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  2. Starting September 20, TikTok and WeChat should be removed from the AppStore, Google Play and other app marketplaces in the United States. The ban is made for reasons of national security. This follows from the press release of the US Department of Commerce distributed on Friday. "Since September 20, the following activities have been banned: any provision of services for the distribution or maintenance [of operation] of the WeChat and TikTok applications through the online application store in the United States," it said. Apple and Google app stores will not be able to offer apps for installation on any platform that might be available from the US. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told the publication that the ban on downloading TikTok and WeChat is related to the fight against the collection of personal data of American users by China. “We have taken significant action to combat China's malicious collection of personal data from American citizens, while advancing our national values and democratic norms,” Ross said. In August, it became known that TikTok was collecting unique identifiers from millions of Android devices, violating Google's privacy policies. The information collected allowed the application to track users online. At the end of August, TikTok owners filed a lawsuitto the US presidential administration. TikTok also accused Facebook of trying to use the policy to harm the service. According to TikTok representatives, the Chinese authorities do not have access to the data of American users, since it is stored on servers in the United States and Singapore, and is also separated from the information that is collected by other services developed by ByteDance.
  3. Secret services are behind most of the cyberattacks, but some were carried out by hackers hungry for profit. Chinese hackers have stolen confidential data from Spanish research centers working to create a vaccine against COVID-19, according to Spanish edition elpais.com. According to the National Intelligence Center (CNI) of Spain, the attackers attacked not only Spanish, but also other research organizations involved in the development of vaccines. Sources told elpais.com that most of the cyberattacks were carried out from China and the Russian Federation. Often the secret services were behind them, but some of the attacks were carried out by university specialists and cybercriminals hungry for profit. Chinese hackers are behind the cyber attacks on Spanish laboratories, sources said, who, however, refused to disclose the nature and relevance of the stolen information. Speaking at a seminar organized by the Association of European Journalists, CNI chief Paz Esteban Lopez reported a "qualitative and quantitative increase" in the total number of cyber attacks during the quarantine period and noted that working remotely during isolation makes workers more vulnerable to online threats. Earlier this year, researchers from the Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC) working on experimental vaccines against COVID-19 were notified of the attacks. However, heads of six teams working on prototype vaccines said they were unaware of data theft from their computer systems. According to a spokesman for CSIC, there was no data breach in the Madrid research centers.
  4. Three Iranian citizens are accused of hacking satellite and aerospace companies. The US authorities have charged three Iranian citizens with hacking into American satellite and aerospace companies. Said Purkarim Arabi, Muhammad Reza Espargam and Muhammad Bayati are accused of organizing and carrying out a hacking operation in the interests of the Iranian government, which lasted a whole year. The operation began in July 2015, according to the US Department of Justice. The attackers attacked a wide range of organizations in the United States and abroad and stole commercial information and intellectual property. According to the materials of the court, the defendants created fake online profiles and e-mails of employees of satellite and aerospace companies (usually US citizens). From fake accounts, the attackers contacted employees of the organizations they were interested in and tried to force them to click on the malicious link, after which the malware was loaded onto the system. In particular, the attackers used Metasploit, Mimikatz, NanoCore, and a Python backdoor designed to scan infected devices for sensitive information and gain persistence. In total, the defendants attacked 1.8 thousand specialists employed in the aerospace industry and even working in government organizations. Specialists from Israel, Australia, USA, Singapore and Great Britain became victims of hackers. The leader of the group was 34-year-old Arabi, who is an employee of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) - in fact, the intelligence service of Iran. Arabi lived in housing provided by the IRGC and even listed hacking of British and American organizations on his resume. In turn, Espargam is a renowned security researcher. Over the years, he built a reputation as a "white hacker" and even was a member of the OWASP Foundation. However, as the investigation showed, all this served as a cover for Espargam for his "second personality" - the hacker Reza Darkcoder and MRSCO. How Arabi managed to "recruit" Espergam is unknown, but it is known that Reza Darkcoder provided the grouping with malware. Like Espergam, Bayati provided the group with malware. All three hackers were listed as the FBI's most wanted criminals.
  5. At present, the criminal case with the indictment approved by the prosecutor's office has been sent to the Leninsky District Court of Penza. The investigative unit for the investigation of organized criminal activities of the Investigation Department of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Penza Region completed the investigation of a criminal case against a group of persons accused of creating, using and distributing malicious computer programs, as well as illegal possession of drugs. "During the preliminary investigation, it was established that one of the defendants at the beginning of 2019 wrote a program to obtain unauthorized access to computer information of Internet users, including the ability to copy logins and passwords when making electronic payments," said the official representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia Irina Volk ... “The distribution of a hacker program in the shadow segment of the Internet was carried out by two accomplices of the programmer. The attackers followed strict secrecy measures. Communication between them took place through instant messengers and electronic mailboxes, ”said the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs. “In the course of searches in the places of residence of the defendants, computers, mobile phones and other information carriers that have evidentiary value for the criminal case were found and seized. The narcotic drug mephedrone was found in one of the attackers, ”said Irina Volk, an official spokesman for the Russian Interior Ministry.
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