It is simply unforgettable how the hack against Yahoo compromised at least 500 million email accounts. And now Verizon is seeking a $1bn discount on the $4.8bn takeover deal, citing lack of transparency after one of the largest hacking breaches in industry history, according to the New York Post. And this was just the beginning for Yahoo and other cyber-security issues last week.
Yahoo had apparently provided the U.S. administration access to its email servers, according to Reuters, permitting the National Security Agency or the FBI to scan its users’ emails in search of a specific line of characters. The highly debated acquiring of such access reignited the notion that encryption can actually lead to its very own exclusive set of set of tensions. However, it appears Facebook was able to bypass this by launching its own version of end-to-end Messenger encryption, which is also good advice for all of us.
In other news a group going by the name of OurMind was able to hack Buzzfeed after one of its members (or many, as it appears) was the target of an exposé. There were also bogus reports about the Clinton Foundation being hacked, yet enough disinformation was there to go around that some speculated those behind the plot had actually reached their objective. Yet another security contractor is facing charges of smuggling top-secret NSA documents out of the facility. And yet again, federal government agencies are seeking to crack yet another locked iPhone of a dead terrorist.
A host of different rotten apps were able to find ways to sneak into Google Play, Trend Micro discovered recently. One such app was actually downloaded at least 100,000 times. “DressCode” is the name of the malware providing access to attackers in targeting connected network devices. This is especially bad news for people connecting their smartphones into their business networks. DressCode can take advantage of this type of access to allow hackers to steal information, attack various servers and even recruit devices for botnet use.
Google is reporting that necessary measures have been taken to remove the damaged apps, including games, phone boosters and a wide variety of others. The star app in all this appears to be one named “Mod GTA 5 for Minecraft PE,” enjoying somewhere between 100,000 and 500,000 downloads, and even a 3-star rating before finally being removed.
The NSA contractor who sneaked secret documents out of the facility may not have actually leaked them. Despite there being no argument that he violated protocols of information security by taking home classified information, one cannot find any political or other kind of motivation to actually leak the information he possessed. His colleagues said he is very invested in his role in the NSA, while his ex-wife described him to the New York Times as a “hoarder.” While administration officials may be trying to shove the entire issue under the carpet, serious concerns are still raised about the loopholes continuing to exist in the U.S. intelligence community.
While those using bridges and tunnels in New York have to bear the pains of intense traffic, these commuters have to now get acquainted with facial recognition cameras. This is part of sweeping plans introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo to apparently revitalize all entrance and exit points of the Big Apple. This state-of-the-art hardware will be installed in all crossings and sensitive spots such as bridges and tunnels, on a mission to read license plates to begin with. The agenda also includes testing emerging software and equipment involving facial recognition technology. Questions, however, remain over who will actually enjoy access to such data, how and where such sensitive information will be stored, and whether such an issue has been discussed with civil liberties groups or not.
Yahoo saw its bad luck continue this week as Verizon is now demanding a huge discount of $1bn on the near $5bn agreement to take over the already ailing tech company. This comes two weeks after news of Yahoo being hacked back in 2014, placing at least 500 million email accounts at risk. To make things even worse, further reports indicated in 2015 the company conceded to U.S. government requests to scan its users’ emails. Verizon is seeking to unite AOL and Yahoo to be able to have something to say in competition against Facebook and Google and in the ad business. However, reports indicate AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is voicing serious reservations over the entire purchase considering all the bad news emanating from Yahoo recently. Verizon may only be seeking a lower cost in the deal, and rest assured Yahoo is empty-handed after all this turmoil.
If you have been plagued by scammers calling you and claiming to be from the IRS, there is good news for you. The police in India reported the arrest of 70 people in charge of managing nearly 700 different call-center workers where Americans were tricked out of their money through thousands of calls each day. U.S. numbers were the targets of these callers and the recipients would be told they have a liability of paying further taxes. While the exact amount of money made by the scam is not clear, it was blueprinted so cleverly that hundreds of English-speaking callers were affected and felt harassed in many cases. 1.7 million complaints were received by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration over such scams in the past 3 years, explaining how 8,800 victims were convinced to pay dozens of millions of dollars. Indian authorities are currently looking into the role played by 70 alleged managers, in addition to the involvement of hundreds of callers that may as well be concluded as criminal.