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Showing posts with label European Union. Show all posts

Lithuania leads a European Union Cyber Rapid Response Team (CRRT) at the European Union


Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Croatia, and Estonia signed a Memorandum on the establishment of a European Union Cyber Rapid Response Team (CRRT). In the event of a cyber attack on any of the countries participating in the agreement, CRRT specialists should be ready to immediately repel the attack. Lithuania played a special role in creating this structure. Experts note that the EU has a really difficult situation with ensuring cybersecurity since not all States have the resources to repel hacker attacks. However, analysts doubt the effectiveness of CRRT.

Lithuanian Minister of Defense Raimundas Karoblis noted that this is a completely new international cyber potential, initiated and led by Lithuania and that each country faces cybersecurity problems.
According to the cybersecurity specialist, Andrei Masalovich, now the problem of protection against cyberthreats is facing not only the poor countries of the Baltic States but even the United States.

President of the Russian Association for Baltic Studies Nikolai Mezhevich believes that the attempts of the Lithuanian leadership to take a leading role in the organization of a pan-European cyber defense are largely dictated by the desire to improve the image of Lithuania.

In addition, according to Andrei Masalovich, the Lithuanian authorities also want to "show their importance" against the background of Estonia.

As for the possible source of the threat, all countries in the CRRT blamed Moscow for cyber attacks. For example, in 2018, the Netherlands accused Russian hackers of attacking the headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. In the Baltic States, Russia is regularly suspected of cyberattacks.

Moscow, in turn, calls for the creation of "confidence-building measures in cyberspace" at the global level. This was stated last year by the special representative of the President of the Russian Federation for information security, Ambassador of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Special Assignments Andrei Krutskikh.

World’s largest dark web marketplace shut down by authorities








In a joint operation between European and U.S. authorities servers of the major dark web marketplaces Wall Street Market and Valhalla has been seized in Germany and Finland, and its operators have been arrested from Germany, the U.S. and Brazil.

Both platforms were highly popular for peddling unlawful goods with over 1 150 000 and 5 400 vendors.  The Wall Street market was the second largest dark web marketplace that could be accessed via the Tor network.

The German authorities have arrested three suspects and have “seized over €550 000 in cash, alongside cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Monero in 6-digit amounts, several vehicles and other evidence, such as computers and data storage.” 

“These two investigations show the importance of law enforcement cooperation at an international level and demonstrate that illegal activity on the dark web is not as anonymous as criminals may think,” said Europol’s Executive Director, Catherine De Bolle.

“Europol has established a dedicated Dark Web Team to work together with EU partners and law enforcement across the globe to reduce the size of this underground illegal economy.”


On dark web vendors could sell almost anything, from drugs to malware. You can also find out forged documents and cryptocurrencies. 

Facebook cannot guarantee interference-free EU elections: Zuckerberg

Facebook Inc is much better than it was in 2016 at tackling election interference but cannot guarantee the site will not be used to undermine European Parliament elections in May, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said on Tuesday.

Chastened since suspected Russian operatives used Facebook and other social media to influence an election that surprisingly brought Donald Trump to power in the United States, Facebook has said it has ploughed resources and staff into safeguarding the May 26 EU vote.

Zuckerberg said there had been a lot of important elections since 2016 that have been relatively clean and demonstrated the defenses it has built up to protect their integrity.

“We’ve certainly made a lot of progress ... But no, I don’t think anyone can guarantee in a world where you have nation states that are trying to interfere in elections, there’s no single thing we can do and say okay we’ve now solved the issue,” Zuckerberg told Irish national broadcaster RTE in an interview.

“This is an ongoing arms race where we’re constantly building up our defenses and these sophisticated governments are also evolving their tactics.”

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia ran a disinformation and hacking operation to undermine the American democratic process and help Republican Trump’s 2016 campaign. Moscow denies interfering in the election.

Under pressure from EU regulators to do more to guard against foreign meddling in the bloc’s upcoming legislative election, Facebook toughened its rules on political advertising in Europe last week.

It also announced plans to ramp up efforts to fight misinformation ahead of the vote and will partner with German news agency DPA to boost its fact checking. 

Google fined by EU for blocking its rivals advertisements



Google has been imposed fine of  $1.68 billion (1.49 billion euro/£1.28billion) by European Union regulators for blocking the advertisement of rival search engine companies.

This is the third time in the last two years when the company has been fined multi-billion dollar by the EU antitrust.

The EU's commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, notified the company about their decision at a news conference in Brussels on Wednesday.

'Today's decision is about how Google abused its dominance to stop websites using brokers other than the AdSense platform,' Vestager said.

According to the probe, the Google and its parent company, Alphabet,  violated the EU antitrust rules by limiting the contract clauses with other websites which uses AdSense, the clauses prevented websites from placing ads of Google rival companies.

The company 'prevented its rivals from having a chance to innovate and to compete in the market on their merits,' Vestager said.

'Advertisers and website owners, they had less choice and likely faced higher prices that would be passed on to consumers.'

Just after the announcement of fine, the company said that they have made several changes and will make a number of other changes to address EU antitrust regulators' concerns.

'We've always agreed that healthy, thriving markets are in everyone's interest,' Kent Walker, senior vice-president of global affairs, said in a statement.

'We've already made a wide range of changes to our products to address the Commission's concerns.

'Over the next few months, we'll be making further updates to give more visibility to rivals in Europe,' he continued.