Mirror Group Admits Editors Condoned & Encouraged Hacking for Years

As part of its settlement with Hugh Grant, the Mirror Group has made an apology and today admitted the following (the quote is from the court statement):

“A number of its senior employees, including executives, editors and journalists, condoned, encouraged or actively turned a blind eye to the widespread culture of unlawful information-gathering activities at all three of its newspapers for many years and actively sought to conceal its wrongdoing from its many victims of intrusion. its repeated and prolonged intrusions into innocent people’s lives over, in some instances, a decade, could have been prevented or interrupted. Instead, Trinity Mirror failed to properly investigate these disgraceful actions and/or to act sufficiently when the allegations of MGN’s journalists’ unlawful activities were first alleged and publicly emerged in 2006 and when the first inquiries into these wrongdoings were made.”


Awkward…

Pro-Erdogan Mass Twitter Hack

Last night several major Twitter accounts posted tweets showing a swastika symbol and the words “Nazi Germany” and “Nazi Holland” written in Turkish. Some accounts had their header image changed to the Turkish flag in what seems to be a mass hack by supporters of the Turkish autocrat Erdogan. Affected accounts include Forbes, Amnesty International, the European Parliament, Justin Bieber, Dortmund football club, the UK Department of Health and EyeSpy.MP. It seems the hack happened via a third-party app – possibly Twitter Counter – rather than the accounts themselves being compromised. Twitter Counter claimed in November that they had secured their accounts after a hack…

Russian Embassy Hosting Digital Hacking Event

embassy-invite

With all the controversy about Wikileaks and the hacking of Hillary and the DNC this invitation is certainly appropriate. Russia’s London Ambassador, Alexander Yakovenko, is really spoiling trolling us with his pre-Christmas cocktail party’s topic for discussion, “Hacking the Algorithm”. Maybe guests should leave their smartphones at home…

Sugar Taxers Hacked by Viagra Salesmen

Rather unfortunate for the joyless National Obesity Forum that, on the day they are plastered all over the national press whining about the PM blocking a sugar tax, their website appears to have been hacked by Viagra salesmen. Google is warning visiters to their website that “this site may be hacked“:

nof

Sure enough, a quick browse through their site reveals at least three webpages dedicated to flogging “cheap Viagra“:

obesity

At least they know their target audience…

National Crime Agency Hacked

The National Crime Agency’s website is down this morning – notorious hacking collective the Lizard Squad are claiming responsibility. Last week the NCA arrested six people for purchasing “Stressed Out” software from Lizard Squad that can be used to attack and shut down websites.

nca hack

No wonder they want help to break into your Snapchats, they can’t even keep their own website online…

UPDATE: The NCA are responding to the attack by throwing a pedantic tantrum.

NHS Hacked by ISIS

moroccanwolf

An NHS website called “Telling Stories” that details patients experiences of illness and treatment has been hacked. The individual or organistation behind the attack calls themselves “Moroccanwolf” and defaced the site with a screed blaming the USA and Israel for the crisis in Syria. Elsewhere on the internet Moroccanwolf claims to be an IS supporter.

Moroccanwolf” appears to be making a habit of hacking into NHS websites, defacing the Moorfields Eye Hospital website earlier this year; begging the question as to how equipped the NHS is to keep sensitive patient data safe. We should ISISt on better security…

Truth About MP’s Online Adultery Account

ashley madison michelle

Following the revelation that an email address belonging to SNP MP Michelle Thomson was used by somebody to sign up to adultery website Ashley Madison, Guido asked a highly trained data monkey – Jeremy Bullock from Centrix Software – to take a forensic look at all the available information related to the account. Here’s what he found…

1. The email address is flagged as invalid
2. The account was last updated on 30/04/2015 19:06:57
3. The postcode given was EH12 7AF
4. Date of Birth 01/01/1978
5. Her nickname was stated as ‘michsnp’ rather than the usual prosaic variety
6. The sign up ip address was 81.98.177.38
7. There is no data in the am_am.member table. This records preferences, looking for, etc etc and is the definitive record for signup
8. There are no credit card transactions recorded for her

From the data it seems evident that someone other than Michelle Thomson signed up for the account. Definitely a prank…

SNP MP’s Email Address on Hack Adulterer Database

michelle

An email address belonging to SNP MP Michelle Thomson was used by somebody to sign up to Ashley Madison, a website that facilitates adulterous affairs. Michelle, whose husband works long hours, has denied using the email to create an Ashley Madison account and is presumably the victim of some prankster who signed her up for the cheating website without her knowledge. The email address, which Techno Guido is choosing not to reveal, has come to light following a hack of Ashley Madison’s database of users.

