Obama calls for tougher legislation in State of the Union

President Obama has continued to position cyber-security as a legislative priority. In his State of the Union speech he urged Congress to help pass legislation that will improve data protection. It has also been reported that as part of a wider collaboration between the UK and US on cyber-security matters, the initial joint exercise will test UK banks and other financial service companies later this year. UK intelligence and security services GCHQ and MI5 will join the US National Security Agency and FBI in a new "joint cyber cell".

Lizard Squads cyberattack service attacked

Lizard Stresser, the cyberattack-for-hire service that the hacking group Lizard Squad recently launched, faced an attack itself. The breach exposed the service's customer database showing that it attracted more than 14,200 registered users, however only a few hundred appear to have funded accounts. The database was, ironically, stored in plain text, leaving the clients as vulnerable as the sites they paid to attack.

Thousands of French websites hit by cyber-attacks

There have been reports of nearly 20,000 hacking incidents in France last weekend, a number of which were French media websites, including the sites of Le Parisian, Marianne and 20 Minutes. According to Arnaud Coustilliere, head of cyber-defence for the French military, "this is the first time that a country has been faced with such a large wave". The majority of the websites were back up within an hour.

Google, Viacom win dismissal of lawsuit over children's web privacy

Google Inc and Viacom Inc have succeeded in obtaining the dismissal of a US wide privacy lawsuit accusing them of illegally tracking the online activity of children in order to send targeted advertising. On Tuesday, the U.S. District Judge found no evidence showing that the companies could identify which children streamed specific videos or played specific video games, as opposed to identifying children generally. He added that the plaintiffs had "identified conduct that may be worthy of further legislative and executive attention".

DNC fake exposed in Singapore

On the discovery of a company masquerading as the Do Not Call Registry, the Singapore Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) has issued a statement saying it has taken action against DNC Register Pte Ltd. It has asked the Singapore Network Information Centre to delete the domains used by the company. The PDPC also reminded companies that they are required to check phone numbers against the DNC Registry, not third parties.

World Economic Forum issues cyber threats report

To coincide with Davos 2015, the World Economic Forum has issued a report this week detailing the rapid expansion of cyber threats, the need for cyber risk management and suggesting a "path forward". The report warns that failing to improve cyber-security could cost the global economy USD 3 trillion. Although it recognises that there is no "silver bullet", the report urges companies to sign up to a new "framework" for assessing the risk of an attack.