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  1. Nov 2022
    1. TITLE: New evidence revealed the disparity in the internet access for children in five African countries

      CONTENT: A recent UNICEF research brief estimated the level of internet access for children in Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, and the United Republic of Tanzania, as well as the most common barriers to connecting children to the digital world and their consequences. The report classified these common barriers into three categories: infrastructure-related, resource-constrained, and adult permission-related. According to the findings, 90% of children in the five countries surveyed reported having at least one barrier to regular internet access. The most frequently mentioned barrier was the high cost of data.

      The report identified three priorities for addressing the digital divide and enabling equal access to digital connectivity: investing in electricity and connectivity with a focus on marginalised communities and users; lowering the cost of connectivity and devices; and addressing cultural and social norms as barriers to address for children and adolescents.

      EXCERPT: A recent UNICEF research brief revealed that 90% of children in Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, and Tanzania experienced at least one of three common barriers to regular internet access - infrastructure-related, resource-constrained, and adult permission-related barriers. The most frequently mentioned barrier was the high cost of data.

      LINK: https://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/1559-estimates-of-internet-access-for-children-in-ethiopia-kenya-namibia-uganda-and-the-united-republic-of-tanzania.html

      TOPIC: Children’s rights

      TREND: internet access; internet connectivity; digital divide; digital inclusion.

      DATE: November 2022

      COUNTRY: Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda and Tanzania

    1. TITLE: WHO report evaluates online safety and violence against children educational programmes for youth.

      CONTENT: Based on a review of evaluations of online safety programmes and online VAC programmes for children and adolescents, the report, What Works to Prevent Online Violence Against Children, discovered strong evidence that prevention education for children can work, and that this is a key strategy for addressing online VAC. Educational programmes have been widely demonstrated to improve overall safety and health. These educational programmes are particularly effective in preventing one type of online VAC, cyberbullying (both victimisation and perpetration).

      This report also captured a number of structural and skill components that contribute to the effectiveness of educational programmes and should be widely adopted.

      • Structural components include multiple and varied learning strategies and tools; more lessons, more message exposures, more reminders, and follow-ups; using peer engagement, role-plays, and interactions; getting a supportive whole-school environment; and parental involvement.
      • Skill components include problem-solving, assertiveness, empathy, self-regulation, help-seeking, bystander or defender mobilization, social norm instruction, sex education, and substance abuse education.

      The report also revealed that there is a lack of evidence about the success of prevention programmes for online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

      The report suggests implementing school-based educational programmes with multiple sessions that encourage youth interaction and involve parents. It emphasises the need for more violence prevention programmes that integrate content about online dangers with offline violence prevention. It suggested less emphasis on stranger danger and more emphasis on acquaintance and peer perpetrators, who are responsible for the majority of online violence against children.

      EXCERPT: The WHO report on what works to prevent online violence against children, based on a review of evaluations of online safety programmes for youth, found strong evidence that prevention education for children can work and can increase safety and health in general.

      LINK: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/978924006206

      TOPIC: Child safety online

      TREND: Violence against children; online violence against children; educational program; cyberbullying; online child sexual exploitation and abuse; evidence review.

      DATE: 24 November 2022

      COUNTRY: Global

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    1. TITLE: UNICEF released a future-ready, child-centered digital framework to address inequalities in children's lives.

      CONTENT: Given that digital exclusion mirrors and magnifies existing social, cultural, and economic inequities and pushes vulnerable children closer to the edges of marginalisation, the digitization of society has an uneven consequence on all children. In order to address the effects of the shifting digital and governance landscape, as well as emerging and embedded technologies, on children's experience with digital technologies, a future-oritened framework for an equitable digital future was proposed in this new UNICEF report. This framework drew the needs of transformation from "digital inclusion" to "digital equality". For this framework to effectively respond to new trends and technologies, a wider range of stakeholders must be engaged.

      The framework can be used as a foundation for developing and evaluating digital inclusion policies, as a roadmap for structuring the involvement of pertinent stakeholders in achieving digital equality for children, and as a tool to assist in the design of policies and interventions by state authorities, civic groups, and the private sector.

      EXCERPT: A new child-centered digital framework proposed by UNICEF painted an equitable digital future, highlighting the need for a shift from "digital inclusion" to "digital equality," as well as increased participation from relevant stakeholders.

      LINK: https://www.unicef.org/globalinsight/reports/towards-child-centred-digital-equality-framework

      TOPIC: Children’s rights

      TREND: digital equity; child-centred; inequality

      DATE: October 2022

      COUNTRY: Global

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    1. TITLE: WHO report recommends to strengthen the evidence base to monitor the digital health transformation

      CONTENT: Digital health refers to the use of information and communication technologies for delivering health care and service, managing health systems and facilities. Despite the positive role that digital health has played to improve health care access, safety, and quality, this WHO report pointed out that digital health programmes and interventions are often not monitored or evaluated. It found that existing metrics for measurement and evaluation tend to be left behind by the rapid evolution of digital health. This report made the case for the necessity of incorporating health data measurement and governance into health care systems. Making available information more accessible at the national and international levels, addressing the variability in digital health monitoring, paying closer attention to monitoring digital health inequalities, and addressing the potential risk of exacerbating inequalities among the most vulnerable, including young children, are all necessary steps to improve monitoring activities.

