Articles by date

29 June 2017

Ransomware attack 'not designed to make money', researchers claim (The Guardian)

A ransomware attack that affected at least 2,000 individuals and organisations worldwide on Tuesday appears to have been deliberately engineered to damage IT systems rather than extort funds, according to security researchers.

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Why Europe got tough on Google but the U.S. couldn't (Washington Post)

In the fall of 2012 the staff at the Federal Trade Commission had concluded that Google had engaged in unfair competition by favoring its own services over those of its competitors. As the Wall Street Journal reported, the staff had recommended an enforcement action: “The 160-page critique, which was supposed to remain private but was inadvertently disclosed in an open-records request, concluded that Google’s ‘conduct has resulted — and will result — in real harm to consumers.’”

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Canada's Supreme Court rules Google must block certain search results worldwide (The Verge)

Canada’s Supreme Court upheld a British Columbia court ruling today that ordered Google to de-list entire domains and websites from its global search index.

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ICANN and Verisign Renew .NET Agreement with 10% Increases Likely to See Registrar Fee of Over $15 by 2023

Verisign has entered into a renewal of the .net Registry Agreement that runs for 6 years until 30 June 2023 with no changes to the material terms to the current .net Registry Agreement from 2011. There is an expectation the agreement will be renewed in 2023 "so long as certain requirements are met".

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28 June 2017

2016 World's Worst Year for Phishing. Ever! Says APWG. With Attacks on 195,000 Domain Names.

Phishing attacks increased by 65% in 2016 over 2015 to be the worst year for phishing in history according to APWG’s new Phishing Activity Trends Report. According to the report the total number of phishing attacks in 2016 was 1,220,523.

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Facebook hits 2 billion-user mark, doubling in size since 2012 (Reuters)

Facebook Inc said on Tuesday that 2 billion people are regularly using its flagship service, marching past another milestone in its growth from a college curiosity in the United States to the world's largest social media network.

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What is the Petya ransomware attack, and how can it be stopped? (The Guardian)

Many organizations in Europe and the US have been crippled by a ransomware attack dubbed “Petya”. The malicious software has spread through large firms including the advertiser WPP, food company Mondelez, legal firm DLA Piper and Danish shipping and transport firm Maersk, leading to PCs and data being locked up and held for ransom.

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Cyberattack Hits Ukraine Then Spreads Internationally (New York Times)

Computer systems from Ukraine to the United States were struck on Tuesday in an international cyberattack that was similar to a recent assault that crippled tens of thousands of machines worldwide.

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Google fine: EU is not waging underhand trade war against ​​US tech firms... and more coverage (The Guardian)

Let’s start by laying one falsehood to rest. In fining Google €2.42bn (£2.14bn), the European commission is not engaged in a form of underhand trade warfare against US technology companies. Instead, Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition commissioner, is addressing a central commercial question of the digital age: to what extent should companies such as Google be able to exploit their dominance in one area to gain advantage in another?

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ICANN Adds Kobe and Montréal 2019 Dates to Its Public Meetings World Tour

ICANN announced at its public meeting currently underway in Johannesburg, its 59th, that Kobe and Montréal would be its 64th and 66th public meetings in March and November 2019.

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27 June 2017

Google hit by record-breaking €2.4bn fine from EU (The Guardian)

Google has been handed a record-breaking fine €2.42 billion fine by the European Union for abusing its dominance of the search engine market in building its online shopping service.

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Tech giants team up to fight extremism following cries that they allow terrorism (The Guardian)

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft have created a joint forum to counter terrorism following years of criticisms that the technology corporations have failed to block violent extremists and propaganda on their platforms.

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Google Said to Face $1.2 Billion Antitrust Fine, but Battle With Europe Looms (New York Times)

European Union officials are expected to issue a record fine of at least 1.1 billion euros, or $1.2 billion, against Google as soon as Tuesday for breaking the region’s tough competition rules.

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With Alphabet, Google faces a daunting challenge: organizing itself (Reuters)

Google’s self-professed mission is to organize the world’s information. But a company known for engineering excellence is still trying to solve the very human problem of how to organize itself.

