Irene Poetranto

Articles

Global ethics corner: Cyberwar strategy: Defensive or offensive?

Source: Carnegie Council

In the future how will hacking affect espionage or even war?

A new security threat is the possibility of shutting down a state by attacking its infrastructure. For instance, cyber security company McAfee has discovered years of cyber attacks by an unidentified government on a wide range of governments, international bodies, and U.S. corporations.

The war on web anonymity

Source: Marcel Rosenbach and Hilmar Schmundt, Der Spiegel

The Avenue de l’Opéra in Paris is a respectable address, surrounded by banks, boutiques and cafés. The tenants listed on door plaques include a language school and an airline. But the name of the building’s most famous tenant is not listed: Google. The global corporation values privacy — its own privacy, at least.

Muslim countries filter Web on faith grounds, report says

This Financial Post article reports on a new research paper published by the OpenNet Initiative, which finds that in many majority Muslim countries, control of the Internet is based primarily on interpretations of the religious instructions of the Islamic faith. The author of the article, Helmi Noman, is a Senior Researcher at the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto and a Research Affiliate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University. Mr. Noman says that “a number of Internet-specific fatwas (religious decrees) have been layered on top of regulatory boundaries on acceptable use.” For example, fatwas against browsing forbidden websites have resulted in the development of “websites with more palatable content such as NaqaTube.com, which promises users a Sharia-compatible YouTube-like experience.”

All cursors point to China in global hack attack that threatens nations

In this article, the Globe and Mail reports on the existence of a foreign entity that has been trying to steal data from more than 70 organizations including two Canadian government departments and the World Anti-Doping Agency in Montreal. The series of incidents were reported by McAfee, which claims to have access to log files from a command and control server used in the attacks. “Operation Shady Rat,” the company’s report on the affair, was released on Wednesday. The attackers have not been identified, however, some commentators are directing suspicions towards China given that the list of targets includes the United Nations, governments in the West and Southeast Asia, military-defence contractors, and international sports bodies that were hit around the time of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The truth behind the Shady RAT

Source: Hon Lau, Symantec

McAfee published an interesting report yesterday about what they called Operation Shady RAT, focusing on a series of what some may call “advanced persistent threat” attacks. The attacks were dubbed in some quarters as “one of the largest series of cyber attacks ever.” While quite a bit of data was presented regarding the potential scale of these attacks, details on the threats and how the attacks were staged were somewhat limited.

The legislation that could kill internet privacy for good

Source: Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

Every right-thinking person abhors child pornography. To combat it, legislators have brought through committee a poorly conceived, over-broad Congressional bill, The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011. It is arguably the biggest threat to civil liberties now under consideration in the United States. The potential victims: everyone who uses the Internet.

The good news? It hasn’t gone before the full House yet.

The bad news: it already made it through committee. And history shows that in times of moral panic, overly broad legislation has a way of becoming law. In fact, a particular moment comes to mind.

Cyber weapons: The new arms race

Source: BusinessWeek

In the early morning hours of May 24, an armed burglar wearing a ski mask broke into the offices of Nicira Networks, a Silicon Valley startup housed in one of the countless nondescript buildings along Highway 101. He walked past desks littered with laptops and headed straight toward the cubicle of one of the company’s top engineers. The assailant appeared to know exactly what he wanted, which was a bulky computer that stored Nicira’s source code. He grabbed the one machine and fled.