      EXCERPT: A WHO report noted that monitoring of digital health programmes is frequently lacking. It advised focusing attention on enhancing current measurement measures, reducing the variability in digital health monitoring, and addressing the disparities in digital health among the most vulnerable, especially young children.

      LINK: https://www.who.int/europe/publications/i/item/WHO-EURO-2022-5985-45750-65816

      TOPIC: Children’s rights

      TREND: digital health; monitoring and evaluation.

      DATE: 22 November 2022

      COUNTRY: Global

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    1. Taiwan says it sees less Chinese interference ahead of elections

      TITLE: Taiwanese Foreign Minister attests decreased Chinese interference in upcoming elections

      CONTENT: Taiwan has repeatedly accused China of attempts to meddle in their elections with online disinformation campaigns. China, which claims the democratically governed island as its own territory, has always played a role in Taiwanese politics. However, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said to the press ahead of the elections that this time around it seemed like there has been less interference from the Chinese government. Still, more recent news reports do find evidence of Chinese disinformation operations in Taiwan. China's Taiwan Affairs Office did not respond to requests for comment by Reuters.

      EXCERPT: Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said to the press ahead of the elections that this time around it seemed like there has been less interference from the Chinese government.

      LINK: https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/taiwan-says-it-sees-less-chinese-interference-ahead-elections-2022-11-23/

      TREND: Fake news

      DATE: 27/11/2022

      COUNTRY: Taiwan

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    1. Emmanuel Macron has accused Russia of feeding disinformation to further its “predatory project” in Africa, where France has had military setbacks.

      TITLE: Macron accuses Russia of financing disinformation projects in Africa

      CONTENT: In an interview with TV5 Monde, Emmanuel Macron has accused Russia of spreading disinformation to further its “predatory project” in Africa. He explained that there are several different actors with the intention to spread disinformation in the continent in order to hurt France after its military setback in the Region. In particular, there is concern regarding the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group that built connections with Mali’s military after France pulled its troops out of the country. Russia has rejected the accusations and Yevgeny Prigozhin, the businessman believed by the EU to be behind the Wagner Group called the reports “fakes, outright lies and … falsification”.

      EXCERPT: In an interview with TV5 Monde, Emmanuel Macron has accused Russia of spreading disinformation to further its “predatory project” in Africa.

      LINK: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/20/emmanuel-macron-accuses-russia-of-feeding-disinformation-in-africa

      TREND: Fake news

      DATE: 21/11/2022

      COUNTRY: Russia, France, Mali

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    1. How climate disinformation is spreading after Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover

      TITLE: Activists express concerns about climate disinformation on Twitter after Musk's takeover

      CONTENT: Activists have been expressing their concerns about climate disinformation on Twitter after Musk's takeover. Although there has not been an explicit policy change in Twitter’s approach to tackling climate disinformation on the platform, Musk fired Twitter’s sustainability team within a wider cull of staff two days before the start of COP27. Jennie King, head of civic action and education at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) explained that Twitter was supposed to be the voice of COP27, according to a campaign planned in advance alongside climate advocates. However, she expressed that all the intermediaries on the company were laid off and since then there has been a spike in outright climate denial on the platform,

      EXCERPT: Activists have been expressing their concerns about climate disinformation on Twitter after Musk's takeover. Although there has not been an explicit policy change in Twitter’s approach to tackling climate disinformation on the platform, Musk fired Twitter’s sustainability team within a wider cull of staff two days before the start of COP27.

      LINK: https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/11/17/how-climate-disinformation-is-spreading-after-elon-musks-twitter-takeover

      TREND: Fake news

      DATE: 18/11/2022

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    1. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was taken to hospital after arriving in Indonesia's Bali for the G20 summit, the Associated Press reported on Monday, a report that Moscow dismissed as "fake news".

      TITLE: Moscow claims that reports of their hospitalised foreign minister at G20 are 'fake news'

      CONTENT: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Bali to represent Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit. Lavrov was taken to the hospital shortly after arriving in Bali and the Associated Press reported on Monday that Lavrov was being treated for a heart condition, citing several sources. Nevertheless, Russia's foreign ministry spokesperson claimed that the report was baseless and dismissed the situation by calling it "fake news".

      EXCERPT: Russia's foreign ministry spokesperson claims that reports of their hospitalised foreign minister at G20 are 'fake news'

      LINK: https://www.reuters.com/world/russian-foreign-minister-taken-hospital-after-arriving-g20-summit-ap-2022-11-14/

      TREND: fake news

      DATE: 14/11/2022

      COUNTRY: Russia

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    1. A California federal judge dismissed blockchain platform Dfinity's trademark suit over the infinity-symbol logo against Meta Platforms Inc. The judge ruled that the two logos were not similar enough to sustain the lawsuit.

