Cybersecurity News Round-Up: SOPA Cyber Attacks and Security Legislation on the Way

This week’s headlines include SOPA and PIPA, the White House and piracy, more cybersecurity talk on the Hill and legal action against retailers.

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Cybersecurity News Round-Up: 1/20/12

As the protests against SOPA and PIPA continue to hog media headlines this week, hacktivist group Anonymous has set out on its own efforts to contest the proposed anti-piracy plans.

According to Politico, following the Department of Justice’s latest move to shut down file-sharing site MegaUpload.com, Anonymous struck back with a distributed denial-of-service cyber attack on the DOJ’s website, as well as others lending support to anti-piracy, including the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Responding to the attack, the MPAA released a statement asserting, “Unfortunately, some groups believe that speech or ideas that they disagree with should be silenced. This could not be more wrong. No matter the point of view, everyone has a right to be heard.”


So it seems, the White House also has the right to be heard when it comes to Internet piracy. Posting on the White House blog on Sunday morning, Administration officials Victoria Espinel, Aneesh Chopra, and Howard Schmidt wrote on “Combating Online Piracy while Protecting an Open and Innovative Internet.”

Regarding the issue, the trio noted, “While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.”


And while anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA may be held up on the Hill, Senate cybersecurity legislation is once again rumored to be on its way, according to Tommy Ross, senior intelligence and defense adviser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Reporting on the details, the National Journal said Ross called the bill rather broad, expecting it will raise few debates.

“What comes to the floor will reflect wide agreement,” suggested Ross, pointing out that we can expect to see the legislation within the next three to four weeks.


Meanwhile, cybersecurity legal matters are in motion for the private sector, as well, with a particular target on e-retailers Amazon and Zappos.

On Monday, Reuters reported that online clothing and shoe shop Zappos.com, owned by Amazon.com, suffered a major cyber attack, which led to roughly 24 million of its customer accounts and credit card information being compromised.

But if the actual hack wasn’t enough of a headache for the pair, the Associated Press has reported that the first civil suit has been filed in regards to the breach “by a Texas woman alleging that she and millions of other customers were harmed by the release of personal account information.”

While reps for Zappos and Amazon declined to comment on what is said to be a million dollar suit, Zappos did alert its customers of the issue, advising purchasers to reset their passwords — a tip not only useful to those on Zappos.com, but also important for all of us with web accounts on the Internet these days.

 


 

Michelle Kincaid is a DC-based public affairs professional specializing in technology issues. She is also founder of the blog CybersecurityNews.org. Follow her on Twitter @OnCybersecurity.

 

 

 

 

Michelle Kincaid is a DC-based public affairs professional specializing in technology policy. She is creator of the blog CybersecurityNews.org.