Sci-Tech

Future of the Internet Should Not Be in Beijing’s Hands, Think Tank Warns

Governments worldwide are being warned to “err on the side of caution” when engaging with Beijing or international bodies heavily influenced by the communist regime in relation to shaping the future of the internet. In a new report, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) says the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is hoping to export its domestic

Yahoo Pulls Out of China Over ‘Increasingly Challenging’ Environment

Yahoo has shut down its services in mainland China, becoming the second Western tech giant to pull the plug on China over the past month. The company stopped providing content for mainland Chinese users as of Nov. 1, according to a statement from its official website. “Products and services remain unaffected in all other global locations,”

Google Uncovers Hackers Hijacking YouTube Accounts: Report

Google’s Threat Analysis Group has recently published a report detailing how over the past few years phishing hackers have hijacked popular YouTube accounts to make money through cryptocurrency scams and other methods. Since late 2019, Google has tracked and disrupted the scammers, described as “a group of hackers recruited in a Russian-speaking forum.” Combining cookie-based malware and social engineering tactics, their

China Could Be Exploiting Internet Security Process to Steal Data, Cyber Experts Warn

To access data from unsuspecting users, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could be exploiting a universal authentication process that’s thought to be secure, but in reality may not be, cybersecurity experts have warned. While encryption remains the preferred method to secure digital data and protect computers, in some cases, the very digital certificates used for

Microsoft to Shut Down LinkedIn in China Amid Censorship Criticism

Microsoft is abandoning its local version of LinkedIn in China, a move that would close off the last major U.S.-owned networking platform remaining in the country. In 2014, LinkedIn entered mainland China, a country known for its highly restrictive censorship practices set by the Chinese Communist Party. The platform now boasts about 53 million local

Security Vulnerability in Chinese Surveillance Cameras Raises Concerns in Europe

A critical vulnerability found in surveillance cameras from Chinese firm Hikvision—which are used extensively in Europe—added to previous concerns about the company’s data practices, according to an Oct. 6 report from Politico. Hikvision is controlled by a Chinese military-industrial group and has been accused of collaborating with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in violating human rights against Uyghurs. Watchful IP,

Six Key Takeaways From Senate Hearing With Facebook Whistleblower

The Senate heard testimony Tuesday from former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, who came before the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security to raise the alarm about practices in Facebook that she said demanded congressional action. While there was broadly bipartisan consensus that regulations on the social media platform should be strengthened, Democrats and Republicans emphasized

Telegram Messaging App Gained 70 Million New Users Amid Facebook Outage, Founder Says

Messaging app Telegram says it gained 70 million new users during the widespread outage across a suite of Facebook’s social media and messaging services. Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov said in a statement that it saw a “record increase in user registration and activity” when Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, which are all owned by

Facebook Says Major Outage Due to ‘Configuration Changes’

Facebook on Monday blamed the widespread outage across a suite of its social media and messaging services on faulty configuration changes on its routers. “Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication,” Facebook said in a blog

China’s Control Over ‘Algorithms’

Commentary Cue references of a “Matrix”-like dystopian future where Chinese citizens are trapped in a simulated reality managed by state-controlled computer algorithms. It’s not too far-fetched to imagine. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the country’s cyberspace watchdog, announced recently that it would set up governance and rules to tighten its grip on algorithms companies use to interact with its

Lawmakers Grill Facebook Over Leaked Internal Research on Instagram’s Harmful Impact on Teens

Facebook was heavily criticized by members of Congress on Thursday during a hearing examining how the social network giant handled internal research relating to its Instagram platform and how it can be harmful to the mental health of teenagers. Antigone Davis, Facebook’s global head of safety, was grilled for over three hours by lawmakers who accused Facebook—which owns Instagram—of concealing its

YouTube Bans All ‘Harmful Vaccine Content’ From Its Platform

Google-owned YouTube said on Sept. 29 that it will ban all “harmful vaccine content” from its platform, including claims that vaccines are ineffective at reducing transmission of disease, prompting concerns that the firm will escalate censorship of dissenting viewpoints. “We’ve steadily seen false claims about the coronavirus vaccines spill over into misinformation about vaccines in

Apple Apologizes After Security Researcher Reveals iOS Bugs

Apple has apologized to a security researcher who detailed his “frustrating” experiences dealing with the company, after he disclosed bugs in the iOS operating system. Apple has been criticized for the alleged mishandling of security vulnerability alerts notified through its bug bounty program. Researchers claim that this is symptomatic of the company’s bug bounty program

Suspected Chinese Hacker Group Targets Media and Government in India, Report Says

A suspected Chinese state-sponsored hacking group has infiltrated three entities in India—a media conglomerate, a police department, and a government agency holding personal information of over a billion locals—according to a new report. The Insikt Group, a threat research arm of U.S.-based cybersecurity company Recorded Future, published the report on Sept. 21, saying China had a “growing

Rare Solar Superstorm Could Prompt ‘Internet Apocalypse’ Lasting Several Months: Study

The “black swan” event of a solar superstorm directed at earth could prompt an “internet apocalypse” across the entire globe that could last for several months, new research has warned. University of California Irvine assistant professor Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi presented the new research, titled “Solar Superstorms: Planning for an Internet Apocalypse,” last month during the

‘Fact Checks’ by Non-Experts Are Shutting Down Genuine Scientific Inquiry

Commentary We recently published a new climate change report in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics (RAA). The nearly two dozen co-authors of our paper are experts in solar physics and climate science from 14 countries. We were looking at the role of the Sun in climate change. We found that, depending on which scientific

Apple Issues Urgent Software Update to Patch Spyware Vulnerability

Apple users are being encouraged to update their devices after researchers discovered a security flaw that could allow hackers to secretly install spyware without targets knowing. The company on Monday released an emergency patch to the vulnerability flaw that allowed advanced spyware to be installed into users’ Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches. It comes after

CCP Says Western Forces Launching Cyberattacks on China: Internal Document

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has warned of cyberattacks launched by “Western anti-China forces” in a leaked internal document. The leaked document (pdf), titled “Cybersecurity Risks, Challenges, and Countermeasures,” was issued by a municipal agency of Tieling city in the northeastern province of Liaoning. The document was dated June 19, 2020, three-and-a-half months before the CCP’s centenary.

Chinese Acquisition of Semiconductor Firm Poses Security Risks, US Treasury Warns

The U.S. Treasury Department said the sale of Magnachip Semiconductor Corp. to a Chinese private equity firm poses “risks to national security,” as Chinese investments in critical technologies meet with enhanced U.S. scrutiny. Magnachip, a South Korean producer for display and power chips, sold its controlling stake in late March to Chinese private equity firm

Apple Will Scan All iPhones for Illegal Child Abuse Images, Sparking Privacy Debate

Apple announced Thursday is it planning to scan all iPhones in the United States for child abuse imagery, raising alarm among security experts who said the plan could allow the firm to surveil tens of millions of personal devices for unrelated reasons. In a blog post, the company confirmed reports saying that new scanning technology

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