Amazon Handed Ring Videos to Cops Without Warrants

The websites you visit can reveal (almost) everything about you. When you look up health information, read about unions, or research details about specific types of crime, you may be able to reveal a great deal of information about yourself that a malicious actor could use against you. Researchers this week described a new attack that takes advantage of the basic workings of the internet and can expose anonymous users online. The hack uses common web browser functions – found in every major browser – and CPU functions to analyze whether you are logged into services like Twitter or Facebook and then identify you.

Elsewhere, we have detailed how the Russian “hacktivist” group Killnet is attacking countries that have supported Ukraine but are not directly involved in the war. Killnet has launched DDoS attacks against official government websites and companies in Germany, the United States, Italy, Romania, Norway and Lithuania over the past few months. And it’s just one of the pro-Russian hacktivist groups wreaking havoc.

We also dealt with a new data protection scandal in India, where donors’ data and information to non-profit organizations were handed over to the police without their consent. We also looked at the new “Retbleed” attack that can steal data from Intel and AMD chips. And we took stock of the ongoing committee hearings on Jan. 6 — and predicted what’s to come.

But that’s not all. Each week we round up the news that we haven’t published or covered in depth. Click on the headlines to read the full stories. And stay safe out there!

For years, Amazon-owned security camera company Ring has built relationships with law enforcement agencies. By early 2021, Amazon had partnered with more than 2,000 police and fire departments across the US, building a vast surveillance network where officers could request video to help with investigations. In the UK, Ring has teamed up with police forces to distribute cameras to local residents.

This week, Amazon admitted to releasing police footage captured by Ring cameras without their owners’ permission. As first reported by Politico, Ring has released footage to law enforcement at least 11 times this year. This is the first time the law firm has admitted to having passed on data without consent or an arrest warrant. The move will raise further concerns about Ring’s cameras, which have been criticized by campaign groups and lawmakers for undermining people’s privacy and making surveillance technology ubiquitous. In response, Ring says it doesn’t give anyone “unrestricted” access to customer data or video, but can share data without permission in emergency situations where there is an imminent threat of death or serious injury to a person.

In 2017, the Vault 7 leaks exposed the CIA’s most secretive and powerful hacking tools. Files released by WikiLeaks showed how the agency was able to hack Macs, your router, your TV, and a whole host of other devices. Investigators soon pointed the finger at Joshua Schulte, a hacker in the CIA’s Operations Support Branch (OSB) who was responsible for finding exploits that could be used in the CIA’s missions. Schulte has now been found guilty of leaking the Vault 7 files to Wikileaks and could face decades in prison. Following a previous trial in 2018, Schulte was found guilty this week on all nine charges against him. weeks before his second trial, The New Yorker has released this comprehensive feature examining Schulte’s dark history and the workings of the CIA’s OSB.

Hackers linked to China, Iran and North Korea are targeting journalists and media outlets, according to new investigations by security firm Proofpoint. In addition to efforts to compromise the official accounts of members of the press, several Iranian hacker groups have posed as journalists and attempted to trick people into giving up their online account details, according to Proofpoint. The Iran-affiliated group Charming Kitten has sent detailed interview requests to their potential hacking targets, and they have also attempted to impersonate several Western news outlets. “This social engineering tactic successfully exploits the human desire for recognition and is being used by APT actors who want to target academics and foreign policy experts worldwide, likely to gain access to sensitive information,” says Proofpoint.

In any business or organization, items go missing from time to time. Usually these are misplaced phones, security badges and files that are occasionally accidentally left at bus stops. Losing any of these things can lead to security risks if devices are insecure or sensitive information is leaked. Less commonly, desktop computers are lost—unless you’re the FBI. According to VICE FBI records motherboardthe agency lost 200 desktop computers between July and December 2021. Also lost, or in some cases stolen, were parts of body armor and night vision goggles.

Scams don’t get much more sophisticated. This week police in India blew up a fake Indian Premier League cricket tournament. A group of suspected scammers set up the fake league in the western Indian state of Gujarat, hiring young men to play cricket matches posing as professional teams while broadcasting the matches live so people could bet on them. According to police, the group hired a fake commentator, created on-screen graphics with real-time scores, and played viewer sounds downloaded from the internet. To hide the fact that the games were taking place on a farm rather than a large stadium, the video feed only showed close-ups of the action. Police said they caught the gang as a quarterfinal game was being played. Police believe the gang may have operated multiple leagues and planned to expand into a volleyball league as well. The game material is worth seeing. Amazon Handed Ring Videos to Cops Without Warrants

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