Articles about Investigators

Apple, Facebook and Coinbase coughed data to finger alleged pirate king

The United States case against alleged Kickass Torrents (KAT) boss Artem Vaulin is built on data obtained from Apple, Facebook and Coinbase. The criminal complaint (PDF) against Vaulin details how the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted a lengthy online probe into the alleged …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016
MH 370 Search Zone

We're not looking for MH370 in the wrong place say investigators

Dutch geosciences company Fugro has denied that the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has been conducted in the wrong place. Reuters yesterday quoted Fugro figures as saying that the chosen search area assumes the plane met a sudden end, but that if the crew were awake the plane could have glided well beyond …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016

Alleged skipper of pirate site KickAss Torrents keel-hauled in Poland

The world's favourite torrent website, KickAss Torrents, is down and out with Polish cops arresting its alleged operator Artem Vaulin. Kickass rose to prominence after the scuppering of The Pirate Bay and attracted more than 50 million unique visitors a month. That level of traffic made it the 69th most frequently-visited …
Darren Pauli, 21 Jul 2016
Banned

WhatsApp gets another Brazilian whack as magistrate blocks it again

Update The standoff between Brazil's legal system and Facebook's WhatsApp messaging platform continues, after a Rio de Janeiro judge ordered all carriers to block the app as of next Tuesday. WhatsApp claims 100 million users in the country. While judge Daniela Barbosa has declined to publish her reasons in full, she says the order …

Chinese hacker jailed for shipping aerospace secrets home

Chinese national Su Bin has been sentenced to 46 months jail after admitting his role in stealing information on the Lockheed F-22 and F-35 aircraft, along with Boeing's C-17 cargo plane. The aviation expert worked with two members of China's military to attack networks of Boeing and US and European defence contractors in …
Darren Pauli, 15 Jul 2016
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

US drug squads told to get a warrant before tracking mobile phones

A US federal judge in New York State has pushed back against Uncle Sam's Drug Enforcement Agency's use of Stingrays, saying evidence collected by the fake phone masts isn't admissible. A Maryland judge ruled in 2015 that investigators need court-approved warrants to set up pretend cellphone towers that track people by their …
Pic by Ilya Schurov, Computerra Weekly

Debian founder Ian Murdock killed himself – SF medical examiner

Debian Linux founder Ian Murdock, who died late last year in strange circumstances, killed himself, according to an autopsy report obtained this week. On the evening of December 28, the 42-year-old fired off a string of increasingly incoherent tweets, claiming he had been beaten up by police officers near his home on Green …
Chris Williams, 07 Jul 2016
UN building, photo via Shutterstock

WIPO chief trying to 'fix the composition of the Staff Council' – lawyer

WIPO's director general Francis Gurry is seeking to strengthen his hold on the UN’s global IP group by getting rid of its staff council. A lawyer for the council, Matthew Parish, has written to all United Nations ambassadors expressing concern over Gurry's attempts to alter the composition of the body, whose most recent …
John Oates, 06 Jul 2016
Scaremongering image from Wi-Fried

Australia's ABC suspends presenter over 'Wi-Fi is dangerous' claims

Australian public broadcaster ABC has suspended the presenter behind its unscientific “Wi-Fried” Catalyst programme that aired earlier this year. Presenter Dr Maryanne Demasi of the popular science program swallowed wholesale the claims of scare-mongers like Devra Davis and Canadian opponent of Wi-Fi in schools, Frank Clegg. …

Second celebgate hacker pleads guilty to phishing

A second US man has pleaded guilty to stealing intimate pictures of celebrities using a phishing scam. Edward Majerczyk, 28, who resides in Chicago and Orland Park, Illinois, was charged with hacking into the Apple iCloud and Gmail accounts of more than 300 people, including Hollywood celbrities. In a plea bargaining deal, …
John Leyden, 05 Jul 2016
Lauri Love. Pic: Courage Foundation

Here's how police arrested Lauri Love – and what happened next

Feature Lauri Love was arrested on suspicion of offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 early in the evening of 25 October 2013, when a National Crime Agency officer wearing dungarees and posing as a UPS courier told Love's mother that Lauri himself had to come to the porch to collect his delivery. In his dressing gown and pyjamas …

Encryption, wiretaps and the Feds: THE TRUTH

Figures published this month suggest fewer Americans are using encryption to secure their communications – but if you look into the detail, the opposite is probably closer to reality. The latest Wiretap Report from the US courts system – which counts up the number of requests from investigators to spy on people's chatter in …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jun 2016
A bowl of Noodles

