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Oregon hit with federal subpoena over failed healthcare website launch

The state of Oregon is facing a subpoena and grand jury probe from the US government over a failed IT project which cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. A Federal Court has issued a subpoena asking the state's Cover Oregon agency to hand over documents, records and correspondence related to the agency's disastrous …
Shaun Nichols, 21 May 2014
FBI badge and gun

UK man Lauri Love accused of hacking US Federal Reserve

The US government have laid more hacking charges against a Brit alleged to have hacked into the US Federal Reserve. Lauri Love, 28, of Stradishall, Suffolk, is charged with one count of computer hacking and a further charge of aggravated identify theft over an alleged attack on Federal Reserve computer systems between October …
John Leyden, 28 Feb 2014
anonymous logo

'Anons' cuffed by Australian Federal Police

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) claim to have arrested two chaps who conducted defacement and denial of service attacks on Indonesian and Australian government websites while using the name and iconography of Anonymous. The AFP says a 40-year-old from Scarborough in Western Australia has been charged with aiding “the …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2014
Isilon 3-node S200

Federal squeeze hits EMC as revenues and profits nose downwards

The US federal spending shutdown has hit EMC's results, causing declines in both revenues and profits compared to the previous quarter. In comparison, rivals VMware saw accelerated double-digit year-over-year revenue growth; no federal shutdown effect visible there. Third quarter revenues of $5.5bn were $100m less than the …
Chris Mellor, 22 Oct 2013
Supreme Court Building

Slurp away, NSA: Mass phone data collection IS legal, rules federal judge

A US federal judge has ruled that the NSA is within its rights to harvest millions of innocent Americans' telephone call records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act – and that the dragnet is fine under the Fourth Amendment since the data was collected by a third-party telco, not the government. The decision kicks the debate …
Iain Thomson, 27 Dec 2013

Australian Federal Police admit to slurping politicians' metadata

It seems that merely being a recipient of a leak is sufficient, in Australia, for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to search members of parliaments' phone records. The admission that the AFP had accessed “non-content data” of MPs came as independent Senator Nick Xenophon grilled the AFP over the issue. In a Senate Estimates …

US federal judge: Yes, Bitcoin IS MONEY

A US federal judge has ruled that Bitcoin meets the criteria for "a form of money" under US law, paving the way for what could become a defining lawsuit for the virtual currency. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Texas resident Trendon Shavers with operating a Ponzi scheme under the name Bitcoin Savings and …
Neil McAllister, 07 Aug 2013
The Sun, hacked to redirect to LulzSec Twitter page

Australian Federal Police claim arrest of 'LulzSec leader'

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has arrested a man described "a self-proclaimed leader of the group ‘Lulz Security’ (Lulzsec), a computer hacking group that has existed since 2011." The as-yet-unnamed 24-year-old man was apprehended in the coastal town of Point Clare was arrested after using a known exploit to last month …
The Register breaking news

AWS cloud gains critical federal security certification

The more people you have to go through to get approval for an IT project, the less likely it is to happen, so when Amazon announces another security certification it's not just about compliance, it's about releasing pent-up cloud demand. With the company's announcement on Tuesday that both its US West and East data center hubs, …
Jack Clark, 21 May 2013
The Register breaking news

Press exposure of Federal data security hole leads to legal threats

An investigation into a security slip that left the identity information for over 170,000 users of a US federal government program publicly available online has led to accusations of hacking and legal threats. The Scripps News investigative team spent the last month studying companies running Lifeline, a federal program to …
Iain Thomson, 22 May 2013
The Register breaking news

US federal transport crash investigators ditch BlackBerry for iPhones

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has followed other federal agencies in ditching Blackberry for iPhone. But it's not just because they love the retina screen, the public sector agency has blamed their Blackberry devices for being unreliable in a document on the FedBizOpps site explaining why they are switching …
Anna Leach, 21 Nov 2012

Silk Road 2.0 busted! At least two arrests as federal crackdown begins

If drugs traffickers thought the anonymous online black market calling itself Silk Road 2.0 would be any safer from law enforcement than the original, it looks like they had better think again. According to reports by Forbes and TechCrunch, the FBI have made "multiple arrests" of people believed to be involved with Silk Road 2.0 …
Neil McAllister, 20 Dec 2013
The Register breaking news

