Security

Maija Palmer

As UK companies scramble to comply with new laws requiring them to disclose and get permission for all the cookies they use, a new study has found that more than two thirds of all the bits of tracker code on websites are from third parties. Which means they are essentially for delivering targeted advertising or analysing behaviour across the website.

It helps explain why compliance with the new cookie laws has been so slow and difficult for many companies. It is very likely they don’t want to broadcast to the world just how many different organisations are grabbing data about their customers.  Read more

Last month Mark Thompson, the BBC’s director-general, pointed the finger at the Iranian authorities for allegedly intimidating employees at its Persian service.

Now the corporation’s chief is taking things a step further by accusing Iran of masterminding a “sophisticated cyber-attack” that involved jamming satellite feeds in an effort to wreak havoc with broadcasts into the country. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Apple appears to have acknowledged it needs to tighten up enforcement of its app guidelines following Path’s much-criticised uploading of users’ contacts to its servers without their knowledge.

“Apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines,” an Apple spokesman told the FT. Read more

A list of hacked private data belonging to 537 customers, posted anonymously on the internet on Friday led Dutch telecoms company KPN to shut down email access for two million clients for two days while it reinforced security, writes Matt Steinglass in Amsterdam.
But it soon turned out that the hacked data didn’t come from KPN at all; it came from an online baby-products store called Baby-Dump (baby-dump.nl).

 Read more

Maija Palmer

Kaspersky Labs is one of a group of European IT security companies that has been talking about floating since at least 2007. But Eugene Kaspersky, the company’s founder and majority shareholder, has now announced the company is planning to stay private after all.

He is buying back the 20 per cent stake General Atlantic bought in the company a year ago, and preserving all the freedom and flexibility that unlisted status affords. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Anonymous, the amorphous hacktivist collective, has claimed its “largest attack ever” on 10 music industry and government websites in retaliation for Thursday’s shutdown of MegaUploadRead more

Tim Bradshaw

Tech news from around the web:

Yahoo‘s new chief executive Scott Thompson has a long to-do list waiting for him at the troubled internet company, according to several reports. Bloomberg suggests that Yahoo is interested in acquiring the Weather Channel, WebMD and AutoTrader.com, according to an anonymous source, as part of a “tax-efficient asset swap” with Alibaba and Softbank. Read more

Cyberthieves have cost US companies and their banks more than $15bn in the past five years, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found in a recent study.

Yet regulators say banks could have prevented most of the crime if available security software had been put in place. New US guidelines directing all banks to increase security came into effect this week, designed especially to help protect commercial accounts. But as 2011 drew to a close they had not yet fully sunk in or convinced banks to raise the bar against criminals as needed, regulators warn.

 Read more

Maija Palmer

Chaos Computer ClubKarsten Nohl, the celebrity mobile cryptography expert, has been at it again. Two years ago he caused a stir by showing that the secret code that protects GSM mobile handsets was easy to crack, leaving phone calls open to interception by third parties.

This year, he is due to show that handsets can also be hijacked to make unauthorised calls and send text messages, running up huge bills without their owners’ knowledge. GSM networks, which are vulnerable to this flaw, are used by around 80 per cent of the world’s mobile users. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Research In Motion, the company behind the BlackBerry smartphone, is rolling out a new system that aims to help its corporate customers maintain and manage the security of their employees’ BlackBerrys as well as rival devices such as the iPhone, according to The Wall Street Journal. The new system, the first from RIM to incorporate competitors’ products, is seen as a tacit acknowledgment that an increasing number of employees are calling on their employers to allow work e-mails to be pushed to smartphones other than the Blackberry. Read more