If a hacker hijacks your computer with malware and holds your data for ransom, it’s probably best to just pay up, at least that’s the latest advice the FBI is giving out concerning ransomware.
Reported last week by Security Ledger, Joseph Bonavolonta, the Assistant Special Agent who oversees the FBI’s CYBER and Counterintelligence Program in Boston, spoke at the 2015 Cyber Security Summit and advised that companies infected with ransomware may want to give in to the criminal’s demands.
“The ransomware is that good,” Bonavolonta explained to an audience of business and technology leaders. “To be honest, we often advise people just to pay the ransom.”
US watchdog the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has signed an agreement with seven countries to share cross-border information relating to privacy.
The new “alert” system will let regulators from America, UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Norway share confidential information about ongoing investigations, and the FTC is very excited about it.
“Today, data is increasingly crossing borders, and our privacy investigations and enforcement must do the same,” said FTC chair Edith Ramirez at the signing on Sunday. “GPEN Alert is an important, practical cooperation tool that will help GPEN [Global Privacy Enforcement Network] authorities protect consumer privacy across the globe.”
The other signatories are notably less excited however. Of the seven other countries, just one – the UK – has even bothered to announce the news. And the GPEN website has yet to update itself to contain information about its own new alert system.
A little more than two years ago, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office presented Facebook with a bulk warrant, part of a large-scale investigation into the fraudulent filing of Social Security disability claims.
Prosecutors wanted to pin down whether a group of retired police officers and firefighters faked mental illness triggered by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
As of a few months ago, the probe led to charges against 62 people, but the bulk warrants named hundreds of Facebook accounts – and gagged the website from informing the targets about the requests.
Several people, including news media, have been seeking comment from Nicky Hager and his legal team about the revelation on the weekend that Westpac Bank gave the Police his private banking information (including over 10 months of his banking transactions from all of his accounts).
It is difficult for Mr Hager to comment at this time. The part of his claim that deals with the legality of these Police information requests was deferred during the first hearing and has not yet been argued. However, Mr Hager is keen to clarify the position and answer the public’s questions as much as he is able.
Until this weekend, Mr Hager only knew about the privacy breach by Westpac through court discovery. Documents provided through discovery are not allowed to be used for any other purpose until they are relied on in open Court. Since this part of Mr Hager’s case has not yet been argued, he has not been able to make use of his knowledge of this breach, not even to raise the matter with Westpac or the Privacy Commissioner.
Mr Hager had also requested documents from the Police under the Official Information Act and the Privacy Act. Had he been provided with documents under those Acts he would have been able to use them to take this matter further. However, the Police have not been willing to provide the documents under those Acts. Indeed, the Police have refused even to acknowledge the existence of correspondence with Westpac under those Acts. This is despite Mr Hager expressly asking the Police to list all of the documents they were wholly withholding under those Acts.
Mr Hager has complained to the Privacy Commission and the Office of the Ombudsman about the Police failure to respond fully to his requests for documents. Representatives of both of those organisations have met with Mr Hager’s lawyers and have been liaising with Police over these complaints.
Now that the fact of this breach of privacy has been made public, Mr Hager intends to seek a full and frank disclosure of the extent of the breach from Westpac. He looks forward to receiving Westpac’s response to that request and will be considering his options to take this matter further.
Mr Hager is very concerned by this breach. His case before the High Court includes a claim against the Police under the Bill of Rights Act for seeking and obtaining that information without a production order. He fully intends to explore all options open to him now that he is free to do so.
In the circumstances, neither Mr Hager nor his lawyers are able to give interviews on this topic at this time. However, it is hoped that we will be free to do so in the future.
Predictive HotSpot mapping began in 2012, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) or really DHS, calls it “Mapping and Analysis for Public Safety.” Click here, here & here to see how the NIJ is really DHS.
NH police officer Derek Cataldo saw a 2000 Honda Accord parked at 5:35 p.m. on Merrimack Street, a “predictive hot spot.” Deleire was sitting in the driver’s seat. Cataldo drove by the car and then circled the block to get a better look and determine if Deleire was there for legitimate purposes, officer Cataldo approached the car and began talking with Deleire, who police said was physically shaking.
Everyone should be asking, why are police approaching people for no good reason? But wait, it gets worse…