Twitter, Facebook DoS (ZDnet.co.uk, 7 August 2009) and Cyberattack That Brought Down Twitter & Facebook Only Highlighted The Guy It Hoped To Silence (TechDirt, 10 August 2009)

French version: Twitter rendu indisponible par une attaque visant un internaute (JDN, 7 August 2009)


Facts of 2nd attacks:

Twitter suffers outage following fresh attack (ZDnet.co.uk, 12 August 2009)

To which extend the botnet was part of the 2 attacks, it remains to be seen: Security firms reveal botnet on Twitter (ZDnet. co.uk, 17 August 2009)

Nasa hacker: the last episode?

Obviously, Mr McKinnon lost its action before the High Court to avoid extradition Nasa hacker loses bid to avoid extradition (ZDNet.co.uk, 31 july 2009)
For an explanation on the Court's reasoning, the interview of Karen Todner on 31 July 2009 is extremely useful despite its brevity (1mns 20). The Court did not think the DPP had enough evidence to charge Mr McKinnon in the UK; and the secretary of State's decision on the basis that the Asparagus syndrome was not serious enough was also justified.
McKinnon's lawyer notes that the process has been going on for the past 7 years. How much waste of money and time will trigger a revision of the US-UK extradition treaty?


This lost suit triggered a series of appeal to compassion, although one has to note that compassion is usually a ground for sentencing...

Cameron: 'No compassion' in hacker decision (ZDnet.co.uk, 31 july 2009)

and a video from Mr. McKinnon's mother (ZDnet.co.uk 31 july 2009)


Given that the appeal against the High COurt's decision is unlikely to succeed, the last option is for the prison sentence, if to be pronounced, to be executed back in Britain rather than in the US. Political support builds for Nasa hacker (ZDnet.co.uk, 3 August 2009)
This depends on the US willingness to do so, often on the condition not to release the prisoner on other grounds than medical.

Since, some MPs thought of asking for an appointment with the US ambassador (ZDNet.co.uk, 10 September 2009)

And McKinnon filed suit, for the second time, before the European Court of Human Rights: Nasa hacker fight heads to Europe (ZDnet.co.uk, 09 October 2009)

For a more general outlook on the case in relation to IT professionals and work ethic: McKinnon case puts IT ethics in the dock (ZDnet.co.uk, 05 October 2009)