Over 1300 Czechs have received a warning from the police regarding theft of their personal data by hackers. Commercial TV Nova, which aired the story on Friday evening, said the theft occurred in an attack on the US security firm Stratfor in late December and the stolen information allegedly includes people’s bank account numbers. People whom it concerns have been asked to contact their banks and not open suspicious-looking mails which could contain viruses. This is the first time ever that the police has contacted so many people on an individual basis rather than issuing a mass warning.
Czech police have arrested a 16-year-old boy from Brno for allegedly hacking a webhosting company’s website, after breaking through security, and raising tariffs for regular customers. He then contacted the company and threatened he would only stop if he received 100,000 crowns. The crime took place last spring when the minor – who has apparently had other run-ins with the law – was on a visit to his mother’s. Police investigating electronic data were able to pick-up the suspect’s trail.
The Czech Republic’s National Security Authority (NBU) will manage a planned centre combating cyber crime, the daily Právo reports. The project was agreed by the head of the Interior Ministry, the National Security Authority and the prime minister. According to the newspaper, the Interior Ministry has sought the establishment of a centre focusing on Internet threats for some time but lacked the necessary funding and expertise. No timeframe for the new centre has been announced but concrete steps are to be discussed next week. Právo cited former interior minister Martin Pecina as saying the Czech Republic was the only country in the EU that still lacked a cyber crimes centre.
The Czech power producer ČEZ, whose disappointing second-quarter results were leaked a day early on Monday, blames the leaks on poor internet security. The Reuters news agency released the ČEZ results on Monday after its reporters gained access to a section of the company’s website where the results had been posted; however, the company had not then officially released the respective link. The largest Czech energy producer posted a net profit of 6.72 billion crowns for the second quarter of this year, a drop by nearly 40 percent year-on.-year.
Czech security experts announced on Monday they had uncovered a global botnet network allowing hackers to steal private information by tapping private modems and other computer devices. The viral network, dubbed “Chuck Norris” after the brawny Hollywood star, was used to gain everything from banking passwords to personal info. It is only the second time Czech experts have seen such a system in use, saying on Monday that individual users and small businesses were at the greatest risk.
As we spend more and more of our lives online, we’re exposing ourselves to the more nefarious aspects of the internet – spam, viruses, phishing, extremist websites, even cyber warfare. How to fight such threats is no longer the domain of computer geeks – governments around the world have whole departments to tackle the issue. The problem of cyber terrorism and cyber crime is being discussed this week at the Cyter 2009 conference in Prague, as part of the Czech EU Presidency.
People from the Czech Republic were allegedly among the users of a widespread international child pornography network that was broken up by the German police in April, the iDnes.cz web site reported Monday. In cooperation with their German colleagues, the Czech police are reported to have carried out several dozen raids confiscating 27 computers and more than 1700 CDs, DVDs, flash discs and memory cards. According to iDnes, searches were carried out across the country. Police have not revealed how many Czechs are suspected of having been involved in the child pornography network. According to the BBC, the international child pornography ring had links to Canada and the USA.
Czech paedophiles involved in a global Internet network which was uncovered by Bavarian police last week will go unpunished due to the lack of relevant legislation in the Czech Republic at the time the suspects operated at the site. A police representative made the announcement on Tuesday. Czech police managed to confirm more than 1,000 connections from Czech computers to a German child porn website, launched in Konstanz in 2006, but will not be able to prosecute persons who visited the site and downloaded material. At the time, unlike production and distribution, the possession of child porn was not punishable in the Czech Republic. The police also failed to prove that Czech suspects who downloaded child porn from the site distributed any material further.
The Prague-based broadcaster Radio Free Europe has said that several of its websites had been attacked on Monday, suggesting that the Belarussian government could be to blame. The network said in a statement that the assault had begun on Saturday and had not yet been countered. Radio Free Europe’s Belarussian service has been the worst affected by the bug, though web sites serving Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan have also been hit. The station moved its headquarters to Prague from Munich, Germany, in 1995. It broadcasts in 28 languages to 21 countries including, most recently, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan.