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Spam Bouncing Back to Original Levels Despite Major Shutdowns

Average level of spam in the second quarter of 2009 has risen by 53 percent, as compared to the first quarter of this year, according to latest report from Google's email security and archiving services group, Postini. The report foresees unpredictable pattern of drops and spikes for the rest of the year... more

China Has Delayed Controversial Internet Filtering Software Requirement

China is to delay a controversial plan requiring all new computers sold in the country to be equipped with an internet filtering software, state media says. The filter, called Green Dam Youth Escort, was to have been required from Wednesday, but the industry ministry said computer makers needed more time. more

Trojans Fastest Growing Category of Data-Stealing Malware

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) recently reported that the number of sites infecting PCs with password-stealing crimeware reached an all time high of 31,173 in December 2008 - an 827 percent increase from January. And according to a report just released by Trend Micro's Focus Report, 93 percent of data-stealing malware have been identified as Trojans in the first quarter of 2009. more

US Continues to Lead As Top Country Hosting Phishing Attacks

Recent study indicates that US continues to widen its lead as the number one country when it comes to hosting phishing sites. According to the latest Brandjacking Index just released by MarkMonitor, US-hosted phishing sites grew by ten percent from last quarter -- up from 36 percent to 46 percent. Canada is now at second position with 4.7 percent of all phishing attacks, followed by the Russian Federation (4.5 percent), France (4 percent), and Denmark (4 percent). more

Gary Warner: We Are Well Past Time to Declare a Spam Crisis in China

In a blog post last week, Gary Warner, director of research in computer forensics at the University of Alabama's (UAB) computer and information sciences department, wrote that it is well past time for someone to declare a "Spam Crisis in China". The warning comes along with UAB's reports that most of the spam they receive has ties to China. "It is very normal that more than one-third of the domain names we see each day in spam messages come from China," Warner wrote. "When one also considers the many '.com' and '.ru' domain names which are also hosted in China, the problem is much worse. More than half of all spam either uses domain names registered in China, is sent from computers in China, or uses computer in China to host their web pages." more

Internet Suffers Significant Slowdowns After Michael Jackson’s Death

Maggie Shiels reporting from BBC: "The internet suffered a number of slowdowns as people the world over rushed to verify accounts of Michael Jackson's death. Search giant Google confirmed to the BBC that when the news first broke it feared it was under attack. Millions of people who searched for the star's name on Google News were greeted with an error page. It warned users 'your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application'." more

UPDATEDOfficial: Rod Beckstrom Announced as the ICANN President and CEO

During its board meeting today in Sydney, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced Rod Beckstrom, the former U.S. cybersecurity chief, as the new President and CEO. Beckstrom will be replacing Dr. Paul Twomey who had been serving this position since March 2003 and announced his resignation earlier this year. Dr Twomey has lately been reported as the primary candidate for heading Australian Government's proposed A$43 billion investment in a new National Broadband Network. more

US Senators Push Bill to Boost Internet, Communication Channels for Iranians

Voice of America reporting: "U.S. lawmakers say they plan legislation that would fund efforts to help Iranians receive and send information despite government restrictions. Independent Senator Joe Lieberman said Thursday that the bill intends to help the Iranian people stay 'one step ahead of the Iranian regime.'" Also a related report by AFP. more

Democracy Now Video Reporting on Iran’s European Aided Internet Monitoring Capabilities

Democracy Now has a video discussion on the recent reports about telecoms in Europe aiding the Iranian government develop highly sophisticated Internet censorship mechanisms or deep packet inspection. The WSJ recently reported that the Iranian monitoring capabilities where "at least in part [provided] by a joint venture of Siemens AG, the German conglomerate, and Nokia Corp., the Finish cellphone compnay, in second half of 2008." (also see previous report: Iran's Internet Censorship Most Sophisticated in the Worldmore

FCC Launched Investigation Into Exclusive Handset Deals

Grant Gross of IDG News report: "The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will launch an investigation into exclusive handset deals between mobile carriers and handset makers, acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps said. Copps has instructed FCC staff to open an inquiry into exclusive handset deals, he said during a speech at the Pike and Fischer Broadband Summit Thursday." more

Iran’s Internet Censorship Most Sophisticated in the World

Iran's political filtering during the recent 2009 presidential campaign and the role of the Internet in the post-election turmoil has brought a heightened level of attention to the country's Internet filtering system. According to a status report just updated by the OpenNet Initiative, the Internet censorship system in Iran has become one of the most comprehensive and sophisticated in the world. Iran and China are the only countries that aggressively filter the Internet using their own technology. Iran's aggressive filtering measures "have contributed to the implementation of a centralized filtering strategy and a reduced reliance on Western technologies," says OpenNet. more

Canadian Government Proposes Mandated Surveillance Capabilities at ISPs

Government of Canada has introduced a new bill that could allow the police to access ISP's user data without warrant. According to Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, "the Government has taken another shot at lawful access legislation today, introducing a legislative package called the Investigative Powers for the 21st Century (IP21C) Act that would require mandated surveillance capabilities at Canadian ISPs, force ISPs to disclose subscriber information such as name and address, and grant the police broad new powers to obtain transmission data and force ISPs to preserve data." more

221,744 “Iran” Tweets Per Hour at Peak

Ben Parr of Mashable reports: "The use of Twitter (Twitter) has been immense. #IranElection has been a top trending topic for days, as have terms like Iran, Tehran, Ahmadinejad, and Mousavi. But while there have been 10,000 to 50,000 tweets at any hour mentioning "Iran", it peaked yesterday at 221,744. This seems extreme, but it makes sense when you realize that it corresponds with when Twitter's downtime was rescheduled, which had major buzz the entire day." more

UK to Implement Broadband Tax

Millions of households in UK will be paying a "broadband tax" in order to fund increase and improvement of broadband access in the country according to the Digital Britain white paper launched yesterday. BBC today reports: "One of the biggest surprises in the Digital Britain report was the news that everyone with a fixed line telephone would pay a broadband tax. At 50p a month the amount is unlikely to break the bank but experts are already questioning what it will buy." more

Twitter Reschedules Critical Maintenance to Avoid Down Time for Demonstrators in Iran

cores of Twitter users around the world thanked the social networking site, Twitter, today for its decision to postpone a scheduled maintenance which would take the service down for 90 minutes tonight at around 9:45 pm PST. Twitter has become a lifeline for Iranian demonstrators as the microblogging service is providing a vital means of communication amongst protesters as well as the outside world. In response to a large number of users on Twitter pleading the company to reconsider the timing of its scheduled maintenance -- given the sensitive timing in the Iran -- Twitter decided to reschedule the maintenance to a later time. more

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