Saturday, 28 September 2013

Pirate Bay Co-Founder’s Sentence Cut In Half

Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg
Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg's prison sentence for hacking and fraud has been reduced from two years to one. (Photo: Reuters)
Pirate Bay co-founder, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg had his prison sentence for hacking and fraud reduced from two years to one. A Swedish appellate court made the decision on Wednesday after finding that one of the hacking charges against Svartholm Warg lacked sufficient evidence, the Associated Press reported. Namely, charges relating to the hacking of Nordea Bank AB were dismissed, while other hacking charges were upheld.

The Pirate Bay co-founder's sentence was cut in half because the Svea Court of Appeal said it could not rule out Svartholm Warg's claim that others could have remotely accessed his computer to hack into the Nordea Bank AB's servers. While the court dismissed the bank hacking charges, it upheld the conviction against Svartholm Warg of hacking into the servers of two other companies, Applicate and Logica, which handle sensitive information for Sweden's police force and tax authority. The Wall Street Journal reported that Svartholm Warg was originally convicted of hacking into all three companies' servers in June, resulting in the two-year sentence.  
The Pirate Bay is one of the world's biggest free file-sharing websites, giving millions of users a way to illegally download music, movies and software. Since launching the site in 2003, Svartholm Warg and fellow co-founder Fredrik Neij have been embroiled in controversy. In 2009, the co-founders, along with company spokesman Peter Sunde and businessman Carl Lundstrom, were given one-year sentences for copyright violation by a Swedish court and ordered to pay 46 million kronor ($6.5 million) in damages to the entertainment industry.
Svartholm Warg left the country while appealing that ruling. He was arrested in Cambodia in 2012 and deported back to Sweden after an international arrest warrant was issued against the Pirate Bay co-founder, per the AP. He served out his first sentence for copyright violation while under detention over his hacking charges.
But while the Pirate Bay co-founder might have had his sentence reduced in Sweden, he might not be out of hot water yet. Decrypted Tech reported that Svartholm Warg is facing extradition to Denmark, as he is a suspect in a breach that resulted in the theft of driving records and social security numbers. The Danish authorities expect to have Svartholm Warg in custody in a few days.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

61% Of Malware Attack Victims Lose Some Data Forever

Most IT users know that malware is dangerous but few are fully aware of the havoc it can wreak. A new survey from B2B International and Kaspersky Lab reveals the true scale of the malware problem: just 39% of victims manage to fully restore the data lost as a result of a breach.

As Kaspersky Lab points out, a quarter of malware attacks succeed in stealing or corrupting confidential information. In the case of 17% of victims all data is lost forever, while 44% manage a partial retrieval. This is cause for concern, considering the importance we attach to our data, Kaspersky Lab said. Among the survey respondents, 56% declared that they deemed their information more valuable than the machine storing it. The poll also showed that 10% of affected users have resorted to the services of outside experts in the effort to restore their lost data.

But a data recovery specialist may not always achieve complete success and sometimes nothing can be done. Even an expert will be helpless if the attackers have used a file encryptor. This malicious program encrypts the files on the user's computers and requires a unique key for decryption. This is the type of program known as ransomware because the attackers typically demand payment in return for the decryption key.

Computers and mobile devices have become an integral part of daily life so it would be virtually impossible not to store confidential information on digital devices. However, users can minimise the risk of data loss through regular back-ups and reliable anti-malware protection, Kaspersky Lab said.