You didn’t expect Anonymous to take the recent Spanish police action against them lying down, did you? The website for Spain’s national police was knocked offline late Sunday night. While the authorities did not release any details, a site connected to Anonymous claimed responsibility. According to the site, #OpPolicia is on.
In 1967, AT&T and the Federal Communications Commission sat down to hammer out the details of a national standard for requesting help from emergency services that we still use today—dialling 911. While dialling this simple three digit number may seem like a no-brainer to us now, when 911 was first introduced, it was a paradigm shift in communications that allowed for example, an individual in Toledo on a business trip to call for an ambulance the same way he would have done back home in San Francisco. Kind of a big deal, right? Here's how it works.
Every time I receive a call, my cell carrier takes note of the incoming telephone number, the time, date and duration of the conversation, and—because the call is sent through a network of cell towers—my location. As it turns out, I'm also carrying the right kind of smart phone, which means my device itself jots down my spot on the earth, as well.
Between the brick and carrier, I've amassed a strikingly detailed digital portrait of every chat, check in, text and voice message I've received and sent. And since the diary of events is not in my possession, it's possible that others could get access. We started wondering: What do the cops need to do to get their hands on cell phone records?
When it comes to routine matters, British police have been ordered to fire off a text message rather than communicate using their radios, UK's Daily Mail reports. It's the latest movie in what the UK newspaper calls "unprecedented cutbacks."
Meanwhile, Airwave Solutions, the company which operates the emergency services communication system, is enjoying "massive" profits, with a profit margin higher than Vodafone. Pre tax profit was up 26 percent for the past 12 months.
"It was imperative to have a secure communications system. But it has come at a very high price. The advice we're being given from the top is to send texts as much as possible because it's going to cost a lot less money," laments Clive Chamberlain, chairman of the Dorset Police Federation.
According to Chamberlain, it costs as much as "£2 (about US$3.21) a second whenever we go over the limit. We are being told that texting more has the potential to save tens of thousands of pounds because it costs only £4 (about US$6.43) to send 1,000 texts."
Neither the Dorset Police or Airwaves would discuss pricing details, though Airwaves did say the per second charge was "misleading and inaccurate."
The internet at large tends to childe us all every few months about how much information people are sharing online. Sites like the now defunct Please Rob Me tried to bring the whole problem into focus by aggregating social networking posts wherein people said they were not at home. Sure, we all told ourselves this was no big deal. It's not like thieves are cruising Facebook looking for clues on when to rob you. As it turns out, at least some of them are. Police are reporting that three recently apprehended accused burglars were using Facebook to target empty homes.
The accused individuals were found to be in possession of $100,000-200,000 in stolen property. Police Capt. Ron Dickerson said in a statement, "We know for a fact that some of these players, some of these criminals, were looking on these sites and identifying their targets through these social networking sites." When you think about it, many people have hundreds of Facebook friends, many of which they know only in passing. Who's to say none of them are an unscrupulous lot?
The suspects were caught when they were seen lighting off a large quantity of fireworks stolen from one of the burgled homes. Does this incident give you pause about that you say on Facebook? Have you ever posted something you feel gave away too much information?
Google opened a can of worms when it fessed up to possessing payload data from open Wi-Fi networks in over 30 countries. Although it immediately approached regulators around the world with a proposal to quickly dispose of the data gathered by Street View cars, not all regulators were willing to allow the internet giant's request. Some of them have even launched criminal probes into the matter.
“We intend to find out what kinds of data they have collected and how much. We will try to retrieve all the original data illegally collected and stored through domestic Wi-Fi networks from the Google headquarters,” the Cyber Terror Response Center of the Korean National Police Agency said in a statement confirming the raid.
A lawyer for Gizmodo said today that his clients may choose to file a lawsuit against the San Mateo County Sheriff for the raid on editor Jason Chen's home. The search was part of the investigation revolving around Gizmodo's acquisition of a prototype next-gen iPhone. The warrant was served to Chen on Friday, and authorized police to take Chen's computers and hard drives. Gizmodo has held that the warrant was improperly issued because California's shield law should protect Chen from seizure of property.
Stephen Wagstaffe, chief deputy district attorney in San Mateo County claims the issue was examined before the search was conducted. The sticking point is that if Gizmodo is the target of the investigation for the purchase of the phone, the shield law would probably not apply. The distinction is that in cases of direct wrong doing, journalists aren't protected from searches.
Civil rights groups, including the EFF, have come down firmly on the side of Gizmodo here. It would set a disturbing standard if the shield law were ignored simply because Chen works from home, and not in a traditional newsroom. Where do you come down? Should Gizmodo file the suit? More importantly, what does this mean for online journalism?
What do pacifistic mailmen do when they “go postal”? Well, if we limit our sample group to a single mail handler from Philadelphia, then you turn to a life of crime by stealing the easily identifiable video games shipped by online rental service GameFly. The disks come in an easy to spot bright orange package, and Reginald Johnson stole every envelope that he could get his hands on, a tally which would add up to more than 2,200 disks over a six month period.After jacking the disks, he would turn around and sell them to a local Gamestop for a tidy profit.
After being confronted by Police, Johnson led local authorities on a high-speed chase which ended with him crashing his SUV, and being tracked down on foot. When he was finally apprehended, police found 81 stolen games in a duffel bag he was carrying with him. For his crimes, Johnson is likely to receive 12 to 18 months of jail time, and will likely be in search of a new career upon release.
2,200 video games would fetch a tidy sum, but he is still pretty far from beating the record for disks stolen. That honor falls to Myles Weathers, a mail handler from Springfield Massachusetts who managed to swipe over 3,000 DVDs before he was caught.
Did these guys actually think they could get away with this?
Making a high profile hacker arrest is respectable accomplishment, but bragging about it to his friends on the community forums is clearly a bad idea. I’m sure you didn’t need to be told this, but apparently it’s a lesson the Australian Police Department had to learn the hard way. In a recently televised take down broadcast on ABC’s Four Corners, Australian investigators raided, and sized computer equipment belonging to the administrator of an underground hacking forum located at r00t.y0u.org. Following the arrest, interrogators were able to obtain passwords, and began using the site as a honey pot to try and expose other potential suspects.
Unfortunately for Police word of the arrest leaked out quickly, and it didn’t take long for the community to discover something was up. Matters were further complicated when the police agency began taunting the forums visitors by saying “all member IP addresses have been logged, and arrests are being made”. Enraged by the comments, members of the hacker community broke into the system police were using during the investigation and supposedly gained access to intelligence contained within the federal police mainframe.
The hacker posted his own retort to the Australian police on pastebin.com mocking them for busting a couple of “script kiddies” and posted pictures of fake IDs and stolen credit card numbers lifted from police servers. The hacker continued by claiming “I couldn’t stop laughing on seeing that the federal police server was running Windows”. Apparently the MYSQL password was also left blank (opps!). Apparently this 30 minute long hack could have been faster if he “didn’t stop to laugh so much”.
Police claim the files were intentionally planted on the compromised system. Anyone buy that?
Swedish cops seized a server containing 16,000 pirated movies in a raid they conducted last month. It is claimed that the server belonged to a file-sharing ring called Sunnydale and was being operated furtively at a location outside Stockholm from where it was seized.
Antpiratbyrån, a private copyright advocacy group, claims that the entire Sunnydale file-sharing ring, which consists of 10 servers, has been rendered ineffective due to the raid.
But The Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde refuted Pontén’s tall claim. "More than 800,000 people have uploaded to The Pirate Bay, so I don't believe it's the source of everything. But it is possible that it's a major source," he told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.