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Philippines next in the cybersecurity legislative line
And next, as if you thought there couldn't be any more in terms of cybersecurity and cybercrime legislation, the Philippines was next to crack down on Internet freedom in the country.
Signed into law in September by the country's president, it aims to combat pornography, hacking, identity theft and spamming after the country's law enforcement agencies complained that it did not have the legal or practical tools to combat the rapidly rising rate of cybercrime.
In a statement by the president's spokesperson, the law was defended: "The Cybercrime Act sought to attach responsibilities in cyberspace… freedom of expression is always recognized but freedom of expression is not absolute," showing just where the government's priorities are. Hackers in protest of the law defaced many government Web sites in the process.
However, after only one month, the country's Supreme Court suspended the law while it was determined if it violates civil rights.
White House network breach
Another day, another attempt on the President's networks -- but in this case, the hackers got through. Don't worry: no damage was done and thankfully the network that was broken into was an unclassified network with no sensitive material up for grabs -- even if the attack was aimed at the White House Military Office, home of the so-called "nuclear football," that carries the codes to the U.S. government's nuclear arsenal.
Thankfully, no classified or secret materials were taken. What caught out the home of U.S. politics was "spear phishing," where an email attachment laden with malware was sent to a specific target, in the hope that malware would be installed on the computer allowing in a backdoor to the network. If it makes you feel any better, the vast majority of highly sensitive material are sent over classified networks that aren't even connected to the wider Web, making breaches like this almost impossible.
Global regulators shut down PC 'tech support' scam
Some good news if you've ever received a call from some random guy claiming to be from Microsoft, and also claiming that you have malware on your computer -- even though you inexplicably own a Mac. They don't know that, but they're trying to sell you fake antivirus programs that you likely don't even need in order to make a quick buck.
U.S. officials, working alongside Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Irish, and British regulators and authorities cracked the so-called "tech support scam" and frozen financial assets.
It was a coup for cyberscammers worldwide who plagued the vulnerable -- and everyone else for that matter -- with cold calls claiming they were someone that they were not. Thankfully not everyone fell for the scam, but tens of thousands clearly did.