In Der Prozess –The trial– , a masterpiece by Franz Kafka, an esteemed businessman is processed and condemned without understanding his own imputations. Similar distressing, unfair situations happen every day all around the world but sometimes it also happens the exact contrary: a judge who doesn’t understand the crime committed by the defendants he is about to judge.
According to Reuters news agency, a British judge admitted on Wednesday that he couldn’t cope with terms like “website” or “forum” in a trial of three men accused of inciting terrorism via the Internet.
Judge Peter Openshaw, 59, couldn’t understand in depth the declarations of a witness who was describing the activities carried out in a forum used by alleged Islamist radicals.
…And their consequences could re-echo far beyond national borders: on Tuesday, one of the biggest Estonian banks, SEB Eesti Uhispank, had to block its online banking service because of a digital attack. According to officials, such “massive cyber-attack” was launched at noon and it blocked the access to the bank’s website.
As confirmed by the head of communication at the bank, Mr.Silver Vohu, “Access was restored at 2:00 pm (1100 GMT), but only for users in Estonia. Access from computers located outside Estonia will continue to be restricted for security reasons,” he said.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Mr. Vohu said the attacks on SEB bank’s Internet banking service had “tried to overload the website with various requests so that normal access would fail.” He then got on saying that as soon as they saw the problem, bank’s security experts promptly set to work in order to restore the service and keep customer’s data safe.
Experts at Panda Labs detected the new Mpack malware, a tool that can be used to download malicious software into remote computers. The principle is simple: the attacker choose a malware and use it to infect a number of computers. Last statistics reported by Panda Labs focus on a case of 160.000 machines that were infected through this Mpack malware. Such data was obtained thanks to the “statistics component” of the tool itself.
The software is conceived to let cyber pranksters have the full control of the attacked machines, indeed it allow to monitor data passing through them. Moreover, the attacker can group the computers affected by the malware by operating system or browser.
The tool can be purchased for $700 on on-line forums. The price include one year’s free support.
TV, radio and newspapers from all over the world often linger on the costs of terrorism, but what is not so often mentioned are the costs of the fight to terrorism. While dealing with such costs, we do not refer to how much money were spent to set up proper countermeasures against terrorist attacks, but to the consequences of a sort of Hysteria that affected whole western society from September 11th on.
Terrorism is undoubtedly a threat that must be fought with all means, but we should take care to avoid that this state of alert will turn us into witch hunters, and we should prevent the fear of terrorism from damaging us much more than terrorism itself.Need some examples? Earlier this year, specifically on January 4th, the CNN apologized after mistakenly putting the name of US Senator Barack Obama as a caption on a story about Osama Bin Laden.
We often witnessed that wars and riots have also a digital form. Take in example few cases from recent history: the conflict between Israel and Lebanon has been transferred to digital ground through the rise of
defacements with anti-war messages and, as it seems, cyber-war will not be over soon . Or consider riots provoked by the publication of satiric pictures about Holy Prophet Mohammed. Reactions were definitely strong in Islamic world, both in streets and on-line .
As things stand, no surprise that the protest that took place some week ago in Estonia because of the removal of a “Red Army memorial” had also digital consequences. As riots started in Tallinn, some governmental websites , such as Foreign Ministry site, got defaced and even the website of Prime Minister’s party, Reform Party ‚was attacked. Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, has been just the main supporter of the move to relocate the memorial.