Digital Literacy

Down with Doxing: What to do to stop it

Your data matters - simple tips to keep it sage from a new wave of cybercriminial

Down with Doxing: What to do to stop it

Your data matters - simple tips to keep it sage from a new wave of cybercriminial

Down with Doxing: What to do to stop it

Your data matters - simple tips to keep it sage from a new wave of cybercriminial

Doxing. Have you heard of it? If not, here's why you might want to get up to date and some simple tips to keep protected. Essential personal data protection reading.

Open access to data - friend or foe?

The accessibility of information today is one of our most empowering freedoms. But it can also fuel malicious personal attacks, known as doxing or doxxing. We're about to take you through what doxing is, how criminals do it and how to prevent it.

What is doxing?

Doxing is maliciously revealing personal information online, for example, posting an anonymous blogger's real name or address. Doxers aim to punish, intimidate or humiliate their target by finding out sensitive information and using it against them, like selling your credit card details or threatening to burgle your home.

The never-ending black hole of personal information that is the internet means anyone with the time, motivation and interest can weaponize your personal data. And doxing is a growing problem.

How does doxing work?

These are the most common ways doxers grab data to expose someone.

Tracking usernames

When someone uses one username across multiple platforms, doxers can follow the trail.

Phishing

Phishing scams are fake emails luring victims to click through to a malicious site where attackers may steal sensitive information.

Stalking social media

Geotagging your photos? Sharing your work location? Doxers can use this to build up a picture of your life and even to deduce the answers to your account security questions.

Is doxing that bad?

Yes. Doxing can have catastrophic consequences.

In 2015, hackers forced entry to dating site for people in committed relationships, Ashley Madison, stealing 32 million users' data. They demanded payment to return the records but didn't get it, so published all the data online, causing professional and personal harm, and probably a divorce or two. And then in 2020 Ashley Madison's attackers came back for more.

Doxing knows no bounds. There are no clear good or bad sides. After an anonymous UK-based security researcher saved the world from a powerful cyberattack, the media outed his real identity and address, leaving him open to a revenge attack from the cybercrime group he went out to stop. Marcus Hutchins' story is one of a kind.

Protect yourself from doxers with this checklist

Recent research shows more of our data is being sold to organizations and criminals. Cybercriminals could use almost all of it for doxing or cyberbullying.

Credit cards and banking log-ins are the most in-demand. They're used for extortion, phishing schemes and straight-up money theft. Meanwhile, doxxers use personal account access to cause reputational harm. How do you stop it happening to you? This anti-doxing checklist has everything you need to stay safe.

Keen to learn more about doxing and how to prevent it?

Kaspersky, in collaboration with endtab.org, has just released a free doxing training course. You'll learn about the dangers of dox attacks, how to protect against them and what to do if you're a victim.

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NFTs explained: Why pay $170,000 for digital art?

Intro to cryptoart and non-fungible tokens (NFTS)

NFTs explained: Why pay $170,000 for digital art?

Intro to cryptoart and non-fungible tokens (NFTS)

NFTs explained: Why pay $170,000 for digital art?

Intro to cryptoart and non-fungible tokens (NFTS)

A non-fungible token (NFT) of digital kitten art sold for 170,000 US dollars. These tokens could change how we buy, sell and own digital media. What are they, and could they build a new creative economy? To start, check out the video above from CNBC!

Is this the art of true ownership in the digital age?

Most of us can make a GIF, take a picture or record a clip, but what if you could sell those and other digital media for hundreds of thousands of dollars? With the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), pictures, short clips of comedians, GIFs and every other form of digital art is now being tokenized and sold just like a physical painting.

What is an NFT?

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a digital certificate of ownership of a piece of digital information that can be bought and sold. It works the same way as cryptocurrency: Secure transactions made between two parties recorded permanently through blockchain. The difference is, with bitcoin – a popular cryptocurrency using blockchain – you can trade one coin for the other and it has the same value, but NFTs are one-of-a-kind. Each NFT is unique and can have a different value.

You can make NFTs of almost anything digital, but the big news is they're starting to be used to buy and sell digital art, known as cryptoart.

Why NFTs can benefit digital artists and art buyers

Uniqueness has always been central to the art market. Digital art is hard to sell, and for buyers, hard to 'own' because of the potential for an infinite number of copies. NFTs could solve that problem.

For creators, NFTs are super trendy and therefore add to your enigmatic status, and they have a handy sell-on feature. If you sell a GIF using NFTs, you get a percentage every time the NFT is sold to a new buyer. Imagine Van Gogh selling a painting, then getting a slice of every resale, forever.

And if you're a buyer, you have a concrete claim of owning a piece of digital art. And speaking of buying, you might want to see this.

A world gone mad for NFTs

The best way to understand the NFT market explosion is to see some pieces that have fetched crazy sums. Brace yourself.

This Nyan Cat GIF sold for almost $600,000 US dollars.

Article in the NY Times

Grimes - The NFT goldrush continues

This 50-second video by Grimes sold for almost $390,000.

Watch the video here.

Beeple - Authenticated by blockchain

This video by Beeple sold for $6.6 million.

Watch the video here.

Crypto financial and environmental impacts

Many financial experts have warned that this could be an investment bubble that, if it bursts, could mean big losses.

And while NFTs are making the digital art world fairer, they come with a warning. The sale of a crypto art piece can use the same amount of energy in one transaction as an art studio uses in two years.

How  artists can benefit

If you're an aspiring or established artist or content creator, no promises, but this could be big for you. First, prepare your work ready, whether it's a GIF, picture or video. Then, when you're happy with it, start on NIfty Gateway. On Nifty Gateway, you can apply to create a project for them to sell.

Will you get into the world of cryptoart? Share your favorite pieces with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Unravelling the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic cyberattack mystery

Unravelling the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic cyberattack mystery

Is the Olympics hacker heaven? Tech highs and lows

Our video picks: Olympic Games – tech success or failure?

As the Olympic torch begins its journey to Tokyo 2021's opening ceremony, we ask, is the Olympic Games a chance for technology to shine or a data breach waiting to happen?

