Saturday, February 24, 2024
HomeTechnologyHow 3 Million ‘Hacked’ Toothbrushes Became a Cyber Urban Legend

How 3 Million ‘Hacked’ Toothbrushes Became a Cyber Urban Legend

Documents obtained exclusively by WIRED reveal that AI surveillance software tracked thousands of people using the London Underground to detect crime or unsafe situations. Machine learning software examined live CCTV footage to detect aggressive behaviour, brandished weapons and fare-dodging people. The documents also detail mistakes made during the trial, such as misidentifying children walking with their parents as fare evaders.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, cryptocurrency tracking firm Chainalysis published a report finding that ransomware payouts in 2023 reached more than $1.1 billion, the highest annual total ever recorded. The record sum of extorted funds was due to two things: the high number of ransomware attacks and the amount of money hackers demanded from victims, many of whom were targeted specifically for their ability to pay and their inability to pay. a long interruption of services.

A technology company, known for keeping websites with far-right and other extreme content online, was bought last year by a secretive company whose business is helping set up businesses, often in a way that keeps the details of those companies, WIRED reported Thursday. . Registered Agents Inc.’s acquisition of Epik may allow the obscure company to provide its customers with another layer of anonymity.

Over the past month, senior security reporter Matt Burgess has stopped using passwords to log into his hundreds of online accounts. Instead, he uses passkeys, a more secure form of authentication that uses generated codes stored on his device to log in to websites and apps using a biometric identifier such as a fingerprint, facial scan, or PIN. When it works, it is smooth and secure. When it doesn’t, it’s a disaster.

WhatsApp is developing a feature that will allow its users to send messages through applications, while maintaining its secure end-to-end encryption. In theory, the measure would allow users to chat with people on WhatsApp using applications like Signal or Telegram. It is unclear which companies, if any, will link their services with WhatsApp.

And there is more. Each week, we highlight news that we ourselves didn’t cover in depth. Click on the headlines below to read the full stories. And stay safe out there.

In the real world, hackers caused blackouts, set fire to a steel factory, and released worms that brought down medical records systems at hospitals in the United States and the United Kingdom. That’s why it doesn’t seem necessary to invent new nightmares in which they take over our toothbrushes.

However, when the Swiss newspaper Aargauer Zeitung published a story that cybercriminals had infected 3 million Internet-connected toothbrushes with malware and then used them to launch a cyberattack that took down a website for four hours and caused millions of dollars in damage, the story was somehow Irresistible. This week, media outlets around the world picked up the story, which cited cybersecurity company Fortinet as a source, presenting it as the perfect illustration of how hackers can exploit the most mundane technology to achieve epic malevolence. “This example, which looks like a Hollywood scenario, really happened,” the Swiss newspaper wrote.

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