Articles about Measures

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Whinge on: T-Mobile US docked $48m for limiting 'unlimited' data plans

T-Mobile US has agreed to pay the US comms watchdog the FCC $48m to settle claims that it illegally throttled the connections of some unlimited-plan data users. The settlement package [PDF] ends an investigation the US broadband watchdog launched over T‑Mobile's handling of customers on its unlimited data plans. At issue was …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Oct 2016

Skin tattoo will tell your phone when you've had a skinful

Drunk driving costs thousands of lives every year and, as El Reg tests have shown, personal breathalyzers aren't that reliable. But now government-funded boffins think they've cracked a way of stopping people driving when they've had a skinful. The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) has …
Iain Thomson, 19 Oct 2016
Australian Parliament House Canberra

Australia's new data breach disclosure laws have a rather floppy definition of 'breach'

After years of discussion a draft of Australia's proposed data breach disclosure laws has landed and, to The Register's mind, it leaves a lot of wriggle room for those who would keep breaches secret. The draft Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 (PDF) doesn't make it compulsory to report a breach. “It would …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Oct 2016
An angry woman steaming from the ears

Microsoft tries, fails to crush 'gender bias' lawsuit brought by its own women engineers

Microsoft has failed in a bid to shoot down a lawsuit alleging that its employee rating system was biased against women. A US district court in Washington has tossed out [PDF] the Redmond giant's motion to dismiss a complaint lobbed at it by three women engineers, who allege the system for evaluating engineering and technical …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Oct 2016
Losing money

The IRS spaffed $12m on Office 365 subscription IT NEVER USED

A report on spending from the office of the US Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) claims that between June 2015 and June 2016, the tax collectors paid $12m for subscriptions on Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange Online that were never used. The TIGTA report [PDF] found that in 2014, the IRS kicked off a …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Oct 2016

Blighty's Home Office database blunders will deprive hundreds of GB driving licences

The UK Home Office's dream of a database state – in which Theresa May's anti-immigrant policies can be automatically executed through SQL commands – now looks less likely. An independent review has slammed officials' for making critical mistakes through their handling of personal data. Hundreds of people have been refused …

In 2020, biz will chuck $100bn+ at protecting itself online

Security spending is predicted to grow from $73.7bn in 2016 to $101.6bn in 2020, according to analysts. This compound annual growth rate of 8.3 per cent, more than twice the rate of overall IT spending growth, will be increased security spending in healthcare as well as continued strong demand in banking and government. The …
John Leyden, 14 Oct 2016

You've been hacked. What are you liable for?

Hacking is big news and we’re all susceptible. In the UK, hackers could face jail time under the Computer Misuse Act, but the question on many businesses’ minds will be where the liability lies if they are hacked. The list of successful mega breaches continues to grow; extra-marital affairs site Ashley Madison hit the …
Frank Jennings, 14 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
League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC

British jobs for British people: UK tech rejects PM May’s nativist hiring agenda

Comment “If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what the very word ‘citizenship’ means." So British Prime Minister Theresa May told her party’s conference last week. Home secretary Amber Rudd laid out plans at the conference to make it harder for British employers to hire …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Oct 2016
Embarrassed/exhausted man sits in front of laptop in hipstery office. Photo by Shutterstock

Email security: We CAN fix the tech, but what about the humans?

Last month’s Mr Chow ransomware attacks serve as a timely reminder that security should be at the top of any business IT strategy. Ransomware is on the increase, at least according to the FBI and while it is not all email borne, it is an example of how sophisticated hackers and criminals are getting with technology. Certainly …

Google offers baseball bat and some chains with which to hit open source software

For a while now, Google's Chrome team has had a fuzzing tool to help them find bugs in the browser before bounty hunters do. Now, Mountain View has decided the same techniques can be applied to open source software in general. The company's emitted the first generalised version of its OSS-fuzz software at GitHub. A quick …
Johnnycab with Arnie. Screen shot from Total Recall

Without new anti-robot laws, humanity is doomed, MPs told

RotM Robots will destroy humanity unless we write new laws to control them, a UK Parliamentary committee has been told. “The key question is: if something goes wrong, who is responsible?” pondered the Commons Select Committee for Science and Technology, in a report released today. Microsoft's Dave Coplin, the firm's “chief …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Oct 2016
Ireland map, photo via Shutterstock

