privacy

Hurt ex gets six months for posting girl’s nude pics on Facebook

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(Credit: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

So many have experienced the pain.

She tells you she’s leaving. She tells you she’s taking her pots, her pans, and all her “Twilight” tomes.

You weep. You plug Nilsson’s “Without You” into your ears on permanent play. If it’s frightfully unexpected, your insides demand revenge.

One of the less good ideas, though, is to post nude pictures of her on his Facebook page. I mention this merely because an Australian man just got 6 months in the clinker for being something of a hurt stinker.

Ravshan “Ronnie” Usmanov, 20, posted six pictures of his ex “nude in certain positions and clearly showing her breasts and genitalia.” At least that’s was the Sydney Morning Herald’s reading of the court documents.

With less control than he might have chosen, he then e-mailed her to say “Hullo, darling. I miss you so much. Please come home.” Actually, no. What the court was told is that he wrote: “Some of your photos are now on Facebook.”MORE

Corrupt call center workers selling your private information for pennies

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Thief with secrets image courtesy of ShutterstockAccording to the Daily Mail an undercover investigation in India has uncovered that some call center workers have been selling confidential information on nearly 500,000 Britons.

Undercover reporters from The Sunday Times met with two individuals who claimed to be IT workers who offered to provide them with 45 different types of data gathered from the victims.

Information offered up included names, addresses, phone numbers and credit card details (including CCV/CVV codes and expiration dates).

The reporters allege they could purchase the records for as little as 2 pence apiece ($0.03 USD). One of the IT workersthieves bragged:

"These [pieces of data] are ones that have been sold to somebody already. This is Barclays, this is Halifax, this is Lloyds TSB. We’ve been dealing so long we can tell the bank by just the card number."more

600,000+ compromised account logins every day on Facebook, official figures reveal

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If you’ve an unauthorised party has logged into your Facebook account, then you’re far from alone.

New official statistics revealed by the social networking giant reveal that 0.06% of the more than billion logins that they have each day are compromised.

Put another way, that’s more than 600,000 per day – or, if you really like to make your mind melt, one every 14 milliseconds.

Snippet of Facebook security infographic

The statistic was revealed in an infographic published alongside an official Facebook blog post trumpeting new security features introduced by the firm.

The new security features include Trusted friends (called “Guardian angels” in the infographic). Read the rest of this entry »

Google publishes web safety advice for ‘Good to Know’ campaign

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Google cartoon

Google has launched a campaign promoting online safety, in association with the UK’s Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

The campaign, which will include adverts in newspapers, on public transport and online, is being run with the hope of encouraging internet users to take more care over their online activities – including using more secure passwords, and remembering to log out of websites when they have finished using them.

Awareness campaigns about online safety like this are important, as it’s clear that most internet users are pretty clueless about how to best secure their computers and surf safely online.

This isn’t because the public is disinterested in protecting themselves, but due to the fact that many people simply don’t know where to turn, or how to translate complicated buzzwords, geek talk and terminology into simple easy-to-understand English.

So, campaigns like Google’s “Good to Know” one are a *good* thing, as they translate sometimes complicated safety advice into simple terms.

Google, of course, has an interest in people not turning their backs on the internet – it wants users to feel safer online, as that will ultimately increase the popularity of the internet and help Google grow.

GmailTo their credit, Google provides a number of technologies to help users defend their accounts from being hacked – but only a minority of users seem know about them. If you haven’t already done so, check out my advice on how to stop your Gmail account being hacked, for instance.

It’s notable that part of the “Good to Know” campaign appears designed to reassure internet users about the data that Google collects about them to provide its services.

The critical thing, however, will be what I call my “Aunty Hilda test”. If the only people who hear about this advertising campaign are people who are already techie geeks or people who work in information security then it will have failed.

If, however, my Aunty Hilda hears about the campaign – and genuinely learns something about how to protect herself online – then it truly will have succeeded.

With cybercrime and internet fraud on the increase – it’s never been more important to raise awareness and give people simple instructions on how to be safer on the net.

You can find out more about the “Good to Know” campaign atwww.google.co.uk/goodtoknow.

UK student loans targeted by phishers in latest spam campaign

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With British students about to start another year at university, the last thing they probably want to hear is that there is a problem with a student loan.

But that’s precisely the camouflage that online scammers are using to steal personal information today.

An email, claiming to come from Directgov UK, tells students that there is a problem with the online account for their student loan, and they need to update their account urgently.

Here’s a typical spammed-out message we’ve seen in our traps:

Student loan phishing attack

Subject:

Student Loan Update.

Message body:

Dear Student Finance Customer.

We at HM Government noticed your Student loan online log in details is incorrect and need to be updated.

DOWNLOAD THE ATTACHMENT TO UPDATE YOUR ACCOUNT NOW

Regards
Inline Verification. Directgov UK.

Attached file:

Student Loan Update.html

Clicking on the HTML attachment is not a good idea, however, as it will urge you to enter your details which are then sent via a website to the phishers.

Student loan phishing attack

Sophos products block the message as spam, and block the webpage that the HTML form is attempting to post the personal information.

Remember to always be suspicious of unsolicited attachments. Also, I would hope that a good student would have noticed the grammatical mistake in the phisher’s email..

Lady Gaga website stays strangely silent over database hack

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Lady Gaga hacked

A gang of hackers known as SwagSec announced at the tail end of last week that they had hacked into Lady Gaga’s UK website and made off with a database of names and email addresses of fans. To prove their point, they published the stolen data online.

The press reported that a source close to Lady Gaga said that she was:

"upset and hopes police get to the bottom of how this was allowed to happen"

If she was upset, she made no mention of the hack on her Twitter page, and posted no apology to her UK fans for the poor website security. She wasn’t, however, too upset to tweet about Emmy award nominations or to drop a line to Cher about doing a duet remix.

Although it’s right that the authorities should be informed regarding SwagSec’s illegal activities, there should surely be some recognition at Gaga HQ that perhaps the website was doing a lousy job at securing its fans’ information?

Lady Gaga user database

Lady Gaga’s record label, Universal, said it had confirmed that the hack had occurred and said that police had been informed:

"The hackers took a content database dump from http://www.ladygaga.co.uk and a section of email, first name and last name records were accessed. There were no passwords or financial information taken. We take this very seriously and have put in place additional measures to protect personally identifiable information. All those affected have been advised."

The risk to users who had their details compromised, of course, is that they could have been the subject of targeted attacks. Imagine how many of them might have opened an attachment or clicked on a link if they received an email claiming to be about free tickets for a Lady Gaga concert, or a sneak preview of her new video.

But although Universal says that it has contacted everyone who was affected – can they be confident that they know the extent of SwagSec’s hack? After all, the hack is claimed to have occurred weeks ago, but was only made public by SwagSec at the end of last week.

Wouldn’t it be more open and transparent to have a message to fans of the Lady Gaga UK website, telling them all what occurred. I went looking and couldn’t find anything to warn the wider array of Lady Gaga fans.

You may remember that the SwagSec hacking group defaced Amy Winehouse’s website earlier this month as well.

One wonders what eccentric female troubadour they will target next..