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Anti-Vax Dating Site Could Expose Data From Over 3,500 Users Due To Bug 

“Unjected” is a dating site specifically made for individuals who are not vaccinated against Covid-19. According to reports from the Daily Dot, the site failed to take basic precautions when it came to keeping users’ data secure, which left sensitive personal information exposed and vulnerable to potentially anyone. 

The site’s dashboard was set up to be fully accessible to the websites administrator, however, the way it was configured allowed anyone to log into the back end of  the site if they knew how to look for it. 

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Through the dashboard, administrators can view user information for everyone on the site, including names, birthdays, email addresses, and home addresses. 

A security researcher known as GeopJr is credited for confirming the site’s vulnerability, explaining that “the site had been published live to the web with ‘debug mode’ switched on – a special set of features for software developers to use while working on the application, which should never be enabled by default in an application that has been deployed for the public.” 

The researcher known as GeopJr found that they were able to make almost any change to the site after easily being able to log into the dashboard. They could add or remove pages, offer free subscriptions for paid-tier services, or even delete the entire database of posts and their backups. 

The site is currently believed to have about 3,500 users, all of whose data was accessible through the administrator features. 

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Unjected seemingly has big ambitions to expand the site and build connections among those who are unvaccinated. Besides the dating aspect of the site, users can explore a “fertility” section where others can offer their semen, eggs, or breastmilk for donation. 

In another section of the site, users can sign up for a “blood bank” by listing their location and blood type. Both the blood and fertility =aspects of the site are advertised as helping individuals find “mRNA-free” donors; referring to the mRNA molecules found in the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines. 

The Unjected website is the main way that users can use the application, as the phone app was banned from the Apple App Store in August 2021 for violating Apple’s Covid-19 content policies regarding the spread of misinformation. 

The app is still listed on the Google Play store for Android users, where it has more than 10,000 downloads and average review of 2.5 stars. 

US and Iran Conflict

Facebook Claims Hackers In Iran Used Platform To Target US Military Personnel 

Facebook announced last week that it had removed 200 accounts that they discovered were run by a group of hackers based in Iran as a part of a larger cyber-spying operation mainly targeting US military personnel and people working at defense and aerospace companies. 

The group is known as “Tortoiseshell” to security experts, and they all used fake online profiles to connect with individuals in the military, build personal connections and drive them to other sites where they would be tricked into clicking links that would infect their systems with spying malware. Some of the conversations between the hackers and personnel would go on for months to really establish that trust.

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“This activity had the hallmarks of a well-resourced and persistent operation, while relying on relatively strong operational security measures to hide who’s behind it,” Facebook’s investigations team said in a blogpost.

“The group made fictitious profiles across multiple social media platforms to appear more credible, often posing as recruiters or employees of aerospace and defense companies”

Facebook’s team claimed that the group used email, messaging, and collaboration services to distribute the malware. A spokesperson for Microsoft, which was also involved in the cyberattack, claimed that they have been made aware of the hacking and would be taking extra measures to prevent something like this from happening in the future. 

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“The hackers also used tailored domains to attract its targets, including fake recruiting websites for defense companies, and it set up online infrastructure that spoofed a legitimate job search website for the US Department of Labor.”

Facebook claimed the hackers mainly were targeting individuals in the US, and a few others in the UK and Europe in general. The campaign has been running since 2020, and has supposedly impacted around 200 individuals.

“The campaign appeared to show an expansion of the group’s activity, which had previously been reported to concentrate mostly on the IT and other industries in the Middle East. Our investigation found that a portion of the malware used by the group was developed by Mahak Rayan Afraz, an IT company based in Tehran with ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” Facebook said. 

Facebook claimed that it has now blocked the malicious domains that it knows of from being shared, and Google is also taking steps to make sure all domains are blocked.

Hackers Demand $70 Million In Single Biggest Global Ransomware Attack 

A Russia-linked gang is being investigated over what is now being considered the single biggest global ransomware attack on record. The gang is known as the REvil gang, and they’re famous for extorting $11 million from the meat processor JBS after a Memorial Day cyber attack. 

This past Friday, thousands of individuals from at least 17 countries became victims of another cyber attack in which thousands of individuals are being locked out of their devices. 

REvil was originally demanding a ransom of $5 million, however, late Sunday afternoon the group posted on their dark web site a universal decryptor software key that would unscramble all of the affected machines throughout the world, in exchange for $70 million in cryptocurrency. 

