Thursday, 29 September 2016

Digital Divide: Emerging Economy Cyber Alerts - September 29, 2016


Policy 
their legislation today could be yours tomorrow

South African flag and mapSouth Africa’s pending Films and Publications Amendment Bill—also known as the Internet Censorship Bill—would require citizens to register their names, addresses and ages and pay a fee before uploading videos to platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, in turn giving full access to this information to the CEO of the Films and Publications Board. Responded Phumzile van Damme, Democratic Alliance (DA) National Spokesperson, “The legislation currently being pushed through Parliament is unacceptable. The DA will do everything possible to ensure the bill does not pass in its current form.”

Privacy, Surveillance and Censorship 
government isn't always on your side

American flag and map 

‘Google Surveillance’ is a more appropriate moniker for the United States-based search engine’s new chat app, Allo, says Edward Snowden. Allo does not enable end-to-end encryption by default, stores conversations indefinitely and provides customized automatic responses that are generated by first monitoring user messages




Research and Initiatives 
making your world a more cybersecure place

Indian flag and map 


India now has a chapter of the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) in Singapore. The organization plans to strengthen ties with government, industry and academia in order to enhance information and best practice sharing. 




Cyberattacks 
the threats we all face

American flag and map


United States-based Yahoo just discovered a 2014 data breach that compromised the names, email addresses, passwords, phone numbers and birth dates of more than 500 million accounts; financial information was not stolen. The hack is believed to have been carried out by a state-sponsored actor. 

American flag and map 

Security news blog KrebsOnSecurity was temporarily offline last week because of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. Once online again, United States-based Brian Krebs wrote, “One of the fastest-growing censorship threats on the Internet today comes not from nation-states, but from super-empowered individuals who have been quietly building extremely potent cyber weapons with transnational reach.” It is believed that the attack on Krebs’ site was a reaction to his work against vDos, a DDoS-for-hire service. 
 

Looking Back 
a new glimpse at old alerts

Indonesian flag and mapIn June, Indonesia announced that it did not have the capacity to fund a proposed National Cyber Agency. As an alternative, the nation has sought to work more cooperatively with Russia in order to heighten digital information security and improve cyber technology. “We see an importance to deepen our discussions on the two countries’ security as well as regional security, and we will follow up the cooperation with more concrete measures,” reported Indonesian Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto. 



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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

SumTips: 5 Human Rights Violations Not to Be Ignored

Thai flag and map
A Thai tourism video directed by Bandit Thongdee has fallen victim to government censors. The video included four individuals in Khon masks, including a depiction of Ramakien king Thotsakan, which the culture ministry found “inappropriate”. As a result, an edited version of the video was released this week.

A debate over the thin line between respecting a nation’s heritage and infringing upon freedom of expression has ensued, culminating in a Change.org petition that quickly reached its goal of 70,000 signatures. The petition, which challenged the decision to censor Thongdee’s work, has since been delivered to Thailand’s Ministry of Culture and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Although its results remain to be seen, the signers of the petition should celebrate the fact that their efforts were heard, a dream that does not always become a reality for Change.org petitions. Of note:
  • On March 4, 2016, the Index on Censorship submitted a petition titled, “End Turkey’s crackdown on press freedom” in response to the seizure of Zaman, an independent Turkish media group. A week after the petition started, Index on Censorship announced a continued need to fight against the continued crackdown on press freedom; Zaman, the country’s most circulated newspaper, has since taken a markedly pro-government stance. To date, the petition has received 3,500 of the 5,000 signatures needed for it to reach President Recep Tayyip Edogan.
  • On February 20, 2016, the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) submitted a petition titled, “Solidarity with Ahmed Naji: Egypt Prosecutes Creativity and Freedom of Expression” in response to the novelist’s two-year prison sentence on grounds of “harming public morality”. Just this month, the petition was updated to inform supporters of ways to wish a happy birthday to the still-imprisoned Naji. To date, the petition has received 9,000 of the 10,000 signatures needed for it to reach the International Community of Scholars, Novelists and Journalists.
  • On December 3, 2015, the Change Vigilantes Organization submitted a petition titled, “Nigerians Say ‘NO’ To Social Media Censorship by Government” in response to a proposed social media law that would “suppress, censor and criminalize free speech”. In May of 2016, the harmful legislation was thrown out; whether it returns remains to be seen. To date, the petition has received approximately 500 of the 1,000 signatures needed for it to reach the National Assembly, Senate President Bukola Saraki, National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari.
Advocate for change, surf secure and stay Rando!



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Thursday, 22 September 2016

Digital Divide: Emerging Economy Cyber Alerts - September 22, 2016


Policy 
their legislation today could be yours tomorrow

Zimbabwe's flag and map


At a consultative workshop, Zimbabwe's Secretary for Information Communication and Technology, Postal and Courier Services Sam Kundishora suggested that because of frequent changes in ICT, the country's Computer Crime and Cyber Security Bill should be reviewed every two years in order to make corresponding adjustments. 




Privacy, Surveillance and Censorship 
government isn't always on your side

Indian flag and map


India’s government is working to include Aadhaar, its biometric authentication system, on all smartphones within the country. If companies such as Google, Samsung and Microsoft do not comply, they would likely find themselves non-competitive in a country with such a rapidly growing smartphone market. The change would also send all mined smartphone data to the Indian government rather than the phone manufacturers. 



Research and Initiatives 
making your world a more cybersecure place

Emirati flag and map
Recent research reveals cause for concern in the United Arab Emirates: “UAE workplace security research conducted by Cisco and GBM showed employee behavior is a genuine weak link in cybersecurity and becoming an increasing source of risk—more through complacency and ignorance than malice—because companies have so insulated employees from the scale of daily threats that people expect the company’s security settings to take care of everything for them. Training employees to understand that they too are liable on an individual level is of critical importance.” Today marks the 8th e-Crime Congress Abu Dhabi, which will explore the advances in and shortcomings of cybersecurity. 

