UK to adopt Euro police hacking scheme

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jan 6, 2009

Remote search and cyber patrol plans approved.

The UK Home Office has signed up to a European initiative, proposed in November, to grant police forces greater powers to hack into computers and monitor internet traffic in search of incriminating evidence.

The UK police already admits to engaging in cyber-espionage on occasion, in some cases with no requirement for a warrant under existing legislation, but the new powers will give them significantly more opportunities to hone their hacking skills, worrying some human rights watchdogs.

The scheme is designed to combat serious and organised criminals using computers and the web as a data-storage and communication medium, but should also improve police powers to bring cybercriminals, whose crimes take place entirely in the online world, to justice. However, the likelihood that law enforcement organisations will create and implement their own keyloggers, screengrabbers and other spyware utilities presents difficulties for security firms, many of whom have openly stated that they will not be whitelisting or otherwise ignoring any suspect samples originating from police forces.

The European proposals also encourage data sharing between police forces, which some privacy advocates suspect may grant foreign police rights to hack into system based in the UK and vice versa, while far greater monitoring of the internet as a whole will also become possible.

Reports of the announcement can be found at ZDNet here, VNUnet here or the BBC here, with typically strident comment from Sophos' Graham Cluley here.

Posted on 06 January 2009 by Virus Bulletin

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

VB2019 conference programme announced

VB is excited to reveal the details of an interesting and diverse programme for VB2019, the 29th Virus Bulletin International Conference, which takes place 2-4 October in London, UK.

VB2018 paper: Under the hood - the automotive challenge

Car hacking has become a hot subject in recent years, and at VB2018 in Montreal, Argus Cyber Security's Inbar Raz presented a paper that provides an introduction to the subject, looking at the complex problem, examples of car hacks, and the…

VB2018 paper and video: Android app deobfuscation using static-dynamic cooperation

Static analysis and dynamic analysis each have their shortcomings as methods for analysing potentially malicious files. Today, we publish a VB2018 paper by Check Point researchers Yoni Moses and Yaniv Mordekhay, in which they describe a method that…

VB2019 call for papers closes this weekend

The call for papers for VB2019 closes on 17 March, and while we've already received many great submissions, we still want more!

Registration open for VB2019 ─ book your ticket now!

Registration for VB2019, the 29th Virus Bulletin International Conference, is now open, with an early bird rate available until 1 July.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.