      In a trademark infringement lawsuit, Swiss blockchain group Dfinity Foundation alleged that Mets copied its infinity-symbol logo, which was similar to the one used by the Swiss company.

      The court found that Meta's logo was not likely to cause consumer confusion with Dfinity's logo as Dfinity's rainbow infinity logo is not similar in shape or colour to Meta's log. Given the targeted audience, it is unlikely to create any confusion, the court concluded.

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    1. Is globalisation going back to localisation and centralisation?

      The US government announced the Chips and Science Act of 2022 to strengthen the chips supply chain and provide more STEM job opportunities to Americans.

      The UK Digital Strategy sets semiconductors and advanced computing as critical supply chains and builds partnerships with the US government.

      The European Commission proposed the Chips Act in Feb. 2022 to enhance productivity and technology leadership. Then, the Commission approved the Italian measure to improve the semiconductor supply chain. To achieve the goals of digital and green transition.

      Some advanced economies try to deindustrialization, keep the research and development in these developed countries and set manufacturing processes in less economically developed countries before 2022. The economic activity is called the "global division of labour."

      But these national and regional strategies or bills seem to make the whole manufacturing process in the local country or the region and try to decouple with some controversial countries.

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    1. But more than any single post, the danger of manipulated media lies in the way it risks further damaging the ability of many social media users to depend on concepts like truth and proof. The existence of deepfakes, which are usually created by grafting a digital face onto someone else’s body, is being used as an accusation and an excuse by those hoping to discredit reality and dodge accountability — a phenomenon known as the liar’s dividend

      Title: Misinformation experts express concern about manipulated content on TikTok

      Content: Experts who study misinformation are expressing concerns about manipulated video and photo content on TikTok. Manipulated media is a key feature on the platform and is mostly used as an entertainment or humorous resource. However, fake news stories and deepfake images of politicians are starting to become a pervasive reality on the popular video platform. These techniques are being applied to posts that sow political division, advance conspiracy theories and threaten the core tenets of democracy ahead of the midterm elections. Henry Ajder, an expert on manipulated and synthetic media stated: “When this volume of content can be created so quickly and at such scale, it completely changes the landscape.” Experts also said it is especially difficult to detect and moderate this kind of content on TikTok, where an estimated 1.6 billion active users put their own stamp on someone else’s content, and where objective facts, satire and outright deceit sometimes blend together in the fast-moving feed. Regardless of single posts, the largest concern is about how these apps where manipulated media is a feature blurs the users ability to tell the difference between truth and fake.

      Excerpt: Experts who study misinformation are expressing concerns about manipulated video and photo content on TikTok. The largest concern is about how these apps where manipulated media is a key feature blurrs the users ability to tell the difference between truth and fake.

      Link: (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/04/technology/tiktok-deepfakes-disinformation.html)

      Trend: Fake news

      Date: November 4th

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    1. TITLE: INTERPOL launches first INTERPOL Global Crime Trend Report 2022 (IGCTR)

      CONTENT: With a view to improving law enforcement's access to timely and accurate criminal intelligence analysis, INTERPOL has produced the first INTERPOL Global Crime Trend Report 2022 (IGCTR), which also includes a summary of key findings on global crime trends. The IGCTR is INTERPOL's first assessment to greatly rely upon the Organisation's data holdings and contributions from its global network of 195 member countries as well as private sector partners

      Among the top five global trends ranks cybercrimes, for which ransomware, phishing, online scams and computer intrusion are perceived as 'high' or 'very high' threats by INTERPOL member countries. Also among the top ten crime trends was Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCSEA), for which 62% of member countries expected these crimes to "increase" or "significantly increase" in the future.

      TOPIC: cybercrime

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    1. Title: The German Chancellor will visit Beijing to push human rights and an open market

      The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, will visit Beijing on Nov 4. The trip aims to discuss human rights and push an open market. The Chancellor will probably focus on establishing a mutually beneficial business relationship between Germany and China, especially for all European and enterprises. (link)

      The German government allowed the Chinese shipping company to set up a terminal in Hamburg. The government is still assessing a Sweden company's acquisition of a small-scale, German-based semiconductor company with €85 million. The Sweden company is owned by one of the Chinese microchip manufacturers. (link)

      The U.S. Government published the rule to restrict chips in advanced technology export to Chinese entities in Oct. To prevent the Chinese government uses advanced chips in military applications. Chinese enterprises begin to search for any opportunity to own the chip technology to prosper their technical development, i.e., supercomputer, artificial intelligence, autonomy technology and aerospace technology. Many related companies have stopped providing services or materials to Chinese companies.

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    1. TITLE: The White House to host the second Counter Ransomware Initiative Summit

      CONTENT: This week, the White House will host the Counter Ransowmare Initiative Summit with representatives from 13 international firms and representatives from 36 countries and the European Union to discuss the growing threat posed by ransomware and other cybercrime on critical infrastructure and individuals. The goal of the Summit is to “institute a set of cyber norms and rules of the road that are recognized across the globe to counter criminal ransomware threats and hold malicious actors accountable”. A joint statement by participants is expected at the end of the Summit.

