Attention all Twitters!!

Posted June 27, 2010 by Maryam Delpisheh
Categories: All Articles, Privacy & Data Protection

Tags: , , , , ,

Why such drama! what I really don’t get is although there are masterminds behind the social networks, they are so careless about their users personal information! And if they are going to be so  negligent, why do they mislead the users and put their privacy under risk! After so much talking about Facebook privacy lax now is Twitter’s turn! Recently, allegations have been brought up against Twitter by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, claiming that Twitter failed its promised user privacy.

The FTC’s complaint focused on two incidents which were in January and April 2009. In both cases Twitter was attacked by different hackers. In January,  a hacker used an automated password-guessing tool to gain administrative control of Twitter, after submitting thousands of guesses into Twitter’s log-in page, the FTC said. The silly thing is the administrative password was a common dictionary word! What a reckless mistake!

In the second case in April 2009,  a hacker compromised a Twitter employee’s personal e-mail account where two passwords similar to the employee’s Twitter administrative password were stored in plain text, the FTC said. Then he was able to reset at least one user’s password and could gain access to personal information and also tweet from the stolen account. It seems there is no end inside! I’m wondering how and when they are really going to consider user privacy and do something about Twitter’s security loopholes.

“When a company promises consumers that their personal information is secure, it must live up to that promise,” David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “Likewise, a company that allows consumers to designate their information as private must use reasonable security to uphold such designations. Consumers who use social networking sites may choose to share some information with others, but they still have a right to expect that their personal information will be kept private and secure.”

Twitter has agreed to settle the complaint and it is prohibited from misleading clients about protecting their privacy in the coming 20 years and forced to establish a comprehensive security program which will be examine by an outsider every 10 years.  I hope that this settlement will have enough restrictions to make sure Twitter fulfils its moral and lawful obligations.    

What’s your take on it?

Source: Read more from Computerworld.com

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Keep your friends close, but your neighbors closer!

Posted June 26, 2010 by Maryam Delpisheh
Categories: All Articles, Cybercrime

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Have you ever been in a row  with your neighbor?! Well, be careful then! Here is the latest news from the U.S. Department of Justice. 45-year-old Barry Vincent Ardolf   has been indicted in federal court in the District of Minnesota for hacking into his neighbor’s wireless Internet system and allegedly posing as the neighbor to make threats to kill the Vice President of the United States and email child pornography.

Ardolf hacked into his neighbor’s wireless Internet connection and created multiple Yahoo.com email accounts in that person’s name. Then, he used one of those accounts to email the office of the Vice President of the United States. He signed the email with the name of the neighbor from whom he stole Internet access as well as the name of that person’s wife.  Actually he sent the email using the wireless router belonging to the neighbor, intending for the email to be traced back to that person. What a hatred to have for someone!

This isn’t the end of the story. There is much, much more! He posed as the identity-theft victim and used the email accounts he created in the victim’s name to send sexually-themed emails to three of the victim’s co-workers. Again, the he sent the emails through the victim’s wireless Internet connection, intending for them to be traced to the victim’s Internet account. In one of the emails, Ardolf attached an image containing child pornography. Ardolf also  created a MySpace page in the victim’s name, on which he posted the same image of child pornography. What on earth was he thinking?!  

At present he is being prosecuted and if found guilty and I’m sure that he will be, he could face up to 20 years just for child pornography distribution, 10 years for the pornography possession, five years for both the unauthorized access to a computer and the threats to the Vice President, and a mandatory two-year minimum prison sentence on each count of aggravated identity theft. However, all sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.

The first thing that comes to mind when you read this is that you should always protect your computer from unwanted intrusion. Keep your anti-virus software and firewall up to date. In addition, make sure your wireless router is properly encrypted using the strongest encryption standards possible.

What’s your take on it?

What’s next?!!!

Posted June 25, 2010 by Maryam Delpisheh
Categories: All Articles, Cybercrime

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The newest of all crimes has become even newer! Cyber criminals are no longer board teenage kids looking to have some fun. Cyber crime is not being committed out of curiosity any more but  has fast become a profession with sophisticated Malvare products to market.  In Microsoft’s latest Security Intelligence Report (SIP) which was conducted on 500 million computers around the globe to raise awareness on online threats world-wide.

The report states that attackers are now mostly prompted by the desire for profit and hardly ever  operate on their own.  For example, malware creators seldom conduct attacks themselves, but instead work with other criminals in online black markets to buy and sell malware kits and botnet access, says Desmond Nair, head of Microsoft South Africa’s Server business. 

Nair also added, “The report provides compelling – and chilling – evidence that cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated and packaging online threats that are sold on to others. What’s more, we now see clearly that cyber criminals target enterprise and home users differently.” This report raises awareness on online threats to enterprises and individual home users and also provides some remedies on security issues.

What’s your take on it?

