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InfoSec News Nuggets 06/20/2022

2,000 arrests in crackdown on social engineering and business email scams

The international police organization Interpol has arrested 2,000 people in a crackdown on social-engineering rackets and intercepted $50 million in illicit funds. Interpol announced it had conducted raids at 1,700 locations over two months, seizing $50 million in fraudulently gained proceeds and arresting 2,000 people, which it described as “operators, fraudsters and money launderers” as part of its crackdown on social engineering and business email compromise (BEC) rackets. BEC scams in 2021 resulted in losses of nearly $2.4 billion to US victims, according to the FBI. 


Discord gets autonomous moderation tool to fight spam and slurs

Today, Discord is announcing widespread availability of AutoMod, an autonomous moderation tool built directly into the platform to take the strain off human moderators. Alongside the official launch of AutoMod, Discord is also letting more servers offer paid memberships to their users and is adding new features to manage these premium subscriptions. AutoMod is designed to scan servers for select words and phrases and can then automatically dole out responses like blocking messages, alerting admins, and timing out offending users. The feature has been available to a “small group of servers” for a couple of months but is now available on any Community Server across Discord.


Facebook Is Receiving Sensitive Medical Information from Hospital Websites

A tracking tool installed on many hospitals’ websites has been collecting patients’ sensitive health information—including details about their medical conditions, prescriptions, and doctor’s appointments—and sending it to Facebook. The Markup tested the websites of Newsweek’s top 100 hospitals in America. On 33 of them we found the tracker, called the Meta Pixel, sending Facebook a packet of data whenever a person clicked a button to schedule a doctor’s appointment. The data is connected to an IP address—an identifier that’s like a computer’s mailing address and can generally be linked to a specific individual or household—creating an intimate receipt of the appointment request for Facebook.


New data laws to boost British business, protect consumers and seize the benefits of Brexit

Tougher fines for firms hounding people with nuisance calls and a clampdown on bureaucracy, red tape and pointless paperwork are part of reforms to transform the UK’s data laws for the digital age and seize the benefits of Brexit. Data fuels innovation in every area of the global economy. For consumers, data powers the everyday apps they use to get around, shop online and manage finances. It helps public and private sector organisations make better decisions so they can trade, manufacture and deliver public services more effectively. It was used efficiently and responsibly in the nation’s fight against COVID-19 to model and ultimately control the spread of the virus.


Researchers say Hermit, a powerful mobile spyware, is used by governments

Security researchers at Lookout have released new details about an Android spyware deployed in targeted attacks by national governments, with victims in Kazakhstan, Syria and Italy. The spyware, which Lookout is naming Hermit, was first detected in Kazakhstan in April, just months after the Kazakh government violently suppressed protests against government policies. Lookout said a Kazakh government entity was likely behind the most recent campaign. The spyware has also been deployed in the northeastern Kurdish region of Syria and by Italian authorities as part of an anti-corruption investigation.

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