Russia’s infamous troll farm is being disbanded

When Yevgeny Prigozhin, At the head of the infamous mercenary army known as the Wagner Group, their brief insurgency led to the deaths of 13 Russian fighter pilots and a severe blow to Vladimir Putin’s sense of invincibility. Now the fallout from that strange tale has apparently killed another victim: the world’s most infamous troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency.

But we’ll come back to that. First off, Elon Musk is having a tough week. Following Twitter’s whimsical decision to temporarily limit the number of tweets users can read per day, Mark Zuckerberg put an end to the self-sabotaging platform with the launch of Threads. The Instagram-affiliated microblogging app rocketed to the top of the App Store charts, gaining 30 million users in 24 hours — a clear sign that many are willing to overlook Meta’s intrusive ways on privacy.

If you want to join in on the threads action, but don’t want to share all your data with Meta, there’s a better way: don’t join. Instead, wait for threads to connect to the wider decentralized social media ecosystem powered by the ActivityPub protocol, which is also used by Mastodon. This should allow you to interact with threads without having to sign up for an account or download an app. And if you’re still trying to decide which Twitter alternative to go with, or just want to see what data each platform collects, we’ve covered the privacy policies of Threads, BlueSky, Mastodon, and more. have broken.

Even if you don’t share your data with Meta, the information they already have about you is potentially for sale. But it’s not just companies that buy your personal data, police and detectives buy that data too. That is, until Congress abolishes it. A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which Congress must pass each year, that would bar intelligence agencies from buying sensitive data on Americans. The amendment will have to go through a lengthy debate before it becomes law, but if Congress upholds it, US spies will no longer be able to buy your location data and search history on the open market.

Finally, our partners at Grist have examined the risks associated with electric vehicle charging stations. Due to a variety of security vulnerabilities and the lack of industry standards to protect EV chargers from hackers, both drivers and the entire power grid can be at risk.

But that’s not all. Each week we round up security news that we haven’t covered in depth ourselves. Click on titles to read full stories. And be safe out there.

Over the years, St. The Petersburg-based Internet research agency embodied the worst fears of many Americans about the influence of Russia’s disinformation on Western social media. Led by Vladimir Putin ally and oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, the operation fueled scandal, spread fake news and interfered in the US election so deeply that the Justice Department indicted and even impeached a group of his staff. Also sought a disruptive hacking operation of US Cyber. Justify. Command is targeting its network.

Now, after the US government’s efforts to destroy or liquidate Prigozhin’s troll factory, he’s managed to do it himself. In the wake of the bizarre, brief mutiny of the Wagner Group, Prigozhin’s mercenaries contracted to participate in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Prigozhin has been stripped of assets in Russia, including media conglomerates that include the Internet Research Agency. Initially, Troll Farm was looking for a new owner, but Reuters reported ahead of the July 4th holiday that the infamous effects machine would instead be disbanded. Prigozhin is said to have been exiled in Belarus in the meantime, but has now returned to Russia, according to Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.

A highly controversial surveillance law in France that is making its way through the country’s parliament would allow law enforcement officers to covertly spy on criminal suspects through the cameras and microphones of their devices. The law, which will apply to smartphones, connected cars, laptops and other devices, was passed by France’s National Assembly earlier this week as part of wider changes to France’s legal system. In response to the criticism, French President Emmanuel Macron’s party has introduced legislative changes that allow it to be used only for a reasonable period of time and a maximum of six months, “when justified by the nature and seriousness of the crime”. , regardless of suspicion of criminal conduct. Both the right wing and left wing political parties of the country keep opposing this bill.

In recent years, US credit card fraud has become more difficult as banks have added security features such as authentication chips. But EBT cards, the debit cards issued to many of the poorest Americans in the Social Security system, have forgone that protection, instead continuing to store their numbers in a simple magnetic stripe. The result was the irreversible theft of millions of dollars from some of the country’s most needy and vulnerable families, one document documented. bloomberg business week In this week’s “Heist Issue” of the magazine. According to the report, an average of $10 million per month was stolen in the first three months of this year in California alone. The fraud scheme is carried out by criminals who place “skimmer” devices on supermarket POS systems and ATMs that record credit card numbers, which are then used to empty accounts after midnight refreshes. first of the month. work week It tells the story of a mother of five whose welfare money was stolen in this way four times in less than a year.

Nagoya Port of Japan is the largest cargo port in the country. — which handles about 10 percent of total shipments — learned on Tuesday that it had fallen victim to a ransomware attack. The attack, apparently carried out by the prolific Russian-affiliated ransomware group LockBit, stopped companies such as Toyota from loading and unloading production components from ships and caused traffic jams as truckers picked up and unloaded containers at the port. However, to the credit of the shipping port of Nagoya, it quickly recovered from the attack and resumed operations only two days later.

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