Facebook helped the FBI take down an international crime ring that used a botnet to infect 11 million computers and steal more than $850 million, one of the largest cybercrime hauls in history.
The FBI announced today that with the social-networking giant's assistance, it had arrested 10 people from countries around the world who it said used the Yahos malware and Butterfly botnet to steal victims' credit card, bank account, and personal information.
"Facebook's security team provided assistance to law enforcement throughout the investigation by helping to identify the root cause, the perpetrators, and those affected by … Read more
See also the follow-up story: Leahy scuttles his warrantless e-mail surveillance bill
A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans' e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law, CNET has learned.
Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns, according to three individuals who have been negotiating with Leahy's staff over the changes. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans' e-mail, is scheduled for next week.
Leahy's rewritten bill would … Read more
If former CIA Director David Petraeus had secretly stashed love letters he exchanged with his paramour at home under his mattress, he might have actually done a better job of protecting his privacy.
Blame federal law for this counterintuitive result. Because it's so easy to dash off an e-mail -- or edit a Gmail draft -- you might think electronic correspondence should receive far greater legal protections and be more difficult for the FBI to read.
Not quite. Because of the way a key federal privacy law was worded in 1986, back in the pre-Internet days of analog modems, … Read more
The most controversial technology topics in President Obama's second term are likely to be two political flashpoints: piracy and privacy.
When Internet activists allied with an hastily assembled coalition of Silicon Valley companies blocked votes on a pair of Hollywood-backed copyright bills early this year, they didn't end efforts to slap stiffer anti-piracy sanctions on the Internet. They merely postponed the fight.
The Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act are dead, of course. Those names have become radioactive on Capitol Hill, thanks to a broad public outcry that involved millions of Internet users and actually … Read more
The FBI has tried to bolster its case for expanded Internet surveillance powers by gathering finger-pointing examples of how communications companies have stymied government agencies, CNET has learned.
An internal Homeland Security report shows that a working group convened by an FBI office in Chantilly, Va. requested details about "investigations have been negatively impacted" by companies' delays, partial compliance, or inability to comply with police surveillance requests.
One of the claims in that report: A police arm of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which conducts investigations into immigration, drug, computer, and copyright crimes, reported that no-contract … Read more
A federal judge has rejected the FBI's attempts to withhold information about its efforts to require Internet companies to build in backdoors for government surveillance.
CNET has learned that U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg ruled on Tuesday that the government did not adequately respond to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Seeborg, in San Francisco, ordered (PDF) a "further review of the materials previously withheld" in the lawsuit, which seeks details about what the FBI has dubbed "Going Dark" -- the bureau's ongoing effort to force companies including … Read more
The Motion Picture Association of America told a federal judge in Virginia today that any decision to allow users of the embattled file locker to access their own files risks "compound[ing] the massive infringing conduct already at issue in this criminal litigation" unless proper safeguards are taken to prevent the further dissemination of illegally copied material. (See the MPAA's brief embedded below.)
MegaUpload's servers with approximately 25 petabytes of data are currently unplugged, offline, and in storage at Dulles, Va.-based Carpathia Hosting.
When an FBI raid took down MegaUpload's U.S.-based servers … Read more
According to a court document found by Mashable, an FBI source used Facebook to communicate with Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, a 21-year-old Bangladeshi citizen in the U.S. on a student visa. Those interactions helped lead to his arrest Wednesday as Nafis tried to detonate a fake car bomb near the New York Federal Reserve. Nafis is believed to have connections with Al-Qaeda.
After making initial contact with Nafis, the … Read more
As mobile malware increases at break-neck speed, the U.S. government wants to be sure users are aware of its dangers. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), which is a government task force that includes the FBI, issued a mobile malware warning on Friday.
"The IC3 has been made aware of various malware attacking Android operating systems for mobile devices," the warning said. "Some of the latest known versions of this type of malware are Loozfon and FinFisher."
The IC3 said that Loozfon lures its victims by sending them e-mails with links promising "a profitable … Read more