Privacy campaigner blasts FTC's federal limpness

The American Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is making a mistake by leaving web and data companies to regulate themselves, privacy campaigner the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) said today. Responding to the FTC's report Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change (PDF) published yesterday, EPIC said the …
Anna Leach, 27 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

Viviane Reding says imitate US and form FEDERAL EUROPE

Viviane Reding, VP of the European Commission, has published an open letter calling for a Federal Europe, modelled on the USA, claiming the only way out of the financial crisis is consolidation of all the participating countries into a single administration. The letter, published on the same day that European leaders are meeting …
Bill Ray, 28 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Federal advisors urge Congress to look into China's cyber attacks

A federal advisory group has told the US Congress that it should be doing an in-depth investigation of Chinese cyber spying and that it should create tougher penalties for companies that benefit from corporate espionage. The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said in its annual report to the government that China …
The Register breaking news

Scores of US federal agencies still open to 2008 cache attack

US federal agencies are still struggling to roll out mandated technology that would make it much harder for attackers to spoof their websites. The Federal Information Security Management Act set a December 2010 deadline to deploy DNSSEC, or DNS Security Extensions, on federal domains. However a survey by Domain Name System …
John Leyden, 23 Mar 2012
American Airlines Plane

iPad no flight risk says Federal Aviation Authority

Being asked to switch off your electronic devices during the takeoff and landing phases of a flight now looks even more anachronistic, after American Airlines announced it has been given permission to let its pilots use iPads in the cockpit “in all phases of flight”. The airline is chuffed that the Federal Aviation …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Sep 2012
The Register breaking news

US federal court fast-forwards case on Google privacy policy

A lawsuit brought against the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its inaction regarding Google's imminent changes to its terms of service was expedited yesterday. The US federal court of the District of Columbia agreed to a request put forward by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) - the plaintiffs in the case …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Feb 2012
Map showing Narrabri in NSW

Supposed 'leader' of LulzSec pleads guilty to hacking, hubris

Matthew Flannery, once paraded by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) as the “leader” of international hacking collective LulzSec, has pleaded guilty to the five remaining charges against him, in Gosford Local Court. Flannery has waited since April 2013 to have the case settled. He is to be sentenced at a later date. At the …
The Register breaking news

Pwned HBGary Federal boss cancels debate after threats

Ex–HBGary Federal chief exec Aaron Barr has abandoned plans to speak at the DefCon security conference in Vegas next week. Barr was due to take part in a panel discussion on 6 August but cancelled these plans in response to a threatened legal injunction by lawyers acting for his former employers, security blog Threatpost reports …
John Leyden, 28 Jul 2011
The Register breaking news

Anonymous vows to attack Federal Reserve

Infamous hacktivist collective Anonymous has served notice that it intends to attack the websites of the Federal Reserve. The campaign – likely to take the form of denial of service attacks and possibly sit-ins – is in protest at the Federal Reserve's role in the global financial crisis, misuse of US taxpayer funds and supposed …
John Leyden, 14 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Serial hacker admits breaching Federal Reserve computers

A Malaysian national has admitted hacking a computer network operated by the US Federal Reserve Bank and possessing stolen payment card data. Lin Mun Poo, 32, entered a guilty plea on Wednesday in US District Court in Brooklyn. In November, prosecutors brought a four-count indictment against him that charged him with fraud, …
Dan Goodin, 14 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

'Unlimited' misleading on throttled broadband: Federal Court

Australia's Federal Court has handed the ACCC a win over the misleading use of the word “unlimited” in broadband advertisements. In a decision handed down in Melbourne this week, Justice Anthony North of the Federal Court agreed with the ACCC that the word “unlimited” in Optus advertisements was misleading. Under the plans the …
Murchison Widefield Array telescope installation

SKA under budget cloud in the Great Oz Science Brain Drain

In the midst of swingeing cuts to scientific research in Australia, the Square Kilometre Array project has emerged as a possible victim of the 2014 federal budget. Among the minutiae to emerge from the budget papers is this: SKA funding is only committed for another two years. Australia won the right to host the low-frequency …

Supreme Court nixes idea of 'indirect' patent infringement

The US Supreme Court has issued a ruling that could help shield companies and end users from patent-troll lawsuits. The court on Monday issued a unanimous ruling to overturn a Federal Circuit court ruling in the case of Akamai v. Limelight. In the opinion, written by Associate Justice Samuel Alito on behalf of the unified court …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jun 2014
Parliament in the clouds

