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Paul Merrell

Facebook and Corporate "Friends" Threat Exchange? | nsnbc international - 0 views

  • Facebook teamed up with several corporate “friends” to adapt Facebook’s in-house software to identify cyber threats and their source with other corporations. Countering cyber threats sounds positive while there are serious questions about transparency when smaller, independent media fall victim to major corporation’s unwillingness to reveal the source of attacks resulted in websites being closed for hours or days. Transparency, yes, but for whom? Among the companies Facebook is teaming up with are Printerest, Tumblr, Twitter, Yahoo, Drpbox and, reports Susanne Posel at Occupy Corporatism. The stated goal of “Threat Exchange” is to locate malware, the source domains, the IP addresses which are involved as well as the nature of the malware itself.
  • While the platform may be useful for major corporations, who can afford buying the privilege to join the club, the initiative does little to nothing to protect smaller, independent media from being targeted with impunity. The development prompts the question “Cyber security for whom?” The question is especially pertinent because identifying a site as containing malware, whether it is correct or not, will result in the site being added to Google’s so-called “Safe Browsing List”.
  • An article written by nsnbc editor-in-chief Christof Lehmann entitled “Censorship Alert: The Alternative Media are getting harassed by the NSA” provides several examples which raise serious questions about the lack of transparency when independent media demand information about either real or alleged malware content on their media’s websites. An alleged malware content in a java script that had been inserted via the third-party advertising company MadAdsMedia resulted in the nsnbc website being closed down and added to Google’s Safe Browsing list. The response to nsnbc’s request to send detailed information about the alleged malware and most importantly, about the source, was rejected. MadAdsMedia’s response to a renewed request was to stop serving advertisements to nsnbc from one day to the other, stating that nsnbc could contact another company, YieldSelect, which is run by the same company. Shell Games? SiteLock, who partners with most western-based web hosting providers, including BlueHost, Hostgator and many others contacted nsnbc warning about an alleged malware threat. SiteLock refused to provide detailed information.
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  • BlueHost refused to help the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC)  during a Denial of Service DoS attack. Asked for help, BlueHost reportedly said that they should deal with the issue themselves, which was impossible without BlueHost’s cooperation. The news agency’s website was down for days because BlueHost reportedly just shut down IMEMC’s server and told the editor-in-chief, Saed Bannoura to “go somewhere else”. The question is whether “transparency” can be the privilege of major corporations or whether there is need for legislation that forces all corporations to provide detailed information that enables media and other internet users to pursue real or alleged malware threats, cyber attacks and so forth, criminally and legally. That is, also when the alleged or real threat involves major corporations.
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