Ireland reaps benefits of Apple's tax schemes, even without EU bounty

Even without the €13bn tax bill which Ireland was told collect from Apple, the nation's arrangements with Cupertino is driving tax revenue and spending increases in its budget for 2017. The Irish government has this week put forward its budget for the next year, including an extra €1.3bn package of spending increases and tax …

Twitter yanks data feeding tube out of police surveillance biz

Updated Twitter has suspended its commercial relationship with a company called Geofeedia – which provides social media data to law enforcement agencies so that they can identify potential miscreants. The social media company announced the change through its Policy account on Tuesday morning following the publication of a report by …
Thomas Claburn, 11 Oct 2016
Simpsons carbon rod

Nuke plant has been hacked, says Atomic Energy Agency director

The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency has said he's aware of a successful hack of a nuclear power plant. And as if that isn't bad enough, he also knows of an attempt to steal enriched uranium. Yukiya Amano is the agency's director and on Monday visited Germany for meetings, where a Reuters correspondent heard …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Oct 2016

Australian randoms are chill with Internet data retention

Australians who don't know what the nation spends on defence also don't mind the country's data retention regime. That's according to an Australian National University (ANU) survey that's mostly been written up from the press release but which The Reg has considered a little more deeply. The full report, here, lists out the …
The box atop a wooden pallet

Inside the Box thinking: People want software for the public cloud

Analysis On-premises file sync and share and collaboration is yesterday's story. The future is the public cloud with dedicated software service suppliers, like Box. File sync, share and collaboration is not a feature, but a product, best expressed as a service (SaaS) through Box's three data centres and the public cloud, and not …
Chris Mellor, 10 Oct 2016

Ofcom finds 'reasonable grounds' that KCOM failed to maintain 999 services

UK comms watchdog Ofcom has today said it has "reasonable grounds" for believing operator KCOM failed to maintain emergency services access in Hull. KCOM notified Ofcom in February 2016 that its phone service in the region had suffered a “temporary reduction in availability.” In an update today the regulator said: "Ofcom has …
Kat Hall, 07 Oct 2016

Four reasons Pixel turns flagship Android mobe makers into roadkill

Comment This year’s “Google phones” – now rebranded as Pixel – are just the latest step in Google seizing control of Android – and the biggest so far. If this process is like cooking the proverbial frog, then Google just turned up the heat so quickly, the OEMs cannot help but notice. “There's more and more resemblance to Microsoft in …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Oct 2016
Man flexing for webcam

Mac malware lies in wait for YOU to start a vid sesh...

Mac malware could piggy-back on your legitimate webcam sessions - yep, the ones you've initiated - to locally record you without detection, a leading security researcher warns. Patrick Wardle, a former NSA staffer who heads up research at infosec biz Synack, outlined the vulnerability together with counter-measures he’s …
John Leyden, 06 Oct 2016
Office 365, photo by dennizn via Shutterstock

Securing Office 365? There's always more you can do

Wherever you look there's yet another SME or enterprise migrating to Office 365. This says a lot for the attractiveness of cloud-based office suites, and perhaps it also says something about the attractiveness of letting someone else look after one's SharePoint and Exchange servers rather than having to fight with their …
Dave Cartwright, 06 Oct 2016
A tortoise catches an orange frisbee. Photo by Shutterstock

Mobile data is getting slower, faster

US cities have seen a massive crash in LTE data speeds this year - but consumers haven’t noticed as latencies are getting lower. According to TwinPrime’s State of Mobile Performance, T-Mobile has emerged as the fastest mobile operator in the US and many European countries. The survey also shows Europe continues to enjoy faster …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Oct 2016

TalkTalk gets record £400k slap-slap from Brit watchdog

The UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has issued TalkTalk with a record £400,000 fine for allowing attackers to access customer data “with ease”. The penalty comes at the same time as the ICO publishes its in-depth investigation of last October's megabreach, which the office claims “could have been prevented if …

Parliamentary watchdog: Bank IT concerns not yet addressed

Concerns about the security and resilience of bank IT systems have not yet been addressed, a prominent MP has said in a letter to UK regulators. Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Treasury Committee in the UK House of Commons, asked Andrew Bailey (4-page / 215KB PDF), chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Oct 2016
Terminator head

How to steal the mind of an AI: Machine-learning models vulnerable to reverse engineering