      EXCERPT: The White House will host the second Counter Ransowmare Initiative Summit with representatives from 36 countries and the EU as well as private sector actors to discuss the threats posed by ransomware and other cybercrime on critical infrastructure.

      LINK: https://www.reuters.com/technology/cyber-officials-37-countries-13-companies-meet-ransomware-washington-2022-10-31/?&web_view=true

      TOPIC: Critical Infrastructure, Cybersecurity

      TREND: Protection of Critical Infrastructure

      PROCESS: -

      DATE: 31October 2022

      COUNTRY: United States

    2. TITLE: Australia releases a practical framework for cyber governance principles

      CONTENT: The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre (CSCRC) have published the Cybersecurity Governance Principles, a set of governance principles and a “practical framework” for organizations to strengthen their cyber resilience. The principles cover five main areas: roles and responsibilities, cyber strategy, cyber risk management, cyber resilient culture, and cyber incident planning.

      These guidelines build on the recently published Cybersecurity Performance Goals for Critical Infrastructure by the US Department of Homeland Security as an example of best practice and are being considered by the Australian government as it reviews its cyber laws following a spate of recent high-profile hacks.

      EXCERPT: The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre (CSCRC) have published the Cybersecurity Governance Principles, a set of governance principles and a “practical framework” for organizations to strengthen their cyber resilience.

      LINK: https://www.continuitycentral.com/index.php/news/technology/7847-new-cyber-security-governance-principles-for-australian-organizations

      TOPIC: Critical Infrastructure, Cybersecurity

      TREND: Protection of Critical Infrastructure

      PROCESS: -

      DATE: 27 October 2022

      COUNTRY: Australia

    3. TITLE: The US Department of Homeland Security releases New Cybersecurity Performance Goals for Critical Infrastructure (CPGs)

      CONTENT: On 27 October 2022, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released new Cybersecurity Performance Goals (CPGs). CPGs are voluntary and non-comprehensive “prioritized subset of IT and operational technology (OT) cybersecurity practices)” that identify the highest priorities and measures owners of critical infrastructures and supply chains should follow to protect against cyber attacks.

      As part of the White House efforts and new investments in cybersecurity, the CPGs were developed by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in collaboration with governmental and private sector actors. These procedures are meant to be implemented in the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (CSF), covering the following issues: account security, device security, data security, governance and training, vulnerability management, supply chain and third parties security, and finally recovery and response.

      EXCERPT: The United States Department of Homeland Security released new New Cybersecurity Performance Goals for Critical Infrastructure (CPGs) to identify priorities and measures owners of critical infrastructures and supply chains should follow to protect against cyber attacks.

      LINK: https://www.msspalert.com/cybersecurity-news/dhs-releases-new-cybersecurity-performance-goals-for-critical-infrastructure-facilities/

      TOPIC: Critical Infrastructure, Cybersecurity

      TREND: Protection of Critical Infrastructure

      PROCESS: -

      DATE: 27 October 2022

      COUNTRY: United States

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  2. Oct 2022
    1. Dutch corporations have unknowingly supplied Russia with high tech.

      Dutch high-tech companies have unknowingly sold technology to firms founded by the Russian military intelligence service, the head of the Dutch military (MIVD) secret service revealed in an interview with Financieele Dagblad.

      As explained by MIVD head, Jan Swillens, the Russian secret service created dozens of businesses functioning in the Netherlands as 'front companies' to purchase technology in the Netherlands and smuggle it to Russia, thus evading sanctions. The products range from microchips to rubber for the tires of military vehicles.

      Such practices have existed since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, 'but with the war in Ukraine, it is increasing significantly', Swillens said.

      Duch official has called on high-tech companies to conduct more thorough research into their customers and inquire about their products' actual end users and has informed defense minister Kajsa Ollongren about the smuggling routes.

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    1. A Russian diplomat warned that commercial satellites used by the US and its allies to help Ukraine in the war could become legitimate targets for attacks.

      Speaking at the first special session of the UN General Assembly on Disarmament, Konstantin Vorontsov, deputy director of the Russian foreign ministry's department for non-proliferation and arms control, said that:

      'Quasi-civilian infrastructure may be a legitimate target for a retaliatory strike,' and noted that helping through civilian satellites constitutes indirect participation in military conflicts, calling it 'an extremely dangerous trend'.

      A senior official from the American administration quickly responded in reaction to threats made by a Russian diplomat.

      John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, said at a news conference that 'any attack on US infrastructure will be met with a response and that will be met with a response appropriate to the threat that's posed to our infrastructure.'

      Likewise, Kirby promised that the US would continue supporting Ukrainian war efforts.

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    1. Title: The U.S. BIS announced new Export Administration Regulations for national security and foreign policy concerned https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/10/13/2022-21658/implementation-of-additional-export-controls-certain-advanced-computing-and-semiconductor

      The US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is concerned about its national security and foreign policy. The BIS made critical changes to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

      Based on the published document, advanced integrated circuits (ICs) used in supercomputing, semiconductor manufacturing in ICs, software, and technology in new advanced computing and military defense usage are in the EAR. They need to apply for export permission. The document also listed twenty-eight entities in China which were identified for the national security and foreign policy concerned.

