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IT & Communications

The US government's CERT division of the Department of Homeland Security has issued a statement that explains the risks and problems associated with the Petya ransomware virus and details of it.

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We are all internet users and the internet is supposed to be a broadly free medium (albeit one we pay for) but there was one piece of regulation that militated against all good sense in the cause of supposed equality for all. So-called Net Neutrality is a flawed interference in the freedom of commercial concerns to enter into agreements with individual customers and, more than that, it risks damaging commerce. Now the USA is proposing to reverse the position taken under the Obama government. This is why it should do so. But equally, this is why one major element of it must remain.

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We know that companies gather data when you interact with them (even we do, but it's very, very little and what we do with it is mostly for our protection) but do you know what they collect?

Here's an example from search engine Ask.Com

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The wording says "If you'd like to cancel just part of your order... please contact us and quote your order number." So, like the obedient chap I am, I did.

This is my exchange with Marks and Spencer's Chatbot.

And you think AI will protect your bank?

Nigel Morris-Co...
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We are not pretending to be making any contribution to the story about this spectacularly successful virus - we're just helping spread information about it. This is from the USA Government's information service about cyber-threats, US-CERT which is part of the Department of Homeland Security.

17 May 2017

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The conviction of a resident of California for distributing illegal content over a peer-to-peer computer network is the latest strike against supposedly untraceable material on the internet. It's a "tip of the iceberg" moment but it shows that there are ways of investigating and securing convictions across apparently secure and secret methods of content distribution.

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It's been around since the latter stages of the US election, first being reported in October 2016 and it's a hoax.

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A form of scam spam has come to our notice this morning. It is unusually convincing and clever.

It purports to come from Scotia Bank's secure e-mail service but, obviously, it does not.

Details below.

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It's proof that no one, no matter how good, can guarantee that there are no IT security risks in their products. US-CERT, the US government body that reports risks discovered in products, has its usual raft of Adobe and Microsoft products in this week's list but there is a surprising entry: data security company F-Secure, a recognised leader in the field, has made an appearance, too.

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There's a whole industry, across the world, that charges fees for doing things you can easily do for free and which give you the impression, whilst not actually saying so, that you need their services to obtain your rights. One is the domain name registration scam, that appears in several variants.

Here's today's.

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