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InfoSec News Nuggets 12/11/2023

Google admits AI viral video was edited to look better 

A video showcasing the capabilities of Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) model which seemed too good to be true might just be that. The Gemini demo, which has 1.6m views on YouTube, shows a remarkable back-and-forth where an AI responds in real time to spoken-word prompts and video. In the video’s description, Google said all was not as it seemed – it had sped up responses for the sake of the demo. But it has also admitted the AI was not responding to voice or video at all. 


US, UK Announce Charges and Sanctions Against Two Russian Hackers 

The United States and United Kingdom on Thursday announced charges and sanctions against two individuals allegedly involved in hacking and other cyber operations on behalf of Russia’s FSB security service. Microsoft and Five Eyes security agencies on Thursday published reports detailing the attacks of a Russian state-sponsored APT tracked as Star Blizzard, Callisto Group, BlueCharlie, TA446, ColdRiver, and Dancing Salome. The threat actor, linked to an FSB unit called Centre 18, has targeted academia, defense firms, governments, NGOs and think-tanks in the US, the UK and other NATO countries.  


Google shares “fix” for deleted Google Drive files 

Google says it identified and fixed a bug causing customer files added to Google Drive after April-May 2023 to disappear. However, the fix isn’t working for all affected users. The Google Drive team linked the users’ data loss problems to a synchronization issue and said it only affected “a limited subset” using the desktop Drive app versions v84.0.0.0 – “We have identified the issue impacting a small subset of Drive for desktop users on version 84, which only affected local file changes that had yet to be synced to Drive,” Google said on November 29, two days after confirming the bug. 


Competing Section 702 surveillance bills on collision path for US House floor 

Two competing bills to reauthorize America’s FISA Section 702 spying powers advanced in the House of Representatives committees this week, setting up Congress for a battle over warrantless surveillance before the law lapses in the New Year. At stake is the ability of US law enforcement to surveil the communications of American citizens and resident aliens without a warrant. Naturally, law enforcement is unwilling to give up these powers. 


Apple responds to the Beeper iMessage saga: ‘We took steps to protect our users’ 

A few days after the team at Beeper proudly announced a way for users to send blue-bubble iMessages directly from their Android devices without any weird relay servers, and about 24 hours after it became clear Apple had taken steps to shut that down, Apple has shared its take on the issue. The company’s stance here is fairly predictable: it says it’s simply trying to do right by users, and protect the privacy and security of their iMessages. “We took steps to protect our users by blocking techniques that exploit fake credentials in order to gain access to iMessage,” Apple senior PR manager Nadine Haija said in a statement. 


This AI can pick up passwords from the sound of your keystrokes 

British researchers have developed an AI capable of identifying keystrokes through their acoustic signatures. Using a smartphone as a microphone positioned near a laptop, they trained the AI by correlating the unique sound of each keystroke with its corresponding letter. When a password was typed into the laptop, the AI successfully deciphered the word from the keystroke sounds with a remarkable 95 percent accuracy. 


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