Last year, Privacy International legally challenged the UK government for information on its hacking powers via GHCQ. The request was based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden which alleged state-sponsored hacking. Not on the part of governments like the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, but on the part of western governments.
The most shocking part of the revelations was that this hacking was done without any terrorist or criminal probable cause. Months later they received a response from government lawyers and later decided to publish it. The document outlines the ways in which it felt GHCQ’s hacking was legal and necessary. It also reveals that the data collection and hacking of any device, anywhere did not only affect British citizens. Citizens anywhere should be concerned about the breadth of this program.
Hacking is Okay for “Legitimate Purposes”
From the court document given to Privacy International:
CNE operations vary in complexity. At the lower end of the scale, an individual may use someone’s login credentials to gain access to information. More complex operations may involve exploiting vulnerabilities in software in order to gain control of devices or networks to remotely extract information, monitor the user of the device or take control of the device or network. These types of operations can be carried out illegally by hackers or criminals. In limited and carefully controlled circumstances, and for legitimate purposes, these types of operations may also be carried out lawfully by certain public authorities.
It then outlines circumstances under which hacking is authorized:
(a) the wanted communications are not in the course of their transmission and cannot therefore be intercepted;
(b) there is no communications service provider on whom a warrant can be served to acquire particular communications; or
(c) a more comprehensive set of the target’s communications or data of intelligence interest is required than can be obtained through other means.
Neither Confirmed Nor Denied
The government then makes an amazing leap, utilizing a legal loophole which allows it to not perjure itself, previously outlined in the document (read the document for full details).
… whilst the specific factual allegations which are made in these proceedings are neither confirmed nor denied for the reasons set out above, it is denied that GCHQ is engaged in any unlawful and indiscriminate mass surveillance activities. Such activities are clearly precluded by the clear statutory regime which governs GCHQ’s activities as set out in detail below.
But last month, in a landmark ruling, a UK judge decided that this warrantless search of property and communications was illegal. Now, anyone in the world can inquire as to whether they were personally spied on. Whether or not the government agency will choose to tell the truth is far from certain, but the move on the part of the judge to take Privacy International’s side is certainly an interesting development for those who value privacy.
For a more entertaining rundown of the situation, watch the video below.
Uber Is Paying Hackers to Keep Quiet
Uber Technologies Inc. has reportedly paid hackers to delete scores of private data stolen from the company in a security breach that was concealed for over a year. The revelation provides further confirmation that, when it comes to cyber security, crime does pay.
Massive Data Breach
According to Bloomberg Technology, hackers retrieved the personal data of 57 million Uber customers and drivers at some point last year. Nobody heard about it because the rideshare company paid the hackers $100,000 to keep quiet. A purge at the front office of Uber also ensured that the massive cyber breach was kept under wraps.
The compromised data was from October 2016 and included the names, phone numbers and addressed of 50 million Uber riders globally. About seven million drivers had their personal information accessed as well.
At the time of the cyber attack, Uber was inundated with a slew of legal issues stemming from alleged privacy violations. Rather than shine even more negative spotlight on the company, Uber executives decided to pay hackers to stay quiet.
“None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,” Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over as CEO in September, said in a statement that was published by Bloomberg. “We are changing the way we do business.”
Hackers have done a masterful job infiltrating companies and governments in recent years. As a reminder, recent cyber attacks levied against Yahoo!, Target Corp and Equifax Inc. dwarf Uber’s 57 million compromised accounts.
Various reports indicate that cyber attacks are bleeding the global economy dry. One report, issued by the World Economic Forum, suggests that cyber crime cost the world economy $445 billion in 2016. If cyber crime were its own market cap, it would exceed Microsoft Inc., Facebook Inc. and ExxonMobil Corp
The Fall of Uber?
Uber revolutionized the ride-hailing business over the span of seven years by giving more power to the consumer. Several missteps later, the company finds itself in legal hot water, with its future appearing less certain than it did just one year ago.
The rideshare company faces at least five U.S. probes ranging from bribes to illicit software and right up to unethical pricing schemes. According to another Bloomberg report, Uber is under investigation for violating price transparency regulations, not to mention the alleged theft of documents for Google’s autonomous cars.
Some governments are sensing weakness in the ride-hailing service, and are moving toward banning the Uber app entirely. London is the most prominent example of a city that has taken definitive steps to outlaw the service over a “lack of corporate responsibility.”
Even with its legal troubles, Uber is a revolutionary technology that has influenced a bevy of other innovations aimed at improving the human experience.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.
The Pirate Bay is Hijacking PCs to Stealth-Mine Cryptocurrency
For the second time in as many months, The Pirate Bay has been caught mining cryptocurrency on your computer without consent. The torrent platform was actually test-driving cryptocurrency mining in your browser – no doubt a lucrative revenue stream.
The Pirates Are At It Again
The news was later confirmed by Bleeping Computer, which reported that,”The Pirate Bay, the internet’s largest torrent portal, is back at running a cryptocurrency miner after it previously ran a short test in mid-September.”
Estimates indicate that the scheme has earned the pirates a total of $43,000 over a three-week period.
