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.

Ransomware attack led animal porn collector to confess to police


A UK man has been given a non-custodial sentence this week, after a ransomware infection on his computer led him to report himself to police. The man's computer held several hundred animal porn images, described in court as "extreme" and "revolting".

Spamming diet pill pusher Sale Slash has assets frozen by FTC

FTC freezes assets of spamming diet pill pusher Sale Slash

The company allegedly used illegal spam emails and fake celebrity endorsements to trick people into handing over cash for their suspect weight loss miracle pills.

FBI arrests JP Morgan Chase former employee for selling account data

FBI. Image courtesy of Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock

The arrest came after a sting operation which resulted in bank account data including PINs being sold to informants and federal agents.

25 members of $15 million carding gang arrested in Romania

Wallet. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Romanian authorities have announced the arrests of 25 people in connection with a well-organised operation using cloned bank cards to withdraw cash from ATMs.

Nigerian accused of hacking bank computer to steal $340 million


If this had been a physical heist it would have been well up among the largest ever - a Nigerian man has been charged with hacking into a bank server and siphoning out more than N68 billion (over $340 million).

Cisco releases first transparency report, showing literally nothing to hide

Magnifying glass. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Networking supergiant Cisco has become the latest big firm to release a transparency report, detailing its approach to dealing with requests for information from governments and police forces.

Samsung biometric payment services set to go live in South Korea, then the world

Mobile payments security

The biometric revolution moved one step closer this week, as Samsung IT services subsidiary Samsung SDS confirmed plans to launch a "simple" mobile payment system using biometric authentication in the very near future.

World Backup Day - is your data safe enough?

World Backup Day - is your data safe enough?

Ransomware has made us all aware of the value of backups - but there are many other reasons to have a copy of your vital data in reserve!

Plenty Of Fish hooked by Canada's anti-spam laws, faces 48k penalty

Fish. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Canada's strict anti-spam laws have come down hard on another offender, with the operators of dating website Plenty Of Fish paying a $48,000 penalty for failing to provide proper unsubscribe options in emails sent to its users.

Grade-hacking case brings 16 more felony charges for private tutor suspect

Grade-hacking case brings 16 more felony charges for private tutor suspect

Timothy Lance Lai, the suspect accused of breaking into an Orange County high school in order to fix students' grades, could now face more than 16 years in jail.

Top Silk Road drug dealer sentenced to 5 years

Top Silk Road drug dealer sentenced to 5 years

Steven Sadler, a major drug dealer operating through the Silk Road underground market has been sentenced to five years in jail for his crimes.

Stolen hard drives bring more data breach pain for US health services

Doctor. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

The Indiana State Medical Association has warned 39,090 of its clients that their private data may be at risk of leakage, after the "random" theft of a pair of backup hard drives.

Canada's anti-spam law gets first success with $1.1m fine


Canada's fledgling anti-spam laws have brought their first success, with a $1.1 million fine levied against a Canadian business training firm.

Robocall spotting contest launched by FTC

Robot. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

The US Federal Trade Commission has launched a pair of competitions to stimulate research into technological approaches to the problem of robocalls.

Windows 10 will work with FIDO specs for password-free access, says Microsoft

Windows 10 logo

Microsoft has announced that its forthcoming revamp of Windows will be compliant with FIDO's current specifications for advanced authentication. Or has it?

Silk Road's Ross Ulbricht found guilty, may face life sentence

Silk Road suspect Ross Ulbricht hit with three new drug charges

Ross Ulbricht, the founder of notorious online underground marketplace Silk Road, has been convicted on seven criminal counts by a Manhattan federal jury and could face life in jail.

Hackers leak bank emails after extortion attempt fails

Email. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Serial cyber-extortionist gang Rex Mundi has published a cache of emails apparently stolen from the servers of Swiss bank Banque Cantonale de Geneve (BCGE).

EU to demand 2-factor for online payments by August 2015?


The European Banking Authority is nearly, if not quite, insisting on two-factor authentication by August 2015.

If companies that do business in Europe have to comply, could this help boost two-factor in the US and elsewhere?

Fake money forum founder charged with counterfeiting

Dollars. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

A US national based in Uganda has been charged with running a major global counterfeiting operation, which used an online forum to connect buyers and sellers of forged currency.

Liberty Reserve CTO and eBay car scammer jailed for 5 years each

Liberty Reserve domain seized

eBay car scammer Razvan Caprarescu and Liberty Reserve CTO Mark Marmilev were hit with large fines and stiff sentences by US courts looking to send a message to cybercrooks everywhere.