Articles about Department Of Justice

Car crash

Daft draft anti-car-hack law could put innocent drivers away for life

Two state senators in Michigan, US, have proposed a set of laws that promise life imprisonment for anyone fiddling with a car's software. Security researchers are crying foul because the rules as they stand effectively outlaw not just hacker hijackers but also legitimate tinkering with engine and dashboard electronics. The …
Iain Thomson, 30 Apr 2016
Internet anonymity

US govt quietly tweaks rules to let cops, Feds hack computers anywhere, anytime

On Thursday, the US Supreme Court approved a change to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. It sounds innocuous, but the effects will be felt around the world. Under today's rules, US cops and FBI agents need to know where a computer is before they can get a warrant to directly hack the machine – because they …
Iain Thomson, 29 Apr 2016

Why has Microsoft stopped being beastly to Google?

Analysis "You can't deprive a gangster of his gun" – Noel Coward Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sees things differently from his predecessor Steve Ballmer. And one of the first thing Nadella saw differently is Microsoft’s relationship to Google. On assuming the hot seat, he couldn’t understand why Microsoft was obviously at war with …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Apr 2016

Charter can gobble TWC for $78.7bn ... if it bins monthly download caps

FCC boss Tom Wheeler has put out the terms for his watchdog's approval of Charter Communications' $78bn acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Wheeler said Monday that he has passed along a proposed approval order and conditions for the other four FCC commissioners to vote on. "As proposed, the order outlines a number of …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Apr 2016

US government sued by activists looking for backdoor smoking gun

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is suing the US government to reveal just how it compels tech companies to help agents spy on people. The activist group has hit the Department of Justice (DoJ) with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in the US Northern California District Court requesting details on whether …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Apr 2016
Prison

Chinese con-artists cop to US military counterfeit chip switch caper

Chinese national Daofu Zhang has pleaded guilty to conspiring to buy top-end field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) stolen from a US Navy base and replacing the swiped silicon with counterfeit duds. Last Friday, in Connecticut's New Haven federal court, Zhang, 40, admitted offering to purchase military-spec chips from a US …
Brad Smith

Microsoft sues US DoJ for right to squeal when Feds slurp your data

Microsoft has sued the US Department of Justice (DoJ) over the software giant's right to alert users when their personal data has been accessed by cops and Feds. Redmond chief legal counsel Brad Smith announced on Tuesday that Microsoft will seek [PDF] a legal declaration confirming that it should not be silenced by …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Apr 2016

Man pleads guilty for serving white hat with DoS, swearbot, sex toys

Oklahoma man Benjamin Earnest Nichols faces up to 10 years jail in a United States federal prison and a US$250,000 fine after pleading guilty to launching a distributed denial of service attack against security consultancy mccrewsecurity.com. Nichols, 37, pled guilty to one count of causing the transmission of a program or …
Darren Pauli, 08 Apr 2016
Register Vulture logo - grey

FBI declines to comment on WhatsApp encryption

The FBI has declined to make a comment on the news Tuesday that WhatsApp is going to offer end-to-end encryption in the next version of its messaging app. WhatsApp's decision to do so was sparked in part by the authorities in the US and Brazil trying to pressure the company to hand over confidential user conversations, and by …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Apr 2016

The FBI lost this round against Apple – but it aims to win the war

Comment While fans of strong crypto and privacy are celebrating the US Department of Justice decision to back down in the San Bernardino case against Apple, it's important not to get too giddy – this is going to be a long battle and the FBI has nothing but time. The FBI still hasn't explained quite how it managed to unlock the …
Iain Thomson, 30 Mar 2016
Uncle Sam recruiting poster

US govt says it has cracked killer's iPhone, legs it from Apple fight

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) says it no longer needs Apple to help unlock the iPhone 5C used by one of the San Bernardino killers. In a filing [PDF] made Monday to the Central California District Court, prosecutors say they have extracted data from the smartphone belonging to slain San Bernardino killer Syed Farook, thus …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Mar 2016

US charges Iranians with hacking into an NY dam, blasting banks offline

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has charged seven Iranian hackers over a string of high-profile distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against banks. The seven allegedly worked with Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-affiliated entities to run a coordinated campaign of cyber attacks against the US financial sector. One …
John Leyden, 24 Mar 2016

US State Department sextortionist gets 57 months in cooler

A former US State Department official has been handed 57 months prison for hacking the email accounts of women and forcing them into sending him sexual photographs. Michael Ford, 36, of Atlanta, was sentenced by US District Judge Eleanor Ross after he pled guilty to nine counts of cyberstalking, seven of hacking to extort, and …
Darren Pauli, 24 Mar 2016
Syrian Electronic Army