“Along with potentially millions of others, an out-of-use email address seems to have been harvested by hackers. I am not aware of or in contact with either Avid Life or Ashley Madison and look forward to finding out more about what has actually happened.

However, having a personal email address linked to an account doesn’t mean that person is really a user of Ashley Madison. Users are able to sign up to the site without responding to an email verification, meaning anyone’s email address could have been used to create an account.”

How many other innocent people are victims of this cruel prank? Check if your details were used to sign up to Ashley Madison here

Government Adulterers Exposed

boris_johnson_affairs_ashley_madison

Following the hacking last month of Ashley Madison, a website that specialised in facilitating adulterous affairs, the group of activists behind the hack have dumped online what the claim to be the stolen data. This includes the names, email addresses and credit card transactions of the 37 million signed up Ashley Madison members.

If the information in the data dump is authentic, and it does seem so, it will be a goldmine for fraudsters, blackmailers, divorce lawyers and journalists; tying credit card transactions to online profiles of people looking to cheat on their spouses. Guido counted around 130 people who apparently signed up to Ashley Madison with gov.uk email addresses. That’s a lot of potential Brooks Newmarks…

Flower Market Booms as Online Adulterers Exposed

boris_johnson_affairs_ashley_madison

AshleyMadison, the website that specialises in facilitating adulterous affairs has had its 37 million strong customer database hacked. The customer details stolen by a group calling themselves “The Impact Team” include names, address, credit card details, sexual fantasies and pictures. The Impact Team hackers are threatening to release all the data unless AshleyMadison is shut down, though Techno suspects they are simply lapping up the free publicity and plan to sell the credit card numbers.

The “I’m very, very sorry” flower industry is already getting in on the act.

ashley madison flowers

Time to go Back to Basics?

Italian Tech Company Sold Spy Software to Repressive Regimes

italy flag spy

Hacking Team, an Italian company that supplies surveillance tools to governments, have themselves been hacked, with over 400GB of their internal data has been leaked online. Hidden in the massive data breach is evidence that the European firm have been selling spying software to the world’s most repressive governments including Sudan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. Here is an invoice for €480,000 that Hacking Team sent to the Sudanese Intelligence services.

sudan hacking team

In January 2015, Hacking Team told the UN’s Italian representative that it “currently has no business relations or any agreements that would allow the Sudan or any entity in its territory to use the  software“. Oops…

Mirror Slashes Costs As Hacking Cases Loom

Mirror[1]

Trinity Mirror are doubling their planned cuts to £20m in an effort to remain in the black as print revenues fall and hacking payouts loom large. Expect to see more dead wood such as the recently axed digital projects Ampp3d and UsVsTh3m cut from the sinking ship…

By Guido’s calculations, £20 million is enough to pay off 133 hacking victims. The Mirror hacked at least 400 phones…

China Steals Personal Data from Eighteen Million Americans

hacking us

Further proof that government can’t be trusted with your data – 18 million US federal employees have had their personal data stolen in a hack on the Office of Personnel Management, four times as many as the department had admitted. That’s equivalent of the population of Chile…

The breach was made possible after officials failed to block access to the OFM from KeyPoint Government Solutions, a contractor that was hacked earlier in the year. But feel free to trust the government with your data…

The scale of the cyber attack is now considered the largest the US government has ever faced, with US investigators laying the blame for it squarely at the door of China.  Data for the hack is already for sale on the darker parts of the internet…

GCHQ Given Licence To Hack

gchq hack

The government has snuck through legislation that exempts the police and security services from prosecution for hacking people’s computers. The legislation was passed into law as an amendment to the Computer Misuse act, bypassing parliamentary debate. Coincidentally, the new legislation was revealed just hours before a hearing into a claim lodged by Privacy International that GCHQ’s hacking activities were unlawful under the Computer Misuse Act…

Not only was parliament not consulted, it appears that none of the relevant regulators such as the Information Commissioner’s Office were included in the decision that gives GCHQ and others carte blanche to launch cyber attacks in the UK. GCHQ, the police, the National Crime Agency, the Crown Prosecution Sevice and the Ministry of Justice were consulted…

Piers Morgan Questioned By Hacking Police Today

Piers says in a statement to the Guardian:

“Some time ago I was asked to attend an interview with officers from Operation Golding when I was next in the UK. 