      The US BIS knows the new rule will impact to the supply chain, they also set two changes to minimize the short term impact on the supply chains. The new rule gives some companies a one-year waiver to produce their products in China .

    1. Interpol says metaverse opens up new world of cybercrime

      Madan Oberoi, Interpol's executive director for technology and innovation warned about the potential of cybercrime in the metaverse and said the agency is preparing for dangers posed by the virtual world(s).

      Metaverse could potentially amplify the cybercrime challenges already present online while also introducing a host of new ones. Cybercrime might operate differently when augmented reality and virtual reality are involved. Oberoi cautioned

      "Some of the crimes may be new to this medium, some of the existing crimes will be enabled by the medium and taken to a new level," Oberoi said.

      He underlined other serious concerns, such as child safety and the possibility that virtual reality can make crime in the real world easier.

      ‘If terror group wants to attack a physical space they may use this space to plan and simulate and launch their exercises before attacking,’ he said.

      Law agencies are increasingly interested in the metaverse, with Interpol developing its own virtual environment that will allow police forces around the world to communicate with one another and even participate in immersive training courses. At the same time, Europol recently published its second report about the metaverse named ‘Policing in the metaverse: what law enforcement needs to know’.

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    1. Apple Inc lost an appeal in a London court over key technology patents that are used in Apple's devices. The Court of Appeal confirmed the lower court’s previous decision that Optis Cellular Technology LLC can restrict Apple from using the crucial patents for 3G and 4G telecommunications unless Apple commits to fair and reasonable terms of use.

      Judge Richard Arnold stated that Apple merely needed to agree to accept a global license over the standard essential patents on terms that a court considered to be fair and reasonable to avoid an injunction on using the patents in England and Wales.

      The ruling is the latest in a dispute that has been ongoing since 2019 when Optis accused Apple of infringing eight of its patents on key telecommunications technology through the sale of products, including iPhone and iPad. In contrast, Apple claimed that Optis has been abusing its dominant position.

      The legal battle between Apple viruses Optis has already prompted six separate trials and three appellate hearings in Uk alone, with two further Court of Appeal hearings due next year.

      Also, the mentioned companies led a legal dispute before a court in the US, where a judge fined Apple $300 million for infringing on Optis' patent rights related to wireless standards. Apple attempted to appeal the decision, but an East Texas court denied its bid for a third trial in May.

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    1. The bill is especially concerned with the protection of children, having been developed in response to the death of Molly Russell, a U.K. teen who took her own life after being exposed to suicide-related posts on Instagram

      UK's telecom regulator chief (Ofcom)said Meta and Microsoft will not be allowed to self-regulate their metaverses in the UK and will be subject to the country's proposed Online Safety Bill. Breach of the online safety legislation, which is yet to be approved, may result in heavy fines of up to 10% of annual global revenues. Furthermore, senior executives of those companies could even face criminal charges in case of extreme violations.

      Melanie Dawes, CEO of Ofcom, stated that businesses in the metaverse wouldn't be allowed to self-regulate their virtual worlds and would instead need to comply with the Online Safety Bill in the UK.

      The Online Safety Bill is a proposed legislation drafted to prevent the online sharing of harmful content. The law, which is yet to be approved, would require companies to create a set of strict measures to address harmful content. The legislation focuses particularly on protecting children.

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    1. Tata Power

      The Hive ransomware group has claimed responsibility for a cyberattack against India's largest power company Tata Power. As reported by bleepingcomputer, the threat actor began leaking data allegedly stolen from Tata Power on their leak site after failed ransom negotiations.

      According to details shared by security researcher Rakesh Krishnan, the leak contains personally identifiable information (PII), including Aadhaar identity numbers, permanent account numbers (PAN), drivers' license, salary specifics, and engineering drawings.

      The incident is said to have occurred on 3 October 2022 and was confirmed by Tata Power; however, the company refused to provide any additional details (about the incident).

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    1. Apple filed a lawsuit against medical tech company Masimo Corp in federal court in Delaware, accusing the company of 'copying' its Apple Watch. According to the case, Masimo Corp, W1 smartwatches infringed several Apple Watch patents.

      An Apple spokesperson said in a statement that it hoped the suit would 'protect the innovations we advance on behalf of our customers.'

      On the other hand, Masimo spokesperson said Apple's suit was an effort to 'divert attention from the litigations brought by Masimo,' and accused Apple of intellectual property theft "instead of competing fairly."

      Previously, Masimo, which specializes in health-monitoring devices for medical patients, sued Apple in California federal court in 2020. The company claimed that Apple had stolen its trade secrets and infringed its patents, including measuring heart rate and blood-oxygen levels. Last year, it also asked the US government to halt imports of Apple Watches that violate its patents.

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    1. Tropical Scorpius

      The Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine (CERT-UA) reported the spread of phishing emails that target critical infrastructure with Cuba Ransomware.

