U.S. to Accuse China of Trying to Hack Vaccine Data I Twitter to label disputed COVID-19 tweets I Trump and Chip Makers Seek Semiconductor Self-Sufficiency
The F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security are preparing to issue a warning that China’s most skilled hackers and spies are working to steal American research in the crash effort to develop vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus. The New York Times
Twitter announced Monday it will start alerting users when a tweet makes disputed or misleading claims about the coronavirus. Under the newest COVID-19 rules, Twitter will decide which tweets are labeled — only taking down posts if they are harmful. AP
The Trump administration and semiconductor companies are looking to jump-start development of new chip factories in the U.S. as concern grows about reliance on Asia as a source of critical technology. Wall Street Journal
Deep fakes will exacerbate challenges Australia already faces in the digital age
Since Australians went into lockdown in March, we have seen conspiracy theories about the virus proliferate, a spike in Covid-19-themed cyber scams and online frauds, Chinese diplomats tweet misinformation about the virus’s origins, and the US president suggest injecting bleach as a potential treatment. In our digitally connected world, separating fact from fiction and genuine opinion from geopolitical jostling is increasingly difficult. The deaths of individuals who have followed treatment misinformation, and the damage to public health objectives from confusion and misdirection, show that information (or lack of it) can also cost lives. So it’s the right time for Australians to start thinking about one of the newest tools that criminals, conspiracy theorists and nation-states will use to deceive and mislead: deep fakes. Deep fakes are digital forgeries that use deep learning (a type of artificial intelligence) to generate or manipulate video, audio, images and text.
Deepfake trends and challenges — position statement
Using deepfakes to target and abuse others is not simply a technology problem. It is the result of social, cultural and behavioural issues being played out online. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s recent report, Weaponised deepfakes (April 2020), highlights the challenges to security and democracy that deepfakes present — including heightened potential for fraud, propaganda and disinformation, military deception and the erosion of trust in institutions and fair election processes.
Twitter to label disputed COVID-19 tweets
Twitter announced Monday it will start alerting users when a tweet makes disputed or misleading claims about the coronavirus. The new rule is the latest in a wave of stricter policies that tech companies are rolling out to confront an outbreak of virus-related misinformation on their sites. Facebook and Google, which owns YouTube, have already put similar systems in place.
WHO readies coronavirus app for checking symptoms, possibly contact tracing
The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to launch an app this month to enable people in under-resourced countries to assess whether they may have the novel coronavirus, and is considering a Bluetooth-based contact tracing feature too, an official told Reuters on Friday.
Green light opens flow of virus-tracing data
Australian Financial Review
The COVIDSafe app is now fully operational after legislative and privacy safeguards were endorsed, clearing the way for states to quickly trace infection contacts.
Government to hit back at cyber crooks as Toll Group reels again
Australian Financial Review
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds says the government is prepared to fight back against foreign hackers, as cybercrime experts raise concerns that important companies like Toll Group cannot defend themselves. "ASD is also using its offensive cyber capabilities to disrupt foreign cyber criminals responsible for COVID-19 themed malicious cyber activities," she said.
Why Are Australians Chanting “Arrest Bill Gates” At Protests? This Wild Facebook Group Has The Answers
On Sunday, a little over 100 people met on the steps of state parliament in Melbourne, Australia, and began chanting "arrest Bill Gates". While still relatively small, it was the country’s largest lockdown protest yet, held in violation of state laws mandating social distancing in the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. to Accuse China of Trying to Hack Vaccine Data, as Virus Redirects Cyberattacks
The New York Times
The F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security are preparing to issue a warning that China’s most skilled hackers and spies are working to steal American research in the crash effort to develop vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus. The efforts are part of a surge in cybertheft and attacks by nations seeking advantage in the pandemic. The warning comes as Israeli officials accuse Iran of mounting an effort in late April to cripple water supplies as Israelis were confined to their houses, though the government has offered no evidence to back its claim. More than a dozen countries have redeployed military and intelligence hackers to glean whatever they can about other nations’ virus responses. Even American allies like South Korea and nations that do not typically stand out for their cyberabilities, like Vietnam, have suddenly redirected their state-run hackers to focus on virus-related information, according to private security firms.
Russia’s interference in the last presidential election is among the most closely studied phenomena in recent American history, having been examined by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his prosecutors, by investigators working for congressional committees, by teams within Facebook and Twitter, by seemingly every think tank with access to a printing press. It’s possible, however, to mistake a plot point — the manipulation of the 2016 election — for the full sweep of the narrative.
