Friday, December 26, 2014

Security, privacy and cyber war: what it will come

2014 ends showing us two trends for next year. On the one hand, the increasing use of denial of service attacks. On the other, the assaults on citizen’s privacy in alleged attempts of fighting terrorism. We bring you four articles about some recent events, two for each subject.


The answer to the alleged attack to Sony Pictures by North Korea finally arrived. A massive DDoS attack shut down the whole North Korean Internet network for about 10 hours. The US is thought to be the attacker. It is still being gathering information, but it seems clear that there were innocent victims, as Spanish hosting provider Dinahosting whose DNS were targeted by such campaign for hosting a site related to the country's government on its servers.

Meanwhile another DDoS campaign by Lizard Squad cybercriminal group has been affecting Xbox Live and PlayStation Networks just after Christmas. The login system collapsed for hours making it impossible for players to access the service.

Abuses on privacy are the other trend detected lately. In fact, a New Jersey Judge named William Martini said police can create fake accounts on Instagram in order to obtain incriminating information from a defendant. Even this could be made without any warrant, so it will the police itself the responsible for deciding whether or not to do it.

However public pressure to balance privacy abuse by law enforcement and intelligence agencies scored another goal in the US. The American Civil Liberties Union has forced the NSA publish a list of all fail espionage cases on citizens. For example, those in which agency staff investigated their own family or ex-partners, innocent citizens were marked as spies, allegedly situations of misunderstanding, etc.

In the end it is long list of failures made by this agency that left in the hands of public scrutiny. 

Wish you Happy Holidays!

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