A year in cybersecurity and cybercrime: 2012 review

A year in cybersecurity and cybercrime: 2012 review

Summary: During the year, we have seen the destruction of SOPA and PIPA but the emergence of CISPA and similar laws around the world, a growing trend in hacks and scams, an explosion in malware, and states committing cyberwarfare on their friends and foes. Here's a run-down of what happened in 2012.

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  • Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)... stopped

    The Stop Online Piracy Act (otherwise known as "SOPA") would have been the most threatening act of legislation to the global Internet to date had it passed. Along with the PROTECT-IP ("PIPA") and OPEN acts, which ran through the Senate, these bills in singular and collectively would have threatened the very existence of the open Web as we know it.

    SOPA alone would have allowed Web sites to be shuttered, no matter where they are in the world, by blocking them at server level and starving them of oxygen. Any site even to have allegedly breached copyright could be effectively shut down by the U.S. government with little oversight or process of appeal. Google-owned YouTube, for instance, could have fallen foul of the law if someone uploaded a copyright infringing video, leading to a widespread site block.

    The Internet as a collective rallied around and protested in a way that had never been tested or tried before. Many major Web sites shut their doors for 12 or 24 hours during 'Black Wednesday' to protest the bill. More than 75,000 Web sites blacked out, including Wikipedia and Google. Days later, it was shelved by the U.S. House of Representatives and ultimately the geeks 'won.'

    However, the White House found itself on the right side of the powerful Internet community after it said it would veto any such bill should it pass along the President's desk. 

  • Anonymous records U.K. police/FBI call; publishes it

    In February, Anonymous settled a score with anti-Anonymous police in the U.K. and the U.S., by breaching a secure conference call in which the hacking collective was discussed, along with names of alleged members who had attacked high-value infrastructure targets and companies. It was no doubt a serious embarrassment for law enforcement on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Not only did they breach the cybercrime call, it was recorded and subsequently uploaded to YouTube. The call shed light on U.S. and U.K. intelligence sharing arrangements, and clearly shows that a number of law enforcement units are working together in a bid to track down those who were involved in the previous and continued hacking attacks.

Topics: Security, Apple, Browser, Government US, Legal, Networking, Outage, Privacy, EU

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13 comments
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  • Is that all?

    Seems a rather short article for the headline. Well, I am glad that the White House will veto legislation like SOPA and PIPA and, hopefully, any Trojan Horse legislation that incorporates similar stuff, such as the various trade agreements that threaten to do the same thing. However, the US is fairly practiced at getting other countries to introduce such legislation.
    Mahegan
    • yeahhhh...you have to look harder.

      There are 14 "image" screens you can scroll through each with its own article.....Be more "techy"..lol
      Civsoldier52983
  • Is that all?

    Seems a rather short article for the headline. Well, I am glad that the White House will veto legislation like SOPA and PIPA and, hopefully, any Trojan Horse legislation that incorporates similar stuff, such as the various trade agreements that threaten to do the same thing. However, the US is fairly practiced at getting other countries to introduce such legislation.
    Mahegan
  • Other legislation

    Philippine cybercrime law must protect, not harass, citizens - for example, this article.
    Mahegan
  • Headline Improvements, Please?

    Firstly, I enjoy this site and I visit frequently -- so kudos to you all for your articles and your clear, attractive, website layout!

    Secondly, may I suggest that you tone down the shrill of your headlines? The title of this article is a good example. A look back at ONE event is not an annual review in any way.

    As well, the title of another article "One in five Microsoft logins are in hands of hackers" is as grossly sensationized as it is misleading.

    Thanks for reading.
    ReadandShare
    • It's not just ONE event...look haaarderrrrrr

      There are 14 "image" screens you can scroll through each with its own article.....Be more "techy"..lol
      Civsoldier52983
  • multi-page article format = counter-productive

    Dear ZDnet,
    Read a few of these comments - clearly your dear readers aren't noticing that it's a 14 "page" article that one must keep clicking through to see the whole thing.
    Clearly, your (and many other publication's) transparent attempt to increase page impressions & eyes-on-ads is a failure. Can we please get back to normality now?
    techydude71
    • Matter of opinion..

      I don't think it's really that much trouble to click a single button for a new page, honestly. I believe the reasoning for multiple pages may have been because they wanted to show the image for every article. So, having a single page with all these images and articles would be a much bigger page. I realize it still comes down to a matter of opinion, but being their site sharing this wealth of information, I'd think they can decide on their own between the two options.
      Civsoldier52983
    • All that REALLY needs to happen...

      Is people need to open their eyes a little more and not be so used to the convenience of everything being universally aligned. If they signed up for the site, they have to have SOME level of intelligence...
      Civsoldier52983
  • ...and by the way...

    "This year in..." articles should never been seen until well into December, not mid-November - just makes you look like idiots.
    techydude71
  • Webcam Spying

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    cslide
  • Zack,

    Love the work, hate slide shows.

    Stick with column format. I won't sit here clicking next and waiting for the page to load.
    mlashinsky@...
  • A run-down of what happened in 2012.

    Very interesting and well put together in a format that I am pleased with. Please keep up the outstanding articles, Zack Whittaker. I look forward to reading your IT, informative information.
    RichsAC