Stories by Loek Essers

Telefónica starts exchange for targeted mobile ads

By Loek Essers | 16 April, 2014 21:54

Telecom operator Telefónica has launched the first mobile ad-exchange platform to use the operator's customer demographics and real-time location data to serve targeted mobile ads, the company said on Wednesday.

Swedish ISP deletes all retained customer data in wake of EU court ruling

By Loek Essers | 10 April, 2014 21:08

A Swedish ISP has deleted all retained customer data after European Union laws that require communications providers to retain metadata were invalidated by the EU's supreme court earlier this week. The ISP on Thursday called on other providers to do the same.

UK spies did not misuse powers for mass surveillance, watchdog says

By Loek Essers | 09 April, 2014 01:51

British intelligence agencies do not misuse their powers to engage in random mass intrusion into the communications of law-abiding U.K. citizens, a government watchdog said in an annual report.

Don't upload health care data to Google cloud, UK groups say

By Loek Essers | 14 March, 2014 14:21

Using Google's cloud services to process health care records is a serious violation of the U.K.'s data protection act, privacy groups said in a complaint filed with the country's data protection authority.

Dutch intelligence illegally shared data with foreign services, says report

By Loek Essers | 12 March, 2014 12:19

The Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) illegally shared data with foreign services and hacked Web forums without ministerial approval, according to a report made at the request of the Dutch House of Representatives.

NSA created 'European bazaar' to spy on EU citizens, Snowden tells European Parliament

By Loek Essers | 07 March, 2014 13:07

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has turned the European Union into a tapping "bazaar" in order to spy on as many EU citizens as possible, NSA leaker Edward Snowden said.

Report: UK spies captured millions of Yahoo users' webcam images

By Loek Essers | 27 February, 2014 15:53

U.K. intelligence agency GCHQ captured and stored still webcam images of millions of Yahoo users including substantial quantities of sexually explicit material, the Guardian newspaper reported Thursday.

WhatsApp users should switch to a more secure service, German privacy regulator urges

By Loek Essers | 20 February, 2014 16:11

WhatsApp users should switch to a more secure messaging service now that it is being bought by Facebook, a German data protection commissioner urged Thursday.

KPN strikes deal with Silent Circle to offer encrypted phone calls

By Loek Essers | 19 February, 2014 11:02

Dutch telecom operator KPN has struck a deal with encrypted communications provider Silent Circle to start offering its Dutch, German and Belgian customers encrypted phone calls and text messages.

Merkel and Hollande to talk about avoiding US servers

By Loek Essers | 17 February, 2014 10:39

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande will discuss this week how Europe can keep email traffic away from U.S. servers.

Five arrested in Dutch hidden online marketplaces crackdown

By Loek Essers | 12 February, 2014 17:16

Five men were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly trafficking drugs and weapons via hidden online marketplaces, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service said Wednesday.

Dutch police seize hidden online marketplace Utopia

By Loek Essers | 11 February, 2014 17:38

The Dutch National Police seized the hidden market place Utopia, which was used to sell illegal goods, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service said Tuesday.

German federal prosecutor considers formal NSA investigation

By Loek Essers | 03 February, 2014 16:44

Germany's federal prosecutor is considering if there is enough evidence to warrant a formal, criminal investigation into the German government's alleged involvement in the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) data collection program, a spokeswoman said Monday.

German government faces legal action over NSA spying

By Loek Essers | 29 January, 2014 10:57

The German government and the German Federal Intelligence Service are facing legal action because they allegedly aided the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) data collection program.

16 million online accounts probably compromised, German government warns

By Loek Essers | 21 January, 2014 13:34

A list of 16 million email addresses and passwords has fallen into the hands of botnet operators, the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) said Tuesday.

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Security Awareness Tip

Incident handling is a vast topic, but here are a few tips for you to consider in your incident response. I hope you never have to use them, but the odds are at some point you will and I hope being ready saves you pain (or your job!).

  1. Have an incident response plan.

  2. Pre-define your incident response team 

  3. Define your approach: watch and learn or contain and recover.

  4. Pre-distribute call cards.

  5. Forensic and incident response data capture.

  6. Get your users on-side.

  7. Know how to report crimes and engage law enforcement. 

  8. Practice makes perfect.

For the full breakdown on this article

Security ABC Guides

Warning: Tips for secure mobile holiday shopping

I’m dating myself, but I remember when holiday shopping involved pouring through ads in the Sunday paper, placing actual phone calls from tethered land lines to research product stock and availability, and actually driving places to pick things up. Now, holiday shoppers can do all of that from a smartphone or tablet in a few seconds, but there are some security pitfalls to be aware of.