Ukrainian botmaster who tried to frame Brian Krebs extradited to US


When security-researcher/hornet-nest-kicker Brian Krebs outed Sergey "Flycracker" Vovnenko as administrator of a darknet crime site and botmaster of a 13,000-PC-strong botnet used to attack sites and launder stolen data, Vovnenko allegedly masterminded a plot to frame Krebs by mailing him heroin. Read the rest

My Stolen Life

My handbag was stolen two months ago. It happened in seconds in a mall in Turin, Italy. I never saw the thief, and neither did my husband, sitting two meters from the scene of the crime a fast food Japanese restaurant.

How is such criminal skill even possible? There was almost nobody around. Now, after two months, I do vaguely remember though a nice young woman, sitting with a child, next to my table. Was it she who grabbed my bag off the back of a chair and escaped with it?

A week later, I read that a gang of four women, convicted of serial handbag thefts in Italy, was finally put behind the bars. Even though found guilty several times, they were always released from custody because they had either small children or were pregnant. So maybe they relied on the handbags of other women to feed their numerous children?!

But that would be a topic for a novel, and not what I want to write about. I will focus on this accident from a different angle. Because it can only be compared to an accident, a personal disaster, as if a truck ran over me. No use asking, was it my fault? Should I blame myself for leaving my chair to order a second beer to go with my sushi? And why on earth did I center my earthly life inside one rather small handbag? Why did I visit a shopping mall taking with me all of my traveling documents, credit cards, checkbook, USB backup, health insurance card, Iphone, address book, prescriptions, etc. Read the rest

WATCH: 1000 rockers cover Foo Fighters' Learn to Fly to bring band to town

Fans wanted the Foo Fighters to come to Cesena, Italy, so they made this amazing cover of 1000 musicians rocking out to "Learn to Fly." Read the rest

Check whether Hacking Team demoed cyberweapons for your local cops

Michael from Muckrock sez, "Turns out death squads aren't the only agencies buying Hacking Squad's controversial spyware. Town from Miami Shores, FL to Eugene, OR appeared on a list of US agencies that received demonstrations from the hacked surveillance vendor. MuckRock has mapped out who was on the lists, and is working to FOIA what these towns actually bought, if anything. Check and see if your city is on the map." Read the rest

Exotic eyeball jewelry and housewares

Stefano Prima is not content to make rings and stalks sporting everyday taxidermy eyeballs -- rather, his pieces sport fanciful reptile irises, vertical goat-slits, terrifying basilisk pupils and even square pupils. Read the rest

May Day in Italy

The people who hit the streets in Italy's major streets on the first of May wanted to celebrate the day of labor. They also wanted to express their worries about unemployment (which is now 43 percent among young people). Their credo: more work for everybody, less work per person. Read the rest

Drowned in the Mediterranean: Libyan refugees tell their stories

James Bridle writes: "There's huge debate in the UK about the deaths of people in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, but we rarely see or hear the people themselves." Read the rest

Blocked Italian toilet leads to thousands of years of buried history

A restaurateur in Lecce, Italy dug up the plumbing for his perennially blocked toilets and discovered thousands of years' worth of tunnels beneath the building, including a Messapian tomb. Read the rest

Italy's Hacking Team allegedly sold Ethiopia's despots cyberweapons used to attack journalists

Ethopia's despotic regime has become the world's first "turnkey surveillance state," thanks to technology sold to it by western companies, including, it seems, Italy's Hacking Team, whose RCS spyware product is implicated in an attack on exiled, US-based journalists reporting on government corruption. Read the rest

Museums and the future history of the information age

Last spring, I gave the keynote address at the Museums and the Web conference in Florence, Italy, speaking in the glorious confines of the big room at the Palazzo Vecchio; the organizers were kind enough to put my talk online. It was very well-received at the time and lots of people have since asked where they could get it -- and here it is! Read the rest

Italian scientists acquitted of culpability in L'Aquila quake

Seven natural disaster specialists had previously been convicted of manslaughter for not being emphatic enough about the 2009 quake, which killed 309 people, but that conviction's been overturned by an appeals court. Read the rest

Free Di Filippo story inspired ancient Italian city of Matera

Author Paul Di Filippo did a residency for Matera, a legendary, ancient Italian city and wrote "Chasing the Queen of Sassi" based on his experience of the region. Read the rest

Cops bust cybercrook who sent heroin to Brian Krebs

Sergei "Fly" Vovnenko, a Russo-Ukrainian cybercrook who stalked and harassed security journalist Brian Krebs -- at one point conspiring to get him arrested by sending him heroin via the Silk Road -- has been arrested. According to Krebs, Vovnenko was a prolific credit-card crook, specializing in dumps of stolen Italian credit-card numbers, and faces charges in Italy and the USA. Krebs documents how Vovnenko's identity came to light because he installed a keylogger on his own wife's computer, which subsequently leaked her real name, which led to him. Read the rest

Public Prosecutor of Rome unilaterally orders ISPs to censor 46 sites

The Public Prosecutor of Rome has unilaterally ordered Italy's ISPs to censor 46 sites, and it appears the ISPs are complying, even though no complaint had been lodged against the sites, nor had any judge issued any order related to them. This doesn't bode well for the governance style of the new Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, a young politician who is trying to set himself apart from the autocratic Berlusconi regime, which used tight media control as part of its corrupt governance strategy. Read the rest

Pixel-art on classic furniture

Trip Pixel Furniture, from Studio Badini Createam/Seletti, adds pixellated fine-art images to the Trip line of furniture, created a tastily dissonant juxtaposition of modern glitchiness with ponderous, weighty French classic furniture. Read the rest

Dante for fun: kids books that retell the Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso

As mentioned, I'm in Florence, Italy with my daughter for a speaking gig. We toured the Palazzo Vecchio on the first day, and happened on a bust of Dante, and I began to explain the story of Dante, his exile, and the way he damned all his enemies to the most grotesque tortures in his epic poem. My kid was fascinated -- being sentenced to an eternity to boil, head down, in a lake of filthy blood, is pretty fascinating when you're six!

When we got to the gift-shop, we discovered an improbable set of childrens' picture books that retell Dante for young people: it's called "Dante for fun" and it comes in three volumes (naturally): Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. Read the rest

Fine metalworking: tiny knives and batlike brooches from Mario Cesari

I ran into Mario Cesari at a market in Florence, Italy today (I'm in town to speak at the Museums and the Web conference). He's a metalworker who produces beautiful pieces that are really to my taste (I bought a weird, bat-like brooch from him). There was a lot more I was tempted by, especially the little, finger-length machete pen-knives. He's got an Etsy storefront with a good selection of his work. Having handled it and bought some of it, I can affirm that the workmanship and aesthetics of these things are beyond reproach. Read the rest

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