Welcome to the latest copy of Pardon The Intrusion, TNW’s bi-weekly newsletter in which we analyze the wild world of security.

Zoom is having a aegis reckoning.

Let’s face it. Zoom is everywhere. The video conferencing software has skyrocketed in use in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, growing to more than 200 actor daily active users in just a span of three months.

The latest is that one of Zoom‘s shareholders is filing a class-action suit adjoin the aggregation for “overstating its aloofness standards and declining to acknowledge that its account was not end-to-end encrypted.”

But let’s take a look at the last few rocky weeks for Zoom that have led up to this point. It’s almost drowned in a sea of aloofness and aegis gaffes, including abeyant theft of user data, leaked email addresses, and, last but not least, the austere botheration of Zoombombing, where trolls take advantage of open or caught affairs and poor absence configurations to take over screen-sharing and advertisement porn or other absolute material.

As if these weren’t enough, its entire aegis architectonics was called into catechism after apropos were raised about how it encrypts audio and video agreeable of the meetings, with the keys generated for cryptographic operations delivered to the participants routed through servers in China. Taiwan, in response, has banned government bodies from using the app. So has the US Senate, which is urging associates not to use Zoom.
webrokZoom CEO Eric S. Yuan responded to Citizen Lab’s findings, advertence given the period of heavy traffic, they were forced to add server accommodation quickly, and “in our haste, we afield added our two Chinese datacenters to a diffuse whitelist of backup bridges, potentially enabling non-Chinese audience to — under acutely bound affairs — affix to them.”

It has also appear a 90-day freeze on absolution new appearance to “better identify, address, and fix issues proactively,” and to conduct a absolute review with third-party experts.

On one hand, the aggregation is ambidextrous with an aberrant surge in approved users who are now using what was originally meant to be an action chat artefact to host aggregate from chiffonier affairs to yoga classes. On the other hand, many of Zoom‘s problems are the result of its sloppy architecture.

Zoom‘s moment in the spotlight has been marred by aloofness blunders and aegis woes. But if this public analysis can make it a more secure product, it can only be a good thing in the long run.


By the way, we have a new newsletter: Coronavirus in Context, our weekly update tracking the pandemic’s spread, and befitting tabs on the tech trying to stop it. Update your cable preferences to accept it every Tuesday.

Do you have a afire cybersecurity question, or a aloofness botheration you need help with? Drop them in an email to me, and I’ll altercate it in the next newsletter! Now, onto more aegis news.

What’s trending in security?

The advancing coronavirus beginning is making companies resort to a array of ways to track remote employees. And did I acknowledgment Marriott suffered a second data breach and the claimed capacity of nearly 4.9 actor Georgians were appear on a hacker forum?

  • Just because you’re alive from home doesn’t mean you can slack off. The beginning is arch companies to get artistic in the ways they’re tracking their remote employees. [Bloomberg]
  • The European Union adopted a pan-European approach on the use of mobile applications to track the spread of the coronavirus after a aloofness babysitter called for strong data protections, instead of every country making its own. [EDPS]
  • An all-embracing group of ~400 cybersecurity experts from over 40 countries have come calm to fight hacking accompanying to the coronavirus pandemic. [Reuters]
  • City authorities in Moscow are tracking the movements of its residents through a binding app that needs to be installed on their smartphones. Don’t have a smartphone? The city is happy to lend you one. But an early adaptation of the app was pulled from Google Play Store after it was dubbed “illegal” over its adeptness to access far more than a person’s area data. It also accessed the camera and abode book, and sent the calm advice back to the government’s servers, unencrypted. [TNW / NPR]


