Security News Week: Welcome to Cyber Security
1.First the US experienced cyber attacks, now a Russian official has been hacked too!
It has recently been reported that an assistant to a senior aide to Vladimir Putin has been hacked this week. The news of the event are making many people believe that a proxy cyberwar is on the rise between Russia and the United States of America.
Supposedly, a hacker group called CyberHunta has hacked the email of an assistant to Vladislav Surkov and the emails show information like the associated between Moscow and the separatist movement in Ukraine.
The information that appears in the emails also contains a June 2014 list of casualties from the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine along with much more military information. Russia claims that the information has been planted, while the US has said to have played no role in the hack.
2. Yahoo scanned all of their members email for US intelligence purposes.
It has recently came to everyone’s attention that Yahoo built a software program in secret that could search its customers emails at the behalf of the US intelligence services. Yahoo is a major email provider and the fact that it behaved the way it did, might be a sign that other major email providers might be using the same tactics and assisting the US intelligence services as well. Yahoo has gotten demands to build the software in a form of a directive and the program is currently seen as a wiretap.
It has to be mentioned that previous Yahoo security officer Alex Stamos stopped working at Yahoo because it was his decision to collaborate with the NSA. At the moment he holds the top security job at Facebook, which leads many to believe that the social media provider could have been directed to as the same as Yahoo.
3.New Danger for smartphone security- wifi can be used to track smartphone users everywhere
Smartphone security has a new threat to battle which is the fact that our mobile devices can be hijacked or traced without our knowledge. Stingray also known as IMSI catcher, is a cell phone spying tool that is used by law enforcement to track and monitor mobile users by mimicking a cellphone tower in order to trick the devices into connecting to them. That way it can intercept calls and internet traffic, send text and install spyware on the phone. However, it was an expensive measure so to make it cheaper it is now possible to do the same by using a wifi hotspot. So now wifi network can capture IMSI numbers from smartphones that are nearby which allows anyone to track and monitor people.
4. Bot armies dispatched online are affecting the 2016 elections
Internet bots have been used for many years now due to their benefits, but recent research proves that they have some disadvantages. The study has proof after analysing the presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump that the bots can be used to amplify support on Twitter.
If a person belongs to a few social networks, then that person can use a bot to post a photo or a post on all social networks at once. The research counted how many tweets were associated with the presidential candidates and came to a conclusion that one- third of the tweets associated with Tump were created with bots while one-fifth of the tweets associated with Clinton were created by automated accounts.
Groups of people pick up the information and view it as real, which affects the way social media conversation is going. Then it affects the media, because many journalist use social media as a viable information source without any idea that the information is manufactured. At the moment it is unknown who is being the bots.