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.

Facebook tax refund scam earns Arizona woman 6 years in jail

Facebook tax refund scam earns Arizona woman 6 years in jail

An Arizona woman has been sent to jail for six years for masterminding a tax rebate scam which used Facebook to find and target unemployed people for identity theft.

Tutor gets a year in jail for hacking his students' grades

Grade hacking

Timothy Lai used keyloggers to break into computer systems at a school in Orange County, California, and adjust the grades of his students.

ID thief who scooped data on 200 million Americans jailed for 13 years

id-fraud-1200

Hieu Minh Ngo, whose websites put personal information on over 200 million US citizens up for sale, has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Spearphishing gets personal as woman scammed out of £50k house deposit

Spearphishing gets personal as woman scammed out of £50k house deposit

Spearphishing isn't just a threat for businesses. As this case shows, thieves are willing to spend considerable effort prying into the lives and email of ordinary people in the hope of scoring big cash.

Java updater to stop pushing Ask Toolbar, will foist Yahoo search on you instead

Java updater to stop pushing Ask Toolbar, will foist Yahoo search on you instead

Oracle's Java, infamous in the past for bundling the Ask Toolbar as part of its install and update processes, is ditching Ask in favour of Yahoo's search engine.

Suspected mastermind behind mass ATM heist spree finally extradited to US

ATM. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

18 months after his arrest, the Turkish national accused of masterminding a worldwide string of ATM heists netting as much as $55 million has been sent to the US to face trial.

Thief who mugged Facebook PlayStation-seller busted thanks to location data

facebook-mugger-1200

The victim had been trying to sell an old PlayStation 2 through Facebook, and was contacted by a potential purchaser who turned out to be the mugger.

We offer some advice on making offline transactions with people you meet online.

Phishing study finds major brands heavily targeted, niche sites also at risk

Phishing study finds major brands heavily targeted, niche sites also at risk

Phishers are regularly updating their approaches, probing new areas and looking out for new victims, as well as taking aim at larger global players and their users.

Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht gets life without parole

Ross Ulbricht

Ross Ulbricht, founder of hidden online marketplace Silk Road, has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Silk Road coupon forger charged with wire fraud

Silk Road coupon forger charged with wire fraud

US law enforcement's infiltration and takedown of the Silk Road underground marketplace has turned up yet another court case, with a New Orleans man charged with selling counterfeit shopping coupons through the site, and its successors, on an epic scale.

Ransomware attack led animal porn collector to confess to police

ransomware-1200

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

nigerian-bank-heist-250

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.