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IT & Communications

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

CoNet Section: 

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.

CoNet Section: 

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

CoNet Section: 

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.

CoNet Section: 

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.

CoNet Section: 

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.

CoNet Section: 

In recent weeks, we've seen a significant number of spam-scams from a domain that is remarkably similar to an official UK government domain, showing that registrars and hosts are failing to identify obviously fraudulent customers. The fraudulent domain name is close enough to the real thing to fool many targets.

CoNet Section: 

The benefits that flow to Google, Bing, etc. from linking to illegal websites are substantial. So are the benefits gained by internet hosts, especially those providing anonymous or anonymising services for a fee (e.g. Cloudflare) and the internet domain registrars that facilitate the purchase and anonymisation of domains by criminals. In this article, we start the list of domains and those who benefit from providing services to them. Registered users can add their own examples of genuinely illegal websites in the comments.

CoNet Section: 

This is a bit weird: criminals have created an Android virus that resides in users' phones and hacks into wifi network routers, then it does devious and harmful things.

CoNet Section: 
We'd expect the young to be involved in hacking and cracking but surprisingly, the young are also widely implicated in a far wider range of offences. Then again, 'twas always thus.
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