The Month: Global snapshots – Ireland gets e-passport; McDonald’s MP3 mishap; Russian trio jailed

IRELAND: Irish citizens will in future have the same controversial technology in their passports as US travellers. The new e-passport will feature a secure electronic chip to store encrypted information on the holder's identity, biographical data and a digital photograph. The project cost £4.1m, down from the original estimate of £6.1m, according to the Irish government.

UK/US: London-based spam fighter Spamhaus is fighting a judgement issuedby a US court. US lawyers have filed appeal papers on behalf of thecompany to fight the case brought against it by email marketing companye360insight and its chief executive, David Linhardt. Spamhaus hadpreviously ignored the US lawsuit, claiming that the US court had nojurisdiction.

UK: Prime targets for ID fraud are wealthy Londoners, according to a newsurvey by Call Credit. High-risk groups include: privately-renting,high-flying graduates; successful people from wealthy households; andhigh earners living in top-price city residences. Yet 82 per cent ofvictims did not report the incident, possibly because only 7 per cent ofthose reported ended in conviction.

Japan: A recent MP3 player competition at a Japan McDonald's hasresulted in a massive recall after some winners complained that theirMcDonald's-branded players were pre-loaded with a variant of the QQpassspyware Trojan, as well as ten free tracks. The company has apologised,and has set up a recall helpline and issued a statement to help cleanthe infected PCs.

US: Watchdogs are worried about the increase in hacking of onlinebrokerage accounts, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.Trojan attacks from Eastern Europe are of particular concern. Accordingto NASD, 25 per cent of US retail stock trades are made by onlineinvestors through roughly 10 million online accounts.

THE NETHERLANDS: Nigerian 419 advance fee fraudsters have spoofed thewebsites of DHL and Lufthansa Cargo. The scammers, working fromAmsterdam and Rotterdam, aim to trick their victims into paying advancetransport fees for vehicles that are never delivered. The fake siteswere uncovered by Ultrascan Advanced Global Investigations.

RUSSIA: Three Russian DoS blackmailers have been jailed. The trio usedRussia-based botnets, controlled via the US, to attack at least nine UKbusinesses including online bookies. The gang is thought to have rakedin at least £2.1 million from victims in 30 different countries.They were sentenced to eight years of imprisonment.

AUSTRALIA: Not all is sunshine at the National Australia Bank, whichrecently re-issued a phishing warning following a spate of DDoS attacks.According to the bank, it decided to re-issue its phishing warning justin case fraudsters were using the attack as a way of diverting customersonto spoofed versions of the bank's website.

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