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A new surveillance tool invades border towns

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A new surveillance tool invades border towns

This week, WIRED reported that a group of prolific scammers known as Yahoo Boys are operating openly on major platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, TikTok and Telegram. The group evades content moderation systems and organizes and participates in criminal activities ranging from scams to sextortion schemes.

On Wednesday, researchers published a paper detailing a new AI-based methodology for detecting the “shape” of suspected money laundering activity on a blockchain. The researchers, made up of scientists from cryptocurrency tracking company Elliptic, MIT and IBM, collected bitcoin transaction patterns from known scammers on an exchange where dirty cryptocurrencies could be converted into cash. They used this data to train an AI model to detect similar patterns.

Governments and industry experts are sounding the alarm about the possibility of major air disasters due to increased attacks on GPS systems in the Baltic region since the start of the war in Ukraine. Attacks can interfere with or spoof GPS signals and cause serious navigation problems. Officials in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania blame Russia for GPS problems in the Baltics. Meanwhile, WIRED delved into Ukraine’s booming and burgeoning drone industry, where around 200 companies are racing to build deadlier and more efficient autonomous weapons.

An Australian company that provided facial recognition kiosks for bars and clubs appears to have exposed data from more than 1 million customer records. The episode highlights the dangers of providing companies with your biometric data. In the United States, the Biden administration is asking technology companies to sign a voluntary commitment to make “good faith” efforts to implement critical cybersecurity improvements. This week we also reported that the administration is updating its plan to protect the country’s critical infrastructure from hackers, terrorists and natural disasters.

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.

A government procurement document uncovered by The Intercept reveals that two major Israeli arms manufacturers must use Google and Amazon if they need any cloud-based services. The report casts doubt on Google’s repeated claims that the technology it sells to Israel is not used for military purposes, including the ongoing bombing of Gaza that has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians. The document contains a list of Israeli companies and government offices “obliged to purchase” any cloud services from Amazon and Google. The list includes Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the latter being the manufacturer of the infamous “Spike” missile, allegedly used in the April drone attack that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers.

In 2021, Amazon and Google signed a contract with the Israeli government in a joint venture known as Project Nimbus. Under the agreement, the tech giants provide cloud services to the Israeli government, including its Israel Defense Forces. In April, Google employees protested Project Nimbus by staging sit-ins at offices in Silicon Valley, New York, and Seattle. In response, the company laid off nearly 30 employees.

A mass surveillance tool that listens to wireless signals emitted by smart watches, headsets and cars is currently being deployed at the border to track people’s locations in real time, a Notus report revealed on Monday. According to its manufacturer, the TraffiCatch tool associates wireless signals emitted by commonly used devices with vehicles identified by license plate readers in the area. A captain with the Webb County, Texas, sheriff’s office, whose jurisdiction includes the border city of Laredo, told the publication that the agency uses TraffiCatch to detect devices in areas where they shouldn’t be, for example, to find intruders.

Several states require law enforcement agencies to obtain court orders before deploying devices that mimic cell towers to obtain data from devices tricked into connecting to them. But in the case of TraffiCatch, a technology that passively extracts ambient wireless signals from the air, the courts have not yet intervened. The report highlights how signals intelligence technology, once exclusive to the military, is now available for purchase by both countries. local governments and the general public.

Washington Post reports that an officer from India’s intelligence service, the Research and Analysis Wing, was allegedly involved in a failed plot to assassinate one of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leading critics in the United States. The White House said on Monday it was taking the matter “very, very seriously,” while India’s foreign ministry sharply criticized the Mail report as “unwarranted” and “not useful.” The alleged plot to assassinate Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, was revealed for the first time by US authorities. in November.

Canadian authorities previously Announced having obtained “credible” information allegedly linking the Indian government to the death of another separatist leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was shot dead outside a Sikh temple in a Vancouver suburb last summer.

US lawmakers have introduced a bill aimed at establishing a new wing of the National Security Agency dedicated to investigating threats directed at AI (or “counter-AI”) systems. The bipartisan bill, introduced by Mark Warner and Thom Tillis, a Senate Democrat and Republican, respectively, would also require agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to track AI violations. systems, whether successful or not. (NIST currently maintains the National Vulnerabilities Database, a repository of vulnerability data, while CISA oversees the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures Program, which similarly identifies and catalogs malware and other publicly disclosed threats.)

The Senate bill, known as the Secure Artificial Intelligence Act, aims to expand the government’s threat monitoring to include “adversarial machine learning,” a term that is essentially synonymous with “counter-AI,” which serves to subvert AI systems and “poison”. your data using techniques very different from traditional modes of cyber warfare.

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