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News in brief: spy chief warns on blame; FBI arrests NSA contractor; Japan holds teen on ransomware

Your daily round-up of some of the other stories in the news

Your daily round-up of some of the other stories in the news

Spy chief warns on the rush to blame

The former head of Britain’s security service, Dame Stella Rimington, has warned the authorities not to rush to assign blame or to push through change in the wake of the terror attacks on Manchester and London.

Speaking at the opening of InfoSec 2017 in London, Dame Stella, who was head of MI5 between 1992 and 1996 and the first woman to lead the service, said that “there are more calls for change in the face of the horrors that happened in the last few weeks” and warnted that there’s a temptation “to throw the whole thing up in the air” and start over.

“OK, blame the terrorists first, but then who do you blame next? You blame the police, you blame the security services.” But, she said: “Dealing with terrorism is a very different thing from dealing with espionage”, warning that we “should not rush because something has happened”.

She acknowledged that the threats are “worse, more complex and more difficult than at any time in my career”, and cautioned that any organisational changes to the police and the security services have “to be carefully managed; it should not be rushed”.

Contractor arrested after hacking story published

A 25-year-old contractor working for a defence company was arrested by the FBI on Saturday for allegedly leaking classified information to The Intercept, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

Reality Winner was arrested at her home on Saturday shortly after The Intercept published a story claiming that Russian military intelligence had been targeting a company providing technical support to states’ voting agencies and had been trying to get into local election systems ahead of last year’s presidential election.

The story was based on a redacted classified NSA document which it’s alleged that Winner stole and passed to The Intercept.

Japanese teen arrested arrested over ransomware

Japanese police arrested a teenager suspected of being involved in creating and uploading ransomware in what’s said to be the first arrest of anyone in the country for a ransomware-related crime.

Authorities said the 14-year-old, who wasn’t named because of his age, had been arrested in Osaka Prefecture, and had admitted to creating the malware in January, uploading it and then luring people via social media into downloading it.

The Japan Times reported that the ransomware demanded payment in Japanese yen and that the teenager had said he’d created the ransomware because he wanted to become famous.

Catch up with all of today’s stories on Naked Security


“who wasn’t named because of his age. . .” “. . . said he’d created the ransomware because he wanted to become famous.”

Seems legit. We should do this more often, and not just for age related reasons.


Yeah, that’s an issue. Or, could be. Anti-virus companies have long held a policy of not naming viruses after authors, for exactly the reasons you hint at.
I remember discovering the very first macro virus for Excel (mostly by accident). I asked McAfee (our vendor at the time) if they could name it after me. This is way back in the mid-90s, but they already had a policy in place that said no. Once they explained it, it made perfect sense to me, and still does today. I was on the right side of things, but there are a whole lot of people who would write very nasty code if they thought they could get their 15 minutes of fame from it.


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