On The Wire

The RaidForums Takedown

An online marketplace for trafficking in hacked data was seized this week following a global investigation that resulted in the takedown of the RaidForums website. The alleged chief administrator has been charged with conspiracy, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. The founder of the site, Diogo Santos Coelho, a ...
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Cybersecurity and the Dark Art of the Possible

The United States Department of Justice has unsealed two historical indictments charging four Russian nationals with conducting computer intrusions, in two separate conspiracies, that targeted the international energy sector between 2012 and 2018. The worldwide hacking campaigns were carried out against thousands of computers at hundreds of companies and organizations ...
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Geofence Warrants and Google’s Sensorvault

The cellphone dragnet called a geofence warrant harvests the location history generated by users of electronic devices that is stored by Google in a vast repository known as Sensorvault. Access to the storehouse by law enforcement continues to generate controversy because these warrants vacuum the location data of people who ...
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Social Media and the New Cyberwar

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is an opportunity for social media giants to rehabilitate their reputations tarnished by invasive surveillance practices, the relentless harvesting of personal data and a collective indifference to social responsibility. Now seizing the chance to gain a higher ground they are pushing back against the Russian ...
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Crypto Couple and the Bitcoin Controversy

The seizure of more than $3.6 billion in bitcoin allegedly stolen from Hong Kong-based Bitfinex has led to the arrest of a New York couple charged with conspiracy to launder the cryptocurrency fortune. The Bitfinex breach in 2016 was among a flood of hacks into currency exchanges that resulted in ...
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The Taking of Ryanair Flight 4978

A Ryanair flight departed from Athens for Vilnius with a target of the authoritarian Belarus government on board. A bogus bomb plot communicated by email led to an unscheduled landing in Minsk. Dissident journalist Roman Protasevich and his Russian girlfriend, Sofia Sapega, were arrested and charged with organizing mass unrest ...
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Europol Ordered to Purge Vast Trove of Personal Data

The European Data Protection Supervisor has been on the heels of Europol over the data retention practices of the law enforcement agency for a few years. The chase came to an end earlier this month when Europol was ordered to delete data concerning individuals with no established link to criminal ...
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From Pegasus to Predator and Beyond

Spyware traffickers insist their surveillance tools are only sold to customers for the investigation of serious crimes and acts of terrorism. But developments over the past year put the lie to the claim. The diverse and expanding list of victims runs a wide gamut suggesting the real sales criteria is ...
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Sanctioning Spyware Mercenaries

For over two years the stories have persisted. A nagging suspicion led to dogged investigation and then a revelatory expose hit the internet. The name of an infamous spyware trafficker and the tech savvy sleuths on its trail will be forever linked in the history of modern electronic surveillance. NSO ...
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Apple Sues Spyware Hawker NSO Group

The technology company NSO Group has been called everything from a cybersurveillance weapons dealer to an amoral 21st century mercenary. And the labels are sticking. Human rights experts at the United Nations have called for a global moratorium on the sale and transfer of surveillance technology until regulations are in ...
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