Tech successes and failures at the Olympic Games

In ancient Greece, the Olympics began some 3,000 years ago as a sporting event to honour the god Zeus. As the iconic torch sets off on its journey to the Tokyo 2021 opening ceremony, we ask if the Olympic Games is where new technological standards are set, or a breeding ground for emerging cyber threats.

Tech successes and failures from Olympic history range from robotics to autonomous vehicles, to merciless malware that tried to start a cyberwar.

Highlight: Did this drone display steal the show?

Good Morning America shows us how new drones from Intel will change medal ceremonies forever.

Highlight: Tokyo’s high-tech plan for 2020 Olympics

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games just around the corner, here's a snapshot of the incredible technology the organizers will use to make the event smoother and more enjoyable for everyone.

Lowlight: One of the most deceptive hacks in cyber history?

If successful, the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics' cyberattack would have left a geopolitical disaster in its wake. hacker: Hunter Olympic Destroyer is a three-part series exploring the mysterious motives behind the attackers, why it's one of the most deceptive cyberattacks in history and the 'extraordinarily brilliant' response that stopped it in its tracks. Watch the full 2018 Olympic cyberattack series.

The Olympic Games is one of the biggest stages on Earth to champion technology in all forms. But with more than sports at stake if things go wrong – think, mountains of personal data and even competitors' health – how can businesses and organizations make sure this event and its tech is safe for all to enjoy?

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What kids searched for online during lockdown

How to talk tech and keep your kids safe online

What kids searched for online during lockdown

How to talk tech and keep your kids safe online

What kids searched for online during lockdown

How to talk tech and keep your kids safe online

Children around the world, like all of us, had an unusual time in 2020. Instead of adventuring in the great outdoors, they were making do with what they had – exploring the far reaches of the internet. But what exactly were they doing and how can parents protect them?

Where did kids spend most of their time during lockdown?

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

A new study from Kaspersky Safe Kids shows that during the winter of this pandemic, despite restrictions, kids entertained themselves online, with YouTube (21 percent) and gaming (15 percent) being the most popular activities. The top topic on YouTube? Video games. Kids went mad for them. 37 percent searched for video game clips, including channels of game streamers who play different games and channels for specific games like Minecraft.

Another new trend was TikTok, which has exploded to 800 million monthly active users in more than 150 countries.

It's official – more of our kids' lives are being lived online. Agreed, the web and its many applications are great for keeping children entertained, but how do you protect them from threats?

"Get home before the dark." "Look left and right before crossing the street." "Don't talk to strangers." Classic parental lines from the pre-internet era. But it's easy to forget that what's inside the home may be just as dangerous as outside it in today's connected world.

The internet and mobiles bring us entertainment, education, and excitement - but also cyberthreats, like strangers wanting to befriend your child online. The study shows although 84 percent of parents are worried about their children's online safety, on average, they only spend a total of 46 minutes talking to them about online security throughout their entire childhood. So how can you keep your children safe online? #TimeToTalkOffline

Educate yourself

Getty Images

Before you can talk confidently about web safety with your kids, you first need to know more than how to throw a sheep on Facebook or avoid using 'reply all' on an office email joke thread. Educate yourself now about topics like fake news, cyberbullying or online grooming. Teach yourself how to keep your data safe online and then show your children how to do it. Let them know that what goes on the web stays on the web, even if it gets deleted from their profiles. And the most important part: make them talk to you the moment they sense something could be wrong - whether someone has taken their videos, or a stranger is asking them to share private photos.

Learn more about your children’s interests

Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Without being pushy or overbearing, try talking to your child about what they search for and what they enjoy. That way, you can keep a closer eye on those particular sites. Need a hand? Kaspersky Safe Kids can provide you with regular reports about how they spend their time online. The app analyzes your children's search activity and manages screen time without encroaching on their personal space.

Act as a role model

Getty Images

No matter what we tell our kids, we have to lead by example: if you're a smoker, no matter how often you tell your children that smoking is bad for them, they are twice as likely to begin smoking. We can all talk a lot; in the end, our kids will copy our behavior and not just what we preach. Be careful of how you use the Internet, don't take your mobile with you when going to the toilet, and if your kids allow you to befriend them on social media (lucky you,) don't judge them when they post jokes or complain about their homework – because they are well aware of how to keep you from seeing their posts, without you knowing – but teach them well and make them understand the consequences.

Trust goes both ways

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You can't expect your kids to trust you if you check their browser history every time they use the computer (and they probably know how to delete it anyway ;) Otherwise they'll start getting sneaky and hide things from you. If your child thinks they're doing something wrong and might get in trouble if you find out, then when they are in real trouble, let's say a stranger online tells them to "brush your hair and take your picture," then they may not talk to you.

Read more about how kids coped with COVID-hit winter holidays on SecureList.

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Meeting the organization fighting to kill fake news

Meeting the organization fighting to kill fake news

Meeting the organization fighting to kill fake news

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Human or animation - which is which?

This Unreal Engine tool lets you animate realistic digital humans

Human or animation - which is which?

This Unreal Engine tool lets you animate realistic digital humans

Human or animation - which is which?

This Unreal Engine tool lets you animate realistic digital humans

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What data secrets can 185 hard drives tell you?

A live Q&A with Félix Aimé and Marco Preuss

What data secrets can 185 hard drives tell you?

A live Q&A with Félix Aimé and Marco Preuss

What data secrets can 185 hard drives tell you?

A live Q&A with Félix Aimé and Marco Preuss

Join presenter Rainer Bock to explore the great privacy challenges we face today, and what we can do to protect ourselves.

Join the privacy debate

Online privacy is more important than ever right now. Given the digital world's meteoric expansion, the ever-evolving threat landscape and murky data privacy court cases, this is the perfect time to brush up on what we're up against and how to stay safe.

Rainer Bock meets cybersecurity experts from Kaspersky's Global Research and Analysis Team, Marco Preuss and Félix Aimé. They discuss the critical stalkerware threat, programs that fight unwanted data sharing, and a bold privacy experiment involving 185 used hard drives, USB sticks and notepads.