Oracle emerges from bureaucratic sludge clutching crucial cloud certificate

Oracle has gained a crucial federal certification that will make it easier for US government agencies to buy cloud services from the database giant. The company announced it had gained a provisional authority to operate under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) on Thursday, almost a year after cloud …
Jack Clark, 22 May 2014
The Register breaking news

German states defend use of 'Federal Trojan'

Five German states have admitted using a controversial backdoor Trojan to spy on criminal suspects. Samples of the so-called R2D2 (AKA "0zapftis") Trojan came into the possession of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), which published an analysis of the code last weekend. German federal law allows the use of malware to eavesdrop on …
John Leyden, 12 Oct 2011
Abbott and Costello dressed as policemen

Self-proclaimed LulzSec leader to be tried in July

After repeated delays by prosecutors, alleged LulzSec “leader” Matthew Flannery has finally had a trial date set, for July this year, in a case expected to last just two days. Working under the name Aush0k, Flannery was originally pitched to the media as a “significant risk” and a “leader” of LulzSec, a claim many doubted at the …
John Legere

T-Mobile US boss: Hey, FTC! We didn't make THAT much from 'bogus premium texts'

The head of T-Mobile US is refuting claims from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that his company made huge revenues from allowing customers to be flooded with expensive text messages. CEO John Legere said his cell network never bagged the "hundreds of millions of dollars" that the commission claims it did when people were …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jul 2014

Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties

Online radio service Pandora is being sued by a group of record labels seeking payout for songs released more than four decades ago. The Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) said that a number of its member labels, both major and independent, are seeking to recoup money from the streaming music giant for its use of songs …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Apr 2014
The Register breaking news

Federal lawyers, MIT threatened following Aaron Swartz' death

Prosecutors associated with the case against the late Aaron Swartz have received "harassing and threatening communications", including postcards of disembodied heads pictured next to guillotines. Government lawyers have detailed the harassment in a court filing urging the court to keep details of the case redacted to protect …
Disney's Beagle Boys

Australia's States in online shopping tax grab

The idea that Australia's finances can be fixed by closing the online shopping “GST loophole” has shambled back out of its grave to consume the brains of the country's political masters. State treasurers have revived their calls for the federal government to stick its hands in the pockets of online shoppers. Currently, the …

'Big Internet' wades into 'net neutrality' battle with the FCC

Major internet companies have submitted their comments to the US Federal Communications Commission's consultation on new rules for internet discrimination and pricing – the so-called "net neutrality" consultation. The Internet Association – which lobbies on behalf of Google, Amazon, Facebook and others including Reddit – said in …
Team Register, 14 Jul 2014

Western Australia considers ban on R18+ games

The Australian State of Western Australia (WA) is reviving the country's vexed games classification debate, with a new report suggesting the state government should consider banning games currently carrying an R18+ classification. The suggestion is contained in a report from the Joint Standing Committee on the Commissioner for …

US trading, energy watchdogs asked: Does Google's Skybox gobble pass the sniff test?

Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen has asked US energy and trading regulators to probe Google’s acquisition of satellite firm Skybox Imaging, which it claims could give big players in commodities trading an unfair advantage. In a letter to the authorities, Public Citizen said that banks and hedge funds already used the intel …
The Good Doctor Spinola

Report: Prez Obama kicks Healthcare.gov contractor to curb for web disaster

The Obama administration has reportedly patted CGI Federal on the back, forced it to pick up its various toys, and led it away from the fail-filled Healthcare.gov site it created and subsequently tried to repair. It's not usually this easy to get out of procurement contracts, but per the Washington Post, which made the claims …
Jack Clark, 10 Jan 2014
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Microsoft online app melodrama wins federal certification

Microsoft's BPOS-Federal suite of online business applications has been certified for use by the US government. Which highlights the fact that it wasn't certified earlier. Earlier this month, Microsoft made headlines when it accused Google of making "misleading security claims" to the US government, an accusation that hinged on …
Cade Metz, 21 Apr 2011
Goodwill

Goodwill's goodwill rocked as Feds probe bank card hacking scam

American charity Goodwill is being investigated by US federal authorities as the possible ground zero for a major debit and credit card security breach. But the company says it thinks it's in the clear. "Goodwill Industries International was contacted last Friday afternoon by a payment card industry fraud investigative unit and …
Iain Thomson, 22 Jul 2014

