Security News This Week: Ring Is in a Standoff With Hackers

What’s more controversial than a popular surveillance camera maker that has an uncomfortably cozy relationship with American police? When ransomware hackers claim to have breached that company—Amazon-owned camera maker Ring—stolen its data, and Ring responds by denying the breach.

But we’ll get to that.

Five years ago, police in the Netherlands caught members of Russia’s GRU military intelligence red-handed as they tried to hack the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague. The team had parked a rental car outside the organization’s building and hid a Wi-Fi snooping antenna in its trunk. Within the GRU group was Evgenii Serebriakov, who was caught with further Wi-Fi hacking tools in his backpack.

Since then, surprisingly, Serebriakov has only risen in status. This week, Western intelligence sources told WIRED that Serebriakov is now the new leader of one of the world’s most aggressive hacking units. Serebriakov took over Sandworm, which is responsible for some of the worst cyberattacks in history, in the spring of 2022. His elevation to the senior role, experts say, shows how small the pool of skilled nation-state hackers is likely to be and demonstrates Serebriakov’s value to Russia.

Nowhere on the internet is free from threats—and that includes LinkedIn. This week we looked at how spies, scammers, and hackers from Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China are using the professional network to scout and approach intelligence targets. In addition, LinkedIn is plagued with thousands of suspicious accounts; it removed hundreds from WIRED’s profile when we reported them.

The Western clampdown on TikTok is continuing—this week the UK joined the US, Belgium, Canada, and the European Union in banning the social media app from being used on government devices. But in the US, Senator Mark Warner is trying to pass legislation, in the guise of the bipartisan Restrict Act, that will allow officials to ban apps and services from six “hostile” nations: China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela. We sat down with Warner and asked about the plans.

A WIRED analysis of “cybercrime” cases across the US shows how vague and…