Week 7 News Digest

What we know about the bank hacking ring—and who’s behind it

February 16, 2015


Hackers managed to steal up to one billion dollars from banks in Russia, Germany, China, and the Ukraine. They were able to hack ATMs in a way that allowed them to control them from a distance. Hackers were able to get deep enough into banks’ computer systems that they were able to get client’s email address. They sent emails pretending to be the bank, that when opened, installed malware on the computers. They were then able to transfer money from client accounts to their own private accounts. The hackers are said to be from Russia, China, and some parts of Eastern Europe.


Breach index: Mega breaches, rise in identity theft mark 2014

February 13, 2015


2014 was the year for data breaches with reports showing that more than one million records were compromised. 54% of those breaches were identity theft breaches. The amount of identity theft breaches have increased by 20% since 2013. Tsion Gonen, vice president of strategy for identity and data protection at Gelmato’s Breach Level Index, believes that the reason identity theft has increased and credit card has decreased is because attackers are looking for the most valuable information that they can piece together to use later on. Gonen also says that financial organizations have helped to decrease the amount of credit card theft because they have cut down opportunity by watching closer for fraud alert.


UK admits unlawfully monitoring legally privileged communications

February 18, 2015


On Wednesday, February 18, 2015, it was uncovered that UK intelligence agencies have been monitoring emails and other communications between lawyers and their clients. Communications between lawyers and their clients had a special protected status under UK law, but was clearly violated by agencies such as MI6. This revelation is evidence that the policies that were in place as of January 2010 have not been met. Intelligence agencies involved have admitted to acting unlawfully and are now to work with the interception of communications commissioner in order to make sure that the policies protect human rights and are observed.


The Greatest SIM Heist: How spies stole the keys to the encryption castle

February 19, 2015


Members of the NSA and Britain’s GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) hacked into Gemalto, the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world. They stole encryption keys that would allow them to monitor communication without the approval of the companies or foreign governments. The GCHQ also says that they are able to manipulate the billing services of cellular companies. This ability would allow them to suppress charges, allowing them to keep their actions secret. The GCHQ is also able to decrypt data and voice communications between cell companies and their clients. There is an outcry from many, claiming that this is not something that secret services should be doing.


AT&T is putting a price on privacy. That is outrageous

February 20, 2015


AT&T has plans to track and sell users’ Internet activity. This would include the websites that customers are visiting, the duration of their visit, search history, and ads that you see and follow. They would sell this activity to businesses to aid them in providing targeted advertising. This cannot be avoided through using the privacy setting. If a customer wished to opt-out of this system, they would have to pay a $29 fee each month. This extra charge is controversial because it is pushing privacy to something that is selective. Putting a cost on privacy takes a way the rights of people that cannot afford it but that should be allowed it.