This week’s security Google researchers have discovered the so-called water hole attack Randomly targeted Apple devices in Hong Kong. Hackers infiltrated media and pro-democracy websites in the region to distribute malware to any visitor from an iPhone or Mac, setting up a backdoor allowing them to steal data, download files, and more. Google did not attribute the campaign to any specific actor, but noted that “activity and targeting are consistent with a government-supported actor”. The incident is an echo of what was revealed in 2019 China targeted thousands of iPhones in a similar way—At the time, a wake-up call that iOS security is not as infallible as is imagined.
The Department of Justice also announced its most significant ransomware enforcement action to date, arresting One of the alleged hackers associated with the notorious REvil group And grabs $6.1 million in cryptocurrency from another currency. There is still a long way to go to rein in the broader ransomware threat, but demonstrating that law enforcement can actually extract a consequence is an important start.
If you have noticed it TikTok pushes you to connect more with friends and familyInstead of limiting your feed to talented strangers and engaging strangers – you’re not alone. The platform has taken some unprecedented steps in recent months to find out who your friends are in real life, raising concerns about privacy and whether TikTok’s changes will undermine what makes the social network so attractive in the first place.
Finally, at this week’s RE:WIRED conference, we spoke with Jane Easterly, Administrator of the Agency for Cyber Security and Information Security, about the challenges she and the US government as a whole face from increasingly sophisticated adversaries. Having emerged through the ranks across the NSA and the Pentagon, Easterly is used to attack cyber operations. her job now? Play some defense. Preferably, she says, with the help of the wider hacker community.
And there’s more! Each week we round up all the security news that WIRED hasn’t covered in depth. Click the headlines to read the full stories, and stay safe out there.
You can usually link Card skimmer attacks—that impersonates credit card readers to steal your payment information — using ATMs and gas pumps, to the extent you ever think of them. But recently, someone put a card scraper in a Costco warehouse, of all places. A staff member discovered the interfering device during a “routine check,” according to a report from BleepingComputer. The company has notified people whose credit card information may have been stolen. It’s a good reminder to double-check where the plastic is glued — or stick with NFC payments.
Earlier this week, Robinhood revealed a “security incident” in which a hacker used social engineering to gain access to an email list of 5 million people, the full names of 2 million people, and the name, date of birth and zip codes of 310 people. . Motherboard went on to report that the attackers in fact gained access to internal tools that could have allowed them to disable users’ two-factor authentication, log them out of their accounts, and view their balance and trading information. Robinhood says customer accounts have not been tampered with, but that doesn’t help much in the fact that they could have been tampered with quite easily.
Spyware maker NSO Group has been no stranger to controversy recently, and was recently placed on the US Entity List because it allegedly “developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments that used these tools to maliciously target government officials, journalists, businessmen, activists, academics, and embassy workers.” Now, researchers at the nonprofit Frontline Defenders say they have found the company’s Pegasus malware on the phones of six Palestinian activists. They weren’t able to conclusively link the origin of the malware to a specific country or organization, but the incident is the latest in a long line of surveillance malware being used where it shouldn’t explicitly.
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