      As explained by CERT-UA Team, phishing emails impersonated the Press Service of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, enticing recipients to click a link. The victims are lured to a third-party website to update the PDF Reader software to read the embedded document. Upon clicking the 'DOWNLOAD' button, victims are infected with malware known as 'ROMCOM RAT.' The operations are linked to the threat actor 'Tropical Scorpius'.

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    1. Iran's atomic energy organization says e-mail was hacked

      TITLE: Iran’s nuclear energy agency’s email got hacked from a foreign country

      CONTENT: Iran's atomic energy organization announced on Sunday that an e-mail server belonging to one of its subsidiaries had been hacked from a foreign country and material had been published online.

      Black Reward, an Iranian hacker collective, claimed in a statement posted on Twitter that it has made leaked information about Iranian nuclear programs, calling the move a gesture of support for Iranian protesters.

      According to Black Reward, the documents released included atomic development contracts and agreements with domestic and foreign partners, management and operational schedules of different parts of the Bushehr power plant, and passports and visas of Iranian and Russian specialists working there.

      In a statement made on October 21, Black Reward threatened to reveal hacked data within 24 hours if the government did not free political prisoners and those detained during the uprising.

      EXCERPT: An e-mail server belonging to Iran's atomic energy organization was hacked from a foreign country. Black Reward, an Iranian hacker collective, claims it has made leaked information about Iran's nuclear programs public. Documents include atomic development contracts, management and operational schedules of different parts of Bushehr power plant.

      TOPIC: Cybercrime, Cyberconflict and warfare

      DATE: 23.10.

      LINK: https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/irans-atomic-energy-organization-says-e-mail-was-hacked-state-media-says-2022-10-23/

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    1. New Phishing Campaign Targets Saudi Government Service Portal

      TITLE: Saudi government’s service site becomes a target of a new phishing campaign

      CONTENT: Multiple phishing domains imitating Absher, the Saudi government service site, have been set up to supply citizens with fake services and steal their passwords.

      CloudSEK cybersecurity researchers made the finding and published an advisory about the threat on Thursday.

      Government services in the Saudi region have reportedly recently been a top target for cybercriminals looking to steal user credentials and exploit them in other cyberattacks, according to CloudSEK.

      In order to lessen the effects of these assaults, CloudSEK urged government agencies to keep an eye on phishing attempts that target citizens and warn and educate them about the risks, such as by advising them not to click on questionable links.

      EXCERPT: Saudi citizens are being targeted by phishing websites that mimic Absher, the Saudi government service site. Cybercriminals are looking to steal user credentials and exploit them in other cyberattacks, researchers say. Government services in the Saudi region have reportedly been a top target for cybercriminals.

      LINK: https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/phishing-campaign-saudi-government/

      DATE: 21.10.

      TOPIC: Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Cyberconflict and warfare

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    1. The Europol Innovation Lab has published its second report under its Observatory function, ‘Policing in the metaverse: what law enforcement needs to know’. The reports are intended to aid in the understanding, adaptation, and planning of law enforcement agencies for policing in the metaverse.

      Based on in-depth consultations with law enforcement experts, industry and academia, the report provides a detailed overview of the potential for criminal activities within the metaverse, recommendations for tackling crime (within the metaverse) alongside the opportunities and best practices for building a police presence online.

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    1. Zscaler

      Internet connectivity was on 19 October impacted after a major cable cut in the south of France, affecting subsea cable connectivity to Europe, Asia, the United States and potentially other parts of the world. As a result, customers may see packet loss or latency for websites and applications which cross these impacted routes. Cloud security company Zscaler reports that they made routing adjustments to reduce the impact.

      According to Zscaler, three French links - from Marseille-Lyon, Marseille-Milano, and Marseille-Barcelona- were cut.

      While the repair crews reached the spots quickly, they had to wait for the police to collect evidence. As of now, the issue has been resolved, and all internet connectivity should resume usually.

      Coincidently, the undersea cable that connects the Shetland Islands to the Scottish mainland has reportedly also suffered damage, according to the BBC. Since cables between the Faroe Islands and Shetland were also recently damaged, this is the second incidence involving marine cables in that area in a short period.

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    1. Ransomware is Being Used As a Precursor to Physical War: Ivanti

      TITLE: Ivanti’s Ransomware Index Report Q2–Q3 2022: Ransomware leads to physical war

      CONTENT: Since 2019, ransomware has expanded by 466%, and it is increasingly being utilized as a precursor to actual combat.

      The findings came from Ivanti's Ransomware Index Report Q2-Q3 2022, which the company released earlier today to Infosecurity.

      The data also suggests that ransomware groups are becoming more sophisticated and widespread, with 35 vulnerabilities becoming related with ransomware in the first three quarters of 2022 and 159 trending active exploits. Based on the report, 47.4% of ransomware vulnerabilities threaten healthcare systems, 31.6% damage energy systems, and 21.1% affect key manufacturing.