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26 June 2017

2016 Internet Crime Report: FBI's IC3 Releases Annual Report Highlighting Trends in Internet Crime (FBI)

Giving someone access to your computer is like giving out a key to your front door. A computer can have your bank account information, family photos, and other private documents and data—information that fraudsters would like to steal. That’s why tech support fraud has become a significant trend in online crime, according to the 2016 Internet Crime Report from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

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Tech giants face no contest when it comes to competition law (The Observer)

The news that Amazon had acquired Whole Foods Market for $13.7bn sent shivers down the spine of every retailer in America. Shares in Walmart fell 7%, and rival Kroger by 17%. Amazon’s market capitalisation, in contrast, went up by $11bn. So why the fuss? At first sight it seemed straightforward: Amazon wanted to get into food sales, and it fancied having a network of 400 urban stores; and Whole Foods (which some of my American friends call “whole wallet” because of the cost of its products) was ailing. There was also a small political angle: John Mackey, co-founder of Whole Foods, had been enmeshed in a row with an activist investor that threatened to drive him from power; by selling to Amazon, he gets to keep his job. So: small earthquake in food retailing, not many dead?

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24 June 2017

Designing Digital Freedom: A Human Rights Agenda for Internet Governance (Centre for International Governance Innovation)

Despite the worldwide description of cyberspace as “a free and open Internet,” the global record of human rights online has not been commendable. Recent years have brought to light the mass surveillance practices of many governments. Other government interventions block Internet access for citizens. Censorship practices have become efficient and effective. Harassment of female bloggers has remained a constant problem. Cyber security is now a precursor for basic human rights when an outage or a hack of a car or an industrial control system creates human security and safety issues. Another complexity is that digital infrastructures, systems and institutions mediating human rights cross borders in ways that create jurisdictional complexity and contradictions.

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23 June 2017

Nominet Sees 0.0074% of .UK Domains Disputed in 2016 as 3rd Level Registrations Drop, 2nd Level Rise

Nominet saw a small drop in complaints in 2016, with 25 fewer complaints for the 12-month period than in 2015. The 703 complaints related to 785 domain names, according to their 2016 annual summary of domain name disputes brought before its Dispute Resolution Service (DRS). The disputed .uk domain names in 2016 were 0.0074% of all domain names under management (DUM), or registrations.

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Fake online stores reveal gamblers' shadow banking system (Reuters)

A network of dummy online stores offering household goods has been used as a front for internet gambling payments, a Reuters examination has found.

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22 June 2017

WhatsApp rises as a major force in news media (BBC News)

WhatsApp is becoming one of the prevailing ways people discover and discuss news, according to a study.

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Losses from cyber crimes rose 24 percent to $1.33 billion in 2016: FBI report (Reuters)

Losses from cyber crimes rose 24 percent in 2016 to over $1.33 billion, according to a report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Internet Crime Complaint Center.

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How Battling Brands Online Has Gained Urgency, and Impact (New York Times)

Until last week, Travis Kalanick, a founder of Uber and its chief executive, ruled his company absolutely. That was the Silicon Valley way; ever since Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple in the 1980s, tech founders have demanded, and been awarded, enormous deference by investors and corporate boards. So even as successive waves of scandal have hit Uber, Mr. Kalanick’s position looked safe.

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21 June 2017

US Bullies Costa Rica and Refuses to Obey Local Laws Over Pirate Bay Domains

The United States Embassy in Costa Rica has been pressuring the local ccTLD operator, NIC Costa Rica, to take down thepiratebay.cr domain name with increasing urgency as the registry resists. And if they refuse there have been threats to take the registry operation away from NIC Costa Rica.

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Father of the internet, Vint Cerf: 'AI will make a lifetime of learning critical' (Silicon Republic)

Vint Cerf believes that to survive the next industrial revolution prompted by artificial intelligence and automation, people will need to become lifelong learners.

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Germany Raids Homes of 36 People Accused of Hateful Postings Over Social Media (New York Times)

In a coordinated campaign across 14 states, the German police on Tuesday raided the homes of 36 people accused of hateful postings over social media, including threats, coercion and incitement to racism.

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