FBI's Most Wanted: Syrian Electronic Army hacktivists

The FBI has placed suspected self-styled Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) hacktivists on its most wanted list, publicly naming members of the notorious group for the first time. Ahmad Umar Agha (AKA The Pro), 22, and Firas Dardar (AKA The Shadow), 27, were each charged with multiple conspiracies related to computer hacking. Peter …
John Leyden, 22 Mar 2016
American Express

Amex 'fesses up: Your credit card data was nicked ... and it's taken three years to admit it

Update American Express has told the California Department of Justice that some of its customers had their credit card numbers stolen, and that it happened almost three years ago. We're told Amex's security was not directly breached by criminals, rather its customers' details were leaked by a clumsy intermediary. The fact it took …
Iain Thomson, 17 Mar 2016
Apple Watch Sport

Woz: World-changers to Apple Watches, why pay for an overpriced band?

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has slammed Cupertino's decision to charge hundreds of dollars for Apple Watch models that offer users little more than an overpriced band. Wozniak made the remarks during a Reddit AMA post in response to a reader's question. "I worry a little bit about - I mean I love my Apple Watch - but it's …
Darren Pauli, 17 Mar 2016

Apple tells iPhone court 'the Founders would be appalled' by Feds

Apple's latest response to US Department of Justice (DoJ) demands that it alter its operating system to allow access to a terrorist's iPhone using the 1789 All Writs Act is typically blunt. "According to the government, short of kidnapping or breaking an express law, the courts can order private parties to do virtually …
Iain Thomson, 16 Mar 2016

UK fella is a multimillion-dollar cyber-hustle mastermind – US DoJ

A UK bloke living in America has been indicted by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) for allegedly running a multi-million-dollar online fraud operation. The DOJ claims 37-year-old Gareth David Long operated a series of schemes that allowed him to illegally withdraw money from the bank accounts of thousands of unsuspecting …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Mar 2016
warrant

Feds tell court: Apple 'deliberately raised technological barriers' to thwart iPhone warrant

The US Department of Justice has filed fresh claims against Apple in the ongoing battle over whether the FBI can force the iGiant to help agents unlock a killer's iPhone. In a brief [PDF] filed Thursday to the US District Court of Central California, the DoJ said Apple had made a "deliberate marketing decision" to develop …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Mar 2016

FBI says NY judge went too far in ruling the FBI went too far in forcing Apple to unlock iPhone

The US Department of Justice has appealed a decision by a New York judge to refuse the FBI access to an iPhone: one part in a wider legal battle between law enforcement and Apple. The New York case is separate from the San Bernardino case in California, over which Apple and the FBI have been very publicly fighting. However the …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Mar 2016
Stacks of bitcoin CC2.0 attribution by FD Comite https://www.flickr.com/photos/fdecomite/

Beleaguered bank boss brought-up in Bitcoin bribery brouhaha

The head of a New Jersey credit union has been accused of turning control of his bank over to the operators of an alleged illegal Bitcoin exchange. On Thursday, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) charged Trevon Gross, the once-chairman of the HOPE Credit Union, with taking a $150,000 bribe from the operators of the coin.mx …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Mar 2016
Bernie Sanders

FCC gets Bern notice on Charter-TWC deal

A group of US Senators is asking broadband watchdog the FCC to mull over their concerns about the proposed $78bn merger between Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable. In a letter [PDF] to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Al Franken (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Ron Wyden …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Feb 2016

Apple fires legal salvo at FBI for using All Writs law in iPhone brouhaha

Apple has filed a motion to effectively bin an earlier court order forcing it to help the FBI break into a San Bernardino killer's iPhone. The Cupertino giant said the Feds' demands were a "wild overreach" and would grant the US government a "dangerous" power. The extensive motion to vacate [PDF] tears apart the FBI's claims …
Iain Thomson, 25 Feb 2016

Microsoft urges law rewrite to keep US govt's mitts off overseas data

Microsoft today badgered the US House Judiciary Committee for changes to the law following Europe's safe harbor collapse and Redmond's data center search warrant battle. Microsoft wants legislation governing America's ability to seize data on overseas servers modernized. It's resisted a US Department of Justice (DoJ) warrant …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Feb 2016

One major hurdle cleared for Dell's $67bn slurp of EMC

Dell and EMC have received US Federal Trade Commission clearance for their $67bn merger with the expiry of the 1976 Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act-mandated waiting period. Under the terms of the HSR act, the corporate parties to a merger must file details with the FTC and US Department of Justice, and wait for 30 …
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2016

