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Technology 25 February 2019

The Week in Internet News: IoT Botnets Come for Video Conferencing Systems

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Botnets attack: A handful of botnets using compromised Internet of Things devises are now targeting enterprise video conferencing systems, reports CSO Online. Three recently identified botnets are based on the Mirai botnet, which had its source code leaked back in 2016. The original Mirai is no longer active, but its source code has served as the base for at least 13 other botnets.

Pulling the plug: Internet shutdown are common, but ineffective, argues a journalist and researcher on The Conversation. Shutdowns “seem to animate dissent and encourage precisely the kind of responses considered subversive by many governments,” writes George Ogola. “Internet shutdowns don’t stop demonstrations. Nor do they hinder the production and circulation of rumours: they encourage them instead.”

The war on porn: Meanwhile, the government of Bangladesh has shutdown about 20,000 websites, including some popular social media sites, in the name of banishing pornography, the Guardian reports. Authorities believe some social media sites are contributing to the problem, apparently. 

Digital colonies? The BBN Times has a provocative opinion piece suggesting that the Internet, and Internet Governance, is aiding in a process of “digital colonization.” The U.S. is sending its language, culture, and tech products around the world through the Internet, the author says. The article calls for a more worldwide approach to the Internet, although it doesn’t suggest how to do so.

Amend encryption rules: Google, Amazon, and other huge tech companies are calling on Australia to change a new encryption law that gives law enforcement agencies in the country access to encrypted communications, Computerworld Australia reports. The tech companies are among 36 organizations calling for Australia to narrow the law’s focus.

You’ve been breached: California lawmakers want to amend the state’s data breach notification law, which requires breached companies to notify affected customers, to include passport information and biometric data, Engadget says. A hotel chain breach in 2018 that included passport numbers, has prompted the proposed change.

Encryption is under threat around the world. It’s up to all of us to take action to protect encryption, protect our data, and protect one another.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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