Amazon, Baidu, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, among other technology companies, have been investing heavily in artificial intelligence and related disciplines like machine learning because they see the technology enabling services that become a source of revenue. Consultancy Accenture earlier this week quantified this …
Thomas Claburn, 01 Oct 2016
Crowd watches fireworks at night in the field. Photo by Shutterstock

Internet handover is go-go-go! ICANN to take IANA from US govt

The most significant change in the internet's functioning for a generation happened on 30 September at midnight. At 12.01am Washington DC time, the US government walked away from the IANA contract, which has defined how the internet has grown and been structured for nearly 20 years, and hand it over to non-profit organization …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Sep 2016

Dirty diesel backups will make Hinkley Point C look like a bargain

Britain signed off on the most costly energy deal it has ever made this week – but the price we agreed for energy from Hinckley is still lower than the peak prices that will hit British wallets even harder, and sooner. Current commitments to renewable generation will cost each household £466 by 2020/21, the centre-right think …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Sep 2016

NHS trusts ‘complacent’ on cloud app security risks

Almost half of NHS Trusts make no attempt to monitor cloud app usage, according to the results of a Freedom of Information request. The same FOI by cloud security firm Netskope also revealed that fewer than one-fifth of NHS Trusts have visibility into all cloud app use, leaving sensitive data vulnerable to both risky apps and …
John Leyden, 30 Sep 2016

EU's YouTube filter plan was revised '37 times'

The European Union's plan to get YouTube clean up its act – the proposed updates to copyright for the Digital Single Market – went through 37 revisions before emerging earlier this month: and the movie chiefs were nervous. Wiggin’s partner and Brussels chief Ted Shapiro lifted the lid on the backroom wrangling that led to the …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Sep 2016

FCC death vote looms for the Golden Age of American TV

Special report We’re living in a “Golden Age of TV”, and the United States makes the most envied popular TV drama in the world. Breaking Bad, The Sopranos and The Wire raised the bar for everyone in TV drama. More cash is invested in content: last year Netflix alone spent more on shows than either the BBC or HBO. It takes more risks and …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Sep 2016

Yahoo!’s security shambles

Yahoo! insiders have told the New York Times that the web biz systematically refused money and fixes for its internal security team for fear of scaring off users. The troubled California giant, which last week confessed that hackers had stolen the credentials for at least 500 million of its customer email accounts, routinely …
Iain Thomson, 28 Sep 2016
Credit card fraud

Urgent! Log in for spear-phisher survey or your account will be deleted

Europol’s annual cyber-crime survey warns that the quality of spearphishing and other "CEO fraud" is continuing to improve and "cybercrime-as-a-service" means an ever larger group of fraudsters can easily commit online attacks. Many threats remain from last year – banking trojan attacks are still an issue for businesses and …
John Oates, 28 Sep 2016

Brexit at the next junction: Verity's guide to key post-vote skills

STOB Pay attention, campers. I have conducted an impartial analysis of the post-Brexit landscape and identified a list of concrete, must-have programming skills for your edification. Impartial? That's pretty rich, coming from you, Verity, considering what I have heard about your activities since Referendum Night. I don't know what …
Verity Stob, 26 Sep 2016

IBM botched geo-block designed to save Australia's census

Australia's Bureau of Statistics has heavily criticised IBM for the security it applied to the nation's failed online census, which was taken offline after a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that battered a curiously flimsy defensive shield. The Bureau also admits it could have done better in a submission (PDF) to a …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Sep 2016

Double KO! Capcom's Street Fighter V installs hidden rootkit on PCs

A fresh update for Capcom's Street Fighter V for PCs includes a knock-out move: a secret rootkit that gives any installed application kernel-level privileges. This means any malicious software on the system can poke a dodgy driver installed by SFV to completely take over the Windows machine. Capcom claims it uses the driver to …
Chris Williams, 23 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

Game over: IANA power-grab block pulled from Congress funding bill

The attempt to prevent the US government from moving control of the internet's technical functions to a technical body appears to be over. Following an extraordinary few days where the transition seemed up in the air thanks to the persistent efforts of Senator Ted Cruz, majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) filed a continuing …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Sep 2016
Photo by 360b / Shutterstock

Despite IANA storm, ICANN shows just why it shouldn't be allowed to take over internet's critical functions

Internet overseer ICANN has responded to allegations of mismanagement, opaque decision-making, and an institutional lack of accountability by launching a review. That review, however, will not touch on the most serious charges leveled at the organization, including the fact that its staff deliberately misled companies seeking …
Chris Williams, 22 Sep 2016
image by Alexander_P

