Top IT News of the Week (42/2021)
IT news #1: Android malware spys on user activity.
Topic: Smishing, malware
The malware named “Tanglebot” first appeared in Canada and the US last month and allows hackers to gain access to user activity via the camera and microphone, monitor user location and swipe data stored on the devices, including files and text messages. It spreads via malicious text messages, called smishing, an increasingly common way of distributing malware. Both smishing and phishing emails are circulated by persuading people to click on a link. When users click on a click named “Tanglebot”, they are informed that their Adobe Flash Player needs to be updated. However, the company stopped supporting Flash in December 2020. After that, they are led through several dialogue boxes that allow the hacker to install and configure the malware, providing full access to the device.
IT news #2: Ofcom confirms scam calls are on the rise.
According to the government-approved regulatory authority, Ofcom, nearly 45 million people in the UK were targeted by scam calls or messages over the summer, with people reporting a scam at least once a week. It was found these scams are targeting people aged between 16 and 34, with two-thirds of these users receiving one between June and August. The new Ofcom research also revealed, more than eight in 10 people had received a suspicious message via text, recorded message or a live phone call. This represents around 44.6 million UK adults. Three in five people (61%) aged 75 and over also reported receiving a potential scam to their landline. Ofcom encourages people to report suspicious text messages to the 7726 service and flag calls to Action Fraud.
IT news #3: Google hands out security keys to high-risk users.
Topic: Cyberattack, data breach
Google is giving physical USB security keys for free to 10,000 users currently at high risk of being hacked. This includes politicians and human rights activists. This USB key provides two-factor authentication, an additional layer of security besides having a solid password. Google encourages people to join its “advanced protection programme” developed for high-profile users. This initiative follows the news on the firm warning Gmail users who were targeted by web attackers. Google issued warnings after it has detected a campaign targeting around 14,000 Gmail users across a range of industries. It was confirmed the campaign came from APT28 – a hacking group linked to Russia – and was said to be a phishing attempt designed to look legitimate to make people give out their login credentials.
IT news #4: Microsoft shuts down LinkedIn in China.
Topic: Microsoft, data regulation
The company has announced its plans to shut down LinkedIn in China. Instead, it will launch a new jobs platform without a social feed that allows users to share social posts and articles, purely focusing on job postings and recruitment. LinkedIn has operated in the country since 2014 and will be replaced by InJobs later this year, a new standalone job applications platform explicitly designed for the region. The most important aspect of the launch is that it will not include a social feed or give users the ability to share any posts or articles. In China, social media platforms have long been required to remove inappropriate content. This year’s rules released in February also includes fabricating information, plagiarism and blackmailing. Platforms have also been punished for publishing unsuitable or misleading content, including LinkedIn itself, for not controlling political content. It was ordered to perform a self-evaluation and suspend new sign-ups of users for 30 days in China, the New York Times revealed.
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