Black Hat: Phishing E-Mail Scare A False Alarm

The annual Black Hat Briefings hacker conference got off to a rocky start Sunday after thousands of registered delegates to the Black Hat Briefings hacker conference in Las Vegas received a fishy smelling “account password reset” e-mail that contained a suspicious URL. But a message from conference organizers hours later said the errant e-mail was no phishing attack, but merely an “abuse of functionality” by a bored Black Hat volunteer.

EFF: New Cybersecurity Bill Better, Still Unnecessary

The controversial Lieberman-Collins Cybersecurity Act has been scrapped and replaced by a new bill that online rights advocates still consider unnecessary, but which they also acknowledge is a vast improvement on the slew of other bills that have cropped up in recent months.

Hacker Claims Compromise of IT Recruiter

A hacker affiliated with a group called TeamGhostShell claims he hacked into a website servicing IT professionals seeking jobs on Wall Street, and in doing so compromised the personal information of thousands of job applicants, according to a ComputerWorld report.

A group of civil-liberties organizations, software companies and popular Web sites are launching a new effort called the Internet Defense League that aims to “help Internet users, organizations, and companies fight back whenever online rights are threatened.” Inspired by the collaborative fight against the SOPA bill earlier this year, the new organization counts Mozilla, the EFF, WordPress and Reddit among its charter members.

A new variety of spyware has been targeting users in Iran, Israel and the Middle East for the last eight months according to joint research from Israeli security software firm Seculert and Kaspersky Lab. The new malware is using a variety of odd techniques and misdirection to entice users to install it, and researchers say it is targeting a specific group of potentially high-value targets.

In a twist on Tolstoy’s famous observation that “all happy families are alike,” the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) is warning that the public is being told that ‘all data breaches are alike,’ as corporations paint a worryingly bland portrait of breaches and other data loss incidents affecting their customers. 

Dozens of individuals from Winchester, a small Kentucky town east of Lexington have been targeted by hackers, according to a report earlier this week in the Lexington Herald-Leader. The newspaper claims between 50 and 100 diners at Puerta Grande, a small Mexican restaurant, were hit with bank fraud at some point in the last two weeks.

The FTC is nearing completion of its investigation into allegations that Google used a special technique to circumvent the privacy settings on Safari to enable better tracking of users, even when tracking was disabled by the user. The decision may cost Google millions of dollars in fines, but it’s not clear whether that will serve as any kind of deterrent for a company that brings in tens of billions of dollars in revenue each year.

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