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Technology 11 May 2020

The Week in Internet News: Hackers Revamp Malware With COVID-19 Messages

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Taking advantage: Cyberattackers are reconfiguring the Remcos trojan, which allows them full access to victims’ computers, to include COVID-19 warnings in spam and phishing emails, Security Boulevard reports. “With the economy directly affected by the pandemic, people pay more attention to emails pretending to offer solutions, loans and other types of financial support. Another effective approach is to scare people with threats of account closures or company furloughs.”

The impact of a shutdown: An ongoing phone and Internet service shutdown in the Kashmir region is hurting the ability to distribute information and supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, Greater Kashmir says. “People in need of essentials used to reach out to us on our helplines which have turned defunct,” said the chairman of an aid agency. “We used to make phone calls to our existing 750 beneficiaries for conveying them about timings to pick up their quota of essentials. But suspension of mobile networks has disturbed this entire process.”

Cooperative Internet service: The Christian Science Monitor has a story about small rural cooperatives building their own Internet services. Cooperatives, which are private businesses owned by customers, are common in parts of the U.S. Midwest, some providing electricity and telephone services, others helping farmers and ranchers sell their products. “Co-ops are an answer when traditional market forces don’t seem to work,” the story says.

Eyes on the content: Facebook has named a content moderation oversight board that will issue rulings on “what kind of posts will be allowed and what should be taken down,” NBC News reports. The 20-member board includes nine law professors, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate from Yemen, journalists, free speech advocates, and a writer from the libertarian Cato Institute.

More video encryption: Video-conferencing provider Zoom, criticized in recent months for its security practices, has acquired encryption startup Keybase, TechCrunch says. Keybase has been building encryption products for several years, including secure file sharing and collaboration tools.

How do we ensure confidentiality when working remotely? Encryption.

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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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