With the specter of a Russian invasion in Ukraine looming this week, United States government cybersecurity and intelligence officials were on high alert for a possible, or likely, uptick in Kremlin-backed cyberattacks. As tensions mount, Ukrainians have been flooding TikTok with scenes from the front lines of the crisis—documenting the sinister forces converging on their everyday lives in near-real time.
Bowing to pressure, Twitter has increasingly been blocking the accounts of adult content creators in Germany, part of the country’s legal orders meant to reduce the amount of porn accessible on the internet without an age verification process. And the stalwart web browser Firefox has been losing popularity as Google Chrome continues to dominate marketshare.
If you’re looking for a quick project for the holiday weekend to instantly boost security and privacy protections across your devices, we’ve got tips on how to set up lock screens on all the major operating systems.
And there’s more. We’ve rounded up all the news here that we didn’t break or cover in depth this week. Click on the headlines to read the full stories. And stay safe out there.
Hackers linked to Russia’s military intelligence agency, GRU, carried out distributed denial-of-service attacks against Ukrainian banks and the country’s Ministry of Defense earlier this week, the Biden administration said on Friday. White House deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology Anne Neuberger said that US intelligence has digital forensic evidence to support the attribution. United Kingdom officials corroborated the GRU link on Friday. Neuberger noted that such a specific attribution within days “is very unusual.” She added, “We’ve done so because of a need to call out the behavior quickly as part of holding nations accountable when they conduct disruptive or destabilizing cyberactivity.”
Days after publishing the personal data of 92,000 donors to the Canadian “Freedom Convoy 2022,” hackers published more than 5 GB of data containing the total history of donations on the Christian funding platform GiveSendGo. The trove also includes source code for the platform’s website, personal details of every donor, images of identity-verification documents submitted by crowdfund campaign leaders, and some limited credit card data. The initial Freedom Convoy leak and the larger data set were released by the Wikileaks-style transparency group Distributed Denial of Secrets.
Deputy attorney general Lisa Monaco said at the Munich Cyber Security Conference on Thursday that former prosecutor and senior counsel to the deputy attorney general, Eun Young Choi, will serve as the first director of the DOJ’s National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, a group first announced in October. Monaco also debuted the FBI’s Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit, which will bring together cryptocurrency experts to conduct blockchain analysis, virtual asset seizure, and training within the FBI.
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A Motherboard deep dive into Roblox “beamers” who steal items within the game and then sell them on special marketplaces that are also taking a cut. It’s likely that the transactions, which number in the tens of thousands, include some hacked items. But the majority of digital goods in the ecosystem are stolen from Roblox players, many of whom are underage. In the US, half of all children play Roblox. “There’s a whole community where people beam, steal limiteds, and sell them for USD or cryptocurrency,” a player told Motherboard.
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