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 U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy Mieke Eoyang testifies during a hearing before Cybersecurity Subcommittee of Senate Armed Services Committee

“While the FBI is investigating the attack, its scale may make it so that we are unable to respond to each victim individually. President Joe Biden had directed the full resources of the government to investigate this incident and urged all who believed they were compromised to alert the FBI,”  said Deputy National Security Advisor Anne Neuberger in a statement.

A wide range of businesses and public agencies have been impacted by this latest cyber attack. All continents have reported an issue, specifically in their financial services, travel and leisure sectors, and public sectors. A few large companies have also been impacted. 

When ransomware hackers attack a certain device or server, they work to infiltrate the devices network and install malware that cripples the devices and scrambles all the data. Victims can only ever decode their device if they receive a key, which is only given after payments. ‘

Swedish grocery chain Coop is just one of the many businesses forced to shut down due to the fact that their cash register software supplier was completely crippled by the attack. An unnamed IT service company in Germany reported several thousand of its clients were compromised and unable to access their information. 

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A sign reading “Temporarliy closed – We have an IT-disturbance and our systems are not functioning” is posted in the window of a shuttered Coop supermarket store in Stockholm

“We have been advised by our outside experts that customers who experienced ransomware and receive communication from the attackers should not click on any links  —  they  may be weaponized,” the company warned. 

“The REvil offer to offer blanket decryption for all victims of the Kaseya attack in exchange for $70 million suggests the group’s inability to cope with the sheer quantity of infected networks,” said Allan Liska, an analyst with the cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.

Victor Gevers is the member of a team currently investigating how the group was able to hack into all of these systems and how they can better protect themselves in the future. Specifically he discussed the popularity of VPN and VSA technology which works to protect all user information on any device using data. 

According to CBS news, REvil has been “active since April 2019. The group provides ransomware-as-a-service, meaning it develops the network-paralyzing software and leases it to so-called affiliates who infect targets and earn the lion’s share of ransoms. U.S. officials say the most potent ransomware gangs are based in Russia and allied states and operate with Kremlin tolerance and sometimes collude with Russian security services.”

President Biden Launches Emergency Task Force To Address Microsoft Cyber-Attack

The Biden administration has announced the creation of an emergency task force specifically made to address an “unusually aggressive” cyber-attack that took aim at hundreds of thousands of Microsoft customers around the world and within the US.

Cybersecurity Real Estate

Real Estate Agencies Creating ‘Incident Response Plans’ To Prepare For Potential Cyberattacks

The amount of personal information exchanged during a real estate transaction makes the industry especially vulnerable to these kinds of online attacks.

Twitter on Phone

Twitter Chief Executive, Jack Dorsey, Raises Concerns Among Employees After Month Of Crisis

Jack Dorsey is the part-time chief executive of Twitter, a position he’s held for many years now. After years of acquiring what’s referred to as “technical debt,” Twitter has been left extremely vulnerable on the back-end.

Australian Politician, Peter Dutton, Confirms Government Can Spy On Its Citizens Under Cybersecurity Plan

In a new $1.6 billion cyber strategy initiative the Australian Signals Directorate now can help law enforcement identify and disrupt criminal activity.

Tinder App

New Study Proves Popular Dating Apps Are Selling Your Data To Advertisers

One of the universal complaints that most have with technology, social media, cell phones, etc. is the lack of clarity regarding privacy. Certain apps and services often say that they keep your information confidential, but how much of that is actually accurate? How many times have you been scrolling through your Twitter feed and seen an ad for a product that you haven’t even searched for on your device, but you were thinking about it? The lines of confidentiality have always been blurred when it comes to our phones, and now, according to a new study, we have even more facts to back that up.

An advocacy group known as the Norwegian Consumer Council recently conducted a study in which they analyzed the logistics of 10 apps, a majority of which were dating apps. The results found that these applications alone were distributing personal information to at least 135 companies. 

Some of the apps tested included Grindr, a popular gay dating app, OkCupid, Tinder, and then beyond the realm of dating apps they also analyzed some of the most popular period-tracking apps such as Clue and MyDays. They concluded that these services were sharing personal data, including users’ birthdays, ID numbers, sexual orientations, religions, etc., with advertising companies. 

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“Because of the scope of tests, size of the third parties that were observed receiving data, and popularity of the apps, we regard the findings from these tests to be representative of widespread practices,” the report states.

