Spooky Security Stories

There were lots of scary computer security and privacy stories in the news this week, coinciding nicely with Halloween. We’ll start off with an unfortunate new cybersecurity term: killware. This is software whose end result is actual physical harm to human beings, including death. Sadly, this is now a thing. And I don’t know about you, but Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the future (the “metaverse”) is pretty damn scary, too.

In other news: a hacker seems to have stolen the government identity information for every person in Argentina; a New York Times journalist explains how his iPhone has been hacked multiple times by the NSO Group and what he does to protect himself (and his sources); the FBI, the Secret Service and other “like-minded countries” seem to have finally taken down the REvil ransomware gang for good; Facebook has changed its name to “Meta”; link previews in chat apps can actually cause serious security and privacy problems; Delta Airlines and UK schools are normalizing the use of facial recognition for mundane purposes; your ISP is collecting tons of information about you in the US because we let them; and finally, I demystify and debunk the “dangers” of QR codes.

Article Links

  1. Killware: What You Need to Know https://adamlevin.com/2021/10/15/killware-what-you-need-to-know/
  2. Hacker steals government ID database for Argentina’s entire population https://therecord.media/hacker-steals-government-id-database-for-argentinas-entire-population/ 
  3. NYT journalist describes his iPhone being hacked, and the precautions he now takes https://9to5mac.com/2021/10/25/nyt-journalist-describes-his-iphone-being-hacked-and-the-precautions-he-now-takes/ 
  4. FBI, others crush REvil using ransomware gang’s favorite tactic against it https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/10/fbi-others-crush-revil-using-ransomware-gangs-favorite-tactic-against-it/ 
  5. Facebook changes its name to Meta: https://www.inc.com/jason-aten/5-things-mark-zuckerberg-said-about-his-plan-for-metaverse-that-should-make-you-very-worried.html 
  6. Link Previews in Popular Messaging Apps May Lead to Security Vulnerabilities https://www.macrumors.com/2020/10/26/link-previews-may-lead-to-security-vulnerabilities/ 
  7. Delta Air Lines partners with TSA PreCheck to launch biometrics-based bag drops https://finance.yahoo.com/news/delta-air-lines-partners-tsa-164655619.html 
  8. UK schools are using facial recognition to take pupils’ lunch money https://www.theverge.com/2021/10/18/22732330/uk-schools-facial-recognition-lunch-payments-north-ayrshire 
  9. Location Data Firm Got GPS Data From Apps Even When People Opted Out https://www.vice.com/en/article/5dgmqz/huq-location-data-opt-out-no-consent 
  10. Internet service providers have so much data on you https://www.protocol.com/policy/isp-ftc-data 
  11. Beware QR Code… Articles: https://firewallsdontstopdragons.com/beware-qr-code-articles/ 

Further Info