The Gaurdian

Australian National University hit by huge data breach

Guardian Security - Mon, 06/03/2019 - 10:07pm

Vice-chancellor says hack involved personal and payroll details going back 19 years

The Australian National University is in damage control after discovering a major data breach a fortnight ago in which a “significant” amount of staff and student information was accessed by a “sophisticated operator”.

In a message to staff and students, vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt said in late 2018 a someone illegally accessed the university’s systems.

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The Guardian view on cybercrime: the law must be enforced | Editorial

Guardian Security - Mon, 06/03/2019 - 1:42pm
Governments and police must take crime on the internet seriously. It is where we all live now

About half of all property crime in the developed world now takes place online. When so much of our lives, and almost all of our money, have been digitised, this is not surprising – but it has some surprising consequences. For one thing, the decline in reported property crimes trumpeted by successive British governments between 2005 and 2015 turns out to have been an illusion. Because banks were not required to report fraud to the police after 2005, they often didn’t. It would have made both banks and police look bad to have all that crime known and nothing done about it. The cost of the resulting ignorance was paid by the rest of government, and by the public, too, deprived of accurate and reliable knowledge. Since then, the total number of property crimes reported has risen from about 6m to 11m a year as the figures have taken computerised crime into account.

The indirect costs to society are very much higher than the hundreds of millions that individuals lose. One example is the proliferation of plagiarism software online, which developed an entire industry in poor, English-speaking countries like Kenya, serving idle or ignorant students in England and North America. The effort required by schools and universities to guard against such fraud has been considerable, and its cost entirely disproportionate to the gains made by the perpetrators.

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Saudi Arabia accused of hacking London-based dissident

Guardian Security - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 2:00pm

Kingdom targeted satirist Ghanem Almasarir with Israeli malware, letter of claim alleges

Saudi Arabia has been accused of launching a sophisticated hacking attack against a prominent dissident in London who is allegedly living under police protection, according to a letter of claim that has been sent to the kingdom and seen by the Guardian.

The letter of claim, which was delivered to the Saudi embassy in London on Tuesday, was sent on behalf of the Saudi satirist Ghanem Almasarir, and alleges he was targeted by Saudi Arabia with malware developed by the NSO Group, the controversial Israeli surveillance company.

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George Orwell’s dystopia is with us today | Letters

Guardian Security - Sun, 05/26/2019 - 12:59am
As several Observer stories reveal, individuals are being watched and scrutinised just as the author predicted

Your article on George Orwell’s prescient novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, coincided with several stories showing that his dystopia is upon us (“Big Brother’s long shadow”, New Review). From tales of people being fined for not showing their face (Kenan Malik, Comment) to accounts of remote surveillance via mobile phones (John Naughton, New Review), it seems we are always under observation. Rachel Cooke’s dispiriting experience in New York, being forced to order her meal via a machine (Observer Food Monthly) is a further sign of the dehumanisation taking place in commerce and at work.

Capital is using technology to eliminate labour and government is using it to control behaviour. Absent a major political movement against this threat, our only choice is to resist as individuals: never shop online, always pay cash, give up Google maps. How many of us are ready to trade convenience for freedom?
Antony Crossley
Chobham, Surrey

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Sajid Javid announces overhaul of espionage and treason laws

Guardian Security - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 7:58am

New bill needed to tackle hostile activity by Russia and others, says home secretary

Hostile state actors – spies, assassins or hackers directed by the government of another country – are to be targeted by refreshed espionage and treason laws, the home secretary has announced.

In a speech to security officials in central London, Sajid Javid revealed plans to publish a new espionage bill to tackle increased hostile state activity from countries including but not limited to Russia.

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