While you filled your face at Noodles and Co, malware was slurping your bank cards

American fast-food chain Noodles and Company says malware got into its sales registers, allowing it to slurp customers' payment card numbers. The biz admitted today that hundreds of restaurants in 28 US states were infected with card-stealing software nasties that harvested customer card names, numbers, expiration dates, and …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jun 2016

Visiting America? US border agents want your Twitter, Facebook URLs

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency wants to collect links to social network accounts of people visiting the Land of the FreeTM. Under new proposals, each traveler filling out an I-94 travel form or applying for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) visa will be asked for "information associated …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jun 2016
Cartoon of employee asking wky boss makes hium wear suspenders (while pincer through open trapdoor remains poised above his head) illustration by Cartoon resource for Shutterstock

Hey cloud lawyer: Can I take my client list with me?

You spend months or years building up a client list for your employer. You nurture the relationship and build up personal ties with the client. When you leave the employer, naturally the client goes with you. And so does the client list, via a USB stick or Dropbox or your webmail account. If you don’t get all the details before …
Frank Jennings, 20 Jun 2016
Cash in brown paper envelope CC 2.0 attribution StockMonkeys.com

Ex-SAP exec and pals accused of $500,000 insider trading scam

A former SAP executive and his associates allegedly ran an insider trading ring to net hundreds of thousands of dollars. Chris Salis was, until recently, global vice president and general manager for procurement at SAP. US financial watchdog the SEC claims he used his inside knowledge of SAP's takeover of Business Objects in …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jun 2016

Apple starts clock on HTTPS app rule

Apple says that iOS app developers will need to adopt HTTPS security before the year is out. Speaking in a session (iOS or Safari required) at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, head of security engineering and architecture Ivan Krstić announced that effective at the end of this calendar year, Apple will mandate the use …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jun 2016

Man dies after UK police Taser shooting

A man in Llanelli has died after being shot with a Taser by officers from Dyfed-Powys Police force. As with all deaths during or following police contact in the UK, the matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which confirmed to The Register that: "IPCC investigators have been deployed …
Bear attack

Russian government hackers spent a year in our servers, admits DNC

The US Democratic National Committee (DNC) has confirmed that hackers thought to be part of Russian state intelligence have had access to their servers for nearly a year. They have read emails, chat logs, and opposition research documents. The attack was uncovered six weeks ago, after IT admins noticed something strange was …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jun 2016
Pic of Garda car. editorial use only Photo by SHutterstock/abd

Ireland goes Big Brother as police upgrade IT snooping abilities

The Garda Síochána has proposed to expand its surveillance on Irish citizens by swelling the amount of data it collects on them through an increase in its CCTV and ANPR set-ups, and will also introduce facial and body-in-a-crowd biometrics technologies. Announced as part of its new five-year programme to “professionalise” and …
Poison pill

Crafty plan to give FBI warrantless access to browser histories axed

A sly attempt to grant the FBI warrantless access to people's browser histories in the US has been shot down by politicians. Unfortunately, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) Amendments Act of 2015, which would have brought in some privacy safeguards for Americans, was cut down in the crossfire. The ECPA …
Iain Thomson, 11 Jun 2016
Tom Perkins

Silicon Valley granddad and HP boss-killer Tom Perkins dies aged 84

Obit Tom Perkins, seen by many as one of the grandfathers of Silicon Valley, has died at the age of 84 after a prolonged illness. Perkins was born in White Plains, New York, in 1932 and showed an early interest in technology, earning a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 1953 and an MBA from Harvard four …
Iain Thomson, 10 Jun 2016
Liam Neeson, Taken

Want a job that pays at least $90,000 a year? Get into ransomware

An analysis of the finances and operation of a ransomware outfit has shown it's entirely possible to bankroll a modest-sized crime gang on victims' payoffs. Dark web monitoring firm Flashpoint has been following a ransomware-as-a-service campaign organized by Russian crooks since December 2015, tracking the recruitment of …
Iain Thomson, 03 Jun 2016

Feinstein-Burr's bonkers backdoor crypto law is dead in the water

A proposed piece of US legislation that would have required American tech companies to cripple the encryption in their products is dead in the water. The daft bill was championed by Senators Richard Burr (R‑NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D‑CA) in February following an increasingly rancorous debate over encryption, and at one point …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 May 2016

