European Bank Hit by ‘Cyber Theft’

A major European bank was hit in January with a cyber attack which saw EUR 500,000 stolen from  customers’ accounts, according to an online security firm. Kaspersky Lab said it detected a server  which was being used to co-ordinate an attack that targeted almost 200 customers and stole half a  million euros in the space of just a week. Kaspersky Lab refused to identify the bank, but informed  authorities of the apparent attack. It is believed that the majority of the victims were based in  Turkey and Italy. Despite being able to detect the server, Kaspersky said the criminals managed to  delete any evidence that could have been used to identify them.

US Hedge Fund loses millions in cyber attack

BAE Systems has revealed that a US hedge fund has lost millions of dollars over a two-month period  after hackers installed malware designed to steal trade secrets. It is thought that the hackers intercepted information on  high-speed trades which was   then relayed to external servers. BAE Systems suspect this could be  an example of a smaller company spying on a larger firm as the attack began with a simple phishing  email on an employee of the unnamed hedge fund, however the hackers are yet to be caught.

FBI makes hacker arrest

Timothy French, an alleged ‘NullCrew’ member has been charged with conspiracy to commit computer  fraud and abuse for his alleged role in 5 cyber attacks and now faces a maximum of 10 years in jail and a USD 250,000 fine.  The cyber attacks date back to July 2013 with the victims including a large Canadian  telecommunications company, a large mass media communications company and two unnamed universities.  Information allegedly stolen in each of the attacks included thousands of usernames and passwords  which were subsequently posted on the internet. French will be prosecuted on an unscheduled date in  the Chicago US District Court.

Cyber attacks could cost oil industry billions

A computer-based attack on North Sea oil and gas production is now just a matter of time, and  Cheryl Martin, the director for UK cyber security at CGI Group has warned that firms must be ready to defend themselves. The warning  comes after a global survey of  oil and gas firms by Price Waterhouse Coopers found that  information security budgets averaged GBP 5 million in 2013 to combat the rising threat from  computer attacks and security breaches. The report also revealed that there has been a 179% rise in  the number of reported cyber-attacks on oil and gas companies, which soared above 6,500 cases last  year.

ECJ to rule on NSA Facebook data privacy challenge

The European Court of Justice is to rule on a case brought by Austrian privacy campaigner Max  Schrem, which seeks to force data protection authorities to investigate allegations that Facebook passes personal data to the US  National Security Agency. Schrem  took his case to the High Court in Dublin after Ireland’s Data  Protection Commissioner (‘DPC’) dismissed his application for an audit of the data Schrem alleges  Facebook passes to the NSA. The ECJ has been asked to consider whether Ireland’s DPC is bound by  the Safe Harbour agreement and also on whether an investigation can be launched in Ireland in  response to Schrem’s revelations.

US email privacy bill gathers majority support

A bill to force government agencies to get warrants before they access the emails of people under  investigation has advanced in the US House of Representatives after a majority of lawmakers signed on as co-sponsors. Large tech  companies such as Google are amongst the advocates of the reform and the White House has also  endorsed efforts to rewrite the old law. Currently, government investigators can access emails with  a subpoena which is easier to obtain than a warrant, however, technology companies have refused to  disclose messages without a warrant and so the reform will be welcomed by most.

Medtronic suffers cyber attack

The world’s largest stand-alone medical device maker, has suffered a cyber attack and has  consequently admitted to losing patient records in separate incidents last year. Medtronic discovered an unauthorised intrusion of their  systems believed to have originated from hackers in Asia. The company have stated that the hackers  did not breach any databases that store patient information, but disclosed that in a separate  incident it had lost an undisclosed number of patient records from its diabetes business unit. It  was not known what type of information was contained in the patient records lost and company  officials have failed to provide comment.

Google creates another privacy panic

Google-owned Nest’s acquisition of Dropcam for USD 555 million has triggered privacy concerns. The  acquisition aims to extend the search company’s control over the home environment even further by allowing users to “check in”  on their houses even when they are not in the area. With Dropcam, wirelessly controlled cameras can  be fitted in users’ houses accessible on either Android  or iOS devices. Nest founder, Matt Rogers  has stated that all security and privacy issues will be addressed and that the new service would not include any advertising, which should help calm fears that it could be baiting users to  get advertisers on board. However, privacy concerns are likely to continue as technology increasingly intertwines with daily living.