Trump and Chip Makers Including Intel Seek Semiconductor Self-Sufficiency
Wall Street Journal
@asafitch @kate_okeeffe @bobdavis187
The Trump administration and semiconductor companies are looking to jump-start development of new chip factories in the U.S. as concern grows about reliance on Asia as a source of critical technology. A new crop of cutting-edge chip factories in the U.S. would reshape the industry and mark a U-turn after decades of expansion into Asia by many American companies eager to reap investment incentives and take part in a robust regional supply chain. The coronavirus pandemic has underscored longstanding concern by U.S. officials and executives about protecting global supply chains from disruption.
Mitch McConnell Moves to Expand Bill Barr’s Surveillance Powers
The Daily Beast
Days after the Justice Department controversially dropped charges against Mike Flynn, Senate GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is set to expand a highly politicized Justice Department’s surveillance authority during a vote this week to renew the 2001 Patriot Act. Via an amendment to the Patriot Act, will expressly permit the FBI to warrantlessly collect records on Americans’ web browsing and search histories.
Cyberattacks might be test for Tsai’s inauguration day
A spate of cyberattacks originating from China could be preparations for an attempt to paralyze Taiwan’s key computer systems and public infrastructure to disrupt the inauguration of President Tsai Ing-wen and vice president-elect William Lai on May 20.
Doctors are using AI to triage covid-19 patients. The tools may be here to stay
MIT Technology Review
Faced with staff shortages and overwhelming patient loads, a growing number of hospitals are turning to automated tools to help them manage the pandemic.
The 5G coronavirus conspiracy theory just took a really dark turn
Mobile phone masts in the UK are still being attacked by arsonists on a daily basis because of a conspiracy theory linking 5G to the spread of coronavirus. New data seen by WIRED reveals that dozens of attacks have taken place in the last fortnight, with conspiracy theorists targeting both infrastructure and key workers in the misguided belief that they are somehow spreading coronavirus.
Test, trace and trust: digital technologies and the COVID-19 response across the UK’s devolved nations
Ada Lovelace Institute
Three speakers with legal and technical expertise in the governance and implementation of emerging technologies are asked how joined-up approaches to COVID-19 across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales could help to contain the virus and encourage public trust.
TikTok has quietly made London its main hub in Europe
TikTok has quietly made London its main hub in Europe, according to analysis of LinkedIn, the company’s careers page, and sources with knowledge of the matter. The Chinese-owned company is recruiting artificial intelligence engineers and software developers in London.
Cyber-Attacks on UK Orgs Up 30% in Q1 2020
New research from business ISP specialist Beaming has revealed that the volume of cyber-attacks on UK businesses increased by almost a third in the first three months of 2020. Beaming analysts identified 394,000 unique IP addresses used to attack UK businesses in the first quarter of 2020, discovering that companies with internet connections experienced 157,000 attacks each, on average — the equivalent of more than one a minute.
Data Breach Exposes Four Million Dating App Users
Almost four million users of MobiFriends, a Barcelona-based dating app, have had their personal and log-in data stolen by hackers, according to Risk Based Security. The security vendor said it found the data on a prominent hacking forum — now free for anyone to access, although it had been previously up for sale.
Iran reports failed cyber-attack on Strait of Hormuz port
Iranian officials said on Sunday that hackers damaged a small number of computers in a failed cyber-attack against the port of Bandar Abbas, the country's largest port in the Strait of Hormuz.
Exclusive: Snapchat to offer in-app domestic violence support
Snapchat and Twilio are both announcing new efforts Monday to provide support for people affected by domestic violence and mental health concerns in response to a swell in demand during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Slack now strips location data from uploaded images
Slack has started to strip uploaded photos of their metadata. What may seem like an inconsequential change to how the tech giant handles storing files on its servers, it will make it far more difficult to trace photos back to their original owners.
Covid hoaxes are using a loophole to stay alive — even after content is deleted
MIT Technology Review
Pandemic conspiracy theorists are using the Wayback Machine to promote “zombie content” that evades moderators and fact-checkers.
Thunderbolt Flaws Expose Millions of PCs to Hands-On Hacking
Security paranoiacs have warned for years that any laptop left alone with a hacker for more than a few minutes should be considered compromised. Now one Dutch researcher has demonstrated how that sort of physical access hacking can be pulled off in an ultra-common component: The Intel Thunderbolt port found in millions of PCs.
Microsoft opens IoT bug bounty program
Microsoft really wants to secure the Internet of Things (IoT), and it’s enlisting citizen hackers’ help to do it. The company has launched a $100,000 bug bounty for people who can break into Azure Sphere, its security system for IoT devices.
People, Power and Technology: The 2020 Digital Attitudes Report
The public is once again recalibrating its relationship with technology. The pandemic lockdown has accelerated even further the already dizzying speed of technological change: suddenly the office has become Zoom, the classroom Google and the theatre YouTube. Doteveryone fights for better tech, for everyone. To achieve this it’s vital to listen to — and respect — the views of the public. This report puts the people who are experiencing this tremendous transformation front and centre.