Indian flag and map 
High Representatives from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) recently met in New Delhi to discuss issues including cybersecurity in anticipation of October’s BRICS Summit. The representatives agreed to focus on information sharing and cooperation in order to strengthen cybersecurity. 

Malaysian flag and map 


CyberSecurity Malaysia plans to produce 10,000 certified cybersecurity professionals by 2020. “It is vital to develop a strong pool of cyber security talent in order to build a dynamic cyber security eco-system that can support Malaysia’s transformation into a high income digital economy,” said Datuk Seri Panglima Madius Tangau, Malaysia’s Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) minister. 




Cyberattacks 
the threats we all face

Chinese flag and map


Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba recently fired four employees who stole 124 boxes of mooncakes with a sales system hack. Although those fired were surprised to see such decisive action, a PR representative for Alibaba reported that “the decision was made to remind myself and every employee that everything has a bottom line.” 

Russian flag and map

Russian hackers APT28 and Fancy Bears have breached the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in an attack that has made public the medical records of Olympians from countries including Argentina, Belgium, Burundi, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Spain and the United States. WADA believes the attack is an effort to destroy reputations and retaliate for investigations into doping in Russia

Israeli flag and map 



18-year-old Israelis and leaders of an international hacking operation, Itay Huri and Yarden Bidani, were recently arrested for knocking websites offline and compromising databases. It is believed that Huri and Bidani collected over $600,000. 





All images credit of BOLDG/Shutterstock.com.
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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

SumTips: 5 Countries on Censorship Watch, According to Ban Ki-moon

United Nations logo
Yesterday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reported on the United Nation's annual progress at the 71st General Assembly meeting. Of note, he mentioned 5 countries currently impacted by failed governance and armed conflict:
  • In today’s world, the conflict in Syria is taking the greatest number of lives and sowing the widest instability. There is no military solution. Many groups have killed many innocents – but none more so than the Government of Syria, which continues to barrel bomb neighborhoods and systematically torture thousands of detainees. Powerful patrons that keep feeding the war machine also have blood on their hands.
  • One year ago, Palestine proudly raised its flag at UN Headquarters. Yet the prospects for a two-state solution are being lowered by the day. All the while, the occupation grinds into its 50th year.
  • On the Korean Peninsula, the fifth nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has again threatened regional and international security. Meanwhile, the people’s suffering and plight are worsening. 
  • In Ukraine, the violence has caused an internal upheaval, renewed tensions across Europe and rekindled geopolitical rivalries.
  • In South Sudan, leaders have also betrayed their people.

Secretary-General Ban continued on to highlight the fact that these countries are merely representative of a larger problem:
  • Indeed, in too many places, we see leaders rewriting constitutions, manipulating elections and taking other desperate steps to cling to power. Leaders must understand that holding office is a trust, granted by the people, not personal property.

His solution?
  • My message to all is clear: serve your people. Do not subvert democracy; do not pilfer your country’s resources; do not imprison and torture your critics.

SumRando simultaneously applauds the Secretary-General’s message and acknowledges that in countries such as Syria, Palestine, North Korea, Ukraine and South Sudan—as well as in much of the rest of the world—his words will simply go unheeded.

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Thursday, 15 September 2016

Digital Divide: Emerging Economy Cyber Alerts - September 15, 2016


Privacy, Surveillance and Censorship 
government isn't always on your side

Saudi flag and map 
In case the blockage of several apps including WhatsApp, Skype, Google Play and FaceTime wasn't bad enough, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has now decided to prohibit access to The Huffington Post as well. Although the government has not offered a specific reason for the ban, it is assumed that a recent opinion piece titled, "Last Tango in Riyadh," may have contributed to the decision.



Research and Initiatives 
making your world a more cybersecure place

American flag and map



United States-based Google Chrome will soon begin marking HTTP sites that ask for passwords or credit card information as “not secure;” the search engine ultimately plans to mark all insecure HTTP pages with a red triangle warning. 

Bahamian flag and map 


INTERPOL, in collaboration with the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Dominican Republic National Police and the Colombian National Police, recently hosted cybercrime training sessions throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Participants hailed from 29 countries and territories and deepened their understanding of mobile forensics, online investigations and cyber incident first-responses. 

Israeli flag and map


Now that the Brazil Olympics have concluded, Israeli cybersecurity companies have turned their attention to the 2020 Games in Tokyo. Israeli company KELA was responsible for monitoring and prohibiting cyberattacks during the Rio de Janeiro games; this September, companies such as KELA will meet with Japanese government and executives in preparation for the next summer Olympics. 



Cyberattacks 
the threats we all face

Russian flag and map



A 2012 data breach of Rambler, “Russia’s Yahoo,” was just discovered. More than 98 million usernames, email addresses and passwords from Rambler’s unencrypted database were compromised in the attack. 



Filipino flag and map
A recent Cyber Security Summit in Makati City provided an opportunity for Microsoft Asia’s Keshav Dhakad to comment on the state of affairs in the Philippines: “The situation is very alarming, Malware infection is rising and we at Microsoft are seeing all kinds of threats whether they be worms, Trojans, exploits, viruses, or injectors. These are high-level threats. They can steal your files, drop a ransomware, or steal your password. They can self-replicate or open backdoors which can lead to invasion of your privacy.” The Philippines’ 40% malware encounter rate is one of the highest in the world.



All images credit of BOLDG/Shutterstock.com.
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