Security Briefing: Top Secret US Intel Leaks Threaten New Mass Surveillance


U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday that he is “considering additional steps necessary to protect our nation’s secrets” and ordered a review of the department’s information access, accountability and oversight processes to inform our efforts to prevent this. “to prevent the incident from happening again.”

Hackers who claim to have breached data storage company Western Digital earlier this month are holding 10 terabytes of stolen data hostage and are prepared to publish it unless the company pays a “minimum 8-figure” ransom, TechCrunch reports.

An individual claiming to have carried out the hack told TechCrunch on Thursday that he had customer information. The hacker revealed TechCrunch’s internal emails and contact information of Western Digital employees, but it’s not yet clear what information was stolen.

“Cut the cut, get the money and let’s both go our separate ways,” the hackers wrote in an email sent to several company executives. “Simply put, let’s put our egos aside and work to find a solution to this mess.”

Hacking tools from a secretive Israeli spyware company have been used to target politicians and journalists in at least 10 countries, a study by Microsoft and Toronto’s Citizen Lab revealed Tuesday.

The company Quadrim is a small and low-profile Israeli company that manufactures smartphone devices aimed at government customers. The company was founded in 2016 by former employees of NSO Group, the creator of the Pegasus spyware.

The QuaDream spyware targeted older versions of Apple’s iOS phone software and worked by sending malicious calendar invitations that the targets could not see, researchers said.

According to the report, Citizen Lab found Quadrim servers located in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ghana, Israel, Mexico, Romania, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.

WhatsApp has introduced a new security feature that makes it harder for fraudsters to steal users’ accounts. The feature requires individuals who download WhatsApp to a new device to verify their account using their old device. It is an additional layer of security that aims to protect users from account manipulation through SIM jacking or other social engineering attacks.

A WhatsApp spokesperson told Engadget that the account protection feature is activated when the company suspects a malicious account. If a user has lost their old device, they can also request a one-time passcode from WhatsApp.


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