Articles about Investigators

NSA, GCHQ and even Donald Trump are all after your data

Comment As production and usage of data keeps growing globally, it’s worth remembering that the US government wants access to your information and will use warrants, decryption or hacking to get to it. That’s not news and the US government has many tools in its box. Many had already heard of the Uniting and Strengthening America by …
Frank Jennings, 20 Oct 2016
Riven Media

Security research tool had security problem

Security researchers and the networks they rely on were at risk of breach by the hackers they investigate, thanks to now mitigated man-in-the-middle holes in a popular plugin for analysing debugger OllyDbg. The debugger disassembles binaries, making it a handy way to understand an application's workings without having access …
Darren Pauli, 20 Oct 2016

Euro Patent Office staff demand new rights to deal with terrifying boss

Staff at the European Patent Office (EPO) have asked its administrative council to adopt new guidelines to protect them from the organization's rampaging president. The open letter [PDF] urges the council – which meets this week in Munich – to adopt the same rules for disciplinary proceedings and internal investigations that …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Oct 2016
man in suit clutches briefcase full of cash. Photo by Shutterstock

Tax-swerving IT director disqualified for 8 years

Anthony Hodges, a Basingstoke-based IT consultant, has been barred from acting as a company director for eight years due to mischief undertaken as his company went into liquidation. Investigating the demise of management consultancy Hodges & Coley, of which Hodges was the sole director, the Insolvency Service said it had …

Feds collar chap who allegedly sneaked home US hacking blueprints

An American who worked at the same intelligence contractor as NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been charged with the theft of classified documents. Harold Martin, 51, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, was arrested in late August after the FBI raided his house and storage shed, allegedly finding a number of top secret documents he …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Oct 2016

SpaceX searches for its 'grassy knoll' of possible Falcon rocket sabotage

In its search for the reason behind last month's explosion that destroyed its Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX has vowed to leave no stone unturned. Now one of its staffers may be taking things a little too far. The doomed Falcon 9 suffered a catastrophic failure while being fueled for a static firing test. It is believed a failure in …
Iain Thomson, 04 Oct 2016

SpaceX: Breach in liquid oxygen tank caused Falcon 9 fireball ... probably

A large breach in the liquid oxygen tank of SpaceX’s Falcom 9 rocket likely caused the explosion during a test at the start of this month, investigators have said. A static firing test at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida ended abruptly when the rockets burst into flames on the launchpad and disintegrated, along …
Paul Kunert, 24 Sep 2016

Uni student cuffed for 'hacking professor's PC to change his grades'

A student at Kennesaw State University in Georgia is accused of hacking into his professor's computer to improve his grades. Chase Arthur Hughes, 19, was arrested and charged this week after allegedly raiding the university's computers in May. The teen made a number of alterations to his grades, and those of his friends, for …
Iain Thomson, 23 Sep 2016
Windows 10 floppy disk

Microsoft sues Wisconsin man (again) for copyright infringement (again)

Microsoft is hoping the third time will be the charm in its efforts to shut down a man once again being accused of pirating its products. The Redmond giant has filed suit [PDF] in the US District Court in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, against Anthony Boldin for illegally selling product activation keys for its products. The complaint …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Sep 2016
Pluto, visible and X-ray

Pluto's emitting X-rays, and NASA doesn't quite know how

The Chandra space telescope has spotted X-rays emanating from Pluto. What? That's “cold, dead, former planet Pluto with no magnetic field”, to most of us: orbiting between 4.4 billion km and 7.4 billion km from the sun out in the Kuiper belt, with no way to generate heat. That Pluto. Since we don't suppose the former-planet …

Apple's tax bill: Big in Japan. Like, $120m big

Apple has again been hit with a relatively small bill for skirting tax laws, this time in Japan. A report from national broadcaster NHK World claims that the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau has told Apple to cough up $120m (12.3bn Yen) to cover back taxes that the Cupertino giant failed to pay. The report notes that Apple has …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Sep 2016
Man shouting the news from a rolled up newspaper

Spam texters fined £30K

Manchester firm Carfinance247 has been fined £30K over a spam text campaign. The car finance brokerage firm’s noxious text messaging tactics generated 912 complaints to the ICO, the UK’s data privacy watchdog. The firm’s four-month marketing campaign involved the distribution of 65,000 messages to people who hadn’t first …
John Leyden, 15 Sep 2016