Source: Read more from Mybroadband.co.za   

Go Go Go! Ole Ole Ole!

Posted June 24, 2010 by Maryam Delpisheh
Categories: All Articles, Cybercrime

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The world cup fever is here! Everywhere you turn there is talk of the tournament, so you would think that this is the best time for cyber criminals to take complete advantage of the situation. I was surfing the Internet earlier and I read about an interview that IT PRO made with the senior analyst at Semantec Hosted Services  Paul Wood about a recent report from Semantec MessageLabs Intelligence.

Based on the represented figures, spam and carried virus emails had a downward slope of 0.9 and 0.11 percentage points  from May. Meantime phishing dropped to 0.26 percentage points.

According to Wood although the figures show a fall in different forms of illicit activities, it is not clear that malicious web activity has lessened over the previous month. What is evident is that the world cup related threats sharply increased in the build-up to the tournament. Spam related Football keyword reached a quarter of  global spam since March 2010 to the days leading up to the big event!

Well, the world cup is such a huge event and now it has the world’s undivided attention and of course a base for cyber criminals to attack. To me what this figures show and what happened during the opening days are quite different. Criminals have become more sophisticated in their methods and shouldn’t be underestimated.           

What’s your take on it?

Source: Read more fromIT PRO

What has the world come to?!!

Posted June 20, 2010 by Maryam Delpisheh
Categories: All Articles, Cyber Law Issues, Cybercrime

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There was a time that I used to think that criminals were totally different in appearance from other people but now I realized they don’t have to look like monsters, they maybe the neighbor you say hello to in the morning. The friendly bus driver you smile at or the green grocer you chat with when you go shopping. But never did I think that the person we think is sworn to protect us and is willing to give their life for our freedom would turn out to be the most dangerous of all criminals.

A 42-year-old lieutenant colonel of the Indian Army was arrested by the cyber crime investigation cell (CCIC) of the Mumbai police on Thursday for allegedly posting obscene pictures of children on an international web site. The investigation started in Germany when German police tracked an IP address to India which horrific pictures of child pornography were being uploaded from. Then they alerted Interpol, which through CBI, forwarded the issue to the Mumbai police.

He was caught red-handed, while downloading porn clippings. “Even as we questioned him at his home for four and a half hours, the downloading continued. We have also taken printouts of the pictures so that we can use it as evidence in court,” said an officer. The Mumbai police confiscated hard disks, mobile phones, print outs, etc from the government flat of the Army officer and booked him under the Information Technology Act 2000.

Well, what can I say?! 

What’s your take on it?

Source: Read more from The Times Of India

Social Awareness ..

Posted June 19, 2010 by Maryam Delpisheh
Categories: All Articles, Trademark

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I’ve mentioned in my earlier post on cybersquatting and how a company’s website is extremely valuable for its online presence and online brand identity with a sole mode of online communication to reach its customers. But complications arise when businesses set up their profiles on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to promote their brands.

What I’m trying to say is that, businesses are increasingly taking to social networks to communicate with customers. Where as now, not only do organizations and individuals have to be vigilant and proactive to protect their brand by registering all the variations of their brand as domain names, they also have to keep up with the latest fraudulence! Similar to Apple’s case with Twitter, I mean social network squatting!

Since, social networks are springing up all over the place and social media squatting happens to pose a threat to organizations and individual names, registering their brand name with all social networks is going to be an overwhelming task!!

Facebook, for example, to stave off abuses and extent companies desire for marketing on Facebook, permits users to register only one username for their Facebook  page and profile. The username can not be transferred and amended to third-parties. Although these limitations are not a remedy for a potential infringement, it should prevent Facebook username cybersquatters and typosquatters from hijacking multiple usernames that belong to brand owners or that are variation on third-party brands.

What’s your take on it?

Source:A New Kind of Cybersquatting Facebook, Twitter and Online Social Media Sites martindale.com    

What’s mine is yours!

Posted June 18, 2010 by Maryam Delpisheh
Categories: All Articles, Trademark

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Perhaps not surprisingly, the Internet’s popularity and ease of access has encouraged businesses to establish their image and reputation online. No matter what the business its Internet presence starts with a domain name – a unique address on the Internet – that is often the same  as the business name or the name of one of its products or services.

But there has been many occasions where trademark owners have become a victim of cybersquatting. The idea of cybersquatting is registering, selling or using a domain name of someone else’s trademark with the intention of getting an unfair means of profit. Moreover they create confusion by changing the trademarked name with a different suffix for example  mcdonalds.info or by playing with letters in a brand name like pannasonic.com. Cybersquatters also have targeted celebrities by abusing their name registration like Scarlett Johanson and Dennis Rodman.

Cybersquatting hit records in 2008. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) only in itself was involved in about 2329 cases in the same year and according to the United Nations, the most targeted category by cybersquatting was pharmaceuticals.

What’s your take on it?