Microsoft says that an Emotet infection was able to take down an organization’s entire network by maxing out CPUs on Windows devices and bringing its Internet connection down to a crawl after one employee was tricked to open a phishing email attachment. “After a phishing email delivered Emotet, a polymorphic virus that propagates via network shares and legacy protocols, the virus shut down the organization’s core services,” DART said. “The virus avoided detection by antivirus solutions through regular updates from an attacker-controlled command-and-control (C2) infrastructure, and spread through the company’s systems, causing network outages and shutting down essential services for nearly a week.”
IBM wants to help researchers better understand and treat COVID-19. To do so, it’s putting its AI to work. It has released a series of new tools to aggregate data, help researchers explore potential therapies, advance the study of newly sequenced SARS-CoV-2 genomes and make the latest info available to healthcare professionals. Its AI deep search tool is ingesting data from the White House, a coalition of research groups and licensed databases from the DrugBank, Clinicaltrials.gov and GenBank. Qualified researchers can pose queries, and using machine learning, the system will quickly extract relevant information from the 13,335 documents that the tool currently includes. IBM says it’s capable of adding as many as 100,000 PDFs per day.
With the rise in popularity of video conferencing for business meetings, remote education and virtual social gatherings, miscreants have started a series of new attacks targeting video conferencing technologies and their users. Here are a few that we’ve observed to date, and how organizations can take steps to address them.
Tech companies worldwide are trying to help health agencies and governments fight the coronavirus pandemic. Today, Apple said it has designed a special face shield for medical professionals. The company’s CEO, Tim Cook, posted a video on Twitter saying that the tech giant will ship a million face shields by the end of the week; after that, an additional one million units each week. These masks pack flat, with one box containing a hundred pieces. Cook said Apple is making these shields in the US and China, with each unit taking less than two minutes to assemble.
Federal prosecutors are now warning pranksters and hackers of the potential legal implications of “Zoombombing,” wherein someone successfully invades a public or sometimes even private meeting over the videoconferencing platform to broadcast shock videos, pornography, or other disruptive content. The warning was posted as a press released to the Department of Justice’s website under the US Attorney’s office for the state’s Eastern district with support from the state attorney general and the FBI. More and more of the world is increasingly self-quarantining due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and core pillars of society like public education and policy are moving from in-person meetings to remote conference calls on platforms like Zoom. In turn, that’s led to an uptick in conference call hacking and pranks.
Social media platforms asked to take much swifter action against fake 5G coronavirus conspiracy theory
The UK government has called on social media platforms to be more aggressive in their response to “crackpot” conspiracy theories linking 5G networks to the coronavirus pandemic. The spread of such fake theories on multiple social networks, specifically Facebook and WhatsApp, last week led to destruction of mobile phone masts in Birmingham, Belfast and Merseyside, as well as harassment of network engineers. “Those responsible for criminal acts will face the full force of the law,” a spokesperson for the UK’s department for digital, culture, media and sport told the BBC. “We must also see social media companies acting responsibly and taking much swifter action to stop nonsense spreading on their platforms which encourages such acts.”