Their analytics concluded companies such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google were among the largest common company names that were receiving the personal data, along with more unknown tech companies who are in business with larger corporations. These companies use your information like a registry, and match you with products that they assume you’d enjoy based on your internet history, dating information, and hobbies. 

The NCC recently uncovered dozens of privacy violations in Europe once they enacted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), an act that works to protect users’ personal information online. The biggest culprit was actually Grindr, which sold data including GPS location technology to advertisers to inform them about what retailers were within the vicinity of a particular user. The GDPR has been quite successful in Europe so far, but in the United States we don’t exactly have the same type of privacy regulations. 

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“There’s no reason to think these apps and countless others like them behave any differently in the United States. American consumers are almost certainly subjected to the same invasions of privacy, especially considering there are hardly any data privacy laws in the U.S., particularly at the federal level,” says Katie McInnis, policy counsel at Consumer Reports.

More often than not, these apps do let the users know that they share their data with third party advertisers, however, that clarification is often made in the fine print of these apps’ terms and conditions, which we all know none of us are actually reading. Technology users are able to adjust their privacy settings on platforms such as Facebook and Google by limiting what applications are allowed to have access to our personal information. This section is typically found in your account settings under the “security and privacy” tab. In the meantime, plenty of advocacy groups are currently trying to work with the Federal Trade Commission and Congress in general to pass more specified cyber-security/privacy laws.

For more information on how to easily protect your information and personal data from third parties, click here.

WhatsApp

Hackers Target Government Officials Using WhatsApp

Facebook is embroiled in controversy in the aftermath of the company’s decision not to remove political advertisements that contain falsehoods, drawing criticism from politicians and the general public alike for being complicit in spreading misinformation. The social media platform is no stranger to controversy of this sort, as many critics have called out the company for failing to mitigate the impact of foreign interference in elections and for failing to adequately safeguard its users’ privacy, among other concerns. Most recently, the news organization Reuters reported that hackers have been using WhatsApp, a messaging application owned by Facebook, to attack government officials. 

According to Reuters, an internal investigation conducted by WhatsApp revealed that a “significant” portion of the victims were high-profile government and military officials, many of which were allies of the U.S. As government officials from the United States and around the world have been known to use WhatsApp to communicate sensitive information, the WhatsApp hacks pose a significant risk to domestic and international security. In response to the attacks, WhatsApp sued the Israeli hacking tool developer NSO Group, alleging that they created and sold a hacking platform that allowed their clients to hack the cellphones of at least 1,400 users between April and May of this year. The total number of affected users is unknown, but is likely to be much higher than the 1,400 users mentioned in the lawsuit.

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It’s not clear as of yet who was directly responsible for initiating the hacks, but NSO sells spyware exclusively to government customers, suggesting adversaries of the U.S. may be responsible. Known victims include officials in the United States, Bahrain, Mexico, Pakistan, and India. While most of the victims have not disclosed the fact that their security may have been compromised, some Indian nationals have publicly alleged they were among the targets of the attacks, including journalists, academics, and lawyers.

NSO has denied any wrongdoing, and has said that it is “not able to disclose who is or is not a client or discuss specific uses of its technology.” Instead, NSO claims that its products are intended only for catching terrorists and other criminals. However, experts doubt this claim, as they suspect products developed by NSO have been widely used for more nefarious purposes.

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WhatsApp has notified victims that they had been hacked, and checked their list of known victims against law enforcement requests for information relating to criminal investigations, but found no overlap between the two sets of data. Instead of relying on spyware like that developed by NSO Group, WhatsApp encourages governments to submit requests for information to the company through an online portal they maintain. Though WhatsApp provides its users with end-to-end encryption, ensuring that only the sender and recipient are able to read the contents of messages, the company nevertheless cooperates with governments for legitimate law enforcement purposes.

As of 2015, WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging application, as it allows users to send text messages, media, voice messages, and make Voice over IP calls, among other features. The app is available around the world, and is particularly popular in countries other than the U.S. Facebook purchased WhatsApp in February of 2014 for $19 billion, representing the social network’s largest acquisition to date. Due to the app’s ability to enable secure, private communication between individuals, the app is banned in China, a country with strict restrictions on speech. WhatsApp has been the subject of criticism for multiple reasons, including its use by terrorist organizations like the Islamic State, as well as the prevalence of scams and malware throughout the app.