March 17 2021
Welcome to Tuesday’s news overview – this is a place where we keep you up to date on the latest technology updates, cybersecurity news, and more. Here’s what’s going on in the tech world today:
A mother in Pennsylvania used deepfake tech to frame her daughter’s cheerleading rivals
No, that’s not a joke. A Pennsylvanian mum made use of AI and machine learning tech in an attempt to ruin the reputation of her teenage daughter’s cheerleading competitors. Explicit videos and photos of the Victory Vipers team drinking and smoking in a state of undress were sent to their coach – but the images were forgeries. Deepfake technology was used to create the false videos in an attempt to get the girls kicked off the team.
The culprit is believed to have trawled social media to find images of her daughter’s rivals in order to generate the deepfakes. On top of that, she has also been accused of harrassing the Victory Vipers via anonymous threatening calls and other forms of harassment. Apparently, this was all done without her daughter’s knowledge. Read more here.
An unsecured server has triggered a data breach at Ticketcounter
Ticketcounter is an e-ticketing platform based in the Netherlands, and it’s one of the latest large organisations to fall victim to a data breach. Unfortunately, the problem was avoidable; it was an unsecured staging server that led to the breach. A hacker was able to infiltrate Ticketcounter’s systems and make off with a database that held a whopping 1.9 million email addresses. Along with the email details, full names, phone numbers, IP addresses, and hashed passwords were also present – basically everything you’d need to purchase a concert ticket online. To add insult to injury, this malicious actor went on to publish all of that data for free on a hacker forum. Ticketcounter is now investigating what happened, and no doubt patching up any vulnerabilities found in its system, but sadly, this is a case of too little, too late. Read more here.
Cybersecurity incidents affecting the MoD’s contractors have doubled over the past year
The Ministry of Defence’s actual defences could do with some work, as a Sky News report reveals that their contractors have experienced twice as many cyber incidents in 2020 compared to the previous year. The biggest cause for concern is email data leaks, due to the sensitive nature of the MoD’s communications, and the shady parties that might want a peek at what is being discussed.
Sky News sent in a Freedom of Information request and was able to analyse the MoD’s Warning, Advice, and Reporting Point system, where all contractors that use the MoD’s info to report security breaches and other hostile activity on their corporate networks. This exposed that in 2020, contractors reported 151 incidents, just over double the previous year’s 75.
So what changed between 2019 and 2020? Perhaps Covid-19, lockdowns, and the shift to remote working is to blame, as these contractors won’t be alone in drastically changing their employees’ work habits within a short space of time. There was actually a plethora of different problems reported, from staff emailing sensitive data to personal inboxes – where it could easily be compromised by nation state hackers – to misconfigured IT systems, data sent to unauthorised domains, and physical breaches to a perimeter fence. Read more here.
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