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Thousands of people have taken the streets in Moscow and similar demonstrations in two other Russian cities were called as the government plans to introduce tighter restrictions on the internet.

Last month, Russian parliament backed the controversial bill.

The government says the bill, which allows it to isolate Russia’s internet service from the rest of the world, will improve cyber-security.

However, campaigners say it is an attempt to increase censorship and stifle dissent.

Activists say more than 15,000 people gathered in Moscow on March 10, which is double the estimate given by the police.

Some protesters chanted slogans such as “hands off the internet” and “no to isolation” while others gave speeches on a large stage.

Opposition figures said that a number of protesters were detained in Moscow, but the police have not confirmed this.

The government says the so-called digital sovereignty bill will reduce Russia’s reliance on internet servers in the US.

The bill seeks to stop Russia’s internet traffic being routed through foreign servers.

Russia: State Duma passes law requiring internet companies to store citizens’ personal data inside country

Russian-Planted Facebook Posts Seen by 126 Million American Users

A second vote is expected later this month.

If it is passed, the bill will eventually need to be signed by President Vladimir Putin.

Russia has introduced a swathe of tougher internet laws in recent years. On March 7, parliament passed two bills outlawing “disrespect” of authorities and the spreading of what the government deems to be “fake news”.

Last year, campaigners took to the streets to protest the media watchdog’s attempt to shut down the encrypted messaging service, Telegram.

Russia’s main security agency, the FSB, said at the time that Telegram was the messenger of choice for “international terrorist organizations in Russia”.

As the old adage says, ‘no one is perfect.’ This often applies to people who lock their keys in the car or turn their laundry pink, but it’s a little more problematic when human slip-ups put your small business at risk.

In fact, 95 percent of all cybersecurity incidents involve human error. While that figure may frighten you, there are steps you can take to safeguard your organization against employee-linked data breaches.

Boost Your Cyber Smarts

Employee education is absolutely vital to protecting your small business. This can be done in a number of ways. While some companies choose to walk new hires through cybersecurity training during their first week, other companies may host quarterly or yearly cybersecurity training meetings to refresh everyone’s memories about best practices.

Impress upon your employees the importance of avoiding opening emails from unknown or suspicious sources. Cybercriminals are avid spammers, and their emails frequently contain links and attachments meant to infect your computer with dangerous malware. Phishing scams are included in URLs in an attempt to deceive employees into sharing their passwords and login information.

Some hackers, who are trickier than others, will use spoofing to pose as a friend or coworkers in emails or text messages. The lie is made even more convincing by redirecting the user to fraudulent phishing pages made to look identical to the real thing. The goal, of course, is to fool your team members into divulging valuable information.

While digital threats continue to evolve as do the methods to combat them. Continued cybersecurity training will ready your team to be aware of any risk.

Cut the Phishing Line

But even with the best cybersecurity protocols, accidents happen. Sometimes it’s a careless click, or maybe your employee fell prey to an extra crafty ploy. No matter the case, your business information has been compromised by a phishing attack. What do you do? To remove yourself from a phishing scam:

Begin with changing your passwords immediately: Don’t allow the hacker to gain further access to your other accounts.

Be sure to repot the incident right away: The faster you act, the better your chances of limiting the damage.

Next, check your ‘sent’ email folder: Make sure your contacts haven’t been spammed using your good name.

Finally, do a security sweep: This will uncover any malware programs that may have been downloaded without your knowledge.

Purging Malware & Trojans

Oh no! Your sweep revealed malware infections on your device. It may have even been living inside your computer, undetected for months. Symptoms include slow performance, advertising pop-ups when browsers are closed and bogus security warning from programs you didn’t install.

Removing malware can be incredibly time consuming. So let’s get started.

The first step is to update your antivirus software: The most recent update will better combat whatever is infecting your computer.

Restart your computer in safe mode: This will stop malware from spreading while you hunt down its roots. Start by deleting temporary files. Be sure to investigate any files or programs unfamiliar to you.