US DoJ files motion to compel Apple to obey FBI iPhone crack order

PDF The US Department of Justice has today filed a motion compelling Apple to comply with a court order to help the FBI break into a killer's iPhone. On Tuesday, a magistrate judge in central California granted an order filed by the Feds that requires Apple to reprogram San Bernardino murderer Syed Farook's smartphone with a …
Chris Williams, 19 Feb 2016
Sparta

Safe Harbor ripped and replaced with Privacy Shield in last-minute US-Europe deal

European and US legislators have hammered out a last-minute deal to allow data flows across the Atlantic to continue without breaking the law. "For the first time ever, the United States has given the EU binding assurances that the access of public authorities for national security purposes will be subject to clear limitations …
Iain Thomson, 02 Feb 2016
Blackmail

Two-thirds of Android users vulnerable to web history sniff ransomware

Miscreants have put together an especially pernicious strain of Android ransomware that threatens to bare your browsing history. The so-called Lockdroid ransomware brandishes overlaid popups in order to trick marks into allowing the malicious code to gain admin privileges on targeted devices. The clickjacking ruse works on …
John Leyden, 29 Jan 2016
Hacked US CENTCOM Twitter account

Alleged ISIL hacker faces US terror charges for doxing soldiers

A former computer science student accused of supporting the ISIL terrorist group has arrived in the US to face charges. 20-year-old Ardit Ferizi is charged with hacking crimes and providing support to a terrorist organization. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 35 years in federal prison. The US Department of Justice and FBI …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jan 2016

Microsoft legal eagle explains why the Irish Warrant Fight covers your back

Interview Microsoft thinks its litigation against the US government to protect your data is far more important than the Schrems case. And that was pretty big. What’s it all about? The so-called “Irish warrant” case challenges Uncle Sam in areas it isn’t used to feeling any discomfort – and it encompasses far more data. So let’s hear the …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jan 2016

Bigger than Safe Harbor: Microsoft prez vows to take down US gov in data protection lawsuit

Europeans should sit up and take more notice of Microsoft’s lawsuit against the US government over secret access to their data. Why? Because it affects much more of their data than the Safe Harbour case, according to Microsoft president and lead counsel Brad Smith. “The Department of Justice does not need to wait for data to …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jan 2016

Wikimedia Foundation bins community-elected trustee

The Wikimedia Foundation has ousted a community-elected board trustee, whose seat now lies empty. At the same time, it has also appointed two hand-picked trustees for two other vacant spots: a former Google executive with a controversial record and a Mountain View CFO. These are just two changes that were announced quietly over …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jan 2016

Obama: What will solve America's gun problem? What could it be? *snaps fingers* Technology!

President Obama is looking to increase funding for research and development of new technologies that could help to cut gun violence. The President said as part of his executive order on gun crime and accidents that the development of technologies to help track lost or stolen firearms and the development of locks to prevent …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Jan 2016
Dirty VW Beetle in Sleeper

Happy new year, VW: Uncle Sam sues over engine cheatware

VW's year just got a lot worse already. Not only has the US government filed a lawsuit over its emissions-cheating software: it's also emerged that different software was written for 2.0 and 3.0 liter engines. The Department of Justice's complaint is that the engine management software put VW in breach of the Clean Air Act. …

James Clapper has found another reason why he lied about NSA spying

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper now has a fifth reason for why he lied to the US Congress over the NSA's spying program: he just plain forgot it existed. Speaking during a panel discussion last week, Clapper's general counsel Robert Litt said that Clapper had not had time to prepare an answer to the question …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Dec 2015

Alleged Silk Road architect arrested in Thailand

The alleged architect of darknet marketplace Silk Road, Roger Thomas Clark, was arrested in Thailand last week and is awaiting extradition to the United States. Clark, who is said to have used the handle Variety Jones, is a 54-year-old Canadian citizen. He is charged with narcotics and money laundering conspiracy. Variety …
Verizon's FiOS promo shot

Verizon, the final Frontier: Landlines, TV, ISP biz to explore strange new worlds

US telco Frontier Communications has cleared its final hurdle towards a $10.54bn deal that will see it take over Verizon's landline phone, TV, and ISP business in California, Texas, and Florida. Frontier said it has gained approval for the deal from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), adding the final piece to …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Dec 2015

Your browser history, IP addresses, online purchases etc all up for grabs without a warrant

