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InfoSec News Nuggets 06/24/2021

Toyota trains its robots to wipe down tables while taking selfies

Apparently, transparent and reflective surfaces are confusing for robots, and that’s a problem companies designing machines for household chores need to overcome. Toyota has developed a solution for the issue and has released a video demonstrating its robot wiping down tables and other surfaces — all while taking the video itself. As the company explains, “most robots are programmed to react to the objects and geometry in front of them” and can’t differentiate between an actual object and its reflection. Something as common as a drinking glass or a shiny toaster could prevent robots made to work in homes from doing their tasks properly. Toyota says it overcame that problem by developing a novel training method that allows robots to “perceive the 3D geometry of the scene while also detecting objects and surfaces.”

 

Ransomware Gang Cl0p Announces New Victim After Police Bust

Last week, police in Ukraine announced that they arrested several members of the infamous ransomware gang known as Cl0p. The arrests were seen as a victory against a hacking gang that has hit dozens of victims in the last few months, including U.S. bank Flagstar, law firm Jonesday, Shell, and some Universities in the US. But less than a week later, hackers associated with the gang posted data they claim was stolen from a new victim on their dark web site. This new leak, designed to pressure the company to pay the money the hackers are asking for, shows that the arrests in Ukraine have not slowed down the hackers. It is unclear when the new company was hacked and whether this was data that had been hacked before the arrests but hadn’t been posted until now, or whether it was a new hack altogether. Either way, it indicates that the group is still active in some way.

 

Russian security chief says Moscow will work with U.S. to find hackers

Russia will work with the United States to track down cyber criminals, the head of the FSB security service said on Wednesday, a week after U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to increase cooperation in certain areas. “We will work together (on locating hackers) and hope for reciprocity,” the RIA news agency quoted FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov as saying at a security conference in Moscow. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told an investor conference that Russia had been “able to establish a very thorough and down-to-earth exchange with the U.S. side” on cyber security. Another senior ministry official said Moscow was awaiting an answer from Washington on starting consultations, TASS news agency reported.

 

Pandemic-Bored Attackers Pummeled Gaming Industry

Attacks on the gaming industry skyrocketed during the year of the pandemic, with attacks on web applications shooting up 340 percent in 2020. According to Akamai Technologies’ latest State of the Internet and Security report, Gaming in a Pandemic (PDF), cyberattack traffic targeting the video game industry took the cake during 2020, growing at a furious rate that outpaced all other industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. The gaming industry suffered more than 240 million web app attacks in 2020. To be precise, Akamai tracked 246,064,297 web app attacks on the gaming industry globally, representing about 4 percent of the 6.3 billion attacks the company tracked over 2020. Looking back further in time, the increase is even spikier. Since 2018, Akamai has witnessed a 415 percent increase in web app attacks on the gaming industry.

 

Cyber-Attacks Are Primary Funding Source for North Korea

Cybercrime is now the primary means by which the North Korean state is funded, according to researchers at Venafi. The security vendor’s threat intelligence specialist, Yana Blachman, and her team analyzed publicly available information on state-sponsored attacks directed by the hermit kingdom over the past four years. They concluded that the Asian dictatorship now monetizes cyber-attacks to circumvent economic sanctions and keep the Kim Jong-un regime alive. However, global democracies must take more assertive action to mitigate the cyber-threat from North Korea or risk the funding model being exported to Myanmar, Belarus and other countries shunned by the international community, Blachman warned. “North Korean attacks are often much more brazen and reckless than those sponsored by other states, because they are not afraid of getting caught — this makes them particularly dangerous. It gives the cyber-criminals it sponsors free reign to engage in highly destructive, global attacks, such as the 2017 WannaCry attacks, affecting more than 200,000 users across at least 150 countries,” she argued.

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