Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, July 29, 2023

Subject: Tool, developed by SITU Research is now being used in legal battles around the world
Source: WIRED

The City of New York has agreed to pay more than $13 million total to 1,380 people as part of a settlement of a class action related to the New York Police Department’s treatment of demonstrators during protests in 2020 sparked by the murder of George Floyd. Lawyers representing the protesters secured the settlement with the help of a tool that allowed them to comb terabytes of video footage from police body cams, helicopter surveillance, and social media taken during the protests. This quickly produced clear evidence of widespread patterns in police behavior, allowing lawyers to showcase a broad survey rather than focusing on a handful of anecdotes. The tool, developed by SITU Research, a design agency that focuses on protecting civil liberties, is now being used in legal battles around the world.

Subject: What to do if scammers charge for COVID-19 tests you didn’t order
Source: LA Times

Judy is just one of hundreds of people who have fallen victim to a new scam involving COVID-19 test kits, part of the rising trend of fraudulent activity since the start of the pandemic.

Here’s how it works: Scammers buy stolen Medicare numbers online or extract them directly from Medicare patients. They use these ID numbers to bill Medicare for over-the-counter test kits, collecting a tidy profit on each one and causing enrollees to receive kits they did not order.

Lampert declined to reveal how many complaints the Office of Inspector General has received, the details of the investigations and how the office is holding criminals accountable. According to a news release updated in June, fraudulently ordered COVID-19 testing kits have cost Medicare more than $203 million.

Some seniors were sent unsolicited tests only once, but others have been receiving them on a monthly basis, said Amy Nofziger, director of victim support for AARP’s Fraud Watch Network. Nofziger pointed out that certain states with higher populations of older adults, such as Florida, Arizona and New York, have become targets for criminals to exploit.

What do I do if an unsolicited test kit is sent to my home?

Subject: New Tool Shows if Your Car Might Be Tracking You, Selling Your Data
Source: Vice

Vice: “A new tool that is free to use for consumers aims to better inform people about the types of data their particular car manufacturer might be collecting and sharing about their identity and driving patterns. The Vehicle Privacy Report tool, made by automotive privacy company Privacy4Cars, is based on a manual and automatic analysis of car manufacturers’ data collection policies. Users enter their vehicle identification number (VIN), and the tool provides information based on those policies…After entering their VIN, the Vehicle Privacy Report tool says the types of data it believes the car manufacturer collects. This includes identifiers, location data, biometrics, and data synced from mobile phones. The tool also lists the sorts of entities the manufacturer may share or sell data to, such as insurance companies, data brokers, or the government….

Abstracted from beSpacific
Copyright © 2023 beSpacific, All rights reserved.

Subject: Bill introduced to screen U.S. investments in China passes Senate
Source: Pennsylvania Business Report

Tuesday, a bill introduced by Pennsylvania’s U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) to screen U.S. investments in national security sectors that are part of countries of concern, like China, passed in the U.S. Senate. The Outbound Investment Transparency Act would give more visibility into the access countries like China have to American technology and know-how in industries like advanced semiconductors and microelectronics, artificial intelligence, quantum information science and technology, hypersonics, satellite-based communications, and networked laser scanning systems with dual-use applications. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) co-sponsored the bill. “The United States is at a crossroads; we can take control of our own future or we can let China eat our lunch,” Casey said. …

Subject: This Stalkerware is Spying On Thousands: Here’s What To Do
Source: Cord Cutters News

Android phones are increasingly facing the problem of stalkerware, malicious apps that are unwittingly loaded onto your phone and collect personal information. A newly identified example is Spyhide, which has been found on at least 60,000 devices since it was created in 2016, according to data reviewed by TechCrunch.Spyhide is an example of spyware has to be downloaded on the device, meaning someone had access to your unlocked phone and was able to install it without your knowledge. That’s why stalkerware is also referred to as spouseware.

The revelation of Spyhide’s reach underscores the growing problem of stalkerware, which potentially puts thousands in danger. A Kaspersky report found that nearly 30,000 individuals were affected by the spyware in 2022, with the rate of incidents steadily growing throughout the year.

Subject: How researchers broke ChatGPT and what it could mean for future AI development
Source: ZDNet

“As many of us grow accustomed to using artificial intelligence tools daily, it’s worth remembering to keep our questioning hats on. Nothing is completely safe and free from security vulnerabilities. Still, companies behind many of the most popular generative AI tools are constantly updating their safety measures to prevent the generation and proliferation of inaccurate and harmful content. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the Center for AI Safety teamed up to find vulnerabilities in AI chatbots like ChatGPT, Google Bard, and Claude — …



Abstracted from beSpacific
Copyright © 2023 beSpacific, All rights reserved.

Subject: Crypto Sector Is Rife With ‘Fraud’ and ‘Hucksters’ Warns Gary Gensler
Source: Markets Insider

  • SEC chair Gary Gensler warned investors about the lack of regulation for cryptocurrencies.
  • He told Bloomberg TV the sector was rife with “fraud” and “hucksters,” leaving investors at risk.
  • Gensler said some crypto platforms were “co-mingling and trading against” investors.

He told Bloomberg TV that “investors should be aware that it’s not only a highly speculative asset class, it’s also one that they currently should not assume that they’re getting the protections of the securities laws – even though those securities laws apply to many tokens.

Earlier this month a US judge ruled that Ripple did not break securities law by selling its XRP token on public exchanges.

The decision, which sent the value of the token soaring, was the first win for a crypto company in a case brought by the SEC, Reuters reported.


Posted in: AI, Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Economy, Financial System, Health, Legal Research, Privacy, Securities Law