Student charity's ex-IT boss in the cooler for stealing $1.3m through fake tech contracts

A former IT executive has been ordered to spend the next 45 months behind bars after he stole $1.3m from a charity in Virginia, US. Demetrius Arnold Washington, 51, of Louisa, must also pay back the mountain of dosh that he funneled into his pockets via bogus tech consultancies. He was jailed after pleading guilty to mail …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Sep 2016
White House drone

Height of stupidity: Heathrow airliner buzzed by drone at 7,000ft

An airliner circling Heathrow narrowly missed colliding with a drone flying at 7,000 feet – while another aircraft approaching the London airport saw a drone hurtle past just 30 feet from its cockpit. The first near miss took place in mid-May when an Airbus A319 pilot flying to Heathrow saw a one metre-long drone, painted …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Aug 2016
Kim Jong Un

North Korea unveils its home-grown Netflix rival – Manbang

Denizens of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (aka Best Korea) get precious little internet access as it is, but the lucky (and loyal) few will now have a Netflix-style streaming service to match similar systems in the decadent rest of the world. The system – unfortunately dubbed Manbang – comes as a set-top box …
Iain Thomson, 23 Aug 2016

Privacy advocates rail against US Homeland Security's Twitter, Facebook snooping

A proposal to ask people to provide details of their social media accounts before entering the United States has been criticized as "highly invasive" by privacy advocates. A coalition of 28 groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), Consumer Federation of America, and …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Aug 2016
Spy hides in dustbin, lifts lid to take photograph

Californian gets 50 months in prison for Chinese 'technology spy' work

A sting operation by the US Department of Homeland Security has netted one California woman a 50-month sojourn in prison after she was found guilty of trying to break the US Arms Export Control Act. The court heard that between March 2011 and June 2013, Wenxia Man, 45, of San Diego, worked with a Chinese national – who she …
Iain Thomson, 23 Aug 2016

Google had Obama's ear during antitrust probe

Updated According to emails released under the US Freedom of Information Act, Google briefed the White House amid an antitrust investigation into itself, breaking a 40-year precedent of the President's office staying well away from competition issues. Google lobbyist Johanna Shelton and the web giant's antitrust lawyer Matthew Bye met …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Aug 2016
Smilin' Marv

Cisco confirms two of the Shadow Brokers' 'NSA' vulns are real

It's looking increasingly likely that the hacking tools put up for auction by the Shadow Brokers group are real – after Cisco confirmed two exploits in the leaked archive are legit. The two exploits, listed in the archive directory as EPICBANANA and EXTRABACON, can be used to achieve remote code execution on Cisco firewall …
Iain Thomson, 17 Aug 2016

Baltimore cops accused of violating FCC rules with Stingrays

Three civil rights groups have filed a complaint with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over the use of Stingray devices by the Baltimore Police Department (BPD). The filing [PDF] accuses police investigators of operating without a license and interfering with the cellular network, both while unfairly targeting …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Aug 2016
Old school emissions testing at the EU's Joint Research Centre

DoJ preps criminal charges for VW over Dieselgate

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) is reportedly preparing to file criminal charges in the Volkswagon emissions testing scandal. Citing sources familiar, The Wall Street Journal reports that the DoJ has found evidence of criminal wrongdoing on the part of the German automaker and is in talks with VW lawyers to propose a deal …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Aug 2016

Forensics tool nabs data from Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp

USENIX VID University researchers have developed a new method to help forensic investigators extract data information from memory. The tool, dubbed Retroscope, recovered data from up to the previous 11 screens displayed from up to 15 apps, with an average of five screens pulled from each. Apps included Signal, Skype, WeChat, Gmail, …
Darren Pauli, 15 Aug 2016

Julian AssangeTM to meet investigators in London

Couch-surfing sex crimes suspect Julian Assange will soon meet with Swedish authorities. In case you came in late, Assange has spent most of the last four years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He's there because Sweden wants a word over an investigation into possible sex crimes, but Assange fears if he sets foot in Sweden …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Aug 2016
Comcast outage map

