Entries with tag pending court cases.

Microsoft Shareholder Sues Company for Mismanagement

A lawsuit filed against the Microsoft board of directors contends the company was mismanaged. The legal action is tied to how the company dealt with its Internet Explorer browser deployment in the European Union, which ultimately led to a record-breaking $731 million anti-trust fine against the company. Kim Barovic, a shareholder of the Seattle-based company, filed charges 11 April 2014 alleging directors and executives -- including founder Bill Gates and Microsoft’s former chief executive officer Steve Ballmer -- did not properly manage the company. She also alleges a subsequent investigation by the board of directors was insufficient and did not determine how the mistakes leading to the fine occurred. Under the terms of a 2009 agreement, the company was to have provided European Windows users with a choice for Internet access instead of providing the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser by default; however, updated Windows 7 software, issued between May 2011 and July 2012, did not give an estimated 15 million users such an option. Barovic, according to Reuters, claims “she asked Microsoft's board to fully investigate how that mistake occurred and to take action against any directors or executives that had not performed their duties.” Microsoft replied that its investigation found no such evidence. Both Ballmer and Steven Sinofsky, head of the Windows unit at that time, had their bonuses cut in 2012 following the incident. Microsoft issued a statement standing behind its decisions, adding that there is “no basis for such a suit." (Reuters)

US Prosecutors Indict UK Man for Hacking Government Networks

US prosecutors have charged a British man, arrested on charges of hacking into US government computer systems, with breaking into the US Federal Reserve system, and stealing and disclosing various personal information. The charges include one count of computer hacking and one of aggravated identity theft, which carry maximum prison sentences of 10 and two years, respectively. (Reuters)(The Guardian)
 

US Authorities Charge Hackers in Huge, High Profile Attacks

US authorities have charged four Russians and a Ukrainian in connection with an extensive, eight-year hacking operation in which they allegedly stole 160 million credit-card numbers and sold them on the black market. The network’s targets included numerous high-profile payment processors, retailers, and financial institutions including the 7-Eleven convenience-store company, Dow Jones, the Hannaford Bros. supermarket chain, the J.C. Penney department stores, and Visa Jordan Card Services, a licensee of the Visa credit-card company in the country of Jordan. Hackers initially penetrated the networks via SQL injection attacks and then added a backdoor to enable easy ongoing access. They stole usernames, passwords, other types of personal identification used for verification, credit-card numbers, and debit-card information. The hackers sold the data to identity-theft wholesalers for $10 per US credit card and associated data; $15 per Canadian credit card and associated data; and $50 per European credit card and associated data. The wholesalers put the information onto blank credit or debit cards that could be used to withdraw money or make purchases. Authorities indicted the suspects on charges including conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to computers, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud. Two were arrested in the Netherlands and have been extradited to the US, but the other three are at large. (SlashDot)(SecurityWeek)(The New York Times)
 

Researchers Blocked from Presenting Car-Hack Findings

Volkswagen AG obtained a restraining order from a British high court that prohibits dissemination of research by three European computer scientists who uncovered a hack for locks on various luxury automobiles. University of Birmingham lecturer Flavio Garcia, along with Radboud University Nijmegen researchers Baris Ege and Roel Verdult were to have presented their work at the upcoming Usenix Security Symposium. They had shown vulnerabilities in antitheft systems in Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Porsche vehicles by defeating the RFID transponder built into the car key based on a unique algorithm, which the researchers claim had been published on the Internet in 2009, that allows the car to verify the identity of the ignition key. Volkswagen and French electronics firm the Thales Group filed a suit to stop the researchers from presenting their work, contending that would make the affected cars vulnerable to theft. A Radboud University Nijmegen spokesperson told the BBC that the researchers would not have released information describing how to actually steal a car and that they informed Thales, which created the algorithm,  in November 2012 so that it could eliminate the antitheft-system vulnerability. (Ars Technica)(The Associated Press @ Businessweek)(BBC) 

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