New York’s New Digital Crime Lab Is a Forensic Marvel

In an exclusive tour of the new lab, Fortune got a glimpse of Law & Order in the digital age. The lab is Exhibit A in how America’s biggest city is embracing big data analytics and a dash of hacker culture to solve complex crimes. It also raises hard questions about how to balance these sophisticated crime-fighting tools with civil liberties.

Fuente: New York’s New Digital Crime Lab Is a Forensic Marvel


Payments networks battle new breed of criminals in cyber attacks – FT.com

Payments networks — whether Swift or the latest peer-to-peer money transfer app — are only as trustworthy as their weakest link. Even if data are encrypted in transit, each bank or individual on a network must be able to reliably prove who they are — and authentication in payments still has a way to go.

Fuente: Payments networks battle new breed of criminals in cyber attacks – FT.com


Cyber criminals lead race to innovate – FT.com

Cyber criminals lead race to innovate – FT.com.

 

Devices to simulate cyber crimes are displayed at Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) at its newly built building during the inauguration opening ceremony in Singapore on April 13, 2015. The Interpol Global Centre for Innovation opened its doors with officials hoping it will strengthen global efforts to fight increasingly tech-savvy international criminals. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN©AFP

Cyber criminals are advancing faster than companies can defend themselves, with denial of service attacks worsening, ransoms on the rise and data breaches targeting more high-profile retailers, according to two widely followed reports from cyber security companies.

Five out of six large companies were targeted by an advanced hacker last year, up 40 per cent from the year before, according to a report compiled by Symantec, the internet security company.

He said the cyber world was similar to the business world, with criminals selling more ways to attack companies to meet demand, and copying their rivals’ most lucrative tactics.Kevin Haley, director of Symantec’s security response product and an author of the report, said the threat continued to rise because criminals had been so successful.

 


How you could become a victim of cybercrime in 2015 | Technology | The Guardian

How you could become a victim of cybercrime in 2015 | Technology | The Guardian.

Cybersecurity experts’ predictions for the year ahead: from ransomware and healthcare hacks to social media scams and state-sponsored cyberwar

Will 2015 be a happy new year for cybercriminals?
 Will 2015 be a happy new year for cybercriminals? Photograph: Alamy

Will 2015 be a happy new year for internet users? Not if cybercriminals have their way.

Online security companies have been making their predictions for 2015, from the malware that will be trying to weasel its way onto our computers and smartphones to the prospect of cyberwar involving state-sponsored hackers.

Here’s a summary of what you should be watching out for online in 2015, based on the predictions of companies including BitDefender, KPMGAdaptiveMobile,Trend MicroBAE SystemsWebSenseInfoSec InstituteSymantecKaspersky,Proofpoint and Sophos. The links lead to their full predictions.


Cryptolocker: what you need to know | Technology | theguardian.com

Cryptolocker: what you need to know | Technology | theguardian.com.

What happens when a computer is infected with the malicious software, and what should you do to protect your files?

 

 

Viruses such as Cryptolocker can be attacked by taking down the servers that control them.
Viruses such as Cryptolocker can be attacked by taking down the servers that control them. Photograph: imagebroker/Alamy

 

Cryptolocker is back in the headlines, thanks to a coordinated effort to take down the computers and criminals that run the notorious “ransomware”. But what is it? And how can you fight it?

Cryptolocker is ransomware: malicious software which holds your files to ransom

The software is typically spread through infected attachments to emails, or as a secondary infection on computers which are already affected by viruses which offer a back door for further attacks.

When a computer is infected, it contacts a central server for the information it needs to activate, and then begins encrypting files on the infected computer with that information. Once all the files are encrypted, it posts a message asking for payment to decrypt the files – and threatens to destroy the information if it doesn’t get paid.

The authorities have won users a two-week window of safety

The National Crime Agency (NCA) announced yesterday that the UK public has got a “unique, two-week opportunity to rid and safeguard” themselves from Cryptolocker. The agency didn’t go into more detail, but it seems likely that at least one of the central servers which Cryptolocker speaks to before encrypting files has been taken down.

The NCA has also taken down the control system for a related piece of software, known as GameOver Zeus, which provides criminals with a backdoor into users’ computers. That back door is one of the ways a computer can be infected with Cryptolocker in the first place.

What that means is, until the window is closed – and the virus cycles to new servers – users who are infected with Cryptolocker won’t lose their files to encryption. As a result, these users have the chance to remove the virus before it destroys data, using conventional anti-virus software. In other words, there has never been a better time to update the protection on your computer.

But watch out – while the servers that control Cryptolocker are out of action, it’s possible to be infected with it and not know. If you don’t keep your computer clean, then at the end of the two-week period, you could be in for a nasty surprise.


FBI struggles to seize 600,000 Bitcoins from alleged Silk Road founder | Technology | theguardian.com

FBI struggles to seize 600,000 Bitcoins from alleged Silk Road founder | Technology | theguardian.com.

Having seized 26,000 Bitcoins belonging to site users, authorities battle to control Ross Ulbricht’s personal wallet

This artist rendering shows Ross William Ulbricht appearing in Federal Court in San Francisco on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013.
This artist rendering shows alleged Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht appearing in federal court in San Francisco on 4 October. Photograph: Vicki Behringer/AP

The FBI has found that seizing an anonymous decentralised peer-to-peer currency was trickier than it seemed, following the Bureau’s bust of the international drugs marketplace, Silk Road.

When Ross Ulbricht, known as Dread Pirate Roberts to users of the site, was arrested last week, the FBI seized 26,000 Bitcoins belonging to Silk Road customers. But it also attempted, unsuccessfully, to claim the nearly 600,000 – thought to be worth around $80m – which Ulbricht himself is thought to be holding.

Bitcoin is a digital currency based on a methods of cryptography similar to those used to protect confidential emails. Due to its decentralised nature – the currency does not rely on any centralised agency to process payments, instead relying on work done by users’ computers – it is popular for a number of fringe-legal and illegal uses. One of those uses was Silk Road, where Bitcoin was required for all transactions.