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Want a career in cyber? Meet the women owning it

These are cybersecurity's trailblazing women to follow

Want a career in cyber? Meet the women owning it

These are cybersecurity's trailblazing women to follow

Want a career in cyber? Meet the women owning it

These are cybersecurity's trailblazing women to follow

This International Women's Day, we celebrate the makers, creators and doers working to close tech's gender gap. Sure, the industry has a long way to go, but these women's success shows we're making progress. Essential reading if you're looking at a career in the industry.

International Women’s Day – your inspiration for a career in cybersecurity

Are you thinking about a career in cybersecurity but put off by the lack of women in the industry? There's good news: the tides are changing. What was a male-dominated industry is transforming – slowly but surely. We're celebrating the women who've made it.

The numbers behind tech’s shrinking gender gap

Diversity benefits our teams, yet encouraging more women to join is a constant challenge in the tech industry. Now is the time for change. Kaspersky's Women in Tech report found 57 percent agree there are now more women in IT and tech roles than two years ago. Plus, one in two believe that remote working has improved gender equality. This might seem like slow progress, but it's a positive sign for championing women in cybersecurity. And these trailblazers are leading the way.

Theresa Payton: The first female to serve as White House Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Follow Theresa: @TrackerPayton


How many people can say that? Formerly of the White House, Theresa is CEO of Fortalice – a cybersecurity firm specializing in protecting small-to-medium-sized businesses and a team member on the CBS reality TV show Hunted. Here's her view on what it's like being a woman working in cybersecurity.

Katie Moussouris: The pink-haired, white-hat hacker

Follow Katie: @k8em0

Katie's been programming computers since she was eight. Since then, she's helped Microsoft develop its Bug Bounty program, developed Hack the Pentagon for the US Department of Defence and founded a cybersecurity agency, Luta Security. So what's the secret behind her success?

Eva Galperin: The Outrage Fairy defending digital privacy

Follow Eva: @evacide

Eva set up the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a collection of technologists and activists to defend free speech online and fight illegal surveillance. Now she's a leading voice in the fight against stalkerware. Meet Eva in Tomorrow Unlocked series Defenders of Digital.

Dr. Magda Chelley: The award-winning cyber entrepreneur

Follow Magda: @m49D4ch3lly

Magda is a top international cybersecurity influencer. Global leader of the year at the Women in IT Awards 2017, Founder of Woman in Cyber group, and works with numerous non-profit focus groups. If that wasn't enough, she leads her own company, Responsible Cyber. But what makes her tick?

Shira Rubinoff: Not-your-average cybersecurity influencer

Follow Shira: @Shirastweet

Cybersecurity expert, influencer and font of cyber knowledge – Shira Rubinoff is President of SecureMySocial. Here she breaks down the importance of cybersecurity training.

Tyler Cohen Wood: 20 years’ fighting cyberthreats for the US government

Follow Tyler: @TylerCohenWood

Tyler is a globally-recognized cyber-authority. She's spent time developing cybersecurity initiatives for the White House, Department of Defence and the Defense Intelligence Agency (as their Cyber Deputy Chief.) Here she talks about the cyber-apocalypse.

Jane Frankland: Cyber entrepreneur and best-selling author

Follow Jane: @JaneFrankland

Security entrepreneur and author of In Security: Why a Failure to Attract and Retain Women in Cybersecurity is Making Us All Less Safe – Jane Frankland is empowering more women to become cybersecurity leaders in company boardrooms worldwide. Here she talks about Industry 4.0.

Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE: Training girls for jobs in cyber

Follow Anne-Marie: @aimafidon


Tech speaker and author, Anne-Marie, CEO of training organization Stemettes, is leading the wave by encouraging girls and young women to pursue cyber careers. Read an interview with Anne-Marie in Secure Futures by Kaspersky magazine.

This is just a tiny snapshot of the incredible women helping to close tech's gender gap globally. Here are a few more women to get on your radar.

Lesley Carhart: Principal Threat Analyst at Dragos, with two decades of threat hunting experience. She was named "Top Woman in Cybersecurity" in 2017.

Follow Lesley: @hacks4pancakes

Noushin Shabab: Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky who's helping to connect, support and inspire women in security across Australia through the Australian Women in Security Network.

Follow Noushin: @NoushinShbb

Parisa Tabriz: The self-styled "Security Princess" running Google's security testing labs.

Follow Parisa: @laparisa

And not forgetting…

Rebecca Base: 'A maverick and a catalyst for women in cybersecurity,' widely respected as a security technology pioneer, known for her valued role as a mentor to young people and young companies in cyber. Rebecca is no longer with us, but her legacy remains.

Looking for more inspiration on how women are overcoming gender biases in tech and cybersecurity? Explore Kaspersky's Empower Women project.

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AI tech lets disabled gamers smash access barriers

AI tech lets disabled gamers smash access barriers

AI tech lets disabled gamers smash access barriers

By 2023, there could be over three billion gamers worldwide. But for some people with disabilities, taking part in this wildly popular passion can be frustrating to impossible. Now, one piece of tech is out to make slaying dragons and building civilizations accessible to all. Will it change the future of gaming?

The AI-powered voice of a generation’s gamers

Since the world's first video game 'Pong' appeared in 1958, gaming has evolved in ways never imagined. But game accessibility is still a problem for as many as 30 million people in the US, because they have an impairment that means they come up against accessibility barriers when gaming.

Fridai is changing all that. The voice-activated, AI-powered assistant gives advice on anything gamers with disabilities may need, from hands-free options to being reminded of the game's objective. In Defenders of Digital series two, episode four, Mark Engelhardt, Fridai's Co-founder and CEO, talks about how the technology uses AI to create a new interface between humans and machines.

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Empowering African women against cyber-harassment

Empowering African women against cyber-harassment

Empowering African women against cyber-harassment

Online abuse and cyber-harassment mean a disproportionate number of women remove themselves from crucial discussions. One not-for-profit is making a change for women in East Africa.

Can women protect themselves from online harassment?

