Well, not much going on this week in security, was there? Oh, other than a recently fired FBI director giving testimony under oath that the president who dismissed him is a habitual liar and skirted the line of obstructing justice. Otherwise, though, pretty calm.
James Comey’s visit to the Senate Intelligence committee Thursday didn’t disappoint, although in fairness observers from the right and left sides of the political spectrum both got what they wanted out of it. We also took a minute to meet Christopher Wray, whom Trump nominated on Wednesday as Comey’s replacement. Wray has worked with both Comey and Robert Mueller, the former FBI director now acting as special counsel in the investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 presidential campaign. Small world!
An NSA contractor leaked secrets about those Russian hacking efforts to national security news site the Intercept earlier this week, only to be arrested that same afternoon. And speaking of Russian hacking (really, what else is there to talk about these days?) we dove into their ever-expanding election interference playbook.
Elsewhere, sex toy manufacturers really should take more care securing their devices. We looked at artist Ai Weiwei’s new surveillance-focused exhibit. And British Prime Minister Teresa May blamed the internet, in part, for a devastating terrorist attack in London, which is counterproductive at best.
And there’s more. Each Saturday we round up the news stories that we didn’t break or cover in depth but that still deserve your attention. As always, click on the headlines to read the full story in each link posted. And stay safe out there.
Al Jazeera Suffers Major Cyberattack
Al Jazeera reported Thursday that it was under a substantial cyberattack across all of its platforms, including social media. Citing “systematic and continual hacking attempts,” the company appears not to have been compromised and its various sites remained online. The attack comes in the wake of several Middle East countries cutting ties with Qatar earlier in the week, citing concerns that the latter supported terrorist groups in the region.
A Devious Twitter Attack Is Wreaking Havoc
A new Twitter attack called “DoubleSwitch” takes over a user’s account, then migrates it to different handles, making recovery extremely difficult. According to digital rights group Access Now, the attack has targeted activists, journalists, and politicians, particularly in Venezuela. The purpose appears to be to sow disinformation and mistrust, two things Twitter has plenty enough of without tossing this extra dose into the mix. It’s also replicable across Facebook and Instagram, so maybe go ahead and make sure you’ve got two-factor set up across the board just in case.
A Popular Webcam Manufacturer Is a Security Mess
Researchers this week detailed a series of security issues with Foscam webcams, including hard-coded passwords and insecure default credentials that make it relatively easy for hackers to gain access. The F-Secure team outlined 18 found Foscam vulnerabilities in a paper this week, and noted that the company also sells its wares under at least 14 other brands. You can see the full list in the report here.