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.

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.

Can we expect a future free from passwords and PINs?

FIDO unveils details of a future free from passwords and PINs

Will passwords and PINs wither and die? Fast IDentity Online, or FIDO, says its new rules for designing authentication systems should make it "simpler and stronger for all".

German court blocks US extradition for "number two" hacker

Hacker. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Germany's top court has blocked the extradition to the US of Ercan Findiko─člu, suspected of $45 million in card fraud and facing 247 years in jail.

Should vapers fear malware-laced e-cigarettes?

Should vapers fear malware-laced e-cigarettes?

A humorous and very likely apocryphal online comment has spun itself up into a major news item. It's tempting to simply ignore the whole nonsense and carry on as normal. But maybe there is something to learn here...

Hackers blamed for unusual tweets from Jeremy Clarkson, Colombian FARC rebels

Jeremy Clarkson. Image courtesy of Featureflash/Shutterstock

TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson and Colombian militia group FARC may not have much in common, but this week they were linked by headlines blaming hackers for potentially embarrassing Twitter messages.

MasterCard promises (slow) death to online payment passwords

MasterCard promises (slow) death to online payment passwords

Credit card giant MasterCard has shared plans to do away with passwords in online payments, with an all-new authentication standard to eventually replace 3D Secure.

3 ways to make your Yahoo Mail account safer


Following on from our detailed guide to securing your webmail, here's a quick breakdown of how to make the most important fixes, for users of Yahoo Mail.

Teacher's ex accused of hacking email, sending nude pics to students

Teacher's ex accused of hacking email, sending nude pics to students

The ex-lover of a Pasadena teacher has been arrested and bailed, accused of breaking into his school email account and using it to send out "sexually explicit" photos of said teacher to students and fellow staff.