For most people talk of computer code elicits an almighty yawn, it’s the realm of geeks. But code bugs are responsible for some terrible events and even the innocuous, ubiquitous and irrepressibly popular emojis have been recently been exposed as potential carriers of bad things.
Hacktivist collective Anonymous has set about taking down jihadi websites and accounts, ironically putting it on the same side as European governments. But many Islamic fundamentalists are socially media savvy and have on Twitter for example, created a web of interlinking accounts to protect themselves. Is a cyber-war brewing and does Anonymous have the collective will to pursue its aims long after the atrocities of recent weeks have dropped out of the headlines?
Bitstamp, a trusted bitcoin exchange, has been hacked to the tune of over £3 million. ‘Don’t worry,’ says the company, it’s only a fraction of what it holds in its reserves. It’s also the latest in a long line of bitcoin hacks.
Another bitcoin exchange has been hacked with the theft of about £3.4 million in virtual currency. This time it was Bitstamp, one of the largest and most trusted of bitcoin exchanges.
Amid the gossip, fury and diplomatic activity over the Sony hack a few important points have been overlooked; thousands of employees had their personal information posted online proving that many organisations can’t be trusted to provide security and cyber actions by nation states are here to stay accompanied by ever louder cries of denial.
Enormous online data loss drives a huge underground industry in phishing and the sale of personal data. It fuels cybercrime and has given rise to many websites on the dark web that trade in personal data. It provides hackers with a reason for being and stokes the fires of nefarious online behaviour. And it is happening with alarming frequency.
Bet you didn’t know that according to Wikipedia Halloween is a Christian feast influenced by Celtic harvest festivals with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic Samhain. Thought so. But does it matter? Today Halloween is great fun for children… and hackers. Hackers? In the parlance it’s a calendar event that is used to slip all sorts of rogue malware beneath the radar. But this Halloween it’s eerily quiet on the hacking front, which begs the question, what’s cooking in the cyber crime cauldron?
National Express is one of the largest transport companies in the UK. Listed on the FTSE, its coaches are a familiar sight on motorways with about 550 every day travelling close to 1,000 destinations. The company is a household name and it’s also rapidly expanding into bus and rail transport in new regions of the world.
The survey on mobile usage revealed just how concerned parents are and also at the same time how they sometimes feel powerless. For instance, stranger danger is the #1 concern with parents expressing understandable anxiety about their children being ‘courted’ by people they don’t know.
Just before Christmas last year the mother of all hacks took place in the US. Target, a retailer which sells everything from kid’s swings and outdoor flooring to curling irons and razor sharp HD smart TVs had its point of sales (PoS) systems hacked.
Information from up to 40 million customer’s credit and debit cards was lifted by hackers. Within days, this information started appearing on underground web sites which specialize in this type of information. Some of the credit card details were going for about $20 each. So worried were the banks that some of them even dived into the deep web and bought up the credit/debit card information to protect their reputation and their customer’s bank accounts.
In January, Neiman Marcus confirmed that it had suffered a data breach. Initially only a few details were released – all that was shared was that fraudulent charges were found on credit and debit cards of customers of Neiman Marcus. It did not reveal what types of data were stolen or how many customers were affected. A few weeks later, it was revealed that the data breach was much worse than originally thought. Neiman Marcus has since announced that cyber criminals had hacked into their system and had been operating within it for several months. Over 1.1 million credit and debit cards were affected.