IP mapping hell couple sues

A couple in Butler County, Kansas, US, is suing web mapping company MaxMind after their rented home was the default physical location for all IP addresses in America. Whenever anyone used MaxMind's geoIP databases to look up where an internet IP address is associated, the software would default to the coordinates 38.0000,-97. …
Team Register, 10 Aug 2016

Bungling Microsoft singlehandedly proves that golden backdoor keys are a terrible idea

Updated Microsoft leaked the golden keys that unlock Windows-powered tablets, phones and other devices sealed by Secure Boot – and is now scrambling to undo the blunder. These skeleton keys can be used to install non-Redmond operating systems on locked-down computers. In other words, on devices that do not allow you to disable Secure …
Chris Williams, 10 Aug 2016
Police Scotland employees stand outside the Scottish Parliament. Pic: Shutterstock

Police Scotland to cough 0.001% of annual income for unlawful RIPA spying

Police Scotland has been ordered to pay a Scottish policeman-turned-novelist £10,000 in damages after being found guilty of abusing surveillance powers to hunt down sources who blew the whistle on a bungled murder enquiry. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal published its judgment yesterday. Although five people filed claims …
Gareth Corfield, 09 Aug 2016
DEF CON encryption panel

US Politicians tell DEF CON it'll take Congress ages to sort out how to regulate crypto

DEF CON It’s going to be at least a year or so, and probably a lot longer, before the United States Congress gets around to ruling on the second war on encryption, two members of the US House of Representatives told the DEF CON event. Alex Stamos, chief security officer (CSO) of Facebook, hosted a panel with Representatives Eric …
Iain Thomson, 07 Aug 2016
A medical sample cup

Very peed off: Ohio urologists stay zipped after embarrassing leak

A medical group in Ohio has confirmed it was ransacked by miscreants who leaked hundreds of thousands of medical files, financial documents and patient records – but offered little else in the way of an explanation. The Central Ohio Urology Group told The Register it is still working with investigators and IT security experts …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Aug 2016

New York jerks face $25K fines for hassling ex with fake caller IDs

A man who faked the caller IDs of his ex-wife's contacts in order to harass her will be fined $25,000. Gary Braver of North Bellmore, New York, and his work pal Steven Blumenstock faked the numbers of Robin Braver's mom and her child's school, among others, in order to trick her into answering her phone. When she did, they …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Aug 2016

Londoner jailed after refusing to unlock his mobile phones

A London man has been jailed for almost six years after being caught with two illegally held revolvers – and refusing to reveal to police the PINs for his mobile phones. Twenty-nine-year-old Marvin Jones, of Tyneham Close, Clapham, was sentenced to five years and six months in prison for possessing the two revolvers, a Smith …
Gareth Corfield, 04 Aug 2016
A child selling newspapers

Bloke faces years in the clink for using hacker-leaked press releases in $30m trading scam

A US stock trader has admitted he profited from insider trading – by buying and selling shares using tip-offs from Ukrainian newswire hackers. Leonid Momotok, 48, of Suwanee, Georgia, pleaded guilty in a Brooklyn court on Monday to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He could get up to 20 years behind bars in addition …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Aug 2016
Ink hands

What's ordered in Vegas, doesn't stay in Vegas? $6.7m of printer ink 'stolen by office worker'

A Las Vegas woman stole printer ink worth $6,715,531 from her employer and sold it to a reseller on the other side of America, it is claimed. When Jennifer McCain-Bray worked as a purchasing analyst for the Las Vegas Valley Water District – a public utility – she ordered millions of dollars of extra printer ink and toner, had …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jul 2016
A donkey

Dem-owned-crats: Now its congressional committee is hacked

Updated The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – which represents Democrats in the US House of Representatives – has been hacked, and miscreants have made off with a massive amount of data. The DCCC confirmed its computer systems were infiltrated and ransacked in a manner similar to the high-profile intrusion at the …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jul 2016

Florida Man cleared of money laundering after selling Bitcoins to Agent Ponzi

A money-laundering case in Florida has unraveled after a judge declared Bitcoins are not a valid form of money. Judge Teresa Pooler cleared [PDF] defendant Michell Espinoza of running an unlicensed money exchange and money laundering charges on the grounds that the Bitcoins he sold to two undercover investigators were goods …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jul 2016

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

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

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

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