In the digital age, not only do we send videos to friends and sing online karaoke with those we've never met, many are using social media to fight for equality. But online harassment, image-based sexual abuse (also called 'revenge porn') and cyberattacks can stop women especially from being part of the conversation that leads to real change. These cowardly acts also leave victims feeling embarrassed, ashamed and alone.

Safe Sisters is a fellowship program empowering girls and women, especially human rights activists, journalists and those in the media, to fight online abuse. In Defenders of Digital season two episode five, Safe Sisters' Immaculate Nabwire explains a landmark Ugandan image-based sexual abuse case that inspires her, the digital threats women in East Africa face and how her team are fighting for change.

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4 Tips for Creating Your Digital Comfort Zone!

A Digital Home Sweet Home

How many people you know started self or home improvement projects when the quarantine started? We were all stuck at home and trying to find something productive to do with our time, besides finally getting through the Netflix watchlist. In fact, "DIY home improvement projects" and "smart home" had a worldwide search peak on Google in April – right in the time when a lot of shops, restaurants, and bars were closed, and a lot of people had to spend their time indoors. So, it seems creating the right personal comfort zone is more than just having the perfect outdoor pouf for your balcony: With today's technology we have the opportunity to create a comfort zone online which translates into our offline world and it feels just like magic. Have a look at our tips and find out how you can create your own digital comfort zone and feel safe and sound online.

1. Convenience through Automation

Do you not love to be wakened by the sun rising, birds chirping, and the smell of freshly brewed coffee? With the right smart helpers, you can recreate beautiful Tuscany mornings in your own apartment in the middle of the largest cities. I use Alexa to automate some of my routines and make my life more convenient. All you need for the perfect Tuscany morning routine is a smart light, a normal coffee machine connected to a smart power switch, and your favorite sound to wake up to. I personally prefer bird sounds, as they annoy me the least in the morning. And then all that is left to do is to choose the settings on the Alexa app, like gradually brighten the light, have the birds chiming in. When I am done getting ready, my coffee has already been brewed and I can have some relaxing time for myself, drinking my coffee until I have to leave the house and get to work. You can create your smart routines with any assistant, be it from Google or Microsoft.

2. Use Productivity Apps

When I get too comfortable, I tend to slack and procrastinate. Which makes me feel unproductive and therefore less comfortable. To avoid this I tried using bulletin journals to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but this did not really work for me. A simple yet effective way for me is using productivity apps. Simple habit trackers such as HabitNow (Android) or Momentum Habit Tracker (iOS). If you don't want to use an app you can also organize your habits via Google calendar. I prefer it because let's face it, Google already has all my data and it plans the time I want to use for my goals, according to my free time in the calendar. Just press on the "plus" on your Google calendar app and choose "Goal". The system will then guide you through the target creation process.​

3. Use the right hardware and software for you!

Photo by James McDonald on Unsplash

It doesn't matter if you are an iOS, Android, Microsoft, or Linux user: use the right products for you. Check online and with your friends for recommendations, but in the end, it is you who has to use them. Make sure your devices are compatible with each other, so you are able to connect them with your smart assistant. Also, make sure your data is protected by keeping your software up to date and only chose trusted providers.​

4. Have fun!

Another very important part: Do not forget to have fun with your smart assistant. Playing with your devices and trying out new things and skills is always the best way to understand what their real potentials are to make your life more convenient. Plus, what is comfort without the right amount of humor?

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The pandemic that changed it all – also digitally

While COVID seemed to make everything worse, some positive sides appeared, too.

The pandemic that changed it all – also digitally

While COVID seemed to make everything worse, some positive sides appeared, too.

The pandemic that changed it all – also digitally

While COVID seemed to make everything worse, some positive sides appeared, too.

We have all been in some kind of pandemic-changed life for months now. While the strictest lockdowns are being lifted, the next wave might already be coming back. But besides all the bad news which came up in our daily news ticker, there have been also many positive news and quite creative outcomes. So, enjoy some of the greatest positive outcomes during corona-crisis.

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Art – A Human Discipline?

A different kind of artist

For many people, art is something very human, as it is creating deep connections and emotions. One of my favorite movie quotes is from "I, Robot":

Detective Del Spooner (Human): Human beings have dreams. Even dogs have dreams, but not you, you are just a machine. An imitation of life. Can a robot write a symphony? Can a robot turn a... canvas into a beautiful masterpiece?
Sonny (Robot): Can you?

We always thought, that no machine could ever create a piece of art that has an impact on us, but as artificial intelligence gets more and more advanced, art does not seem to be something only a real person can create. As a matter of fact, AI is already able to create impressive pieces of art. So, let's dive into the AI age of art with some intriguing artificial creatives.

Becoming the Muse

Are you a fan of renaissance art? Then behold as AI Gahaku turns your face into a beautiful renaissance painting. We at Tomorrow Unlocked had a real blast trying it out with the faces of our favorite colleagues. Share your portraits on Instagram and tag @tomorrowunlocked to show us your renaissance portraits!

Finishing the unfinished

Photo by Spencer Imbrock on Unsplash

Mahler, Beethoven, Schubert, or Bruckner: Each of those composers have symphonies they did not finish in their lifetime. But an international team of experts created an AI that analyzed Beethoven's unfinished tenth symphony and finalized it. Listen to the AI's compositions here. Can you spot which part is from Beethoven and which is from the AI?

Artificial Song

Photo by BRUNO EMMANUELLE on Unsplash

Researchers at Zhejiang University in China teamed up with experts from Microsoft and created an AI that generates voices singing in English and Chinese. If you listen to the voices extracted, they do sound quite artificial, but as soon as DeepSinger synthesizes them and puts them into music, one cannot tell that the songs are artificially created – at least I could not.

Scary Humane

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

In our age of rapidly spreading fake news, we can usually rely on our reason to understand who the author is, where the information comes from, and whether the source is trustworthy. But in 2019 OpenAI published a text generating AI which creates terrifyingly human texts. Also, a study by Karlstad University in Sweden shows that most people cannot tell whether an article is written by a journalist or a machine. That may make it harder to sort out fake news in the future, and would need online platforms to curate information more closely. THE VERGE collected some examples of AI writing – they may not be perfect, but also not too bad.

