Alleged Russian Hacker Behind $100 Million Evil Corp Indicted

For the last decade, the hackers behind Evil Corp have led a sustained assault on the bank accounts of thousands of victims across dozens of countries. By steadily evolving malware known as Bugat, they indiscriminately siphoned tens of millions of dollars from unwitting victims. Thursday, the FBI indicted Evil Corp’s alleged leader: Maksim V. Yakubets, also known as “aqua.” The indictment, which you can read in full below, details in…

December 5, 2019
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The RCS Texting Protocol Is Way Too Easy to Hack

Ask practically any phone carrier, and they’ll tell you that the future of smartphone features from texting to video calls is a protocol called Rich Communication Services. Think of RCS as the successor to SMS, an answer to iMessage that can also handle phone and video calls. Last month, Google announced it would begin rolling RCS out to its Messages app in all US Android phones. It’s easy to imagine…

December 5, 2019
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Ewoks Are the Most Tactically Advanced Fighting Force in Star Wars

Ewoks. Just saying the name evokes myriad emotions in Star Wars fans. For some, the bear-like creatures that first appeared in 1983’s Star Wars: Return of the Jedi are part of the franchise’s rich tapestry. Others consider the Ewoks a blight and would prefer they not exist at all. (Some fan edits of Return of the Jedi excise the Ewoks entirely, for crying out loud.) They’re the most controversial inhabitants…

December 4, 2019
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Hackers Find Ways Around a Years-Old Microsoft Outlook Fix

Email has long been a major weak link for security; the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign were infamously both compromised by Russian hackers through email-related phishing attacks ahead of the 2016 US elections. And with the 2020 campaign in full swing, a patched flaw in Microsoft Outlook is still giving attackers an opening. First disclosed and fixed in October 2017, the bug is in a little-known Outlook feature…

December 4, 2019
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Blockchain Developer Gets Busted After Talk in North Korea

The prominent hacker and Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith was arrested by the US government Friday after he spoke at an April conference on blockchain technologies in North Korea. The US government considers his presentation to be a transfer of technology—and therefore a violation of US sanctions. But Griffith’s defenders, including Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, describe the arrest as a massive overreaction. Griffith worked for the Ethereum Foundation, and Buterin called…

December 4, 2019
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I Ditched Google for DuckDuckGo. Here’s Why You Should Too

What was the last thing you searched for online? For me, it was “$120 in pounds.” Before that, I wanted to know the capital of Albania (Tirana), the Twitter handle of Liberal Democrat deputy leader Ed Davey (he’s @EdwardJDavey), and dates of bank holidays in the UK for 2019 (it’s a late Easter next year, folks). Thrilling, I’m sure you’ll agree. But something makes these searches, in internet terms, a…

December 1, 2019
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The 25 Most Dangerous Software Vulnerabilities

Happy post-Thanksgiving weekend! Hope you’re still in a turkey coma and survived the lively political discourse with your various uncles. As you shop leftover Black Friday and upcoming Cyber Monday sales, please be safe out there; it’s a scammer’s paradise. Oh, and think twice before you give a device with a microphone or camera, especially to someone who may not realize the privacy and security implications. This week we took…

November 30, 2019
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What Is a Dead Drop?

For almost three years starting in the fall of 2015, a 56-year-old Chinese-American tour guide named Xueha “Edward” Peng would periodically carry out a strange errand: Every few months, he’d book a room at a certain designated hotel—first in California and later in Georgia—and leave $10,000 or $20,000 in cash in the room, inside a dresser drawer or taped to the bottom of a desk or TV stand. Later, he’d…

November 29, 2019
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Think Twice Before Giving Gifts With a Microphone or Camera

As we draw ever-closer to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all the shopping days in between, you’ll have no shortage of cheap, flashy, internet-connected gadgets to choose from for holiday gifts. But in the frenzy, don’t forget that the widgets you buy will live at recipients’ houses—or on their wrists—for months or years to come. With that in mind, it’s worth considering security and privacy risks involved, so you know…

November 27, 2019
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Trump’s Ukraine Delusion, Tesla’s Ford Showdown, and More News

Trump is spouting while Ford and Tesla are shouting, but first: a cartoon about when data collection gets personal. Here’s the news you need to know, in two minutes or less. Want to receive this two-minute roundup as an email every weekday? Sign up here! Today’s News Trump’s Ukraine server delusion is spreading. On a recent call to Fox and Friends, President Trump outlined his belief that after the DNC…

November 27, 2019
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