Russia is carrying out a sustained campaign of cyber attacks targeting democracy and critical infrastructure in the West, UK Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has warned. Moscow was "weaponising misinformation" in a bid to expand its influence and destabilise Western governments and weaken Nato, he said. Vladimir Putin had chosen to become a "strategic competitor" of the West. Sir Michael said it was vital alliance members strengthened cyber defences. His speech, at the University of St Andrews, comes as Theresa May is to use an informal summit in Malta to press EU Nato members to boost defence spending.
Webstresser.org, a popular DDoS-for-Hire website service on Wednesday was taken down by authorities from the US, UK, Netherlands, and various other countries in a major international investigation and arrests have been made. The website is blamed for more than four million cyber attacks globally in the past three years and had over 134,000 registered users at the time of the takedown. The operation, dubbed "Operation Power OFF," targeted Webstresser.org, It involved law enforcement agencies from the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Serbia, Croatia, Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia, Hongkong, Canada, and United States of America, coordinating with Europol. The domain name was seized by the US Department of Defence.
A Russian man accused of hacking LinkedIn, Dropbox, and Formspring in 2012 and possibly compromising personal details of over 100 million users, has pleaded not guilty in a U.S. federal court after being extradited from the Czech Republic. Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Nikulin, 30, of Moscow was arrested in Prague on October 5, 2016, by Interpol agents working in collaboration with the FBI, but he was recently extradited to the United States from the Czech Republic on Thursday for his first appearance in federal court. Nikulin's arrest started an extradition battle between the United States and Russia, where he faces significantly lesser criminal charges of stealing $3,450 via Webmoney in 2009. But the Czech Republic ruled in favor of the United States. In the U.S., Nikulin is facing: 3 counts of computer intrusion 2 counts of intentional transmission of information, code, or command causing damage to a protected computer 2 counts of aggravated identity theft 1 count of trafficking in unauthorized access devices 1 count of conspiracy According to the maximum penalties for each count, Nikulin faces a maximum of 32 years in prison and a massive fine of more than $1 Million.
Vladimir Putin was not in attendance, but his loyal lieutenants were. On 14 July last year, the Russian prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, and several members of his cabinet convened in an office building on the outskirts of Moscow. On to the stage stepped a boyish-looking psychologist, Michal Kosinski, who had been flown from the city centre by helicopter to share his research. "There was Lavrov, in the first row," he recalls several months later, referring to Russia's foreign minister. "You know, a guy who starts wars and takes over countries." Kosinski, a 36-year-old assistant professor of organisational behaviour at Stanford University, was flattered that the Russian cabinet would gather to listen to him talk. "Those guys strike me as one of the most competent and well-informed groups," he tells me. Kosinski's "stuff" includes groundbreaking research into technology, mass persuasion and artificial intelligence (AI) – research that inspired the creation of the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. Five years ago, while a graduate student at Cambridge University, he showed how even benign activity on Facebook could reveal personality traits – a discovery that was later exploited by the data-analytics firm that helped put Donald Trump in the White House.
After clearing the European Parliament last month, the EU's sweeping copyright laws have passed their final hurdle by receiving approval from member states. The new rules are designed to bring outdated copyright regulations into the online age, making internet platforms liable for content uploaded to their sites. A total of 19 European Council members, including France and Germany, voted in favor of the new Copyright Directive. Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Finland and Sweden voted against adopting the directive, whereas Belgium, Estonia and Slovenia abstained -- but their opposition ultimately didn't matter. EU countries now have 24 months to apply the directive to their national legislations.