Last week, Albert Gonzalez, the “brains” behind the TJX hack , Heartland Payment Systems, 7-Eleven and many other notable cybercrimes was sentenced to 20 years. Part of his punishment is the forfit of $1m he buried in his parents garden, a condo in Miami, a car, diamond ring and several expensive watches (Gonzalez was reported to have stolen $200m by some sources, much of which was returned).
The sentence was severe because some of the attacks were carried out while Gonzalez was working as a Secret Service informant, earning $75k per year.
You can read more on the BBC News website.
Recently Jordan Robertson reported that serious flaws had been found in so-called “Smart” power meters which are being rolled out slowly by the utilities companies.
These meters, designed to help individuals and companies more effectively manage their electricity usage were found to have serious security flaws which could allow hackers not only to tamper with your supply, a new twist on the “Denial of Service” attack, but could also be used to fool the utility provider into thinking you’re using more power than you actually are.
Perhaps uniquely, the French legal system has the means to ban people from the internet in what’s known as the “Three Strikes Law”. Passed in September 2009, it allows for a new government agency, HADOPI ( The Haute Autorite pour la Diffusion des Oeuvres et la Protection des droits sur internet, or Hight Authority fro the Diffiusion of Works and the Protection of Rights on the internet) to forcefully have individuals who flout copyright laws disconnected, and even take measures against people with “insecure connections” who allow them to be used in this manner. Read more…
This week, the German Tax Authorities opened cases on 1,100 suspected tax evaders thanks to information purchased from a “hacker”. As reported on BusinessWeek and other sites, the hacker offered a CD of information of German nationals with “secret” Swiss bank accounts managed by Credit Suisse to the German authorities, who quickly snapped it up, apparently for the price of 2.5 million euros.
Reports indicate that around 400 million euros of unpaid taxes could be reclaimed. Read more…
Just a reminder that tomorrow I will be speaking at the CSO Executive Seminar at the Hilton, Tysons Corner VA – http://public.cxo.com/conferences/index.html?conferenceID=64. The topic will be “5 practical steps for data protection”. I don’t expect it to be a McAfee sales push, I’ll be talking about technologies in general.
If you’re a reader of my blog(s) please come and say hello.