Articles by John Hawes

About John Hawes

John Hawes is Chief of Operations at Virus Bulletin, running independent anti-malware testing there since 2006. With over a decade of experience testing security products, John was elected to the board of directors of the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organisation (AMTSO) in 2011.

5 steps to lock down your webmail account

5 steps to lock down your webmail account

For most people Gmail, Outlook.com or Yahoo! Mail is their main personal account. Here are some of the most important steps to keep unwanted people out of your web-based email account.

Nigerian bank IT worker on the run after $40m cyber heist

Nigerian Naira. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

A Nigerian IT worker is wanted by police after a major cyber-heist at the bank where he was employed.

Liberty Reserve CTO pleads guilty to involvement in massive money laundering

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Mark Marmilev, CTO of former digital currency brokerage Liberty Reserve, has pleaded guilty to playing a major role in the operation of the business which became a favourite for cybercrooks and money launderers.

Serial hacker pleads guilty to bank bitcoin blackmail

Hacker. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

A 22-year-old with a lengthy history of convictions pleaded guilty last week to charges of blackmail and fraud, after threatening to reveal details of thousands of phished bank accounts if the bank involved refused to pay up.

85% of apps not up to scratch on privacy, study finds

Worldwide app study finds 85% not up to scratch on privacy

A coordinated study of apps run by a group of national privacy and data protection bodies from around the world has found that the majority are failing to provide adequate information on the privacy implications of using the app.

Is it thumbs up to Barclays bank's finger-vein-reading authentication?

Is it thumbs up to Barclays' finger-vein-reading authentication?

Barclays Bank has announced plans to introduce biometric authentication based on vein patterns in fingers for its UK business customers, which could signal a major shift in how we access online banking systems.

Grindr app has privacy issues - who's surprised?

Grindr app has privacy issues - who's surprised?

Popular gay dating app Grindr has been criticized for revealing the locations of its users in more detail than they might be expecting, and for allowing the identity of message senders to be spoofed.

Racing Post let off with stern warning after data breach

Racing Post let off with stern warning after data breach (Cheryl Ann Quigley / Shutterstock.com)

The Racing Post, which suffered a data breach affecting over 677,000 users late last year, has been slacking off on its security arrangements since at least 2007. It's been given until the end of February 2015 to get its house in order.

Online dating scammer targeted elderly victims out of $1.1million

$1.1 million online dating scam targeted elderly victims

32-year-old Kris Koranteng has been arrested and charged with 11 separate counts, including conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. He and his crew are thought to have sought out vulnerable love-seekers on popular dating sites including Match.com and Chemistry.com.

Police push for phone screen locking by default

Locked phone. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

The UK's Met Police has been putting pressure on mobile device makers to enable screen locks on all new mobile devices, to encourage better security and reduce theft.

1.2 billion logins scooped up by CyberVor hacking crew - what you need to do

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Hackers have amassed a vast collection of stolen data, including 1.2 billion unique username/password pairs, by compromising over 420,000 websites using SQL injection techniques. This data haul may yet turn out to be a 'Heartbleed' moment for website owners who assume their sites are too small to be of interest to hackers.

Oxford and Cambridge in the race to eliminate passwords

Oxford and Cambridge in a race to eliminate passwords

Cambridge University is working on a technology-oriented approach where multiple small devices create an "electronic aura". Meanwhile a company spun out of Oxford University is developing biomechanical methods based on the way people move, behave and interact with their devices.

Google tips off cops after spotting child abuse images in email

Google tips off cops after spotting child abuse images in email

A 41-year-old resident of Houston, Texas has been arrested after Google tipped off police that they had spotted child abuse images in his emails.

Canada joins US in openly accusing China of state-sponsored hacking

China. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

The Canadian government has accused China of being behind a "cyber intrusion" at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), the country's main science and technology research body. Few details of the intrusion have emerged so far, and given the Read more…

500,000-per-day SMS spammer gets just £4,000 fine

500,000-per-day SMS spammer gets just £4,000 fine

An Indian call-centre operator has been fined by a London court for breaching Data Protection laws, but despite his operation bombarding UK cell phones with spams, his punishment amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist.

Shopping site reports 3-year-old data breach

Australian shopping site reports 3-year-old data breach

Australian shopping website CatchOfTheDay has warned customers of a data breach dating back to 7 May 2011, urging anyone who has kept the same password at the site since that date to change it.

Russia's latest internet law proposal - anti-NSA, or pro-FSB?

Russian computer. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Russia's parliament, the State Duma, has heard another internet freedom bill requiring foreign web firms to host any data on Russia citizens within Russia's borders. This would mean the likes of Google and Facebook would need to set up datacenters within Russia and redesign their operations so that individual user data would only be stored inside the country.

Remote access breach via POS system sparks yet more consumer data leak fears

Remote access breach via POS system sparks yet more consumer data leak fears

A US supplier of point-of-sale (POS) equipment has informed its clients of a security breach in the remote access system it uses to log into clients' networks, meaning hackers could have used the system to steal payment data.

Payment card survey - where does your country sit on the fraud list?

Payment card fraud survey - where does your country sit on the list?

6,159 people were questioned by ACI Worldwide in 20 countries around the world, on a range of topics including incidents of fraud, risky behaviours which may put people at greater fraud risk, the issuing of replacement payment cards in response to data breaches, and satisfaction with banks' security processes and handling of fraud incidents.

Europe improving anti-cybercrime cooperation, but what about US and China?

Europe improving anti-cybercrime cooperation, but US-China links turning sour

Cybercrime is a global danger, so it's vital that agencies in different jurisdictions work together to investigate and prosecute crimes being committed across borders. Any step away from full cooperation is a step in the wrong direction.