While this may be enough to detect and exterminate your computer bug, it is likely that you may need to download additional security software to relieve your system. A computer professional will be able to help you if necessary.

Explore Cybersecurity Insurance Quotes

As you can tell, cyberattacks consume your time and resources, costing your small business thousands in damages and downtime. Shield yourself by investigating cyber security insurance quotes. Providers even offer protection against extortion and reputational damage.

Cyber security quotes may vary, but are very affordable compared to risk posed by cybercriminals. Besides, investing pennies a day is infinitely preferable to dropping tens of thousands of dollars on data breach.


Nearly four million US government workers have been hit by data breach, officials said.

Chinese hackers are suspected of carrying out the “massive breach” of the personal data of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) employees.

OPM has confirmed that both current and past employees had been affected.

The breach could potentially affect every federal agency, officials said.

The hackers were believed to be based in China, officials said. Beijing responded by calling such claims “irresponsible”.

OPM said it became aware of the breach in April during an “aggressive effort” to update its cyber security systems.

It said it would be contacting all those individuals whose personal data may have been breached in the coming weeks, and offering them 18 months of free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance.OPM data breach 2015

OPM serves as the human resource department for the federal government. The agency issues security clearances and compiles records of all federal government employees.

Information stored on OPM databases includes employee job assignments, performance reviews and training, according to officials.

The breach did not involve background checks and clearance investigations, officials said.

Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the hackers were believed to be based in China.

She called the breach “yet another indication of a foreign power probing successfully and focusing on what appears to be data that would identify people with security clearances”.

China denied there was any official involvement in the attack.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular briefing: “Cyber attacks are generally anonymous and conducted across borders and their origins are hard to trace.

“Not to carry out a deep investigation and keep using words such as <<possible>> is irresponsible and unscientific.”

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are said to be investigating the latest breach.

The US Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube accounts have been suspended after being hacked by a group claiming to back Islamic State.

One message on Centcom’s Twitter feed said: “American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back.”

It was signed by ISIS, another name for the Islamic State. Some internal military documents also appeared on the Centcom Twitter feed.

Centcom said it viewed the breach as “cyber-vandalism” and not serious.

In a statement, the military command said there was no operational impact and no classified information was posted.

“We are viewing this purely as a case of cyber-vandalism,” it said.

The hack happened as President Barack Obama was giving a speech on cyber-security.Centcom Twitter hacked by ISIS

Reflecting on major breaches like a recent hack of Sony Pictures, President Barack Obama said in his speech the US had been reminded of “enormous vulnerabilities for us as a nation and for our economy”.

Barack Obama’s spokesman Josh Earnest said the US is looking into the Centcom hacking.

He said they were investigating the extent of the incident, and that there was a significant difference between a large data breach and the hacking of a Twitter account.

An unnamed Pentagon official told Reuters the hacking was an embarrassment but did not appear to be a security threat.

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President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have ended a two-day summit in California, which was described by US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon as “unique, positive and constructive”.

Tom Donilon said Barack Obama had warned Xi Jinping that cyber-crime could be an “inhibitor” in US-China relations.

He also said that both countries had agreed that North Korea had to denuclearize.

The talks in California also touched on economic and environmental issues.

The two leaders spent nearly six hours together on Friday and another three hours on Saturday morning at the sprawling Sunnylands retreat in California.

While briefly appearing for a stroll together on Saturday, Barack Obama described their progress as “terrific”.

After the talks concluded, Tom Donilon told a press conference that President Barack Obama had described to Xi Jinping the types of problems the US has faced from cyber-intrusion and theft of intellectual property.

He gave no details but said Barack Obama underscored that Washington had no doubt that the intrusions were coming from inside China.

Earlier, Xi Jinping’s senior foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi told reporters that China wanted co-operation rather than friction with the US over cyber-security.

“Cyber-security should not become the root cause of mutual suspicion and friction, rather it should be a new bright spot in our co-operation,” he said.

On North Korea, Tom Donilon said the two leaders had achieved “quite a bit of alignment”.

