European Cyberattack Called 'Entirely Different' Form of Ransomware

Companies worldwide struggled to recover after a wave of powerful cyberattacks crippled computer systems in Europe, Asia and the United States with a virus similar to the global ransomware assault in May that infected computers. Researchers at Kaspersky Lab in Russia said that its preliminary findings suggest the malware is a new kind of ransomware not seen before, not a variant of the Petya ransomware, as other cybersecurity researchers had suggested.

German Regulator Suspends Launch of Data Retention Law

A German regulator has suspended the launch of a law obliging German telecom companies to keep telephone and Internet data for up to 10 weeks to help fight crime, citing a court ruling.The data retention law, which had been due to come into effect on Saturday, requires companies to keep data on the timing and duration of telephone calls, as well as online traffic through IP addresses. Location data from mobile phones is to be stored for four weeks.

FBI Agents Visit Kaspersky Lab Employees in Counter-Intelligence Probe

FBI agents paid visits to at least a dozen employees of Kaspersky Lab, a Russia-based cyber-security company, asking questions about that company’s operations as part of a counter-intelligence inquiry, multiple sources familiar with the matter told NBC News. In a classic FBI investigative tactic, agents visited the homes of the employees at the end of the work day at multiple locations on both the east and west coasts, the sources said.

Homeland Security Leader Links Better Security Checks to Laptop Ban

The Trump administration threatened to ban laptops and other large electronic devices from any international flight coming to the United States unless the airline meets new security checks, including enhanced airport screening and improved passenger vetting. Under a policy announced in March, U.S.-bound passengers traveling from 10 airports in the Middle East must store large electronic devices, including tablets and cameras, in their checked luggage, as the Trump administration seeks to address terrorist threats.

Canadian Court Says Google Must Remove Search Results Worldwide

Canadian courts can force Internet search leader Google to remove results worldwide, the country's top court ruled, drawing criticism from civil liberties groups arguing such a move sets a precedent for censorship on the Internet. In its 7-2 decision, Canada's Supreme Court found that a court in the country can grant an injunction preventing conduct anywhere in the world when it is necessary to ensure the injunction's effectiveness.

Man Gets 5 1/2 Years in Prison for Operating Illegal Bitcoin Exchange

A Florida man was sentenced to 5-1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to operating an illegal bitcoin exchange suspected of laundering money for hackers and linked to a data breach at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Anthony Murgio, 33, of Tampa, pleaded guilty on Jan. 9 to three conspiracy counts, including bank fraud and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Large European Businesses Report Significant Cyberattacks

Global businesses, including shipping giant A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, advertising firm WPP Group PLC and Russian oil company PAO Rosneft, reported significant cyberattacks against their computer systems. It was unclear how, or if, the attacks were related, but they spread simultaneously across Europe -- with some early reports of affected companies in the U.S. -- on the heels of a global attack in May.

European Commission Fines Google $2.7 Billion in Antitrust Case

Google lost its biggest regulatory battle yet, getting a record 2.4 billion-euro ($2.7 billion) fine from European Union enforcers who say the search-engine giant skewed results to thwart smaller shopping search services. Alphabet Inc.’s Google has 90 days to "stop its illegal conduct" and give equal treatment to rival price-comparison services, according to a binding order from the European Commission.

FCC Chairman Answers Questions About Reported Cyberattack

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai unveiled new details about a reported cyberattack that came after comedian John Oliver urged his viewers to flood the agency with pro-net neutrality comments. In response to a series of questions about the incident from Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Pai said he was taking the issue seriously.

Social Media Firms Agree to Work Together Against Terrorist Content

Social media giants Facebook, Google's YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft said they were forming a global working group to combine their efforts to remove terrorist content from their platforms. Responding to pressure from governments in Europe and the United States after a spate of militant attacks, the companies said they will share technical solutions for removing terrorist content, commission research to inform their counter-speech efforts and work more with counter-terrorism experts.

Court Awards Science Publisher $15M in Suit Over Copied Articles Online

One of the world’s largest science publishers, Elsevier, won a default legal judgment against websites that provide illicit access to tens of millions of research papers and books. A New York district court awarded Elsevier $15 million in damages for copyright infringement by Sci-Hub, the Library of Genesis (LibGen) project and related sites.

 

Tech Companies Allowing Russia to Review Source Code

Western technology companies, including Cisco, IBM and SAP, are acceding to demands by Moscow for access to closely guarded product security secrets, at a time when Russia has been accused of a growing number of cyber attacks on the West, a Reuters investigation has found. Russian authorities are asking Western tech companies to allow them to review source code for security products such as firewalls, anti-virus applications and software containing encryption before permitting the products to be imported and sold in the country.

 

Google Removes Personal Medical Records from Search Results

Alphabet Inc.’s Google has quietly decided to scrub an entire category of online content -- personal medical records -- from its search results, a departure from its typically hands-off approach to policing the web. Google lists the information it removes from its search results on its policy page, which recently added the line: “confidential, personal medical records of private people.”

Trump Promises to Expand Broadband Internet Service in Rural Areas

President Donald Trump said that expanded access to broadband internet service in rural areas will be part of the infrastructure plan he will submit to Congress, helping to bridge a digital divide that leaves small towns behind. "I will be including a provision in our infrastructure proposal -- $1 trillion proposal, you’ll be seeing it very shortly -- to promote and foster, enhance broadband access for rural America also," Trump said in remarks at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Facebook Testing Privacy Tool to Protect Users' Profile Pictures

Facebook is introducing new privacy tools to users in India, adding further protection to a user's profile pictures, as women in that country have reported that others have repurposed their image without their permission. The problem of online impersonation is a big one — ask anyone who's ever been "catfished," or found that their face was being used to trick others into becoming "friends," or forming an online relationship with an impersonator.

Officials Report One Successful Attempt to Alter Voter Records in 2016

The hacking of state and local election databases in 2016 was more extensive than previously reported, including at least one successful attempt to alter voter information, and the theft of thousands of voter records that contain private information like partial Social Security numbers, current and former officials tell Time. In one case, investigators found there had been a manipulation of voter data in a county database but the alterations were discovered and rectified, two sources familiar with the matter tell Time.

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