Creating Emotions out of Data

Last but not least we want to present to you artist Refik Anadol. By using large collections of data and artificial intelligence he creates fascinating installations where spectators can experience data sculptures created out of millions of pictures from different points of view. When people step into the installation they step into an alternate reality: into the dreams of the AI. And though the machine may not have emotions, it portraits it and by that impacts our emotions.

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Sharing is Caring

How to make sure your digital comfort zone stays yours?

Sharing is Caring

How to make sure your digital comfort zone stays yours?

Sharing is Caring

How to make sure your digital comfort zone stays yours?

Ever "hacked" into someone's network and sent them weird messages to their printers? When I started university there were too many people not securing their internet, which meant a lot of fun for me and my friends, but not for the ones whose printers started coughing up 100 pages of "Set a password, i****!" at 1 am in the morning.

But nowadays we secure everything with all kinds of complicated passwords, and then we share our Netflix, Spotify or Amazon accounts with everybody. Which is nice, and if you trust the person there is no harm. In fact, 46% of people feel comfortable sharing their streaming services with their housemates according to a recent study by Kaspersky. On the other hand, 32% are sharing their accounts, although they are unsure about their safety, as they do not know about their friends' digital habits.

But how can you still keep your things private and your digital comfort zone secure?

Private versus public network

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Which a lot of my past dorm mates did wrong, was to connect to the dorm's internet and not set it as a public network. A computer is only as intelligent as the person sitting in front of it, and if you set the network as a private network, it won't restrict people from accessing your information or devices.

Passwords for everything!

Yes, we all hate passwords and still they save us not just from nosy siblings, but also from insecure connections, and cybercriminals. If you tend to forget your passwords, then you may want to try out a password manager. They can be a real help, especially when it comes to sensitive information.

Educate yourself

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Treating yourself is great, but you have to educate yourself before that: check the security settings on your devices, and if you have no idea what you could do ask a friend or search Google. Especially when it comes to smart devices you have to make sure, nobody but you can access them, as they hold a lot of information about you.

Say “No!”

Photo by Lucas Sankey on Unsplash

There is no shame in rejecting your friends or housemates when they want you to share your services with them. Especially if they do not know the difference between a firewall and antivirus software or if they think Sunshine258 is a strong password. If you do want to help them out, you can set up their devices for them, and explain to them how important it is to stay safe and alert online.

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Why do these farmers hack their tractors?

Why do these farmers hack their tractors?

No right to repair?

The other week, my car was at a technical check. It is a hybrid and they wanted to analyze the exhaust fumes. Yet, the car doesn't start the combustion engine before it reaches a certain speed - the software says so. It was quite entertaining watching them get more and more upset with my car - yet after 10 minutes they found what they had to do to let the software know that it needs to start the "dirty engine".

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Venezuela’s failed cryptocurrency experiment

Venezuela’s failed cryptocurrency experiment

Overdrawing your bank account for a loaf of bread?

The inflation in Venezuela is increasing day by day. This means that doing your basic grocery shopping could lead to people overdrawing their bank account. A man who had plans to give the people their financial freedom back is Gabriel Jiménez. He is the entrepreneurial brain behind Venezuela's Petro, the system that sought to make history as the first state-backed cryptocurrency. He wanted to change the world, but instead, he had to flee his country.

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Podcast: Digital education

Take a glimpse into the future

Parents and educators have long been asking to more actively digitize schools and education in general. The Covid-19 pandemic pushed analogue classrooms into remote schools from one day to another, thus showing how many schools are way behind the expectations of modern learning. But to get students through the year, teachers had to rely on collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Listen to our feature at the Transatlantic Cable Podcast and unlock how the education of tomorrow may look like, with our very own David Jacoby.

Remote schooling

Photo by kyo azuma on Unsplash

Facing the pandemic, a lot of schools had to rely on remote education to be able to get students through the school year. Some parents experienced that their children had more time to dive deeper into topics, and catch up with subjects they missed at school – others had to make sure their children are actively following the remote class of their teachers and not finding something more "interesting" to waste their time on. For some children the new way of learning empowered them to schedule their learning sessions more flexible, giving them a taste of self-organization.

In Switzerland some schools started real-life projects, where children were able decide which one they wanted to be a part of. "I spoke with a mother saying: My kid is working and learning at least twelve hours, it's difficult to stop them", says Filip Dochy, "This raises a key question, as how to change education so that there is a mixture between the technology being used by children and making children curious again. Because if there is one thing schools nowadays are unlearning from children, it is curiosity."

Photo by Santi Vedrí on Unsplash

But not all countries have the same privileges when it comes to using technologies: "In Colombia we have different realities and that is the main challenge the government is facing right now: trying to give access to people who live outside the cities, and don't have computers, smartphones or internet." (Daniela Alvarez de Lugo)

But even though "schools were not really prepared for it, they actually, to my surprise, reacted very well. At least in my experience." (Riccardo de Rinaldini)

The future of education

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

To understand more about what educators and parents can learn from the current situation, and how school systems have to change going forward in order to bring relevance and joy back to education, David Jacoby invited Filip Dochy, an expert on education at the European Academy of Science (AE), and two parents Daniela Alvarez De Lugo and Riccardo de Rinaldini to walk us through their experiences during lockdown and talk about the future of education.

 

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Meet the tech visionaries defending your digital world

Meet the tech visionaries defending your digital world

Meet the tech visionaries defending your digital world

Five digital defenders, one goal: Protecting us every day

The Defenders of Digital video series profiles tech experts who guard the digital world. We'll soon launch season two, but for now, these are the five people whose stories started it all. They're critical to our future: they make our digital world safe, free, open and functional. Who are they, and what motivates them?

Episode 1: Eva Galperin returns victims’ privacy

Eva Galperin was outraged by a hacker who abused women then threatened to compromise their devices if they spoke out. She has since become the most powerful voice in the fight against stalkerware, and in doing so, helped thousands of victims get their privacy back.

