Security News This Week: FBI Conducted 3.4 Million Unwarranted Data Searches of Americans

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Amazing news abounded this week as Ukrainian officials ponder the next steps in their digital campaigns against Russia, given that their efforts so far have been unexpectedly successful, although sometimes controversial. General, Russia is under cyber attack of all kinds on a scale that surpasses anything the country has dealt with before.

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Meanwhile, a new study shows that a small group of North Koreans have learned jailbreak smartphones to bypass the mode’s extensive digital restrictions and gain access to prohibited media.

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Elon Musk’s offer this week to buy Twitter has highlighted many potential privacy and security issues for platform users. US faces notable spike in child sex abuse sites in 2021 as CSAM hosting continued to skyrocket globally. Hollywood’s battle with VPNs escalates as the entertainment industry expands its allegations of illegal activities carried out by these services. And Cloudflare recorded historical DDoS attack that bombarded the cryptocurrency platform with 15.3 million requests.

If you want to do something for your own safety or the safety of your business this weekend, we have a summary of all the most critical underlying vulnerabilities from April, which you can correct right now.

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And that is not all. We’ve compiled all the news that we haven’t disclosed or covered in detail this week. Click on the headings to read all stories. And stay safe there.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its annual report. transparency report on Friday, which showed the FBI conducted up to 3.4 million unauthorized data searches of Americans in 2021, including 1.9 million searches related to the Russian cyberattack. This is the first time that ODNI releases data on FBI searches using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, or FISA. The law is intended to authorize investigations related to threats from abroad, while allowing for some random domestic searches. FISA has often been criticized for its lack of public transparency.

In an in-depth analysis, Reuters looks at eight incidents across the country in which activists supporting former President Donald Trump attempted to hack or successfully compromise local voting systems as part of their quest to uncover evidence of manipulation in the 2020 US presidential election. . In most cases, activists urged local election commissions, all Republicans, to export and leak voting data. In the year and a half after Joe Biden became president, Trump supporters continued to falsely claim that U.S. voting machines were compromised to secure Biden’s victory.

“These threats are being fueled by extremist elected officials and political insiders who are spreading the Big Lie” — that the 2020 vote was stolen — “to further suppress the vote, destabilize the American election, and undermine voter confidence,” Colorado Secretary of State Jena. Griswold told Reuters about this.

In a report released on Wednesday, Microsoft said it found evidence that Russia began setting the stage for its invasion of Ukraine as early as March or April 2021. During this time, Russian state-backed hackers began installing access points in the Ukrainian government and critical infrastructure. systems, the researchers found. The attackers appear to have been gathering intelligence about the Ukrainian military, NATO member states, and diplomatic targets. In the report, Microsoft calls the Russian aggression against Ukraine a “hybrid war” and says the Russian cyberattacks were “relentless and destructive.”

Microsoft says that in early 2021, as Russian troops began gathering near the border with Ukraine, a Russian hacking group known as APT 29, Cozy Bear, and Nobelium launched phishing attacks to gain access. Microsoft says a Russian hacking group known as Ghostwriter was also active during this time, attacking Ukrainian military email accounts and networks with phishing attacks.

Internal Facebook document written last year and obtained by Motherboard, outlines the concerns of privacy engineers on the social network’s Ad and Business Product team about a company’s ability to keep track of the data it holds and track the data as it moves through the service. The revelations aren’t necessarily surprising given Facebook’s sheer scale and recurring data control issues, but they are important as the tech giant works to comply with a growing number of privacy laws around the world.

“We do not have an adequate level of control and explanation about how our systems use data, and so we cannot confidently make controlled policy changes or external commitments such as “we will not use X data for Y purposes.” And yet, this is exactly what regulators expect from us, increasing our risk of error and misstatement,” the document says.

A company spokesperson told Motherboard that the document “does not describe our extensive processes and controls for privacy compliance” and that “this document reflects the technical solutions we are developing to scale the current measures we have in place to manage data and meet our requirements.” . obligations.”

On Monday, hackers hacked into the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection’s Instagram account, posting a link to a copycat site that swindled visitors out of the NFT. The company’s statement to WIRED states that “the estimated estimated losses due to the scam are 4 bored monkeys, 6 mutant monkeys, and 3 BAKCs, plus various other NFTs, valued at a total of about $3 million.” NFT scams and other cryptocurrency scams, in which attackers post malicious or misleading links to steal coins, are unfortunately not new. However, the situation with BAYC is especially ominous because the company says that full two-factor authentication was enabled on the Instagram account, and that “the security practices associated with the IG account were tight.” The group is investigating how the Instagram takeover happened.

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