Russian Linked To Theft of 160m Credit Cards Appears in US Court

  In-brief: Vladimir Drinkman, 34, of Moscow, Russia, was arraigned in District Court in New Jersey on Tuesday. He is linked to a string of attacks that stole credit card information on more than 100 million people, according to a statement by the Department of Justice. 

Trial Balloon: Will Obama’s Cyber Proposals Sink or Fly?

In-brief: President Obama is putting cyber security at the top of his agenda for the State of the Union Address on Tuesday. But security experts are warning that the proposed laws will complicate many aspects of their work in the name of fighting hackers. U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver his annual State of the Union address to the U.S. Congress on Tuesday. A raft of new proposals to strengthen the nation’s cyber security are at the top of his agenda. As the address draws near, however, information security professionals are warning that many of the President’s proposals will have a chilling effect on their work, using the cause of fighting hackers criminalizing activities that are essential to investigating their crimes. The President’s proposals have been outlined in a series of releases and speeches by the President in recent weeks, including an address at the Federal Trade Commission on protecting consumers’ […]

FBI Mules

FBI Seizes Dozens of Online ‘Dark Markets’

The news yesterday was that the FBI arrested a 26 year-old San Francisco man responsible for operating Silk Road 2.0 – an anonymous, online marketplace for illicit goods. The news on Friday is that Silk Road was just the tip of the iceberg. On Friday, the FBI and announced that it has seized dozens of other so-called “dark market” websites offering a range of illegal goods and services for sale on the “Tor” network. The coordinated take downs are the “largest law enforcement action to date against criminal websites operating on the ‘Tor’ network,” the FBI said in a statement. “We shut down the original Silk Road website and now we have shut down its replacement, as well as multiple other ‘dark market’ sites allegedly offering all manner of illicit goods and services, from firearms to computer hacking,” said  Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara The take-downs were part of a coordinated law enforcement action […]

FTC Wants To Be Top Cop On Geolocation

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is asking Congress to make it the chief rule maker and enforcer of policies for the collection and sharing of geolocation information, according to testimony this week. Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection, told the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee for Privacy, Technology that the Commission would like to see changes to the wording of the Location Privacy Protection Act of 2014 (LPPA), draft legislation designed to spell out consumer protections pertaining to the location data. Rich said that the FTC, as the U.S. Government’s leading privacy enforcement agency, should be given rule making and enforcement authority for the civil provisions of the LPPA. The current draft of the law instead gives that authority to the Department of Justice (DOJ).   The LPPA legislation (PDF) was proposed in March by Sen. Al Franken, and co-sponsored by Senators Coons (D-DE) and Warren (D-MA). It proposes updating the Electronic Communications […]


DARPA Competition Seeks Autonomous Systems for Cyber Defense

We all know that ‘layer 8’ – humans – are the biggest attack surface in any IT environment. Companies can invest millions to harden their networks and endpoints. But all attackers have to do is convince one user to open a fake credit card bill for $20,000 or click a “You won’t believe this video!” link on Facebook and its game over. Our human failings came into the spotlight, most recently, with the breach at Target. According to news reports, the retailer had advanced threat detection software by FireEye deployed that actually alerted staff to some of the malicious activity that signaled the start of that (epic) hack.  Alas, Target’s IT staff in the U.S. dismissed the alerts, which were reported by a team working out of Bangalore, India. The result: 40 million credit card numbers were pilfered from Target’s network. That may be why the U.S. Department of Defense’s advanced […]