We're back with Tuesday Newsday™ - you know the deal. This week, the internet chefs have prepared a delectable 5-course experience for your tastes. We begin with a light Loophole Soup; followed by an appetizer of crisp Cyberattack; before moving to a luscious Lawsuit for entreé; and a smidgeon of state-sponsored Hacking for dessert; all rounded out with a pinch of Password Theft for the Cheese course. Let us begin!
This is a pretty common practice from US law agencies, but it's certainly not exclusive to just the police force. As a general rule, it's much easier and takes way less time for federal agencies to purchase data from private companies, as opposed to going through the "official" route and requesting the data from another agency like the NSA. It seems like a pretty glaring loophole, but what do I know? I'm just a guy who writes stuff online.
A hacker group in India called Indian Cyber Force has claimed responsibility. Tensions between the two countries continue to rise after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there were "credible allegations" of the Indian government's involvement in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Nijjar was a Sikh independence activist who had been wanted by the Indian government for years.
This week the CEO of Microsoft is expected to testify against Google. Microsoft claims that Google engages in anticompetitive practices regarding its dominance over search engines. The lawsuit is not exclusively limited to search engines either. The text from the original filing in January reads as follows: "Google has engaged in a course of anticompetitive and exclusionary conduct that consisted of neutralizing or eliminating ad tech competitors through acquisitions; wielding its dominance across digital advertising markets to force more publishers and advertisers to use its products; and thwarting the ability to use competing products." If you're interested, you can read the full press release about the lawsuit here.
This lawsuit is actually a pretty big deal and has the potential to make some lasting positive change. The ad delivery systems that Google currently has a monopoly over do much more than simply predict our behaviors and preferences. These ad delivery systems play a significant role in shaping those beliefs as well, as they steer us towards specific choices or opinions. Breaking up Google's dominance over ad tech means more vendors can enter the market, and governments have more leverage to enact more laws to protect the privacy of the individual consumer.
A new malware by the name of ZenRAT has been discovered, one that impersonates password manager Bitwarden. The hackers purchased the domain "bitwariden.com" and built an identical website to Bitwarden's. Unsuspecting users who went to the misspelled domain and clicked the download link had their devices infected with ZenRAT, which would (among other things) gather system info and steal passwords.
US and Japanese intelligence agencies have identified a state-sponsored hacking group that is breaching network devices at international subsidiaries to pivot to the networks of corporate headquarters. The hacking group, known as BlackTech, is a Chinese state-sponsored Advanced Persistent Threat group (APT). Blacktech is responsible for previous cyber espionage attacks on Japanese, Taiwanese, and Hong Kong-based entities going back all the way to 2010.
As we enter the final quarter of 2023, the internet chefs are still cooking 24/7 to provide us with that tasty content.
- Google's monopoly is coming under serious scrutiny
- Canada and India's beef soup just got another ingredient
- Make sure you double-check the spelling of your password manager URL
- When the government can't steal your data, they'll buy it
- Enterprise Cisco Router users, audit your network now
No matter who you are or what you do, it's safe to assume that somehow, someway, your data is being exploited online for political or financial gain. Making the choice to use a VPN like Windscribe is part of a proactive and comprehensive privacy strategy.
If you don't have Windscribe already, it's never too late to join our tribe!