Following a decade-long legal battle, the details of a US national security letter (NSL) sent to ISP owner Nicholas Merrill can finally be revealed. The broad details have been known for some time, and a recent court decision all but listed the personal information that Merrill was told to hand over on all of his ISPs' …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Nov 2015
FBI badge and gun

eBay scammer steals identity of special agent investigating him

A cybercriminal who ran a mere eBay scam became a more significant collar for the US Department of Justice after he successfully stole the identity of the special agent investigating him. Rohit Jawa, 25, has pleaded guilty to eight counts of wire fraud, and one count of stealing a special agent's identity which he then used to …
Maurice Moss IT crowd

US govt just can't hire enough cyber-Sherlocks

American federal investigators are having a hard time hiring computer-savvy staff, according to a memo from the Inspector General for the US Department of Justice. "Even as it works to expand the ranks of its cybersecurity team, the department continues to face challenges recruiting and retaining highly qualified candidates to …
Iain Thomson, 17 Nov 2015

How Twitter can see the financial future – and change it

Scottish financial trader James Alan Craig has been charged in the US with allegedly using Twitter to manipulate share prices. That charge raises a fascinating question: can Twitter be used to fiddle the stock markets? According to the US Department of Justice, the 62 year old, from Dunragit in Dumfries and Galloway, caused …
Costas Milas, 10 Nov 2015

Cyber racketeers convicted over $1bn international conspiracy

Two members of an illegal international gambling enterprise which operated over the net and telephone have been convicted of a racketeering conspiracy. Kelly Dorn, 53, of Oklahoma City, and Kory Koralewski, 45, of Parker, Colorado, were found guilty of the offence, while Dorn was additionally convicted of conducting an illegal …

CSC, NetCracker IT staff worked on US military telecoms 'without govt security clearance'

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has extracted $12m (£7.78m) from contractors accused of using workers who had not been given proper security clearances before performing government IT work. The DoJ said Netcracker Technology Corp would pay $11.4m and Computer Sciences Corp (CSC) would shell out $1.35m to settle allegations …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Nov 2015
3dr_solo_teaser_648

US govt drafts Google, Walmart, Amazon, BestBuy execs for drone registration system

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has named the 25 people who will draft the blueprints for a nationwide database of drone owners. As promised by the FAA and US Department of Transportation (DOT), the task force consists of individuals from companies and organizations that make and sell drones, as well as pilots, …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Oct 2015
The Kremlin in Moscow. Pic: Pavel Kazachkov

Trio nailed in US for smuggling $30m of microchips into Russia

Two men and a woman have been found guilty in the US of illegally peddling electronics to Russian military and spies. The trio worked at Arc Electronics in Houston, Texas, which was a front for an operation that moved more than $30m in microchips overseas against Uncle Sam's export and arms laws. Arc masqueraded as a traffic …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Oct 2015
Zombie rising from the grave

Infosec workers swipe Q-tip across 'net: Ew, there's Dridex on it

The Dridex banking botnet is continuing to show some signs of life even after a high-profile FBI-led disruption operation earlier this month. Servers associated with Dridex were seized in a co-ordinated operation on 13 September weeks after a suspect, Moldovan Andrey Ghinkul, was arrested in Cyprus in late August. But the …
John Leyden, 20 Oct 2015
Ronnie Barker and Tenniel Evans in The Navy Lark

Navy engineer gets 11 years for attempted espionage

A civilian US naval engineer has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for attempted espionage, after passing military technology secrets to an FBI undercover agent posing as an Egyptian intelligence officer. The Register can report that 36-year-old Mostafa Ahmed Awwad "took advantage of his position of trust within the Navy to …
Handcuffs

FBI inks deal with Dell and Nutanix for embiggenable mutants

The FBI is spending $28m on hyper-converged Dell systems, running Nutanix software, for 55,000 virtual desktop users. Dell has won a contract from the US Department of Justice for this deal. The basic hardware is Dell’s XC converged appliance, with the OEM’d Nutanix software, Dell’s networking gear and its AppAssure data …
Chris Mellor, 08 Oct 2015

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Email keyword sniffing? We'd NEVER do that!

In an interview which covered the company's data protection practices, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the company believes "from a values point of view, not from a commercial interest point of view," that privacy is a fundamental human right. Cook was being interviewed on National Public Radio's (NPR) All Tech Considered …

Hash-tag CompSci: FBI grooms pre-weed teens

The FBI is launching a pilot programme to groom teenage hackers for "the mission" before said hackers start hitting the bong – or get well-paid positions at private sector companies. The pilot programme will be rolled out next autumn, reports the Financial Times (behind paywall), and will see the agency offering computer …