Biz & IT

Colonial Pipeline paid a $5 million ransom—and kept a vicious cycle turning

Enlarge Sean Rayford | Getty Images Nearly a week after a ransomware attack led Colonial Pipeline to halt fuel distribution on the East Coast, reports emerged on Friday that the company paid a 75 bitcoin ransom—worth as much as $5 million, depending on the time of payment—in an attempt to restore service more quickly. And …

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Pipeline attacker Darkside suddenly goes dark—here’s what we know

Enlarge Darkside—the ransomware group that disrupted gasoline distribution across a wide swath of the US this week—has gone dark, leaving it unclear if the group is ceasing, suspending, or altering its operations or is simply orchestrating an exit scam. On Thursday, all eight of the dark web sites Darkside used to communicate with the public …

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Ireland’s healthcare system taken down after ransomware attack

Enlarge / St. Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. Bloomberg | Getty Images Ireland has shut down most of the major IT systems running its national healthcare service, leaving doctors unable to access patient records and people unsure of whether they should show up for appointments, following a “very sophisticated” ransomware attack. Paul Reid, chief …

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Colonial Pipeline resumes operations after ransomware prompted closure

Enlarge Getty Images Colonial Pipeline said it restarted operations on Wednesday afternoon after a five-day outage brought on by a ransomware attack caused gasoline shortages and panic buying in East Coast states. Enlarge “Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal,” the operator of the …

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Amazon “seized and destroyed” 2 million counterfeit products in 2020

Enlarge / Amazon trailers backed into bays at a distribution center in Miami, Florida, in August 2019. Getty Images | Lawrence Glass Amazon “seized and destroyed” over 2 million counterfeit products that sellers sent to Amazon warehouses in 2020 and “blocked more than 10 billion suspected bad listings before they were published in our store,” …

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Apple brass discussed disclosing 128-million iPhone hack, then decided not to

Enlarge Getty Images In September 2015, Apple managers had a dilemma on their hands: should, or should they not, notify 128 million iPhone users of what remains the worst mass iOS compromise on record? Ultimately, all evidence shows, they chose to keep quiet. The mass hack first came to light when researchers uncovered 40 malicious …

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Ajit Pai promised cheaper Internet—real prices rose 19 percent instead

Enlarge Getty Images | MirageC The average US home-Internet bill increased 19 percent during the first three years of the Trump administration, disproving former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s claim that deregulation lowered prices, according to a new report by advocacy group Free Press. For tens of millions of families that aren’t wealthy, “these …

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Twitter’s latest robo-nag will flag “harmful” language before you post

Enlarge / Before you tweet, you might be asked if you meant to be so rude. Getty Images / Sam Machkovech Want to know exactly what Twitter’s fleet of text-combing, dictionary-parsing bots defines as “mean”? Starting any day now, you’ll have instant access to that data—at least, whenever a stern auto-moderator says you’re not tweeting …

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Severe vulnerabilities in Dell firmware update driver found and fixed

Enlarge / At least three companies have reported the dbutil_2_3.sys security problems to Dell over the past two years. Blogtrepreneur / Flickr Yesterday, infosec research firm SentinelLabs revealed 12-year-old flaws in Dell’s firmware updater, DBUtil 2.3. The vulnerable firmware updater has been installed by default on hundreds of millions of Dell systems since 2009. The five high-severity …

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Netflix IT exec forced employees to use products from vendors that bribed him

Netflix’s former vice president of IT operations was convicted of taking bribes from technology vendors in exchange for awarding them contracts with Netflix, the US Department of Justice announced Friday. The former Netflix VP’s illegal scheme forced colleagues to use a variety of products, including one that suffered from “severe” performance problems and another that …

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