President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have ended a two-day summit in California

President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have ended a two-day summit in California

“They agreed that North Korea has to denuclearize, that neither country will accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state and that we would work together to deepen co-operation and dialogue to achieve denuclearization,” he said.

Immediately after the summit ended, the White House issued a statement saying the two nations had agreed to work together for the first time to reduce hydrofluorocarbons – a potent greenhouse gas.

The White House appears to be delighted by the summit, with Tom Donilon repeatedly calling it “unique”.

The summit was the first meeting between the two leaders since Xi Jinping became China’ president in March.

It was billed as a chance for the two to get to know each other.

Speaking after his first session of talks with Xi Jinping on Friday, Barack Obama described cyber-security as “uncharted waters”.

On Friday, the Guardian newspaper published what it described as a US presidential order to national security and intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for US cyber-attacks.

The White House has not commented on the report.

The US and China are the world’s two largest economies. The US runs a huge trade deficit with China, which hit an all-time high of $315 billion last year.

Last week, the Chinese firm Shuanghui agreed to buy US pork producer Smithfield for $4.7 billion – the largest takeover of a US company by a Chinese rival.

The deal highlights the growing power of Chinese firms and their desire to secure global resources.

US producers want China to raise the value of its currency, the renminbi, which would make Chinese goods more expensive for foreign buyers and possibly hold back exports.

Beijing has responded with a gradual easing of restrictions on trading in the renminbi.

Intellectual property is also an area of concern for US firms.

A report last month by the independent Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property put losses to the US from IP theft at as much as $300 billion a year. It said 50-80% of the thefts were thought to be by China.

Ahead of the summit, White House officials told reporters hacking would be raised, amid growing concern in the US over alleged intrusions from China in recent months.

Last month the Washington Post, citing a confidential Pentagon report, reported that Chinese hackers had accessed designs for more than two dozen US weapons systems.

The US also directly accused Beijing of targeting US government computers as part of a cyber-espionage campaign in a report in early May.

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China’s President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama have begun a two-day summit in Palm Springs, California.

The two leaders spoke of overcoming differences and forging a new relationship between their countries.

Barack Obama spoke of “areas of tension” and mentioned their rivalry in the Pacific, North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, and cyber espionage.

The meeting is the first between the two since Xi Jinping became president in March.

The informal setting is seen as a chance for the leaders of the world’s largest economies to build a rapport amid a slew of high-stakes issues.

The two men – looking relaxed and informal – met and shook hands under a shaded walkway at the Sunnylands estate just outside Palm Springs.

“Our decision to meet so early [in Xi Jinping’s term] signifies the importance of the US-China relationship,” Barack Obama said.

He said the US welcomed the rise of a peaceful China and wanted “economic order where nations are playing by the same rules”.

He also called for both countries to work together to tackle cyber security.

“Inevitably there are areas of tension between our countries,” he added.

Xi Jinping said he and Barack Obama were meeting “to chart the future of China-US relations and draw a blueprint for this relationship”.

He added: “The vast Pacific Ocean has enough space for two large countries like the United States and China.”

China’s President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama have begun a two-day summit in Palm Springs

China’s President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama have begun a two-day summit in Palm Springs

US lawmakers and human rights groups have also urged Barack Obama to call for the release of 16 high-profile prisoners, including jailed Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo.

Xi Jinping’s US stop is the fourth leg of a trip that has taken him to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico.

Accompanied by his wife – folk singer Peng Liyuan – President Xi Jinping arrived at California’s Ontario International Airport on Thursday.

The summit, at the sprawling estate in Rancho Mirage, begins with a bilateral meeting followed by a working dinner. Additional talks will take place on Saturday morning.

The meeting comes months earlier than expected – Barack Obama and Xi Jinping had been expected to meet at an economic summit in Russia in September.

“I have the impression that both sides are willing to re-examine their premises, and to see whether they can achieve a relationship based on some perspective that goes beyond the moment – in other words that goes beyond solving immediate problems,” said former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Ahead of the summit, White House officials told reporters hacking would be raised, amid growing concern in the US over alleged intrusions from China in recent months.