Hillary Clinton broke law with private email server – top US govt watchdog

A report by the US State Department's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has found presidential wannabe Hillary Clinton did breach record-keeping laws – by using a personal server for work emails. The watchdog added she was not alone in the practice. The 89-page dossier [PDF] found that three senior State Department figures …
Iain Thomson, 26 May 2016
Google UK office logos

French authorities raid Google's Paris HQ over tax allegations

Google's office in central Paris was raided this morning by police, directed by French financial officials, over alleged underpayment of taxes. More than 100 investigators and five magistrates were involved in the raid, which happened shortly after 5am on Tuesday morning, Reuters reported. This has been confirmed to The …

Congress presents plan to tighten reins on FBI hacking

A bipartisan bill introduced to Congress this week will aim to set new limits on the ability of the FBI to access private computers. Dubbed the Stopping Mass Hacking (SMH) Act, the Senate bill [PDF] aims to roll back changes the Supreme Court recently issued in its stance on Rule 41 computer search warrants. Those changes …
Shaun Nichols, 19 May 2016
Central Intelligence Agency

CIA says it 'accidentally' nuked torture report hard drive

The CIA says that it accidentally deleted a report at the heart of a Senate investigation into the agency's use of torture. A report from Yahoo! news claims that the agency's Inspector General managed to delete both the uploaded copy of the Senate's torture report and a disk that contained the office's backup of the report, …
Shaun Nichols, 18 May 2016
Bank vault

Yet another SE Asia bank hit by a SWIFT credentials hack

Cybercrooks have once again broken into the SWIFT financial transaction network and stolen money from another bank. The breach – victim and amount looted undisclosed – comes as the fallout from February’s $81m Bangladesh reserve bank cyber-heist continues to spread. The second robbery was uncovered by investigators looking …
John Leyden, 13 May 2016

Spaniard live streams 195km/h burn-up

Spanish police have traced and cuffed a driver who live streamed a Madrid ring road burn-up during which he hit 195km/h (121mph) and narrowly avoided taking out several other vehicles. The unnamed speed merchant used Periscope to transmit his night-time high-speed exploits, then ill-advisedly shared the footage on his Twitter …
Lester Haines, 10 May 2016
image from shutterstock_148618127

IT glitch causes 'nationwide' Post Office outage

An IT glitch at the Post Office has caused a "nationwide problem" leaving thousands of customers unable to pay bills, post packages or collect benefits this morning. The Post Office apologised on Twitter for the inconvenience caused by issues with counter services at some branches this morning, saying they had now been …
Kat Hall, 09 May 2016

Cops deploy StingRay anti-terror tech against $50 chicken-wing thief

Police in Maryland, US, used controversial cellphone-tracking technology intended only for the most serious crimes to track down a man who stole $50 of chicken wings. Police in Annapolis – an hour's drive from the heart of government in Washington DC – used a StingRay cell tower simulator in an effort to find the location of a …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 May 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

Heathrow Airbus collision 'not a drone incident'

The UK's Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, has told Parliament that what was thought to be the Britain's first recorded incident of a collision between a UAV and an airliner was probably "not a drone incident" after all. A British Airways Airbus A320 flying in from Geneva was approaching Heathrow airport on 17 April …
Lester Haines, 28 Apr 2016

Docker hired private detectives to pursue woman engineer's rape, death threat trolls

Container software biz Docker hired private investigators to track down trolls after one of its popular engineers was harassed and bullied for being a woman. Jessie Frazelle, who was sent death and rape threats, last month quit the San Francisco-based upstart to work at Mesosphere. As word of her departure spread, Docker …
Iain Thomson, 26 Apr 2016

Net scum lock ancient Androids, force users to buy iTunes gift cards

Blue Coat researcher Andrew Brandt says ancient Androids can be hijacked with persistent ads that force victims to buy US$200 worth of iTunes gift cards. Brandt considers the spam as ransomware since it traps infected Androids in a locked screen state until victims buy attackers gift cards which would presumably be later …
Darren Pauli, 26 Apr 2016
United nations flag by https://www.flickr.com/photos/sanjit/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Secret UN report finds WIPO chief 'broke procurement rules'

The secret UN report into the behaviour of WIPO boss Francis Gurry has found him guilty of “conduct... inconsistent with the standards expected of a staff member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation.” The chair of WIPO's General Assembly Colombian ambassador Gabriel Duque is still refusing to release the full report …
John Oates, 25 Apr 2016
Still from the Star Trek original series episode "arena" of enterprise using photon torpedo.  Pic copyright:  Paramount Pictures, CBS Studios

