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InfoSec News Nuggets 04/27/2023

Metaverse Version of the Dark Web Could be Nearly Impenetrable

As the metaverse takes shape over the coming years, many of the security issues afflicting cyberspace will begin to spill over into virtual space as well. One of the biggest of these threats will be the emergence of a new “darkverse,” where criminals will be able to operate with greater impunity and more dangerously than they are able to do now on the Dark Web, two researchers from Trend Micro said at an RSA Conference 2023 session in San Francisco, April 26.


EU warns Twitter over disinformation after Musk policy shifts found to boost Kremlin propaganda

Twitter was only confirmed yesterday as one of 19 major tech platforms subject to centralized oversight by the European Union’s executive starting this fall, when so-called very large online platforms (VLOPs) are expected to be compliant with the Digital Services Act (DSA). But the Commission has not wasted any time warning the Elon Musk-owned social network that things aren’t looking good for staying on the right side of the incoming law.


New bill would add mandatory age verification to social networks

A group of US senators has revealed a bipartisan bill that would require social media platforms to verify users’ ages, stop anyone under 13 years of age from signing up, and set up special rules for minors over 13. It would also require the government to test out a voluntary nationwide verification system that would use official records and IDs to check people’s ages online. The bill, the “Protecting Kids on Social Media Act,” was introduced by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Katie Britt (R-AL) on Wednesday. It’s designed to protect younger users from things like social media addiction, but it would also require a sweeping reevaluation of how adults and children operate online.


Students’ psychological reports, abuse allegations leaked by ransomware hackers

Hackers who broke into the Minneapolis Public Schools earlier this year have circulated an enormous cache of files that appear to include highly sensitive documents on schoolchildren and teachers, including allegations of teacher abuse and students’ psychological reports. The files appeared online in March after the school district announced that it had been the victim of a ransomware cyberattack. NBC News was able to download the cache of documents and reviewed about 500 files. Some were printed on school letterheads. Many were listed in folder sets named after Minneapolis schools. 


Chinese hackers launch Linux variant of PingPull malware

Chinese state-sponsored threat actor Alloy Taurus has introduced a new variant of PingPull malware, designed to target Linux systems, Palo Alto Networks said in its research. Along with the new variant, another backdoor called Sword2033 was also identified by the researchers. Alloy Taurus, a Chinese APT, has been active since 2012. The group conducts cyberespionage campaigns across Asia, Europe, and Africa. The group is known to target telecommunication companies but in recent years has also been observed targeting financial and government institutions.


NC bill would allow police to track phones without warrant

Police could track people’s cell phones in real time — without a warrant — under a bill that passed a state House committee Wednesday. The bill is intended to help law enforcement more quickly to find kidnapping victims or runaway children. Critics fear further extending the government’s ability to secretly surveil people. “This just gives the SBI another tool in the toolbox,” said Republican Rep. Dudley Greene, the retired sheriff of McDowell County who is leading the push for the bill. “But it’s not just a tool. It’s an emergency tool, in very limited circumstances.”

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