Airman’s top secret breach prompts fears of more surveillance
This week was dominated by a shocking story: the online release of classified US military documents. Experts warn that this type of breach could become more frequent. For those concerned about online security, LinkedIn has introduced new tools to verify your identity and job.
However, it’s been a tough week for large language models like Chat GPT. Many AI users can manipulate chatbots to do things their creators never intended. It’s still early days, but it’s possible we’ll hear a lot more about this in the coming months. Montana lawmakers recently voted to prohibit downloads of TikTok in the state. Governor Greg Gianforte is expected to sign this into law, despite potential legal and technical obstacles. The Airman’s top secret breach remained in headlines this week.
Airman’s top secret breach: Man charged with leaking top intel
Jack Teixeira is a 21-year-old airman with the Massachusetts Air National Guard. He is the man who is charged with retaining and transmitting national defense information and withholding classified documents. Teixeira allegedly leaked top-secret intelligence to members of an invite-only chat room called Thug Shaker Central on Discord. That online group consisted of two dozen adolescent boys and young men who didn’t fully understand the significance of the leak.
The leak, which circulated online for weeks, contained sensitive information about Russian military tactics during the conflict in Ukraine. It also contained intelligence reports on friendly nations like Israel and South Korea, among other topics. The leak’s bizarre circumstances have frustrated and embarrassed US intelligence officials. They are now considering potentially expanding the surveillance of online chat rooms.
Monitoring public chat rooms is common practice for law enforcement. However surveilling private conversations without probable cause would run into serious legal and civil liberties hurdles. Former general counsel of the National Security Agency, Glenn Gerstell, said that the US government does not want a system where it monitors private internet chats.
In response to the incident, US defense secretary Lloyd Austin jumped in. He ordered a review of intelligence access, accountability, and control procedures within the department. This step was taken to to prevent such incidents from happening again.
Western Digital Suffers 10 TB Data Loss to Hackers
According to TechCrunch, a group of hackers has claimed to have hacked data storage company Western Digital and is holding 10 terabytes of stolen data hostage. The hackers are demanding a “minimum 8 figure” ransom from the company. They threaten to publish the stolen data if their demands are not met.
The hackers, who spoke to TechCrunch, claim to have access to customer information. However, the exact data that has been stolen is still unknown. The hackers have contacted several company executives. They urge them to pay the ransom and resolve the situation. Western Digital has yet to release an official statement on the matter.
New Spyware Discovered in 10 Countries Worldwide
In a latest report, researchers from Microsoft and the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab revealed that a shadowy Israeli firm called QuaDream has been using its sophisticated hacking tools to infiltrate the smartphones of politicians and journalists in at least 10 different countries.
The company was founded in 2016 by former employees of the notorious NSO Group. It specializes in developing cutting-edge smartphone hacking software for government clients. The researchers found that the QuaDream spyware targeted older versions of Apple’s iOS phone software. The spyware uses sneaky techniques like sending malicious calendar invites that wouldn’t show up for the intended targets.
Citizen Lab also discovered QuaDream servers in locations. From the United Arab Emirates and Mexico to Uzbekistan and Israel itself, QuaDream is widepread. The implications of this latest revelation are deeply troubling and raise serious questions about the ethics of using such tools against journalists and politicians.
WhatsApp Rolls Out Enhanced Protection Against Hackers
WhatsApp has recently rolled out a brand-new security feature that’s geared towards preventing hackers from stealing users’ accounts. This exciting addition requires individuals who are downloading WhatsApp on a new device to confirm their account by using their old device. By doing so, WhatsApp has implemented an extra layer of security to safeguard users from potential account takeovers.
According to a WhatsApp spokesperson who spoke to Engadget, the Account Protect feature will only kick in when the company detects a malicious account takeover. Additionally, in the event that a user no longer has access to their old device, they can easily obtain a one-time passcode from WhatsApp. With this new security feature in place, users can now rest easy knowing that their WhatsApp account is better protected than ever before.