Last month the Washington Post reported that Chinese hackers had accessed designs for more than two dozen US weapons systems, citing a confidential Pentagon report. The US also directly accused Beijing of targeting US government computers as part of a cyber espionage campaign in a report in early May.

China denies any role in state-sponsored hacking – earlier this week its internet chief said China had “mountains of data” pointing to US-based cyber attacks.

Trade issues are also expected to be a priority, as is North Korea – which conducted its third nuclear test in February. Beijing – Pyongyang’s nominal ally – is seen as the only nation capable of bringing meaningful pressure to bear on the communist state.

Other topics up for discussion may include territorial disputes in Asia and human rights in China.

Activists and relatives have urged the US president to raise the issue of the “China 16” – a group of individuals detained on political or religious grounds.

Analysts see the informal talks as a welcome departure from the more formal protocol adopted in US talks with former Chinese leaders.

Xi Jinping is said to have developed a warm relationship with Vice-President Joe Biden after the latter’s China visit in 2011. He also has ties to the US, having spent time in an Iowa town in 1985 as a part of a Chinese farming delegation.

During his US visit in February last year, the then vice-president called for deeper “strategic trust” with the US in a speech.

Observers will be waiting to see whether the summit with Barack Obama will be a first step in that direction.

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Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr says a report alleging Chinese hackers stole plans for Australia’s new intelligence hub will not hit ties with Beijing.

On Monday the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported blueprints setting out the building’s cable layouts and security systems had been illegally accessed by a server in China.

Bob Carr did not comment directly on the claims.

But he said the government was “very alive” to cyber security threats.

“I won’t comment on whether the Chinese have done what is being alleged or not,” he said.

“I won’t comment on matters of intelligence and security for the obvious reason: we don’t want to share with the world and potential aggressors what we know about what they might be doing, and how they might be doing it.”

Bob Carr said the ABC report had “no implications” for a strategic partnership.

“We have enormous areas of co-operation with China,” he said.

The claims were made in a report on Chinese cyber-espionage by ABC’s Four Corners investigative programme on Monday night.

Chinese hackers stole plans for Australia's new intelligence hub

Chinese hackers stole plans for Australia’s new intelligence hub

The programme alleged that blueprints to the new intelligence headquarters in Canberra – due to be finished last year but delayed – were stolen in a cyber attack on a contractor that was traced to a server in China.

The plans detailed communications cabling and server locations, floor plans and security systems, the programme alleged.

It quoted Professor Des Ball, an expert on cyber security from the Australian National University, as saying access to such details would enable an outside party to identify rooms used for sensitive activities and work out how to monitor them.

The programme also alleged that the Prime Minster’s Office, the Defence Ministry and the Department of Foreign Affairs had been breached in hacking operations.

Four Corners did not identify the source of its information.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei rejected the claims, saying “groundless” accusations would not solve the problem of cyber hacking.

“Since it is technically untraceable, it is very difficult to find the source and identify the hacker,” he said.

“Therefore we have no idea what is the evidence for their report in which they make the claim with such certainty.”

Earlier this year, hackers from China – which is now Australia’s biggest trading partner – were thought to be behind an attack on the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Australian Financial Review reported.

The issue of cyber espionage looks set to be high on the agenda when the US and Chinese presidents hold their first summit in California next month.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon for the first time directly accused the Chinese government and military of targeting US government computers as part of a cyber espionage campaign aimed at collecting intelligence on US diplomatic, economic and defence sectors.

China called the report “groundless”, saying it represented “US distrust”.

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The United States accuses China’s government and military of targeting its government computers as part of a cyber espionage campaign, a US report on China says.

Intrusions were focused on collecting intelligence on US diplomatic, economic and defense sectors which could benefit China’s own defense programme, the report says.

This is the first time the Pentagon’s annual report has directly linked such attacks to the Beijing government.

China called the report “groundless”, saying it represented “US distrust”.