Fed chairwoman casts doubt on Bitcoin regulation in the US

The head of the US Federal Reserve has said that her office will not imposing any regulatory controls or restrictions on the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Chairwoman Janet Yellen told a congressional committee that the Reserve lacks the authority to impose regulations on Bitcoin and she cast doubts on the ability for other government …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Feb 2014

German spy agency staffer spied for NSA during gov probe into NSA spying – report

A German intelligence agency staffer has been arrested after allegedly being caught spying on behalf on the US, according to reports by German newspapers. The country's Federal Prosecutor's office has confirmed that a man had been arrested on suspicion of being a foreign spy, but gave no further details. According to reports in …
John Leyden, 07 Jul 2014
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Brace for extra patches, Oracle tells Australian users

Oracle has warned its Australian customers to brace for extra patches. Before you imagine some exclusively antipodean security SNAFU is behind the bulletin advising Australian users of their fate, consider that the nation offers software-makers one federal and eight State and Territory jurisdictions. Each of those nine …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Mar 2014
iBooks example

Apple ebook price-fix settlement: Readers get $400m, lawyers $50m

Details have emerged of Apple's out-of-court settlement with 33 US states that had accused the company of hiking up ebook prices. US attorneys general revealed today that the iPad maker is on the hook to pay out $400m to readers. Lawyers will walk away with as much as $50m on top of that. The conditional settlement will only go …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Jul 2014
Random numbers

Crypto thwarts TINY MINORITY of Feds' snooping efforts

US government court-sanctioned wiretaps were sometimes defeated by encryption, according to official figures on law enforcement eavesdropping released this week. State police were unable to circumvent the encryption used by criminal suspects in nine cases last year, while plain text was recovered in 32 of 41 cases where use of …
John Leyden, 04 Jul 2014
Wrestler Gheorghe 'The Carpathian Bear' Ignat. Source: Wikipedia

Global cop co-operation treaties need cloudy reboot

International treaties that allow police forces and spookhaüses around the world to collaborate are starting to creak beneath the weight of the cloud, and will soon need a refresh, according to Tim Morris, national manager for high technology crime operations at Australia's Federal Police. Speaking at the CeBit Australia …
Simon Sharwood, 05 May 2014
Airbus A380 lift-off. Picture courtesy of Airbus

Fuel for jets DOES grow on trees

Western Australian farmers who have spent decades planting trees to try and combat salinity might get a payoff: providing jet fuel to Perth airport. A study, Sustainable Mallee Jet Fuel, commissioned by Airbus and undertaken at the Future Farm Industries Cooperative Research Centre, found that carbon emissions from jet fuel …

FTC: T-Mobile USA took '$100s of millions' in bogus txt charges

T-Mobile US has been accused of hitting customers with bogus text-message charges running into hundreds of millions of dollars. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed suit against the carrier, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has opened an investigation. The agencies alleged the company allowed users to be …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Jul 2014

Own goal as World Cup Wi-Fi passwords spilled in newspaper snap

The Wi-Fi SSID and password for the football World Cup's security centre were exposed – after a photograph of host nation Brazil's federal police brass inadvertently captured the creds written on a white board. The snap appeared in newspaper Correio Braziliense, and showed the head of international cooperation Luiz Cravo Dorea …
Darren Pauli, 25 Jun 2014
Winnie-the-Pooh honey

FTC seeks DEFCON help to finger illegal robocallers

The Federal Trade Commission is to host a cash competition at this year's DEFCON hacking conference in Las Vegas, with the goal of building a honeypot that can lure in robocallers and allow technologists to analyze how to block them in the future. "Honeypots have been used extensively among information security specialists, but …
Iain Thomson, 17 Jun 2014
Dunce

600 school sysadmins sacked in New South Wales

The Department of Education and Communities (DEC) in the Australian state of New South Wales has chosen not to continue funding a program that paid for sysadmins in many schools. Funding for the sysadmins was initially made available under the Federal “Digital Education Revolution” (DER) program initiated by the Rudd government …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Jun 2014

Hate keeping your systems updated and secure? So does Uncle Sam

A Senate report has cast doubt on the ability of many of the US's largest government agencies to properly secure and maintain their systems. The report, authored by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and his fellow Republican members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, detailed incidents in government …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Feb 2014