This was further to a previous voluntary interview I provided in December 2013.

I attended that interview today.

As this is an ongoing investigation, I am unable to comment further until its conclusion.”

Guido hears dementia works as a good excuse…

LEAKED EMAILS: Sony Boss Plotted to Get Ed Vaizey Fired

Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton conspired to replace Culture Minister Ed Vaizey with a socialite called David Macmillan. The plan has come to light in a series of extraordinary emails between Michael Lynton and Macmillan via the publication of a searchable archive of last years ‘Sony Hack‘ by Wikileaks:

Lynton claimed he could use his influence with George Osborne to get Ed Vaizey fired and then introduce Macmillan to Conservative supporting business boss Sir Charles Dunstone. Lynton then claimed the chairman of the Carphone Warehouse would recommend Macmillan for the ministerial post:

“I am sitting here with Bella and conspiring as to how to make you Minister of Culture and Sport. You are perfectly qualified. First step is to get ed Vaizey fired. I will do this with George Osborne. Next step is to get you appointed. This requires you meeting CHARLES Dunstone and having him recommend you. I will make the introduction in September. The games afoot !!!”

Macmillan claims to be up for it, but points out the obvious flaws:

“Need to be elected to parliament or raised to the peerage to proceed further with your plan, but love the idea.”

Intriguingly, Macmillan points out that Osborne might be fearful of upsetting Vaizey because he would want to “avoid the publication of various school time photos,” the Sony CEO assures him that the “Photos are in the cloud. They will be gone soon.What incriminating photos could they possibly be talking about?

“Widespread and Habitual” Hacking at Mirror

Today the High Court was told:

“The evidence demonstrates that voicemail interception, as well as the unlawful obtaining of personal information by blagging or use of private investigators, was in widespread and habitual use by a large number of journalists across all three MGN titles.”

The Guardian reports:

“Between June 2002 and mid-2006, Sherborne said MGN journalists made nearly 10,000 phone hacking calls to Orange’s voicemail platform.

There are reporting restrictions in place.

Chair of the IPCC Claims Comms “Hacked”

klima_pachauri420

Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the ‘respected’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has claimed that his emails, mobile phone and WhatsApp messages have been hacked by unknown cyber criminals who used his computer devices to commit “various criminal activities”. His claims come after a 29 year old female employee at the Energy and Resources Institute, an environmental wonkshop of which Pachauri is Director General, lodged a police complaint against Mr Pachauri claiming she had received “unwanted” physical advances, emails, WhatsApp messages and handwritten notes from the chair of the IPCC.

An article in India’s Economic Times that reported the claims, has been removed from their website following an injunction from the Delhi high court:

Pachauri Injunction

It’s not the fist time emails sent from Pauchauri’s computer have got him into hot water – he has been accused of using his TERI email address to conduct IPCC business. Perhaps he was hacked…

Cybersecurity is Now a Major Issue for UK Companies

chart3-uk-security-awareness-v2

After years of apathy it appears that British companies are finally waking up the the fact that the internet is a scary place and cyber threats are a real a present danger to their business. Cybersecurity specialist Trustwave have gone through the last three annual reports of FTSE 100 companies to look for references to ‘cybersecurity’ as a risk or uncertainty facing the business. In 2012, only 49% of companies referenced online security, in 2013 it was 60% and by 2014 it was 76%.

The data confirms that cybersecurity in now a mainstream corporate issue, not just for tech companies but other businesses as well; health care companies on the FTSE 100 increased their awareness of cyber security from 25% to 75% between 2012 and 2014. The exact reason for the brisk uptake in interest in cyber-crime is up for debate, but it’s fair to say the highly publicised costly embarrassment of Sony Pictures by hackers might have something to do with it.

Please use 8 or more letters or numbers in your password..

Syrian Rebels Honey-Trapped on Skype

skype

A newly-released paper by cyber-security company FireEye has revealed that opponents of Assad’s regime in Syria have been systematically targeted over Skype in an attempt to gain military intelligence. Men fighting for the Free Syrian Army are being targeted by what appears to be a woman, who adds them on Skype, strikes up a conversation and shares a “personal photo”.[…] Read the rest

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