Episode 2: Einar Otto Stangvik identifies photo thieves

Security specialist Einar Otto Stangvik wanted to use his programming skills to do more than make money. He developed software to identify hackers stealing and sharing private photos from iCloud backups. One hacker turned out to be a prominent public figure.

Now Stangvik is onto an even more ambitious project that will help vulnerable children.

Episode 3: Salvi Pascual uncensors the internet for Cubans

Salvi Pascual knows the heavily censored Cuban media and internet well. When he moved to the US, friends started asking him to send them online content they wanted. It turned into a business, but getting around government controls had Pascual's team always on their toes. Soon, they'd developed a solution that's uncensored the internet for thousands of Cubans.

Episode 4: Giorgio Patrini finds fakes for humanity

Giorgio Patrini is fighting back against the constant threat of fake news.

'Deepfakes' is the disturbing phenomenon of videos or audio that use AI-based algorithms to substitute one person for another. Nearly indistinguishable from the real thing, they're used to harass, blackmail and commit fraud. But Patrini knew when technology creates a problem, it can also create a solution.

Episode 5: Kira Rakova gives us back privacy control

Kira Rakova believes our digital footprint is like a private journal. A breach of private online information is like publishing someone's diary without their consent. While there is increasing concern over personal data being used to manipulate and defraud, not everyone understands the risks and what they can do about them.

That's where Rakova and her team come in. They use privacy auditing to help people regain control of their data.

Watch out for Defenders of Digital series two

You've seen the first series of Defenders of Digital. Soon, we'll bring you a new series with changemakers from around the globe.

Subscribe to Tomorrow Unlocked on YouTube for the latest episodes.

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The people fighting online child exploitation, one image at a time

Meet Susie Hargreaves and her team.

The people fighting online child exploitation, one image at a time

Meet Susie Hargreaves and her team.

The people fighting online child exploitation, one image at a time

Meet Susie Hargreaves and her team.

Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) hunts down child sexual abuse images online and helps identify children involved so that law enforcement can intervene. While the recent pandemic has triggered greater numbers of child abuse images, CEO Susie Hargreaves and her team are fighting back with a new piece of tech.

Defenders of Digital episode one: Internet Watch Foundation 

COVID-19 has fuelled a disturbing increase in child sex abuse material online. Our latest Defenders of Digital series begins by introducing Susie Hargreaves's team at Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and explores their mission to make children safer. It also looks at how the pandemic has moved the goalposts and the new tech making a difference.

Where it all began 

Formed in 1996 in response to a fast-growing number of online child abuse cases, IWF's 155 members include tech's biggest names, such as Microsoft and Google. They're united by the common goal to rid the internet of child sexual abuse images and videos.

Online child abuse is a growing issue

The pandemic has made the issue of online child sexual abuse material more acute. During lockdown in the UK alone, IWF says 300,000 people were looking at online child sexual abuse images at any one time. What's worse, the material is always changing.

Self-generated content: A dark twist

IWF has recently seen a worrying rise in self-generated sexual abuse material, chiefly among girls age 11 to 13. The victim is groomed or coerced into photographing or filming themselves, which the sexual predator captures and distributes online. In the past year alone, the proportion of online content they're removing that is self-generated has risen from 33 to 40 percent.

New tech making the difference

There are encouraging developments helping IWF with their work. Microsoft's PhotoDNA analyzes known child exploitation images, finds copies elsewhere on the internet, and reports them for removal. It helped IWF remove 132,700 web pages showing child sexual abuse images in 2019. How does it work?

PhotoDNA scours the web for matching images

First, PhotoDNA creates a unique digital fingerprint of a known child abuse image, called a 'hash.' It compares that fingerprint against other hashes across the internet to find copies. It reports copies it finds to the site's host. It's a fast and ingenious way to shut down child exploitation.

Help stop child sexual exploitation: Report abuse images

Internet users who have stumbled across suspected child abuse images and reported them to IWF have been instrumental in starting a process that's led to many children in abusive situations receiving help. If you see an image or video you think may show child sexual exploitation, report it anonymously to IWF.

Want to learn how to better protect your kids when they're online? A free training course, based on the Skill Cup mobile app and developed with Kaspersky, is now available for parents to understand the challenges children face today.

Explore the course to better protect your kids online.

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This NGO believes an online privacy utopia is worth fighting for

This NGO believes an online privacy utopia is worth fighting for

This NGO believes an online privacy utopia is worth fighting for

Algorithms are everywhere, but they are trained based on the beliefs of their developer. In episode two of our second season of Defenders of Digital, we learn about Homo Digitalis' work to expose algorithm bias that impedes digital rights for millions. The first corporate they catch might surprise you.

Ethical algorithm moderation

Algorithms can improve our experience online. But one not-for-profit is going beyond the code for the greater good. Founded in 2018, Homo Digitalis has over 100 members. They promote transparency in algorithmic programming and safeguards against discrimination by algorithm.

Because programmers – as humans – have biases, algorithms learn from those biases. When we hand power over to the algorithm, it may erode digital rights and impinge freedom of expression without us knowing.

Homo Digitalis has already called out one tech giant for their moderation process. It could have impacted millions. Who was it? Find out in Defenders of Digital season two, episode two.

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Trust In Me

How Social Rating Impacts Your Mortgage Rate

Do we not all dread the moment when we show a friend a photo on our phone and they start swiping to see the next picture? And usually there is nothing alarming in our gallery – maybe a few hundred snapshots of us trying to (unsuccessfully) take a cute selfie with a pet. But on the other hand, all those pictures are backed up on a private cloud, such as iCloud or Google Cloud. Not just pictures: our search history, contacts, location data, social media activities or expenses are stored online, as well. The leaking of our data is not the biggest issue here, as we may secure it very easily with the right security software – the main problem which none of us seems to grasp is that we trust that this information will not be used against us.