FBI's Tor pedo torpedoes torpedoed by United States judge

A ruling by a US federal judge could unravel as many as 1,200 criminal prosecutions of alleged pedophiles by the FBI. Massachusetts District Court Judge William Young today declared that the magistrate judge who issued a warrant authorizing the FBI to infect suspects' PCs with tracking malware lacked the proper authority to do …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Apr 2016
Mitsubishi president bowing in apology

Mitsubishi 'fesses up: We lied in fuel tests to make our cars look great

Tetsuro Aikawa, president of Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC), gave a deep bow of apology at a press conference on Wednesday after admitting his firm had falsified fuel efficiency tests on at least 635,000 vehicles. "MMC conducted testing improperly to present better fuel consumption rates than the actual rates; and that the …
Iain Thomson, 20 Apr 2016
vestager_648

Official: EU goes after Google, alleges it uses Android to kill competition

The EU's competition authority thinks it has a smoking gun against Google. Consumers suffered because Google’s contracts with phone OEMs prevented the market from creating a better Android, the EU Commission alleged today. It has sent a formal Statement of Objections to Google that forces Google to come up with remedies or …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Apr 2016
management intelligence

Bio biz Theranos probed

Troubled blood-testing company Theranos has confirmed it is being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the US Attorney's Office over claims it misled investors and government officials. In a letter to its partners, the company said it felt obliged to provide information on ongoing investigations …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Apr 2016

US congresscritter's iPhone hacked (with, er, the cell networks' help)

America's flagship news program 60 Minutes has demonstrated how to "hack" a US congressman's smartphone. One little thing to bear in mind about this incredible scoop: the vulnerability has been in circulation since 2014 ... and it requires high-level access to global phone networks. House representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) loaned …
Iain Thomson, 18 Apr 2016
Studio shot of LEGO minifigure Batman and Superman standing by a water cooler with drinks. Copyright: cjmacer Editorial Credit: cjmacer / Shutterstock.com Editorial Use Only.

What's this about Canada reading your BlackBerry texts?

Reg Water Cooler – What's this about the Canadian Mounties hacking millions of BlackBerry messages or some crazy moose doodie like that? It's been reported today that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (aka Mounties, aka Poutine Po-Po) obtained a global decryption key for BlackBerry phones in 2010, and that they used the key to read intercepted …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Apr 2016

You won't believe this, but… nothing useful found on Farook iPhone

The iPhone at the center of the huge public fight between the FBI and Apple has "nothing of real significance" on it – just as we suspected. CBS News reports it has been told by a "law enforcement source" that the phone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook does not contain any information of practical assistance in the …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Apr 2016
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

Hackers hacking hackers to knacker white hat cracker trackers

ACSC2016 Malware writers are selling each other out to white hats and hacking through each other's infrastructure to frame rivals, Shadowserver's Richard Perlotto says. Richard Perlotto. Image: Darren Pauli, The Register. The treachery is a bid to prompt Shadowserver and fellow malware investigators to take down their rival's …
Darren Pauli, 14 Apr 2016

Would you let cops give your phone a textalyzer scan after a road crash?

Poll Drivers in New York may have their phones and gadgets scanned after crashes to see what they were doing moments before a prang. Law bill SB S6325A, if passed, will allow police to check a driver's smartphone for activity when an accident occurs. Investigators could then determine whether or not a motorist was illegally using …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Apr 2016

Texas Attorney General charged in 32-bit 'eco-friendly server scam'

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged the CEO of Texas server manufacturer Servergy, one of its board members, and the state's Attorney General with fraud over claims of revolutionary low-powered computer hardware. The SEC alleges that between 2009 and 2013 Servergy's then-CEO William Mapp misled …
Iain Thomson, 11 Apr 2016
Large leaver switch on a board of push button switches

Lotto 'jackpot fix' code

The Multi-State Lottery's former IT security boss Eddie Tipton smuggled code onto lotto machines that allowed him to predict the numbers drawn on certain days of the month. That's according to investigators in Iowa this week. In July, Tipton was found guilty of fraud in the US state, and was sent down for ten years, for …
Chris Williams, 08 Apr 2016

FBI, Apple continue cat-and-mouse game over iPhones in New York

Despite walking away from a high-profile confrontation, the FBI is not giving up on its cat-and-mouse game with Apple over access to iPhone data, and the issue has now moved to New York. On Friday, the Feds appealed a decision last month by a Brooklyn magistrate, James Orenstein, to reject their demand that Apple help them …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Apr 2016