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InfoSec News Nuggets 12/04/2023

EU Council president proposes ‘European cyber force’ with ‘offensive capabilities’

Charles Michel, the president of the European Council — the EU body that sets the bloc’s political direction — proposed on Thursday the creation of “a European cyber force … equipped with offensive capabilities.” “The sensitive issue of chain of command would need to be addressed,” he acknowledged at the annual conference for the European Defence Agency (EDA). The Council President’s spokesperson was unable to immediately provide any further details on the proposal. In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and citing the bloc’s efforts to respond to it by increasing its investment in defense, Michel said: “I feel that the time has come to create a real union of defence, coupled with a true defence single market.”


Federal judge vows to investigate Google for intentionally destroying chats

Judge James Donato is overseeing Epic v. Google, a case that could determine the future of the Android app store — but testimony in this case may have more repercussions for Google too. On Friday, Judge Donato vowed to investigate Google for intentionally and systematically suppressing evidence, calling the company’s conduct “a frontal assault on the fair administration of justice.” We were there in the courtroom for his explanation. “I am going to get to the bottom of who is responsible,” he said, adding he would pursue these issues “on my own, outside of this trial.”


23andMe says hackers accessed ‘significant number’ of files about users’ ancestry

Genetic testing company 23andMe announced on Friday that hackers accessed around 14,000 customer accounts in the company’s recent data breach. In a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission published Friday, the company said that, based on its investigation into the incident, it had determined that hackers had accessed 0.1% of its customer base. According to the company’s most recent annual earnings report, 23andMe has “more than 14 million customers worldwide,” which means 0.1% is around 14,000.


Victory! Montana’s Unprecedented TikTok Ban is Unconstitutional

A federal court on Thursday blocked Montana’s effort to ban TikTok from the state, ruling that the law violated users’ First Amendment rights to speak and to access information online, and the company’s First Amendment rights to select and curate users’ content. Montana passed a law in May that prohibited TikTok from operating anywhere within the state and imposed $10,000 penalties on TikTok or any mobile application store that allowed users to access TikTok. The law was scheduled to take effect in January. EFF opposed enactment of this law, along with ACLU, CDT, and others.


Staples Hit With Disruption After Cyber-Attack

Staples is still suffering disruption after being hit by a cyber-attack late last week, the retailer has revealed. The office supplies giant apologized to customers for any inconvenience, in an updated service message on its main website. “We continue to experience disruption of our communications and our customer service lines. All other aspects of our order processing and delivery operations are functioning normally,” it said. “We are working diligently to restore our customer service lines and look forward to talking to you soon.”


Malicious bots make up 73% of internet traffic, report says

In a concerning revelation by the fraud control platform Arkose Labs, about 73% of internet traffic to websites and apps that was analyzed between January and September 2023 has been attributed to bots engaging in malicious activities. This revelation sparks discussions about the significant drain on valuable resources caused by such nefarious actions.

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