Threats to the Open Net: August 10, 2012

  • Iran's telecommunications minister announced on Sunday that the government's project to replace access to the global Internet with Iran's own domestic intranet system is scheduled to be completed within 18 months. The proposed insular intranet would be heavily regulated by the government. This latest announcement follows recent Stuxnet and Flame cyberattacks on the country, both of which are believed to have been developed by the US and Israel.
  • A new espionage tool, called Gauss, has been found infecting systems in the Middle East. The malware has infected at least 2,500 machines, mostly in Lebanon, according to an extensive analysis released by Russia's Kaspersky Lab. The malware has been targeting several Lebanese banks and is thought to be related to Stuxnet and Flame. Gauss's appearance comes only a few weeks after Kaspersky uncovered the Mahdi superbug.
  • Brazil's Marco Civil, dubbed the 'Internet Bill of RIghts', was scheduled to come to a vote on August 8, 2012, but has since been postponed indefinitely. The bill "establishes a clear set of rights and responsibilities of users, sets strong net neutrality principles, and shields Internet intermediaries from liability for illegal content posted by users."
  • American hacker group AntiLeaks claimed responsibility for the ongoing Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks has been offline for nearly a week, and WikiLeak mirrors and French non-profit FDNN, which hosts a WikiLeaks donation portal, are also inaccessible. Real-time updates are available on the site's Twitter account.

Every week, the OpenNet Initiative provides a weekly news roundup (dubbed "Threats to the Open Net") in addition to our usual in-depth blog posts. If you would like to subscribe to the RSS feed for our newsreel, our entire blog, or our weekly roundup, you may do so; you are also free to republish the feed on your own site, with attribution to the OpenNet Initiative.

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