      The Ivanti research claims that hostile nations are increasingly using state-sponsored threat groups to infiltrate, destabilize, and disrupt operations in their target countries. As shown in the recent Russia-Ukraine war, ransomware is being utilized as a precursor to physical warfare in many of these operations.

      Ivanti executive also noted that IT and security teams need to work on employing automation technology that can not only correlate data from disparate sources, but also quantify risk, provide early warning of weaponization, predict assaults, and prioritize remedial actions.

      TOPIC: Cyberconflict and warfare, Cybercrime, Critical infrastructure

      DATE: 20.10.

      LINK: https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/ransomware-precursor-to-physical/

      EXCERPT: Ivanti's Ransomware Index Report Q2-Q3 2022 states that ransomware is being utilized as a precursor to physical warfare. The report shows percentage of ransomware expansion since 2019, as well as ransomware vulnerabilities that threaten some of the most critical infrastructure. It is suggested that IT and security teams work on quantifying risk, providing early warning of weaponization, predicting assaults, and prioritizing remedial actions.

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    1. Interpol unveiled the first-ever 'metaverse' designed for law enforcement worldwide at its ongoing 90th General Assembly in Delhi. The metaverse platform is envisioned to aid police forces worldwide to interact with other officers and even take 'immersive training courses in forensic investigation and other policing capabilities'. Likewise, the platform allows users to visit virtual Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France.

      'The metaverse has the potential to transform every aspect of our daily lives with enormous implications for law enforcement,' Madan Oberoi, Interpol's Executive Director of Technology and Innovation, said in a statement.

      'But in order for police to understand the metaverse, we need to experience it'., added Oberoi

      In addition, Interpol announced the formation of a metaverse expert group to voice law enforcement's concerns worldwide and guaranteed that the new virtual world was safe by design.

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    1. Ajman Police General Command said its metaverse project is the first such police service in the UAE and the development makes it the first government body in the emirate of Ajman to take the digital leap.

      The Ajman Police in Dubai has become the first law enforcement organization in the world to provide metaverse services. The Ajman Police stated that its metaverse initiative is the first of its kind for the United Arab Emirates and marks the Ajman government's entry into the metaverse.

      According to the Police force, citizens will be able to interact with police officials in the metaverse by wearing Virtual Reality (VR) headsets, smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktop computers.

      Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed bin Abdullah Abu Shehab, head of the Services Development Team, stated, 'the project came within Ajman Police's efforts to strengthen cooperation with its customers and involve them in the design and development of services. Metaverse comes within the framework of facilitating the meeting between customers through VR, which brings them together with police officers without the need for a personal presence at the police station.'

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    1. Russia's ministry of industry and trade recommended that industrial enterprises stop using Zoom, Skype, and WhatsApp for official purposes and choose Russian systems as an alternative.

      As Kommersant reports, the ministry explained its decision 'as the requirement to comply with the government's requirements and strengthen information security measures.'

      Another high-ranking Russian official had made a similar request. A 'full ban on WhatsApp use for official purposes by the Russian state and municipal employees' employees' was demanded by Anton Gorelkin, deputy chairman of the information policy committee of the Russian parliament.

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    1. “There could be — in time, if it grows — financial stability problems. There also are investor issues around a lack of certainty.”

      The head of the EU's financial services has called US lawmakers to create new regulations to control the cryptocurrency market, stressing that if digital assets remain unregulated, it might threaten financial stability.

      Mairead McGuinness, the European Commission's financial services commissioner, told the Financial Times in a recent interview that they need to look at global regulation of cryptocurrencies.

      'We do need to see other players also legislating … perhaps differently, but with the same objective. … We need to look at the global regulation of crypto. There would be a lot of concern at a European level as to [what would happen] if crypto were not to be regulated.' warning digital assets could pose a threat to financial stability if left to grow unregulated. Stated McGuinness

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    1. The United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) rejected Meta's (formerly known as Facebook) appeal and ordered the company to sell the animated-images platform Giphy. CMA's decision cited that taking over Giphy was harmful to the competition.

      The decision came after CMA found that Meta's purchase of Giphy could allow Meta to limit other social media platforms' access to GIFs, making those sites less attractive to users and less competitive. CMA also ruled that such a deal removed Giphy' as a potential challenger in the UK display advertising market, preventing UK businesses from benefiting from innovation in this market.'

      Previously, in November, the CMA ordered Meta to sell Giphy after finding it would raise competition concerns. Meta tried to appeal the decision. However, in June, a court ruled against the company's appeal, promoting the final decision to the CMA.

      The final decision by CMA ruled the deal would enable Meta to further increase its market power.

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    1. The US International Trade Commission (USITC) revealed it would open investigations into divisions of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm on allegations of patent infringement. USITC stated that it would look into allegations made by the complainant that parts and mobile devices imported into the US violated its semiconductors and integrated circuits patents.

      According to the USITC's investigation, the patent infringement claims cover chips manufactured by Samsung using its 14nm and smaller process nodes and by TSMC using its 16nm and smaller process nodes. The investigation will also include the aforementioned processors as well as mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. In contrast, Qualcomm has been named in a separate patent infringement filed by the same company.

