March 30 2021
Welcome to Monday’s tech news roundup – the place where we keep you up to date with the latest technology updates, cybersecurity news, and more. Here’s what’s going on in the tech world today:
Google’s top security teams just shut down a 9-month hacking operation – and it’s causing serious controversy
Google’s Project Zero and Threat Analysis Group shut down an expert-level cyber-attack. Sounds pretty good, but where’s the controversy, you ask? The cyber-attack in question was actually a counter-terrorism operation that was being carried out by a US ally.
The hacking group were exploiting 11 powerful vulnerabilities in order to compromise devices that were running Windows, Android, or iOS. Google publicly exposed this operation – although they did omit key details such as who exactly was responsible for the hack, who was targeted, important technical info on the operation etc. This has caused a deep divide in opinion among Google’s employees who think that counter-terrorism hacking ops shouldn’t be disclosed to the public, while others strongly disagree – thinking that announcing these vulnerabilities protects users and overall makes the internet more secure. Where do you stand? Let us know.
A cyber-attack managed to take Australian broadcaster Channel Nine off-air
Have you ever hated Sunday morning TV so badly that you decide to hack into the broadcaster and turn it off altogether? Well, perhaps someone out there can relate to this feeling, as Australia’s Channel Nine network was taken off-air by hackers and was unable to air several shows.
The real motivation behind this attack was probably a lot more serious than there being nothing good on the TV. The Australian parliament was targeted recently and so there’s a possibility that the two attacks could be linked. Channel Nine TV are currently investigating to see whether the situation was the work of nation-state hackers, criminals looking to cause chaos and extort money, or just someone who hates watching Weekend Today. Read more here.
A ransomware attack on 50 London schools left almost 40,000 pupils unable to access their emails
The Harris Federation – an organisation that runs primary and secondary schools in and around London – has had to temporarily shut down email services after being targeted by hackers. During a time when teachers and pupils alike are under unprecedented strain already, some cyber-criminals decided to add to their problems by launching a ransomware attack which encrypted and/or hid data throughout the organisation’s systems.
The NCSC recently issues a warning that threat actors have been targeting more and more schools, with The Harris Federation being the 4th educational establishment of its kind to be targeted this month – that’s a lot of students missing out on their education. An investigation into what happened and how to fix it has already been launched by The Harris Federation, so let’s hope this issue will be resolved quickly and won’t impact pupils’ education too much. Read more here.
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