Biz & IT

Six Russians accused of the world’s most destructive hacks indicted

Enlarge US Justice Department Six men accused of carrying out some of the world’s most destructive hacks—including the NotPetya disk wiper and power grid attacks that knocked out electricity for hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians—have been indicted in US federal court. The indictment said that all six men are officers in a brazen hacker group …

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Fancy Bear imposters are on a hacking extortion spree

Enlarge Ransomware attacks that tear through corporate networks can bring massive organizations to their knees. But even as these hacks reach new popularity highs—and new ethical lows—among attackers, it’s not the only technique criminals are using to shake down corporate victims. A new wave of attacks relies instead on digital extortion—with a side of impersonation. …

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Hackers are using a severe Windows bug to backdoor unpatched servers

Enlarge Getty Images One of the most critical Windows vulnerabilities disclosed this year is under active attack by hackers who are trying to backdoor servers that store credentials for every user and administrative account on a network, a researcher said on Friday. Zerologon, as the vulnerability has been dubbed, gained widespread attention last month when …

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Now on-demand: Ars’ online IT roundtable on navigating 2020 schadenfreude

Enlarge Working in IT often means finding creative ways to make the best of a situation you’ve been handed. Whether it’s fixing problems you didn’t cause or adapting to changes that leadership failed to account for, it’s all about figuring out how to keep repairing the proverbial airplane while it’s flying—and 2020 hasn’t really made …

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Google and Intel warn of high-severity Bluetooth security bug in Linux

Enlarge Getty Images Google and Intel are warning of a high-severity Bluetooth flaw in all but the most recent version of the Linux Kernel. While a Google researcher said the bug allows seamless code execution by attackers within Bluetooth range, Intel is characterizing the flaw as providing an escalation of privileges or the disclosure of …

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Verizon “nationwide” 5G ready for iPhone 12—don’t expect a big speed boost

Enlarge / Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg at Apple’s iPhone 12 event. Apple Verizon today announced “nationwide” 5G coverage along with support for the new 5G-enabled iPhones. But for most consumers, Verizon’s 5G upgrade won’t make much of a difference. The newly enabled 5G runs on the same spectrum bands used by Verizon for 4G, so …

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AT&T has trouble figuring out where it offers government-funded Internet

Enlarge Getty Images | ljhimages If you live in an area where AT&T has taken government funds in exchange for deploying broadband, there’s a chance you won’t be able to get the service—even if AT&T initially tells you it’s available. AT&T’s Mississippi division has received over $283 million from the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America …

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Facebook bans Holocaust denial amid rapid rise in “deceptive” content

Enlarge / Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters as seen in 2017. Jason Doiy | Getty Images Facebook today is, once again, theoretically ramping up enforcement against hate speech, this time with a new policy prohibiting Holocaust denial on the platform. The change is due to a “well-documented rise in anti-Semitism globally,” Facebook executive Monika Bickert …

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Remote tribe says SpaceX Starlink “catapulted” them into 21st century

Enlarge / Melvinjohn Ashue, vice chairman of the Hoh Tribe, discusses the tribe’s use of Starlink broadband. Washington State Department of Commerce A remote tribe in Washington state is one of the first users of SpaceX’s Starlink broadband, having been connected recently after years of struggling to get modern Internet service. “We’re very remote,” said Melvinjohn …

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Undocumented backdoor that covertly takes snapshots found in kids’ smartwatch

Enlarge Xplora A popular smartwatch designed exclusively for children contains an undocumented backdoor that makes it possible for someone to remotely capture camera snapshots, wiretap voice calls, and track locations in real time, a researcher said. The X4 smartwatch is marketed by Xplora, a Norway-based seller of children’s watches. The device, which sells for about …

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