  • It’s not just Russia. Close to 28 countries, including the US, the UK, Turkey, and India, are on board too. But Australia declared this kind of ecology doesn’t align with civic values. Aloofness All-embracing appropriate any such use of data must be accountable to “extraordinary protections,” and acicular out it’s accessible under some affairs to deanonymize data. [Privacy International]
  • Google’s Threat Analysis Group appear an bearding group of hackers used no fewer than five flaws in Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Windows to target North Korea‘s internet users in 2019. The group used phishing emails accustomed awful accessories or links that buried malware on victims’ machines. Russian aegis firm Kaspersky claims it’s the accomplishment of “DarkHotel,” a hacking group that works for the South Korean government. [Google / WIRED]
  • Google said it sent users 40,000 warnings about phishing or malware attempts from nation-states in 2019, a 25% drop year-over-year, with association in the US, India, Pakistan, Japan, and South Korea collectively accepting more than 1,000 warnings. It also found North Korean and Iranian hackers impersonating journalists in phishing efforts. [Google]
  • Coronavirus-themed cyberattacks show no signs of dying anytime soon. A new kind of malware wipes data stored in adulterated computers, while a malicious Android app targeting Spanish citizens poses as a virus tracker app to install cyberbanking trojans. [Interpol]
  • Talk about irony! Facebook sought Israeli surveillance vendor NSO Group‘s help to buy software to better spy on its users. Speaking of NSO Group, the aggregation is marketing software that uses mobile phone data to adviser and adumbrate the spread of COVID-19. [Motherboard]
  • Booz Allen Hamilton appear an all-encompassing report account 15 years (2004 to 2019) of cyber operations agitated out by Russia‘s state-sponsored hackers to beforehand its adopted policy in the global arena. [Booz Allen Hamilton / ZDNet]


  • We’re all accustomed and (probably) used to apps tracking our every move and administration them with other parties. Now, in a twist, more than 4,000 Android apps have been found to silently access the list of apps installed on your phone, too. [Ars Technica]
  • A aegis researcher scored a $75,000 bounty for award seven bugs in Apple’s Safari browser which could’ve made it accessible for an antagonist to access the device’s cameras after your permission. The bugs were fixed in a series of updates to Safari in versions 13.0.5 and 13.1. [Ryan Pickren]
  • A group of Nigerian email scammers, dubbed “SilverTerrier,” agitated out at least 92,000 business email accommodation attacks account on boilerplate in 2019. [Palo Alto Networks]
  • A Chinese hacking crew, named APT41, is base flaws in Cisco and Citrix’s networking articles and Zoho ManageEngine Desktop Central as part of a boundless espionage campaign. [FireEye]
  • HackerOne, a aggregation that pairs ethical hackers with organizations to fix software flaws, expelled mobile voting vendor Voatz from its aegis affairs over adverse interactions with researchers. This is the first time it’s cut ties with an organization. [CyberScoop]
  • Twitter fixed a bug that cached clandestine files sent or accustomed via DMs on Firefox browsers. [ZDNet]
  • The past two weeks in breaches, leaks, and ransomware: Chubb, Email.it, Kimchuk, Marriott, Tupperware, and the entire country of Georgia had their claimed capacity leaked.

Data point

If there’s one thing for assertive during a pandemic, it’s that hackers will accomplishment the crisis for their own gain. From cyberattacks to phishing scams to extortion emails and awful websites, a long list of agenda threats have piggybacked on the coronavirus beginning in recent weeks.

Now, according to research from Sophos, spam emails accompanying to coronavirus are taking up close to 2.5% of total spam volume, advertence a steady access in March alone.

“With global spam volumes estimated to be in the hundreds of billions, for 2-3% of those to be COVID-19 themed is significant,” says Chet Wisniewski, Principal Analysis Scientist at Sophos. “Similar to A/B testing of advertisements and web pages, abyss often dip a toe in the water when there is a new or amazing topic in the news. If the new topic proves a more able lure than the antecedent scam bait they begin switching to new lures.”webrokTakeaway: As governments and companies clutter to accommodate the situation, aegis advisers are trying to better accept and detect the accepted spike in malware. And as long as the threat from the coronavirus remains, so will the risk from hackers. All this has led the FBI to issue a PSA, urging users to watch out for fake CDC emails and phishing emails asking recipients to verify their claimed information:

“Scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 communicable to steal your money, your claimed information, or both. Don’t let them. Protect yourself and do your analysis before beat on links purporting to accommodate advice on the virus; altruistic to a alms online or through social media; accidental to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing articles online; or giving up your claimed advice in order to accept money or other benefits.”

That’s it. See you all in two weeks. Stay safe!


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