Lizard Squad lawyer calls for end to cybercriminal prosecution, says hacked companies at fault

A lawyer for a high-profile member of Lizard Squad, the hacking collective responsible for last Christmas’ Xbox and PlayStation attacks, has called for an end to the criminal prosecution of hackers and a greater focus on making companies take responsibility for poor security networks.

Ernest Aduwa of Stokoe Partnership Solicitors, who is representing an unnamed member of Lizard Squad, argued that site takedowns and cybercriminal prosecutions were an unsustainable approach to tackling cybercrime, barely making a dent in the actions of blackhat hackers.

“So called ‘cybercriminals’ are becoming untouchable. The re-emergence of the hacking forum ‘Darkode’ weeks after law enforcement agencies bragged about taking it down is an illustration of this,” said Aduwa.

“More legislation is not the answer. Staffing an under resourced police force is not the solution.”


Lizard Squad’s mascot: Ernest Aduwa is representing a high-profile member of the hacking collective.

Aduwa argued that instead of playing the part of the victim, companies who have lost customer data as a result of a cyberattack should be explaining why they haven’t take adequate precautions to protect their users.

“In the cyber world, rather than prosecuting talented young people, Sony, Microsoft, Ashley Madison and companies alike should be explaining why their products and/or services were sold to the public if they are not safe and secure,” he said.

“Of course Sony PlayStation and Xbox gamers were very upset and angry in December 2014, but with each console retailing at several hundreds of pounds and Sony’s net profit more than tripling in second quarter of 2015, surely the public are entitled to a bit more protection.

“The public is very much aware of the threat of cybercrime and deserves a new kite mark from businesses, governments and law enforcement agencies to be reassured that they are safe. It’s not too much to ask. How does Sony explain to consumers that with all their profits they aren’t able to stop a bunch of teenagers from shutting down their networks?”


Aduwa likened such companies to car manufacturers acting like the victim when manufacturing defects resulted in their cars crashing.

“It would be a complete farce to arrest and prosecute the drivers of cars that crashed because of a manufacturing defect,” he said.

“In reality the cars are recalled.  Toyota was fined $1.2 billion following a criminal investigation into whether it concealed safety defects from the public. This sent a clear message to the car industry: do not repeat Toyota’s mistake.”

He also drew attention to the role that hacking groups can play in bringing security flaws to the general public’s attention.

“People shouldn’t be criticised for celebrating hacks that expose weaknesses in products or services that will affect the public,” Aduwa added.

“Hacktavist group Anonymous helped shed light on Microsoft’s new Windows 10, which Anonymous says has some disturbing privacy defaults.

“With a celebration in mind, many are taking note that Lizard Squad’s anniversary is soon approaching.”

Wanted man captured thanks to facial recognition

A Chinese man who was wanted by police for “economic crimes” – which can include anything from tax evasion to the theft of public property – was arrested at a music concert in China after facial recognition technology spotted him inside the venue.

Source: Abacus News

SpaceX president commits to city-to-city rocket travel

SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell has reiterated the company’s plans to make city-to-city travel — on Earth — using a rocket that’s designed for outer space a reality. Shotwell says the tech will be operational “within a decade, for sure.”

Source: Recode

Businessman wins battle with Google over 'right to be forgotten'

A businessman fighting for the "right to be forgotten" has won a UK High Court action against Google.. The businessman served six months’ in prison for “conspiracy to carry out surveillance”, and the judge agreed to an “appropriate delisting order".

Source: Press Gazette

UK launched cyber attack on Islamic State

The UK has conducted a "major offensive cyber campaign" against the Islamic State group, the director of the intelligence agency GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming, has revealed. The operation hindered the group's ability to co-ordinate attacks and suppressed its propaganda.

Source: BBC

Goldman Sachs consider whether curing patients is bad for business

Goldman Sachs analysts have attempted to tackle the question of whether pioneering "gene therapy" treatment will be bad for business in the long run. "Is curing patients a sustainable business model?" analysts ask in a report entitled "The Genome Revolution."

Source: CNBC

Four-armed robot performing surgery in the UK

A £1.5m "robotic" surgeon, controlled using a computer console, is being used to shorten the time patients spend recovering after operations. The da Vinci Xi machine is the only one in the country being used for upper gastrointestinal surgery.

Source: BBC

Virgin Galactic rocket planes go past the speed of sound

Virgin Galactic completed its first powered flight in nearly four years when Richard Branson's space company launched its Unity spacecraft, which reached supersonic speeds before safely landing. “We’ve been working towards this moment for a long time,” Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides said in an email to Quartz.

Source: Quartz

Google employees protest being in "the business of war"

Thousands of Google employees, including dozens of senior engineers, have signed a letter protesting the company’s involvement in a Pentagon program that uses AI to interpret video imagery and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes. The letter, which is circulating inside Google, has garnered more than 3,100 signatures

Source: New York Times

Computer system transcribes words users “speak silently”

MIT researchers have developed a computer interface that transcribes words that the user verbalises internally but does not actually speak aloud. The wearable device picks up neuromuscular signals in the jaw and face that are triggered by internal verbalisations — saying words “in your head” — but are undetectable to the human eye.

Source: MIT News

Drones could be used to penalise bad farming

A report by a coalition of environmental campaigners is arguing squadrons of drones should be deployed to locate and penalise farmers who let soil run off their fields. Their report says drones can help to spot bad farming, which is said to cost more than £1.2bn a year by clogging rivers and contributing to floods.

Source: BBC

Californian company unveil space hotel

Orion Span, a California company, has unveiled its Aurora Station, a commercial space station that would house a luxury hotel. The idea is to put the craft in low-earth orbit, about 200 miles up, with a stay at the hotel likely to cost $9.5 million for a 12-day trip, but you can reserve a spot now with an $80,000 deposit.

UK mobile operators pay close to £1.4bn for 5G

An auction of frequencies for the next generation of mobile phone networks has raised £1.36bn, says regulator Ofcom. Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three all won the bandwidth needed for the future 5G mobile internet services, which are not expected to be launched until 2020.

Source: BBC