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InfoSec News Nuggets 09/23/2020

FBI hopes a more aggressive cyber strategy will disrupt foreign hackers

Last week saw a flurry of U.S. indictments of alleged Chinese and Iranian hackers as part of a multi-agency crackdown on foreign intelligence services. The Department of Treasury issued sanctions, the Department of Homeland Security advised companies on how to fend off hackers and U.S. intelligence agencies likely kept a close eye on possible reactions from Beijing and Tehran. At the center of the coordinated crackdowns, though, were the FBI agents who tracked the computer infrastructure used by the suspects. The series of events was one of the first examples of the FBI’s new cybersecurity strategy in action. The goal of the effort, which officials revealed this month, is simple: impose harsher consequences on America’s digital adversaries by working more closely with intelligence agencies and data-rich private companies.


Justice Dept.: 179 arrested in darknet opioid takedown

Law enforcement officials arrested 179 people and seized more than $6.5 million in a worldwide crackdown on opioid trafficking on the darknet, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday. The operation, which mainly occurred in the U.S. and in Europe, comes more than a year after officials took down the “Wall Street Market,” which was believed to be one of the largest illegal online marketplaces on the darknet. The darknet is a part of the internet hosted within an encrypted network and accessible only through specialized anonymity-providing tools, most notably the Tor Browser. As part of the initiative, law enforcement officials seized over $6.5 million in cash and virtual currency, in addition to 500 kilograms of drugs, the Justice Department said. About 275 kilograms of drugs, including fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and other opioids, had been seized in the U.S.


Entire village lost broadband at same time every day for 18 months and now we know why

For 18 months, residents of a village in Wales have been mystified as to why their broadband internet crashed every morning. Now engineers have finally identified the reason: A second-hand television that emitted a signal that interfered with the connection. A crack team of engineers-turned-detectives have become heroes in the village of Aberhosan after finally finding the source of the problem, according to a press release from Openreach, the company that runs the UK’s digital network, published Tuesday. Staff had visited the village repeatedly and found no fault with the network. They even replaced cables in the area to try and solve the problem, but to no avail. Then local engineer Michael Jones called in assistance from experts at the Openreach chief engineer team.


Google Chrome wants to be more like Antivirus software with its new malware scanning feature

Google continues to enhance the safety of its Chrome browser. Just recently, the world’s most popular web browser added a new safety mechanism that allows users to scan downloads, courtesy of Google’s Advanced Protection Program. As a result, downloading files using Google Chrome just got safer than ever. Google’s Advanced Protection Program promises to safeguard users against data breach that compromises sensitive information. In a nutshell, Google’s Advanced Protection Program prevents users from falling pretty to targeted online attacks. Google’s online security program continues to witness automatic additions in the form of new protection mechanisms. Google already protects Advanced Protection users against phishing attacks. Now, Google Chrome has expanded its download scanning options for Advanced Protection users.


Google is tightening rules on internal message boards as ‘new world creates urgency’

Google is expanding its internal content moderation practices, requiring employees to more actively moderate resources they control and to go through training, according to documents viewed by CNBC. The company believes there is an “urgency” to focus conversations as employees work from home and political and social tensions arise, stated an internal community management team. The new system comes as the company tries to strike a balance between pleasing its employees and cracking down on heated conversations. “Google has the world’s best work culture and we are dedicated to getting this right,” one email from the group states. “We hope this strikes the right balance between keeping Google the open culture you expect while also putting in safeguards that keep our communities welcoming to all kinds of Googlers.”


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