A report from state news agency Xinhua cited Sr. Col Wang Xinjun, a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) researcher, describing the report as “irresponsible and harmful to the mutual trust between the two countries”.

Both China and the US were victims of cybercrimes and should work together to tackle the problems, the agency quoted him as saying.

The Pentagon report also criticizes a “lack of transparency” in China’s military modernization programme and defense spending.

“In 2012, numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the US government, continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government and military,” the report from the US Department of Defense said.

Pentagon's annual report has directly linked cyber attacks on US government computers to the Beijing government

Pentagon’s annual report has directly linked cyber attacks on US government computers to the Beijing government

The attacks were focused on “exfiltrating information” that “could potentially be used to benefit China’s defense industry, high technology industries… and military planners,” it said.

It added that this was particularly concerning because the “skills required for these intrusions are similar to those necessary to conduct computer network attacks”.

While China has long been suspected of a role in cyber attacks, the US has generally avoided publicly attributing attacks to the Chinese government, or confirming that US government computers have been targeted.

But the issue has come under increased scrutiny in recent months.

In February, US cyber security firm Mandiant said that it had linked hundreds of data breaches since 2004 to a Chinese hacking team traced to the site of a military unit in Shanghai.

China called the Mandiant report flawed, and said it was opposed to cyber-crime.

The report also analyses China’s progress in modernizing its military and says that a “lack of transparency” about its military capabilities has heightened regional tensions.

China announced in March that its annual defense budget was $114 billion, an increase of 10.4%.

However, the Pentagon estimated that China’s total military expenditure in 2012 was higher, between $135 billion and $215 billion.

China launched its first aircraft carrier in 2012, and is also investing in ballistic missiles, counter-space weapons and military cyberspace systems, the report said.

Defense Department official David Helvey said that while none of the individual weapons systems were an issue, the “integration and overlapping nature” of the systems left the department “concerned”.

They could boost China’s ability to restrict access to, and military operations in, the Western Pacific, he said.

David Helvey said the report also found that China had “increased assertiveness with respect to its maritime territorial claims” over the past year.

China has territorial disputes with many of its neighbors, including in both the South China Sea and East China Sea.

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Stop Cispa Privacy Online Act

Right now, the US is poised to pass a new law that would permit US agents to spy on almost everything we do online. But we can stop them before the final vote.

Companies that we trust with our personal information, like Microsoft and Facebook, are key supporters of this bill that lets corporations share all user activity and content with US government agents without needing a warrant in the name of cyber-security — nullifying privacy guarantees for almost everyone around the world, no matter where we live and surf online.

If enough of us speak out, we can stop companies that profit from our business from supporting cyber-spying. Sign the petition to these key net corporations now:


The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) would allow companies doing business in the US to collect exact records of all of our online activities and hand them over to the US government, without ever notifying us that we are being watched. No warrant, no legal cause and no due process required. To make matters worse, the bill provides the government and corporations with blanket immunity to protect them from being sued for violation of privacy and other illegal actions.

The bill’s supporters claim that consumer information will be protected, but the reality is that huge loopholes would make everything we do online fair game — and nowadays, from banking to shopping, our private information is all stored on the Internet.

CISPA is being moved forward in Congress and will be voted upon in days. Let’s raise a massive outcry to stop corporations from giving the US a blank check to monitor our every move. Click below to take action:


This year, we helped stop SOPA, PIPA and ACTA — all dire threats to the Internet. Now, let’s block CISPA and end the US government attack on our Internet.

WIth hope and determination,

Dalia, Allison, Emma, Ricken, Rewan, Andrew, Wen-Hua, and the rest of the Avaaz team

More information:

CISPA: The internet finds a new enemy (Global Post)

CISPA protests begin amid key changes to legislation (Los Angeles Times)

Cybersecurity Bill FAQ: The Disturbing Privacy Dangers in CISPA and How To Stop It (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

New CISPA Draft Narrows Cybersecurity Language as Protests Loom (Mashable)