Author: AFP

Prosecutors in Portugal have denounced him as a criminal hacker, but his supporters describe the man behind the “Luanda Leaks” revelations as a public interest whistleblower. Rui Pinto, the Portuguese self-taught hacker already tied to the “Football Leaks”, has now come forward as the source of the spectacular “Luanda Leaks” revelations. The stories based on his latest massive leak have already led to Angolan prosecutors filing fraud charges against Isabel dos Santos, the billionaire daughter of Angola’s ex-president. But Pinto himself, while described by supporters as a crusading whistleblower, faces trial in Portugal over the hacking operation that led to…

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed telecoms security with US President Donald Trump as he prepares to announce if Britain will use China’s Huawei in its 5G networks, officials said Saturday. In a phone call on Friday evening, the leaders “discussed a range of issues, including cooperation to ensure the security of our telecommunications networks”, a Downing Street spokeswoman said. In London on Saturday, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Huawei’s involvement in next generation 5G mobile networks was a “complicated issue”. “We are in active discussions with the UK government and others about Huawei,” he told the Chatham House think…

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Britain is expected to announce next week whether to allow China’s Huawei to develop its 5G network, an official said on Friday, setting out reasons for agreeing despite US opposition. The official said the decision had not yet been taken but it was likely to be next week. There had been speculation that Britain would allow Huawei into “non-core” elements of the next-generation 5G mobile networks, such as antennae and base stations attached to masts and roofs. The United States has banned Huawei from the rollout of its 5G network because of concerns — strongly denied — that the firm…

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Paying off hackers after a ransomware infection could end up being a total loss, according to a study released Thursday which finds some attackers just take the money and run. A survey by researchers at the security firm Proofpoint found that 33 percent of organizations infected with ransomware opted to pay the ransom. But some 22 percent of those who paid a ransom said they never got access to their data locked up by the malware, and nine percent said they got hit with additional ransom demands after paying. “Of those who paid the ransom, many soon learned an old…

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The United States pressed France on Wednesday to take “strong security measures” against potential breaches from 5G services provided by Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei, saying failure to do so could imperil intelligence exchanges. Concerns about Huawei’s 5G rollout topped the agenda of a third US-France cybersecurity meeting, Washington’s top cyber diplomat Robert Strayer told reporters in Paris. The United States did not ask France for a Huawei ban, he said, but for strong protections against potential “malicious intrusions” from software and firmware updates of any systems provided by the company. If France failed to take adequate steps, said Strayer, the…

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Independent UN rights experts said Wednesday they had received information that Amazon owner Jeff Bezos’s phone was hacked through a WhatsApp account belonging to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Riyadh has rejected the allegations, its embassy in Washington branding them “absurd”. “The alleged hacking of Mr Bezos’s phone, and those of others, demands immediate investigation by US and other relevant authorities,” UN Special Rapporteurs Agnes Callamard and David Kaye said in a statement in Geneva. Any investigation into the alleged incident in May 2018 should also look at the “continuous, multi-year, direct and personal involvement of the Crown Prince…

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An anti-terrorism agent in France’s domestic intelligence service could soon face trial on charges of selling confidential data and fake IDs in the hidden corners of the internet, prosecutors say. Investigators wrapped up their investigation last week into the alleged sales by “Haurus”, the code name for the DGSI officer, now 33, who was arrested in September 2018. His partner and four of his clients, including a private detective, have also been charged in the inquiry. Investigators became suspicious after France’s OCRIEST agency, charged with stopping illegal immigration, noticed offers of unusually detailed personal information and “Gold” quality copies of…

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The Saudi embassy in Washington on Tuesday dismissed suggestions the kingdom hacked the phone of Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, as media reports linked the security breach to a WhatsApp message from an account of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The 2018 intrusion into the device led to the release of intimate images of Amazon founder Bezos, whose Post newspaper employed as a contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist murdered later that same year at Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul. “Recent media reports that suggest the Kingdom is behind a hacking of Mr Jeff Bezos’ phone are absurd,” the Saudi…

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The US military claims to have “successfully” disrupted the online propaganda efforts of the Islamic State in a hacking operation dating back at least to 2016, according to declassified national security documents released Tuesday. The heavily redacted, previously top secret documents said the US Cyber Command “successfully contested ISIS in the information domain” and limited its online efforts on radicalization and recruitment “by imposing time and resource costs” on the jihadist group. The documents released by the National Security Archive at George Washington University offer the most detailed look at “Operation Glowing Symphony,” the first offensive hacking operation acknowledged by…

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Turkish hackers claimed Friday to have hijacked for more than 90 minutes the official websites of the Greek parliament, the foreign affairs and economy ministries, as well as the country’s stock exchange. On their Facebook page, the hackers group, Anka Neferler Tim, justified their action by saying that “Greece is threatening Turkey in the Aegean Sea and in the eastern Mediterranean. And now it’s threatening the conference on Libya”. The hacking came as Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar held talks in Athens, two days ahead of a peace conference in Berlin, which he and the head of Tripoli’s UN-recognised government,…

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