Some blasts from the past surfaced this week, including revelations that a Russia-linked hacking group has repeatedly targeted the US electrical grid, along with oil and gas utilities and other industrial firms. Notably, the group has ties to the notorious industrial-control GRU hacking group Sandworm. Meanwhile, researchers revealed evidence this week that an elite NSA hacking tool for Microsoft Windows, known as EpMe, fell into the hands of Chinese hackers in 2014, years before that same tool then leaked in the notorious Shadow Brokers dump of NSA tools.
WIRED got an inside look at how the video game hacker Empress has become so powerful and skilled at cracking the digital rights management software that lets video game makers, ebook publishers, and others control the content you buy from them. And the increasingly popular, but still invite-only, audio-based social media platform Clubhouse continues to struggle with security and privacy missteps.
If you want something relaxing to take your mind off all of this complicated and concerning news, though, check out the new generation of Opte, an art piece that depicts the evolution and growth of the internet from 1997 to today.
And there’s more. Each week we round up all the news we didn’t cover in depth. Click on the headlines to read the full stories. And stay safe out there.
In addition to infiltrating the unclassified networks of seven other US government agencies, the suspected Russian hackers who compromised the IT services firm SolarWinds as a jumping off point also penetrated NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration. Researchers and officials testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday about the scope and scale of the attack. The Washington Post reported ahead of the hearing that the Biden administration is preparing sanction against Russia related to the SolarWinds espionage operation and other recent incidents of aggression. The seven other breached agencies are the Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security, Energy, and State, the US Treasury, the National Institutes of Health, and the Justice Department. The White House said earlier this month that hackers also compromised 100 companies in the spree….