Behavioral Data and Analytics

As most of you already know, every time we do anything online our data is being collected and analyzed in order to gain insights on our behavior. It is mainly used for ecommerce platforms, online gaming, apps, and IoT devices, to give users an ideal experience. In China retailer Alibaba uses the Zhima Credit system to create a social score where people can voluntarily choose being scored on their behavior. Citizens use it, as a huge number of them does not own a traditional credit history. A positive Zhyma score allows banks to score their credit risk. On the other hand, people with a positive score also have opportunities to get better deals in general. People use the Zhima Credit system because they are sure to earn high scores, and if they do not, they can still choose to conceal the information, right?

Are you trustworthy?

Once something is online it stays online, and it can and will be used against you. A recent international study by Kaspersky shows that out of 10.000 people, 30 pc already experienced issues because of social rating systems, like not getting a job or getting different prices for the same product online. I myself remember an issue my friend faced from an online retailer a few years back: There was this online shop I recommended to my friend, as you could order a bunch of cloths to try them on and only have to pay after you know which pieces you want to keep. While I could just create an account and shop ahead, my friend was denied the final step for ordering, and had to allow them getting insights into his SCHUFA score (SCHUFA: The General Credit Protection Association in Germany) or paying upfront. So, my friend's online behavior gave the online retail company the impression, that he may not be trustworthy or able to pay them, and therefore denied him the service I thought was regular. Professor Chengyi Lin, Affiliate Professor at INSEAD: "If we have a holistic view on individual's life and integrate it in one score that score could have a huge impact on all of these aspects, from financials, how you get a mortgage, getting your next job, to how you interact with others through a social setting."

“This stays between us, okay?”

We all have this friend who we trust and share everything with, and are sure, even without saying, that the information shared is confidential. But we also have this one friend, that no matter how often you tell them "This stays between us, okay?" a few weeks later everyone knows, because they share it with their best friend, and they share it with their best friend, and so on. This is kind of what happens online. No matter how many buttons we click to deactivate being followed or how many script blockers we use, online platforms have a lot of data about you, and are very fine with sharing them for the right amount of money with other platforms to present you the perfect ad. But the perfect ad or a different price are not the most troubling part. In November 2019 Facebook reported that a number of 128.617 demands for user data by governments all over the world were made in the first half of 2019 – a record high! So, you could land on the no flight list just for posting the wrong meme or befriending the wrong people on Facebook without really knowing why.

Share with caution

Just like you would not share everything with everyone in real life, you need to be cautious of what you share online. "Take a second, think about your own data. What are you willing to exchange for the value of your data?", suggests Prof. Chengyi Lin. It is not just likes or comments, but also your pictures: "Right now in the US a lot of protests are being monitored through a facial recognition system that could indicate on how police and others treat the protestors," (Chengyi Lin). Social rating is not really something we can escape as easily as we may think, as it will play a much bigger part in our future, than now. All we can do is be aware of the possible consequences and think twice, if we really have to post this fun picture from last night's party or that meme about how much month is left at the end of the money.

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The Digital Comfort Zone

Digitizing Home

Do you know that feeling, when you are searching for a new apartment, then step into the perfect one and instantly start to imagine how your favorite cozy chair would look like by that window? It is kind of the same when we are using our digital devices: We place our favorite apps where we can open them quickly, create a background picture of our pet or dream vacation destination, and buy the devices that make our life easier – if you are used to iOS you are probably not going to switch to Android and it is the same the other way round. We humans like comfort, and there is no shame in wanting everything to be as comfortable as possible, so we can actually concentrate on the really important things.

But with social isolation, we hang out two more hours online than we used to, broadening our networks via online communities or social dating apps. The worst part is not having to go online to maintain a social life – on the contrary it is great, that we have this opportunity nowadays. The problem is, that we know how much information they want from us: you need to sign in with your social media profile and you cannot use them without an active mobile number for "security reasons" (for real?). And with all that, we give up staying safe, because we think this NSA guy (hey Paul) already knows everything about us, and there is nothing we could actually do against it.

You get my data! And you get my data! Everybody gets my data!

A recent study by Kaspersky shows, that even though 60 pc of us millennials are concerned about our security while dating online, only 36 pc are actually admitting they should do more to protect their digital privacy. To be honest, I am one of those people: I download all kinds of apps when I am bored at home: "You want my location data? Whatever, as long as I can have Talking Tom repeating everything I say in a funny high-pitched voice!" But okay, I am old enough to know better and not put everything online, and even if I am okay with people collecting my data by feeding me with targeted apps, this is just the tip of the iceberg. And don't we all know, it was not the visible part of the iceberg that sunk the Titanic?

Filter Fun or Stranger Danger?

I personally know nobody who does not use social media. But the younger generations are certainly more at home and comfortable with using all the different platforms and having fun with filters. As more children have to stay indoors due to the pandemic about 33 pc of parents have become more lenient with the amount of time their children are spending online. Which is totally fine, if your children are aware of the potential dangers that may come in a public place like the Internet. But: about 52 pc of families trust their children to keep themselves safe online. Some of those children are able to set the right privacy settings and keep their accounts private, so their content is not available for everyone online. However, a thing we all know from funny video pages on social media: there are a lot of children creating insane content which is being shared all over the Internet to make fun of them, opening the doors for cyberbullying or even cyber-grooming. So yes it's absolutely okay to let your children be on social media and grow their abilities and understanding of modern media. Yet, it is also important to talk to them about the dangers online - which are nowadays as real as the dangers we face offline - and with that have them live in their personal digital comfort zone, where they are safe and secure.

How at home do you feel in the digital world

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Yoga Fusion

TWELVE Minutes of History

Yoga Fusion

TWELVE Minutes of History

Creativity versus Loneliness versus Lockdown

TWELVE Minutes of History

Staying connected to combat loneliness in times of a pandemic

Loneliness is no new issue nowadays. The more we become connected and spend time on social media the more it seems generations become lonelier – which not uncommonly can develop into depression. And with social distancing in place all over the world, a lot of people are afraid that the case may get even worse, as humans are being cut off of their normal social surroundings. But a new study states out that 41 pct. of Europeans actually feel less lonely, or the same way, than before the Covid-19 pandemic. Some experts believe loneliness to be the greater pandemic for humans which may stay long after the corona crisis is over.

One helpful tool in fighting loneliness is technology such as video conferencing tools. In fact, technology made 85 pct. feel less lonely.

