Mark Rasch

Cyber Law Editor

Security Current


Sony Threatens New York Times and Other Media Outlets on Publishing Stolen Data

Posted on: 15 Dec 2014

My name is Bond.  James Bond. We know that those words will appear in the upcoming Sony movie SPECTRE.  We actually know a lot more about the upcoming movie with Christoph Waltz thanks to the mysterious Sony hackers.  According to published reports, the script for the upcoming movie has been leaked online. Sony has responded…

Cell Phones Not Safe From Police North of the Border

Posted on: 12 Dec 2014

If you are on the south side of the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, New York and are arrested by the Buffalo Police Department, the cops can’t search the contents of your cell phone unless they get a warrant. Their attempt to rely on an exception to the warrant requirements called “search incident to a lawful…

Sony, Interrupted

Posted on: 11 Dec 2014

It hasn’t been a good few weeks for Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE).  Their networks were taken down, employees threatened, e-mails exposed, salary and personal information disseminated.  Its stars and executives have been portrayed as overpaid petulant jerks. And at least some of its movies have been leaked online – including movies currently in theaters, and some…

Posner’s Privacy Prognostications – Perpetually Peeved

Posted on: 11 Dec 2014

At a recent computer security and privacy conference here in Washington, Judge Richard Posner made headlines when he announced that privacy was “overrated” and existed mainly for the purposes of protecting criminals. According to published sources, Posner stated: “Much of what passes for the name of privacy is really just trying to conceal the disreputable parts…

From Here to Xfinity – Comcast Takes Over Your Home Router and Sells Your Internet Service

Posted on: 09 Dec 2014

Imagine if someone hacked your home wireless router.  Imagine if they then changed the settings to open up a separate channel on your router – a channel that allowed them to access both the router and the Internet without your knowledge or consent. Imagine then if they charged people in the neighborhood money to be…

Computer Crime and Punishment

Posted on: 08 Dec 2014

Two recent cases, one in the United States and the other in Germany, point out the problem of how we determine the appropriate punishment for computer hackers.  To a great extent, we both over-punish and under-punish these crimes; sometimes both in the same case. Most crimes are fairly discrete events.  You rob a bank, you commit an assault, and…

Worst Breach Ever; Why the Sony Breach May be the Most Significant Security Breach in US History

Posted on: 05 Dec 2014

It all sounds like the plot of a major Hollywood blockbuster. Dave Skylark of the TV show “Skylark Tonight” and his producer Aaron Rapoport are recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in  the movie, “The Interview.” Haven’t seen it?  It’s no wonder. The film’s distributor, Sony Pictures, was supposed to release…

I’m From the Government, I’m Here to Help- DOJ Announces New Cyber-Security Section

Posted on: 05 Dec 2014

The Department of Justice is establishing a new unit within the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Criminal Division designed to actually help entities prevent cybercrime, instead of just prosecuting it after it happens, according to a speech at Georgetown University at the Cybercrime 2020 Symposium by Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Leslie R. Caldwell. The problem…

Sen. Wyden’s Plan to Close Backdoors May Backfire

Posted on: 05 Dec 2014

It has long been suspected that the U.S. government has consistently installed back door programs, remote access programs or other vulnerabilities in U.S. hardware, software, supply chain, telecommunications devices, and well, just about everything. Oh, and they are also beaming signals directly into your brain.  Except that one of these statements is a delusional fantasy.…

State Secrets

Posted on: 26 Nov 2014

I previously wrote about the government’s use of things like Dirt Box and Stingray – technologies that allow the government to surreptitiously intercept either the contents of communications, or the data about those communications (including cell phone locations) without the hassle and bother of actually having to ask the phone company for copies of their…