#CyberFLASH: ISIS supporter hacks website of University of New Brunswick Student Union

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The University of New Brunswick Student Union has made a statement to the RCMP after their website was hacked by someone posting messages in support of the terror group ISIS.

On Monday night, the website was hacked by “Team System Dz,” with the header “I love you, ISIS” on top of the page.

The message on the website continued, “the state of Islam and the list expands, God willing… this time is a time of Islam and victory and lift the injustice for Muslims and the elimination of America and the allies of the infidels will not keep silent.”

The hacked message, in barely comprehensible English, was left on the website for about two hours.

“We were notified this evening that our website has been hacked, and have contacted our website provider and the RCMP. We are very concerned and upset about what has happened to our website and will be doing our best to rectify this situation as soon as possible,” the UNB Student Union said on their Facebook account Monday night.

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#CyberFLASH: Cybercrime: an overview of incidents and issues in Canada

 n-ONLINE-SPYING-CANADA-large570Cybercrime: an overview of incidents and issues in Canada is the RCMP’s first report on cybercrime, and focuses on aspects of the cybercrime environment that affect Canada’s public organizations, businesses and citizens in real and harmful ways.

This report covers a broad range of criminal offences where the Internet and information technologies are used to carry out illegal activities. It describes select crimes in Canada’s digital landscape to show the rising technical complexity, sophistication and expansion of cybercrime. While difficult to measure, these crimes show no sign of slowing in Canada.

The RCMP breaks cybercrime into two categories:

technology-as-target – criminal offences targeting computers and other information technologies, such as those involving the unauthorized use of computers or mischief in relation to data, and;
technology-as-instrument – criminal offences where the Internet and information technologies are instrumental in the commission of a crime, such as those involving fraud, identity theft, intellectual property infringements, money laundering, drug trafficking, human trafficking, organized crime activities, child sexual exploitation or cyber bullying.

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#CyberFLASH: Rise of the surveillance state

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We have entered an age in which our conceptions of privacy and confidentiality are being redefined. Internet technologies such as email and the World Wide Web have made global communication easier, cheaper and faster than at any point in the history of civilization, but these technologies come with inherent privacy risks: Tools such as social media have blurred the lines between what is personal and what is public.

Our online activities leave digital breadcrumbs that show who we talk to, and when and where we talk to them. There is an appetite among law-enforcement agencies for access to that information, and the technology used to gather and analyze this data is becoming ever more powerful. While surveillance is sometimes necessary, we must strike a balance between the needs of law enforcement and the privacy expectations of Canadians.

Democratic governments around the world are passing laws that give law-enforcement agencies greater access to online information. The government of Australia is currently debating legislation that would give its national security agency sweeping powers to access information about its citizens’ use of the Internet.

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#CyberFLASH: RCMP seeking to double the size of its Ottawa-based digital crime-fighting unit

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From investigating a major security breach at a federal agency to sifting through tons of emails in the Senate expenses probe, it’s been a busy year for the RCMP’s national cybercrime team in Ottawa.

So busy, in fact, that the Integrated Technological Crime Unit is looking to grow. While officials won’t say so publicly, a source told Postmedia News that the RCMP is seeking to almost double the size of the 12-member team.

While most RCMP divisions have cybercrime units, the one located in National Division is unique in that it specializes in responses to security breaches involving federal departments and assists in “sensitive” investigations of national interest.

Insp. Jeff Beaulac, officer in charge of technical investigation services at National Division, said he couldn’t discuss expansion plans but acknowledged that the team is in high demand.

“In the past we would seize one computer and analyze the data, now we deal with a multitude of devices and the data examination has grown substantially. We’ve gone from gigabytes to terabytes,” he said.

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#CyberFLASH: State has virtually unfettered access to eavesdrop on you

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The question is no longer whether Big Brother is watching us. The question is how many of his sibling state agencies are covertly tuning into our private communications?

News last week that the RCMP and CSIS are apparently using a covert device to track cellphone users without judicial oversight came and went quietly. Is this a sign that Canadians have become used to living in a post-privacy woerld? Or that we are so fatigued by continuous revelations about state intrusions that we lack the energy to react?

Whatever the case, the upshot is that we have quietly acceded to a profound change in human communication patterns, one that has reaped the state an informational bonanza. Unless we engage in a national debate — and soon — the end of privacy may be upon us.

Just over 40 years ago Parliament gave us a rigorous wiretap law; elaborate mechanisms that live on as a legacy of an era when personal privacy was a prized civil liberty.

Digital data surveillance, in contrast, is an open plain of unrestrained opportunity for official snoopers. The state has virtually unfettered access to eavesdrop or read every single personal communication with no mechanism for accountability.

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#CyberFLASH: Privacy watchdog investigating RCMP data collection

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OTTAWA–Canada’s privacy watchdog is investigating the RCMP’s warrantless collection of Canadians’ personal data.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner confirmed last week it is formally reviewing the police force’s collection of Canadians’ personal data from telecommunications companies. The findings are expected to be made public in the near future.

The RCMP has never met with the privacy commissioner to ensure that its requests comply with privacy laws, according to a recent disclosure to Liberal MP Irwin Cotler.

The investigation was launched after the former privacy commissioner, Chantal Bernier, revealed to the Star and the Halifax Chronicle Herald that nine telecoms were asked to turn over user data 1.2 million times in 2011.

Authorities in Canada, including the RCMP, routinely sought “basic subscriber information” — names, telephone numbers, address and Internet protocol addresses — without having to obtain a warrant.

Public Safety revealed last week that it has met with the privacy office numerous times to attempt to draft a new system of accountability for Canada’s police and spy agencies.

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#CyberFLASH: The covert cellphone tracking tech the RCMP and CSIS won’t talk about

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Law enforcement and intelligence agencies in Canada won’t say whether they use covert tools called International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) catchers to track the location of mobile phones and devices – even as the extent of their use by U.S. government agencies is raising serious questions among civil libertarians.

The devices colloquially known as Stingrays – which is the trademarked name for a widely used model sold by Florida-based Harris Corp. – commonly work by masquerading as a legitimate cellular communications tower and tricking nearby devices into connecting and sharing your phone’s IMSI (a unique identifier tied to every mobile device), typically without the knowledge of device owners.

Once connected, an operator can collect identifying information on all connected devices in a geographic area, or home in on the location of a specific device. In certain circumstances, it can even intercept phone calls and text messages.

The RCMP, in response to inquiries by journalists, has refused to confirm or deny whether Stingrays or other IMSI catchers have been used. RCMP spokesperson David Falls said the agency “[does] not release information pertaining to capabilities/tools as that can have an impact on our investigations.”

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#CyberFLASH: Study estimates 36% of Canadian businesses know they’ve been hit by cyber attack

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TORONTO — More than one-third of Canada’s IT professionals know — for sure — that they’d had a significant data breach over the previous 12 months that could put their clients or their organizations at risk, a cybersecurity study suggests.

And as startling as that statistic may be, the actual number of breaches could be higher since the same international study found 56 per cent of the 236 Canadian respondents said they believed threats sometimes fall through the cracks.

“Even the best-protected networks have regular security incidents,” says Jeff Debrosse, director of security research for Websense, a U.S.-based security company that commissioned the study.

“It’s a 24-7 onslaught. It’s a barrage of attacks and attempts to penetrate the defences.”

Debrosse says it’s a real challenge for organizations to understand their vulnerabilities, let alone prevent breaches. Technology is improving, he adds, but it’s more important to share information about attacks within and among organizations.

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