Users had no way to opt their computers out of being test-driven by the torrent network. Back in September, The Pirate Bay got away by telling people it was just a test. The site’s owners cannot use the same excuse this time around.
CoinHive advises websites to let their visitors know their browser is being used to mine cryptocurrency.
“We’re a bit saddened to see that some of our customers integrate CoinHive into their pages without disclosing to their users what’s going on, let alone asking for their permission,” the company said.
The good news is most ad-blockers and antivirus programs will block CoinHive, given its recent abuses. That means not all visitors of The Pirate Pay were being used as a conduit for mining Monero.
Monero Joins Global Crypto Rally
The value of Monero (XMR) shot up nearly 8% on Friday, and was last seen trading at $94.17. With more than 15.2 million XMR tokens in circulation, the total market cap for Monero is $1.4 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That’s enough for ninth on the global cryptocurrency list.
Twelve cryptos have now crossed the $1 billion valuation mark. A handful of others have made their way north of $500 million.
Ethereum Notches Two-Month High as Bitcoin Offspring Triggers Volatility
Digital currency Ethereum climbed to a two-month high on Monday, taking some of the heat off Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, which have slumped since the weekend.
Ethereum Forges Higher Path
Concerns over Bitcoin created a favourable tailwind for Ethereum (ETH/USD), which is the world’s No. 2 digital currency by total assets. Ether’s price topped $340.00 on Monday and later settled at $323.54. That was the highest since June 20.
At its peak, ether was up 10% on the day and 70% for the month of August.
The ETH/USD was last down 2.2% at $315.02, according to Bitfinex. Prices are due for a brisk recovery, based on the daily momentum indicators.
Fractured Bitcoin Community
Bitcoin and its offshoot, Bitcoin Cash, retreated on Monday following a volatile weekend. The BTC/USD slumped at the start of the week and was down more than 3% on Tuesday, with prices falling below $3,900.00. Just last week, Bitcoin was trading at new records near $4,500.00.
Bitcoin Cash, which emerged after the Aug. 1 hard fork, climbed to new records on Saturday, but has been in free-fall ever since. The BTH was down another 20% on Tuesday to $594.49, according to CoinMarketCap. Its total market value has dropped by several billion over the past two days.
Analysts say that a “fractured” Bitcoin community has made Ethereum a more attractive bet this week. The ether token has shown remarkable poise over the past seven days, despite trading well shy of a new record.
Other drivers behind Ethereum’s advance are steady demand from South Korean investors and growing confidence in a smooth upgrade for the the ETH network. The upgrade, which has been dubbed “Metropolis,” is expected in the next several weeks. Its key benefits include tighter transaction privacy and greater efficiency.
Ethereum Prices Unaffected by ICO Heist
Fin-tech developer Enigma was on the receiving end of a cyber-heist on Monday after hackers took over the company’s website, mailing list and instant messaging platforms. The hack occurred three weeks before Enigma’s planned Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for September 11.
In addition to defacing the company’s website, the hackers pushed a special “pre-sale” ahead of the ICO. While many users realized it was a scam, 1,492 ether tokens – valued at $495,000 – were directed into the hackers’ cryptocurrency wallet by unsuspecting backers.
The irony in all this is that Engima is a cryptography company that prides itself on top-notch security protocols. The company issued a statement that its servers had not been compromised.
- Bitcoin Plunges $2,000 on Eve of Futures Contract
- Long-Term Cryptocurrency Analysis: Look Out Below?
- Trade Recommendation: Zcash
- Bitcoin Futures Officially Launch on CBOE
- Trade Recommendation: Power Ledger (POWR)
- Long-Term Analysis of the Silver Market
- A Beginner’s Guide to Ethereum: Buy Ether No...
- Asian Market Update – Monday: Bitcoin surges after futures debut; Asian stocks higher on improved sentiment December 11, 2017
- Ethereum’s Pullback from Record Territory Continues as CryptoKittes Effect Wears Thin December 11, 2017
- Bitcoin Futures Officially Launch on CBOE December 11, 2017
- Long-Term Analysis of the Silver Market December 10, 2017
- ICO Analysis: Lendoit December 10, 2017
- Trade Recommendation: USDJPY December 10, 2017
- Trade Recommendation: Zcash December 10, 2017
- Bitcoin Plunges $2,000 on Eve of Futures Contract December 10, 2017
- Trade Recommendation: Power Ledger (POWR) December 10, 2017
- Long-Term Cryptocurrency Analysis: Look Out Below? December 10, 2017
A part of CCN
Analysis1 week ago
Long-Term Cryptocurrency Analysis: A Major Top Could Be In
Altcoins1 week ago
IOTA Doing Big Things as Microsoft Partnership Announced
Recommendations3 days ago
Trade Recommendation: Litecoin
Cryptocurrencies7 days ago
Trade Recommendation: Neo
ICO1 week ago
ICO Analysis: NAGA
Analysis6 days ago
$100 Litecoin Looks Poised for Greater Upside
Analysis1 day ago
Long-Term Cryptocurrency Analysis: Look Out Below?
Cryptocurrencies1 week ago
Trade Recommendation: Zcash