Feeds

Feds block sale of crooks' favourite messaging client

ICQ - instant messaging for crims

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

AOL's sale of ICQ messaging software to Russian firm Digital Sky Technologies might yet be blocked by US authorities, which fear losing access to transcripts from the criminal fraternity's favoured messaging product.

AOL sold ICQ for $187.5m to DST back in April - a pittance compared to the $400m it paid for the company in 1998.

But ICQ is popular in Russia, the Czech Republic and Germany, especially among eastern European criminal gangs. One investigator said "Every bad guy known to man is on ICQ", according to the Financial Times.

The paper claims that current ICQ servers based in Israel are occasionally accessed by US investigators seeking transcripts of conversations.

The fear is that this easy access will disappear once ICQ moves to Moscow.

DST owns a stake in Facebook and runs Russia's largest email provider and three of the country's other social networking sites.

Investigators have made their concerns known to the Committee on Foreign Investment, which is run by the US Treasury and has the power to block or change deals it fears will hit national security.

But observers said that any such block would likely have come to light within a month of the deal being announced. Maybe that's why they're talking to the FT instead...

AOL, the US Treasury and Homeland Security departments all declined to comment on the FT's story. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.