SWIFT warns of more 'sophisticated' attacks, readies anti-fraud tool

The chief information security officer for global money transfer network SWIFT says banks are still under attack from fraudsters hoping to cash in on identified security gaps to steal millions of dollars. Alain Desausoi, security head of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecom made the comments at the Financial …
Darren Pauli, 22 Sep 2016

Man accused of $180k ass-based gold smuggling scam awaits verdict

A Canadian man accused of smuggling $180,000 of gold out of the Royal mint – allegedly in his anal cavity – is awaiting a court verdict after his defence condemned the government’s case as “appalling” and entirely circumstantial. Leston Lawrence, 35, of Ottawa was accused of charges including theft, laundering the proceeds of …
Clodagh Doyle, 21 Sep 2016
A cursor hovers over a Run/Save/Cancel dialog menu.

Are you sure you want to outsource IT? Yes/No. Check this box to accept Ts&Cs

Migrating to an outsourced IT service including cloud is a great opportunity to outsource responsibility for IT and employees while simultaneously increasing efficiency and decreasing cost. At least, that’s the theory. The reality can be a lot more sobering. The SSP outage should serve as a reminder that while cloud can be …
Frank Jennings, 21 Sep 2016
Downtime, outage

Electrical box fault blamed for GS2 data centre outage

A power outage at "Europe’s largest purpose-built data centre”, Global Switch 2 – which knocked one customer offline for two days – has been blamed on a high voltage fault. All customers lost access to services based in the GS2 data centre on Saturday 10 September, according to an interim incident report issued by hosting …
Kat Hall, 20 Sep 2016
drawing of live cat and cat skeleton

Quantum comms succeed over metro-scale fibre networks

Two groups both reported successfully teleporting state information across metro-scale fibre networks. A Chinese team is claiming a teleportation over a 30 km fibre in Haifei (the entanglement travelled nearly 16 km), while the University of Calgary used that city's fibre network to carry entanglement 6.2 km (preprint here). … oughta get its data-sharing house in order before Digital Economy Bill plans

Analysis The government has a funny notion of how to tackle failure. When it comes to contracts, suppliers that have routinely messed up are handed more deals. When it comes to policy, approaches that have proved unsuccessful get dusted off and pushed with renewed vigour. The author who wrote "the definition of insanity is doing the …
Kat Hall, 19 Sep 2016

Pramworld admits mailing list breach

UK baby care supplier Pramworld has admitted that a breach of its systems was the reason customers were sent spam emails on Friday. In a statement supplied to El Reg (below), Pramworld admitted its mailing list had been compromised while downplaying the problem and offering reassurance that payment information had not been …
John Leyden, 16 Sep 2016
Sad, disappointed-looking baby. Photo by Shutterstock

Ransomware scum infect Comic Relief server: Internal systems taken down

Comic Relief’s internal systems are down for the third day running after a ransomware attack on one of the charity’s servers on Wednesday. Founded in 1985 by comedy scriptwriters, the charity behind the UK’s Red Nose Day telethon took down all of its internal systems in the wake of the attack. An email sent on Wednesday to the …
EU flag photo via Shutterstock

Brexit will happen. The EU GDPR will happen. You can't avoid either

Article 50, the process for Britain’s formal withdrawal from the European Union, is looming. Upon the conclusion of Article 50, data centres resident in Britain will no longer be subject to EU data protection rules. Today, UK data centres are bound by the EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/C), which was in turn based on the …
Danny Bradbury, 16 Sep 2016
Image composite: Microsoft and StudioLondon

Remote hacker nabs Win10 logins in 'won't-fix' Safe Mode* attack

Security researcher Doron Naim has cooked an attack that abuses Windows 10's Safe Mode to help hackers steal logins. The Cyberark man says remote attackers need to have access to a PC before they can spring this trap, which involves rebooting a machine into Safe Mode to take advantage of the lesser security controls offered in …
Darren Pauli, 16 Sep 2016
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by SHUTTERSTOCK

EU law: Brussels burps up aspirational copyright tweaks

Analysis Brussels’ widely leaked copyright reforms [PDF] have been formally published. The proposals are intended to “reduce the differences between national copyright regimes and allow for wider online access to works by users across the EU.” They will be tossed about and amended in European Parliament for many months. But with an …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Sep 2016