Morning Security Brief: Bank Fraud, Anti-Counterfeiting Agreement, Cyber Espionage, and More

By Carlton Purvis


►Fraud in the United States accounted for almost half of such losses globally. While banks in Europe and Asia have introduced stricter security policies and practices to protect consumers, the U.S. still relies on “older infrastructure.” Banks in Europe and elsewhere have moved to deploy "chip-and-pin" card systems that make it harder to produce counterfeit payment cards, a vulnerability for U.S. cards carrying data on magnetic strips, Reuters reports. Experts say U.S. banks will only spend the millions of dollars on changing the system once it becomes worth their while. Losses for U.S. banks are still manageable given how profitable payment card operations have become, one expert said. 

►The United States, along with seven other countries, signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement over the weekend. The aim of the accord is to target piracy and copyright infringement worldwide. It calls on participating nations to “maintain extensive seizure and forfeiture laws when it comes to counterfeited goods that are trademarked or copyrighted,” Ars Technica reports. The agreement also demands governments make laws against marketing devices that circumvent copyright obligations.

►Chinese cyber espionage aimed at stealing U.S. technology and industrial secrets has reached “intolerable levels,” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said in remarks on Tuesday. “Rogers said the corporate victims of cyber spying, when they were willing to discuss it at all, are also reluctant to point the finger at China out of concern they could become the target of retaliatory attacks,” the Times of India reports. Several cyber espionage investigations have led back to China, but the country denies any allegations of cyberattacks on U.S. companies.

►In other news, even after the implementation of new information security programs, weaknesses in enforcing them leave government agencies at risk, according to a new GAO report. ♦ Iraqi lawmakers announced that after 2011, U.S. troops in the country would no longer have legal immunity, the New York Times reported. ♦ And the U.S. has ordered 45 million doses of the anthrax vaccine.


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