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Closeup of Mother Bird by Keisuke Aisawa

If I am to believe the shares and warnings circulated among friends a “deadly new game” is spreading among kids in the UK, the Momo Challenge! Much like Blue Whale that gained notoriety in 2016, the Momo Challenge supposedly exhorts its child victims to fulfil a series of tasks that end with their death by suicide. Clearly a horrifying prospect. Also like Blue Whale, there may be significantly more fiction than fact to the real story.

The warnings currently circulating on social media state variously that the Momo Challenge specifically targets children, some reports say it spreads through WhatsApp, through Minecraft, and others through “Kids YouTube” (sic). …


The recent history of misguided and heavily lobbied anti-piracy legislation shows how damaging poor regulation can be

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Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

Jammie Thomas-Rasset always claimed she hadn’t heard of Kazaa until her trial, and that it must have been her boyfriend or her kids who illegally shared songs on the file-sharing service, including Guns n’ Roses, Gloria Estefan, and Green Day.

In 2012, after a protracted lawsuit brought by the Record Industry Association of American (RIAA), she was found guilty and ordered to pay $222,000 in damages. Thomas-Rasset said she’d declare bankruptcy to avoid paying the fine; to this day, the RIAA has reportedly not received a penny.

Thomas-Rasset was just one of an estimated 18,000 file-sharers to be sued for copyright infringement by the RIAA in the first half of the 2000s. It was a questionable strategy — and an expensive one. From 2006 through 2008, the RIAA spent more than $64 million on legal fees and investigations to recoup just $1.4 …


Criminal “products” from the underworld marketplace are part of a sophisticated and highly profitable global industry

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Imagine checking your bank account and finding that $5,000 had been transferred to someone you’d never heard of. That recently happened to a friend of mine who logged on at work to find a massive hole in her account balance. I encouraged her to report it to the bank, and we started investigating.

Later that day, we discovered that another woman had been duped into accepting the stolen money. She’d met some people in a Russian chat room who said they’d give her 500 euros to transfer the money into accounts in Turkey and Russia…

You won’t be surprised to know that there’s a thriving underground economy online, a place where tools and techniques are advertised and sold — even given away — and where stolen data is laundered to facilitate online crime. What might surprise you is how many of these underground economies there are and how well-established they have become. …


Social networks, credit agencies, and criminals all put a price on our data, but do we realize how pervasive the system is?

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You get nothing for nothing. If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer — you’re the product being sold.

Such warnings have echoed over the centuries. From the folksy French “donnant donnant” of the early 1800s to the temperance movement of the early 20th century protesting the “free lunches” offered by saloon owners to the pithy observation of a cynical Digg reader in 2010 (yes, that’s really where that phrase comes from), we seem to realize innately that altruism in commerce is less common that the proverbial rocking horse–based fertilizer.

In the globally interconnected world we now inhabit, data is the new oil. It’s a valuable resource, considerably more simple to extract and infinitely more versatile. …


And where we go from here

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Photo: Pixabay

Vehicle hacking already has a 15-year pedigree. Though there are at least 36 million vehicles on the road today already connected to the internet, manufacturers appear to have learned little from the biggest security crises of the internet era. Cybersecurity is, yet again, a bolted-on afterthought rather than an integral part of the engineering of an interconnected vehicle.

Hackers started around 2002 by targeting engine-management technologies that control performance superchargers and fuel injectors. In 2005, Trifinite demonstrated using Bluetooth to surreptitiously intercept or transmit in-car audio signals. …

About

Rik Ferguson

Vice President Security Research @ Trend Micro - I tweet as myself, expect some non security stuff too.

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