Stay Connected

Facing social distancing restrictions people started using connectivity tools which they usually used for work, such as Zoom, in their everyday life in order to stay in touch with their family, and even reconnect with long lost friends. Some people started organizing trivia nights and even dance parties via video conferencing tools. This also gave the opportunity for less outgoing people to take part in social gatherings, which they would not be a part of in their regular life. Resulting in about 60 pct. considering tech as a reason for feeling less lonely during the corona crisis.

Creativity as an Escape

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SPt_kmDtHXA

But people are not just copying real social contact with Zoom events. While a lot of people spend more time at home and experience boredom which we are no longer used to in times of mobile devices, they also start reigniting their creativity. Social media app TikTok is now one of the most downloaded apps on the app store. Though most of its users are between 14 and 24, now older generations also join in on the fun of easily creating mini videos and sharing them with the world.

TWELVE

In order to channel and challenge people's creativity, we started TWELVE: an Instagram challenge calling out to creatives all over the world to share with us their experience with the Covid-19 crisis in one minute videos. It gives an amazing sneak peek at how people are coping with the situation, how the lockdown changed their lives and the way they connect with their family and friends.

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Data versus Trust

How much privacy can there be in the decade of data?

Your phone, your watch, your home – as long as it has a smart in front of its name it has your data. With every click you make, every location you track and every question you ask Siri or Google, your information is being harvested. The collection of users' personal information improves consumer experiences and delivered services, yet also poses additional online threats and risks. The past decade has demonstrated several cases proving that sometimes it is not only a risk, but a certain danger. With that in mind, what kind of privacy hazards could come our way in the 2020s?

Data Control

As we see it now, governments will continue to excerpt stricter control over user data and tighten security. This may be blamed on intensifying terrorism and instability in the world and worryingly wide access to users' personal information from businesses.

Data at Risk

Crowd walking over binary code

While the rationale behind the above is clear, enhanced access to user data naturally implies many risks, such as unauthorized access and consequently compromising privacy or even leaking information.

The biggest challenge posed to regulating parties will always be: constantly adapting regulations at the same speed new technologies are being developed. We currently don't see a huge trend in companies changing their behavior in dealing with user data. The only improvement is that users are being asked to give their consent over how the data is used, and it is now mandatory in many countries. We don't see any strong trend in adding real life security for protecting sensitive user data. Moreover, there's already a growing gap between regulation and real life practice. With the latter being much faster – we have toothless regulations as result.

Advice here is simple – try to limit your data-sharing patterns online. Avoid exposing your data and sensitive information unless it is necessary.

Cyber Battle for Privacy

The trends outlined above will clearly drive privacy protection technologies. Tech-savvy users will know their way around such solutions, with more technologies arising to circumvent them – inevitably extending the arms race in this area.

At the same time, users will become more proactive when it comes to their privacy, and this will influence higher demand for password managers, VPN services, tokens for two-factor authentication (2FA) and special privacy solutions. However, protection mechanisms like 2FA tokens and password managers are just at the endpoint, while attacks and misuse are often happening at the backend. These tools are good and needed to protect the local environment but do not protect against attacks and abuse of the utilized systems like the cloud for example. VPNs are useful to protect against data collection in certain scenarios - like real IP-addresses or geolocation - but still do not protect against voluntarily shared data by users with services like Google and Facebook etc.

Advice here is keep an eye on new ways to protect your privacy and use only trusted solutions. Invest your time in exploring the issue because security of your privacy is not just a new luxury – it is as essential as brushing your teeth every day.

Data Currency

Amusing online tests and other applications that gamify the processing of user data harvesting and collection will still be around as they bring engagement to owners and entertainment to users. However, while compromising their data – and this is why their enduring popularity should not stay unnoticed, nor underestimated.

Advice here is to, if possible, not take part in unnecessary applications of the kind and do not share your private information. Nothing comes for free, and if something does – it is mostly paid for with your discreetly collected data.

Fighting Public Manipulation

These attacks are happening for many years already – and there is no reason for them to stop. The upcoming decade will not only open yet another round in the political pendulum of global society due to a new US presidential election – new technology for fake visual and audio IDs already exist. These two factors will bring undesired attention and abuse from all sorts of parties. The good thing is that where there is action, there is also reaction – and we definitely can count on new methods to withstand the risks of public manipulation.

What does it have to do with privacy? If you're not vigilant, your data could be exploited in these manipulated visual and audio IDs. To protect yourself from this, do not expose yourself if you are not sure you are dealing with a proven and truly secure platform.

IoT vendors will start investing in security on a new scale

The last few years have been very turbulent for the cybersecurity industry. Hacks and specific malware, data breaches, geopolitical tensions and disinformation campaigns across the globe – you name it - have all caused challenges.

We think that this sort of activity will push vendors to a new level of collaboration for the sake of security. Amazon, Apple, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance have announced the creation of a new working group to develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among IoT products, with security as a fundamental design tenet. Hopefully, others will follow their lead.

In that sense, the 2020s will be an interesting decade filled with both challenges and opportunities.

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hacker:HUNTER WannaCRY, Chapter 3

hacker:HUNTER WannaCRY, Chapter 3

hacker:HUNTER WannaCRY, Chapter 3

Stuck in the US, free on bail, Marcus Hutchins considers his options and decides to plead guilty. He faces up to 10 years in jail.

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hacker:HUNTER WannaCry, Chapter 2

hacker:HUNTER WannaCry, Chapter 2

hacker:HUNTER WannaCry, Chapter 2

His random act of heroism makes security researcher Marcus Hutchins famous overnight. Being celebrated by media around the world, he spends a week in Las Vegas. When he wants to leave, the FBI arrests him. They suspect him of creating malware.

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hacker:HUNTER WannaCry - Chapter 1

hacker:HUNTER WannaCry - Chapter 1

hacker:HUNTER WannaCry - Chapter 1

One day in May 2017, computers all around the world suddenly shut down. A malware called WannaCry asks for ransom. The epidemic suddenly stops, because a young, British researcher found a killswitch, by accident.

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