TikTok admits staff in China can access Europeans’ data
Open internet supporters were relieved last month when a US candidate beat a Russian challenger in an election to lead the International Telecommunications Union, a major international standards body responsible for cross-border communications. During this time, however, we examined the fragility of the global internet infrastructure and the vulnerability of crucial undersea cables.
Researchers see evidence that the new US legal climate for abortion access fosters a culture of community monitoring, a feature of authoritarian states in which neighbors and friends are encouraged to report possible wrongdoing . And surveillance is also on the increase in football stadiums around the world. The eight stadiums used during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, for example, will be equipped with more than 15,000 cameras to monitor spectators and perform biometric scanning.
The more secure and “memory safe” programming language Rust is making inroads in the tech industry, raising hopes that many common vulnerabilities could eventually be anticipated and eliminated. In the meantime, we’ve got a roundup of the biggest vulnerabilities you can – and should! – correct now.
And there’s more. Each week, we highlight news that we haven’t covered in depth ourselves. Click on the titles below to read the full stories. And stay safe there.
Liz Truss is going through a tough time. Shortly after her historically brief stint as British Prime Minister, the Mail on Sunday reported that agents working on behalf of Russia hacked into her personal mobile phone when she was foreign minister. The breach would have allowed these Russian agents to intercept messages between Truss and officials from other countries, including messages about Ukraine. The Mail the report further claims that former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case removed the breach. With the breach still unconfirmed, Labor officials are calling for an “urgent investigation” into their Tory opponents. “There are extremely important national security issues raised by an attack like this by a hostile state that will have been taken extremely seriously by our intelligence and security agencies,” the party’s interior secretary said. Labor Party, Yvette Cooper, last weekend. “There are also serious security questions about why and how this information was leaked or published at this time, which also need to be urgently investigated.”
Another of Jack Dorsey’s entrepreneurial creations faces new heat this week. According to a Forbes investigation, the Cash app is helping to fuel sex trafficking in the United States and elsewhere. Based on police records, “hundreds of court records” and claims from former Cash App employees, the investigation revealed widespread use of Cash App in sex trafficking and other crimes. The company, which is owned by Dorsey-led Block Inc., says it “does not condone illegal activity on Cash App” and has staff dedicated to working with law enforcement. Meanwhile, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says that although rival payment platforms such as PayPal provide the center with guidance on potential child abuse facilitated by their services, Forbes writes: “Block never provided advice.”
The US Treasury Department said this week that US financial institutions facilitated ransomware payments totaling nearly $1.2 billion in 2021, a 200% increase since 2020. The report landed in the middle from an international White House summit aimed at combating the rise of ransomware, a type of malware that allows attackers to encrypt a target’s files and hold them for ransom until the victim pays. Himamauli Das, acting director of the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, said in a statement that “Ransomware, including attacks by Russian-linked actors, remains a serious threat to our national and economic security. While $1.2 billion in payouts is bad enough, that figure doesn’t take into account the costs and other financial consequences that come with a ransomware attack outside of the payout itself.
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