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IT & Communications

A Russian national who runs Evil Corp has been indicted in the United States following unprecedented collaboration between the NCA, the FBI and the National Cyber Security Centre.

Do you know this man?

CoNet Section: 

In the past few days, the US Immigration and Customs has had the third major IT failure in two years. When you read of a "US government shut-down," this is not what one expects. It's not the only US Government department to go dark. And it carries lessons for all of those rushing to bring NewTech online before it is proven.

CoNet Section: 

Is this how malware gets onto your mobile?

One of our rarely used e-mail addresses has been miraculously spam-free. Literally, no spam at all. Until about two weeks ago. Then something weird started to happen. And there's a pattern. Given the recent attacks on mobiles via WhatsApp, one has to ask: is this recent format spam directed at mobile users? Nigel Morris-Cotterill adopts a risk-averse approach while encouraging risk awareness.

CoNet Section: 

If you've ever visited a UK government website to make any kind of application, you've been met with the worst example of both process and design. But the UK Government is not alone - any process is designed by people who already know how to use it, so they assume everyone knows the same. Wouldn't it be nice if someone spent time looking at both the process and the forms and made them work for people who are visiting for the first time and know nothing except the objective they hope to achieve.

Well, someone did: Turkey's eVisa scheme is a model that, every company and government process and form designer should visit and learn from.

CoNet Section: 

It's remarkably easy to spoof telephone numbers i.e. to make any number one chooses to show up in the caller ID of the recipient's phone. So if a criminal is going to do that, why not choose someone special?

CoNet Section: 

The old ways are the best, not the least of which is because there are always new users whose filters aren't ready for spam that hasn't been seen for a while.

This one's so old-fashioned, it's funny. Oh, and Google's failed to identify a landing page for spam and potentially illegal product sales. Artificial intelligence? Hah.

CoNet Section: 

Inernet research company Ookla has produced a map that shows where there is 5G mobile network rollout. Some is active, some is in testing and some is installed but not yet available. There are some places in the world that are pretty busy. But there is one very surprising country that has, according to the map, absolutely no roll-out whatsoever. See if you can guess, before opening the map, which country it is.

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The European Union has long had institutions for dealing with cyber-security issues. But there's an update and new features. And there are a couple of things it tells us about the EU itself, such as its continued progress to become a country and to have central instruments of government rather than to rely on member states to comply with Directives. But, equally importantly, what the update does is set the scene for more restructuring in the future, if the EU works out that it needs to develop efficiencies and reduce duplication.

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Following the release of market sensitive information last week (see Embarrassment for regulator with premature release of market sensitive information) there's an apology, of sorts. Is it fair dinkum or a feeble excuse?

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The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) has issued a notice opposing a "merger" proposal involving TPG Telecom Limited (TPG) and Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd (Vodafone). The reasons include that TPG has been "disruptive" in a complacent market and is "the best prospect Australia has for a new mobile network operator to enter the market." But it's a far more complex picture than that.

CoNet Section: 

With all the fuss about China's interest in foreign computer systems, it's salutory to note that a suspicious crypto-asset report made at www.GlobalKYC.com demonstrates that the Chinese government's servers are not immune from attack.

CoNet Section: 

The return, with increasing frequency, of internet domain name fraud, is usually at least accompanied by a form of what the fraudster hopes is a sufficient disclaimer to prevent prosecution. The latest iteration omits even that and resorts to blatant threats. Also, it seems that the criminals have obtained access to the domain sevenresortsnet.com to send mail and to present a landing page for those who click to respond to the demand.

CoNet Section: 

The flood of sextortion e-mails demanding payment in bitcoin continues. However, while the body of the mails is increasingly standardised, the anti-avoidance methods used by the criminals is mutating, analysis of reports at GlobalKYC.com indicates.

CoNet Section: 

In American's frozen north, authorities in Alaska have identified persons they say were behind a website offering Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS services. DDoS is where, by one of several means, internet servers are bombarded with vast numbers of requests to the intent (and often the effect) that the websites are overwhelmed with the result that access is denied to legitimate visitors and those servers are presented from accessing the internet. In Anchorage, Alaska's biggest town but not its capital, U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder has announced the seizure of an internet domain associated with DDoS-for-hire services as well as criminal charges against a Pennsylvania man who facilitated the computer attack platform.

CoNet Section: 

Communications are the lifeblood of any commercial arrangement. So, when things go wrong and you need to fix them, an on-line chat is the quickest and best option: after all, while "your call may be recorded.." doesn't mean you get a record. So, on-line chats are a better solution. Or not.

(And there's more: an addendum to the original article makes things worse)

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