Internet Security

A set of new tools can decrypt files locked by Stop, a highly active ransomware

Thousands of ransomware victims may finally get some long-awaited relief. New Zealand-based security company Emsisoft has built a set of decryption tools for Stop, a family of ransomware that includes Djvu and Puma, which they say could help victims recover some of their files. Stop is believed to be the most active ransomware in the…


Thousands of ransomware victims may finally get some long-awaited relief.

New Zealand-based security company Emsisofthas built a set of decryption tools for Stop, a family of ransomware that includes Djvu and Puma, which they say could help victims recover some of their files.

Stop is believed to be the most active ransomware in the world, accounting for more than half of all ransomware infections, according to figures from ID-Ransomware, a free site that helps identify infections. But Emsisoft said that figure is likely to be far higher.

If you’ve never had ransomware, you’re one of the lucky ones. Ransomware is one of the more common ways nowadays for some criminals to make money by infecting computers with malware that locks files using encryption. Once the Stop ransomware infects, it renames a user’s files with one of any number of extensions, replacing.jpgand.pngfiles with.radman,.djvuand.puma, for example. Victims can unlock their files in exchange for a ransom demand — usually a few hundred dollars in cryptocurrency.

Not all ransomware is created equally. Some security experts have been able to unlock some victims’ files without paying up by finding vulnerabilities in the code that powers the ransomware, allowing them in some cases to reverse the encryption and return a victim’s files back to normal.

Stop is the latest ransomware that researchers at Emsisoft have been able to crack.

“The latest known victim count is about 116,000. It’s estimated that’s about one-quarter of the total number of victims.”
Emsisoft

“It’s more of a complicated decryption tool than you would normally get,” sa

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Internet Security

TikTok’s new set of safety videos teach users about features, the app’s focus on ‘positivity’

TikTok today released a new set of safety videos designed to playfully inform users about the app’s privacy controls and other features — like how to filter comments or report inappropriate behavior, among other things. One video also addresses TikTok’s goal of creating a “positive” social media environment, where creativity is celebrated and harassment is…


TikToktoday released a new set of safety videos designed to playfully inform users about the app’s privacy controls and other features — like how to filter comments or report inappropriate behavior, among other things. One video also addresses TikTok’s goal of creating a “positive” social media environment, where creativity is celebrated and harassment is banned.

This particular value — that TikTok is for “fun” — is cited whenever the Beijing-based company is pressured about the app’s censorship activity. Today, TikTok hides under claims that it’s all about being a place for lighthearted, positive behavior. But in reality, it had been censoring topics China doesn’t want its citizens to know about — like the Hong Kong protests, for example. Meanwhile, it doesn’t appear to take action on political issues in the U.S., where hashtags like #dumptrump or #maga have millions of views.

To figure out its approach to moderation, TikTok recently hired corporate law firm K&L Gates to advise it on how to create policies that won’t have it coming under the eye of U.S. regulators.

In the meantime, TikTok is tackling the job of crafting the sort of community it wants through these instructive videos. But it’s not just issuing its commands from the top-down — TikTok partners with its own creators to participate in the videos and then promote them to fans. The first set of videos, released in February, featured a dozen TikTok creators, for example.

This time around, the company has pulled in a doze

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Internet Security

Facebook pilloried over iPhone ‘secret camera access’ bug

Facebook has faced a barrage of concern over an apparent bug that resulted in the social media giant’s iPhone app exposing the camera as users scroll through their feed. A tweet over the weekend blew up after Joshua Maddux tweeted a screen recording of the Facebook app on his iPhone. He noticed that the camera…


Facebookhas faced a barrage of concern over an apparent bug that resulted in the social media giant’s iPhone app exposing the camera as users scroll through their feed.

A tweet over the weekend blew up after Joshua Maddux tweeted a screen recording of the Facebook app on his iPhone. He noticed that the camera would appear behind the Facebook app as he scrolled through his social media feed.

Several users had already spotted the bug earlier in the month. One person called it “a little worrying.”

Some immediately assumed the worst — as you might expect, given the long history of security vulnerabilities, data breaches and inadvertent exposures at Facebo

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Internet Security

India moves closer to regulating internet services as it fears ‘unimaginable disruption to democracy’

India said on Monday that it is moving ahead with its plan to revise existing rules to regulate intermediaries — social media apps and others that rely on users to create their content — as they are causing “unimaginable disruption” to democracy. In a legal document filed with the country’s apex Supreme Court, the Ministry…


India said on Monday that it is moving ahead with its plan to revise existing rules to regulate intermediaries — social media apps and others that rely on users to create their content — as they are causing “unimaginable disruption” to democracy.

In a legal document filed with the country’s apex Supreme Court, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said it would formulate the rules to regulate intermediaries by January 15, 2020.

In the legal filing, the government department said the internet had “emerged as a potent tool to cause unimaginable disruption to the democratic polity.” Oversight of intermediaries, the ministry said, would help in addressing the “ever growing threats to individual right

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Internet Security

Twitter says government demands for user data continue to rise

Twitter says the number of government demands for user data are at a record high. In its latest transparency report covering the six months between January and June, the social media giant said it received 7,300 demands for user data, up by 6% a year earlier, but that the number of accounts affected are down…


Twittersays the number of government demands for user data are at a record high.

In its latest transparency report covering the six months between January and June, the social media giant said it received 7,300 demands for user data, up by 6% a year earlier, but that the number of accounts affected are down by 25%.

The company turned over some account data in just less than half of all cases.

U.S. government agencies requested the most data from the company during the period, filing 2,120 demands for 4,150 accounts — accounting for about one-third of all

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