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WSJ: U.S. Companies Helped Censor Internet in Middle East

When the Middle East erupted in revolution earlier this year, many regimes responded to the upheaval by ramping up their online censorship efforts. And, according to the Wall Street Journal, a lot of them had help from American software companies. Throughout the region, governments have been using technologies and tools developed by U.S. firms to clamp down on the Web. McAfee reportedly...

Hacker Goes to Prison for Broadcasting Porn on Moscow Billboard

Last year, a hacker named Igor Blinnikov infiltrated a video billboard, and used it to broadcast porn above a busy road in Moscow. Though the 40-year-old prankster eventually confessed to the crime, calling it a "bad joke," he wasn't able to avoid his legal comeuppance. Today, Blinnikov was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Blinnikov reportedly hijacked the billboard from the comfort of his...

E.U. Facing Cyberattack as Summit Approaches

The E.U. is facing a cyber-attack of unprecedented proportions, a spokesman for the European Commission said yesterday. The attack began earlier this week, as the Commission prepared for a summit during which a military response in Libya, among other topics, is expected to be discussed. This ain't exactly the E.U.'s first time at the cyber-attack rodeo; E.U. computers are attacked frequently....

China Ramps Up Online Censorship, To No One's Surprise

China has always maintained tight control over what its citizens read and write online. But according to the New York Times, the Leviathan of governmental censorship seems to be digging its tentacles even deeper into the lives of mainland Web surfers. In the wake of the Middle East protests, the Chinese regime has only ratcheted up its surveillance and censorship of electronic communications...

Facebook Kicks Out 20,000 Underage Users Every Day, Privacy Chief Claims

It's no secret that Facebook has plenty of underage users, but, according to a report from the Daily Telegraph, the social network is doing its best to keep them out. Facebook's chief privacy adviser, Mozelle Thompson, confirmed yesterday that the site bans about 20,000 underage users every day, as part of its campaign to tighten its 13-and-older age limit. Speaking to a Parliamentary...

'GhostExodus' Hacker Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison

In June 2009, federal authorities arrested William McGraw (alias "GhostExodus") on charges of hacking into 14 computers at W.B. Carrell Memorial Clinic in Dallas, where he worked as a security guard. According to prosecutors, McGraw gained access to the network as part of his plot to attack Anonymous on or before the Fourth of July -- which he called "Devil's Day." His master plan, however,...

British Hacker Gets Two Years for Laundering Zynga Credits

Earlier today, a British hacker was sentenced to two years in prison for five counts of hacking and theft. Ashley Mitchell, 29, hacked into Zynga (the game giant behind 'FarmVille' and 'Texas HoldEm Poker'), stole more than $11 million in credits, and laundered a third of them through Facebook. There are some potentially interesting ramifications to this case. The court ignored the defense's...

FBI Investigating Hacking Ring Responsible for Swiping Nude Celeb Pics

It ain't a nice time to be a female star. The FBI is investigating a hacking ring it believes is responsible for swiping "sensitive" material from the e-mail accounts and phones of dozens of stars. According to TMZ, 50 celebrities (including Selena Gomez, Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson) have been targeted, with nude photos and embarrassing videos allegedly stolen. Supposedly, all the...

'Profile Views' Scam Hits Twitter, Affecting Thousands of Users

A scam that seems tailor-made for Facebook is worming its way across Twitter. According to Sophos, thousands of Twitter users have already fallen for the scam, which is luring people in with tweets that read: "My profile was viewed ### times JUST TODAY! Click here to see how many views you got! http://tiny.cc/" Clicking on the link will prompt you to grant account access to a rogue...

Corporate Mainstay SecureID Suffers a Sophisticated Security Breach

RSA, the company behind the tiny SecureID tokens that have been a mainstay of corporate and government offices for decades, suffered a major security breach on Thursday, which could have compromised many of the company's products. For those unfamiliar with SecureID, it's a multi-factor identification system that requires users to enter a constantly changing key displayed on a token unique to...

Taliban Uses Texts as Latest Intimidation Move

The Taliban has begun sending gruesome "night letters" -- violent videos meant to intimidate and control Afghans -- en masse via SMS. Historically written threats posted on buildings, night letters have long been a successful means of coercion by the Taliban. The video form has cropped up in the last couple of years on Facebook and YouTube, and tends toward the extreme, such as interviews of...

Rustock Botnet Reportedly Taken Down, as Spam Volumes Plummet

Krebs on Security is reporting that a huge drop in the volume of e-mail spam circulating worldwide on Wednesday was the result of a planned takedown of the Rustock botnet, which, at one point, was the most prolific purveyor of spam in the entire world. According to the Composite Spam Blocklist (CBL), which measures global spam volumes, Rustock spam (usually ads for online pharmacies and male...

U.S. Not Adequately Prepared To Meet Cyber Attacks, Says General

Despite improvements made in recent years, the U.S. is still highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks, the head of the military's cyber-forces warned yesterday. "To put it bluntly, we are very thin, and a crisis would quickly stress our cyber forces," General Keith Alexander told the House Armed Services Committee. Alexander noted that the Pentagon is working on building up its network defenses,...

RIM: Disable JavaScript on Your BlackBerry for Security

Research in Motion is urging BlackBerry users to disable JavaScript on their smartphones after a major vulnerability was exposed at this year's Pwn2Own hacker challenge. According to the company, the security hole could allow a hacker to gain access to the device's data if a user stumbles upon any "maliciously designed" websites. The vulnerability only exposes data stored on a user's media card...

Beware Scammers Offering Shares in Facebook, Government Warns

Facebook has yet to go public, and it's still unclear whether it even will. But that hasn't stopped some con artists from using the specter of a Facebook IPO to rip off gullible investors. The scams are popping up, in various forms, across YouTube and the blogosphere. But they all follow the same general formula: visitors are offered the chance to invest in Facebook and other social media...