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    1. However, the organization came under fire after Russia launched its war in Ukraine over the connection of one of its members to the Kremlin.

      German cybersecurity chief Arne Schönbohm was fired over alleged ties with Russian security services. According to media reports, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser sacked the head of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) due to recent media reports of his ties with Russia and due to the damaged public trust in Schönbohm's leadership.

      According to reports in German media, Schönbohm was tied to Russia through his role in the Cyber Security Council of Germany. In 2012, Schönbohm co-founded the organization, which advises the private and public sectors on cybersecurity issues. However, the organization came under fire over the connection of one of its members to the Kremlin.

      The layoff was initially reported by the German news publication Spiegel, and was later confirmed by a representative for the Interior Ministry.

      'The background to this is not least the allegations, which are well known and widely discussed in the media, and which have permanently damaged the necessary public confidence in the neutrality and impartiality of the conduct of his office as president of Germany's most important cybersecurity authority,' the spokesperson said.

      The departure of Schoenbohm will be followed by an investigation from Germany's Interior Ministry over the allegations in question.

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    1. Hackers compromised Hong Kong govt org's network for a year

      TITLE: Hong Kong’s government org’s network compromised by hackers for a year

      CONTENT: Cyberattacks on government institutions in Hong Kong by the China-linked espionage actor APT41 (also known as Winnti), which compromised them, went unnoticed for up to a year in certain cases, have been discovered by Symantec researchers.

      The threat actor has been employing a piece of customized malware known as Spyder Loader that has previously been linked to the organization.

      The newly detected Hong Kong activity appears to be a component of the same operation, according to Symantec's research, and the targets of Winnti are local governments in the special administrative area.

      Although Symantec was unable to recover the full malware, it appears that the objective of APT41's most recent effort was to gather intelligence from significant Hong Kong institutions.

      EXCERPT: Symantec has discovered a year long China-linked cyberattacks, coming from espionage actor known as Winnti. They have been compromising government institutions in Hong Kong. The full malware was not yet found, but their most recent object is local governments special administrative area.

      LINK: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/hackers-compromised-hong-kong-govt-orgs-network-for-a-year/

      DATE: 18.10.

      TOPIC: Cybercrime, Cyberconflict and warfare

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    1. Pro-Russia Hackers DDoS Bulgarian Government

      TITLE: Bulgarian government attacked with DDoS by pro-Russian hackers

      CONTENT: Over the weekend, the Bulgarian government was subject to a wave of DDoS attacks, with Russia being the main suspect, according to sources.

      According to various local reports, traffic flooded the websites of the Bulgarian President, the National Revenue Agency, and the departments of internal affairs, defense, and justice.

      The campaign on October 15 also targeted telecom businesses, airports, banks, and a few media outlets, Sofia Globe reported.

      The suspects were recognized as being from the Russian city of Magnitogorsk by the authorities, according to Borislav Sarafov, the director of Bulgaria's National Investigation Service.

      However, according to some reports, the notorious Russian cybercrime group Killnet had already taken responsibility for the said DDoS attack.

      LINK: https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/prorussia-hackers-ddos-bulgarian/

      DATE: 18.10.

      TOPIC: Cyberconflict and warfare, cybercrime

      EXCERPT: The Bulgarian government was subject to a wave of DDoS attacks, with Russia being the main suspect. Traffic flooded the websites of the Bulgarian President, National Revenue Agency, and departments of internal affairs, defense, and justice. Some reports claim Russian cybercrime group Killnet had already taken responsibility for the attack.

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    1. 1 million roubles ($16,150)

      A Moscow court on Tuesday fined US giant Amazon.com Inc a total of 41 million roubles ($16,150), Interfax reported.

      Interfax said the court ruled that Amazon had failed to delete material that 'propagandises suicide', which is illegal under Russian law.

      It is the first such fine imposed on Amazon, although other US-based giants have come under pressure in Russia in recent months, with Meta being labelled as an 'extremist' organization and Google and Apple receiving fines.

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    1. Horizon Worlds, Meta’s flagship metaverse for consumers, is failing to meet internal performance expectations, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reviewed internal company documents.

      Horizon Worlds, Meta’s flagship metaverse platform, is failing to meet internal performance expectations, The Wall Street Journal reported, which reviewed internal company documents. The Journal said the records showed the user base had been progressively falling since the spring, and many Horizon users have left after the first month on the platform.

      Meta had set a target of 500,000 monthly active users but recently reduced it to 280,000; at this time, there are fewer than 200,000.

      Horizon’s services include several interactive virtual spaces or worlds letting users socialize, play and have fun. Internal statistics have shown that only 9% of developed worlds have more than 50 visitors, while many are never visited.

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    1. Australian police secret agents exposed in Colombian data leak

      TITLE: Colombian data leak exposes personal information of Australian Federal Police

      CONTENT: Following the release of data taken from the Colombian government by hackers, the identities of covert agents for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have been made public.

      More than five terabytes of sensitive information, including emails, documents, and strategies AFP agents were employing to prevent drug cartels from conducting business in Australia, were leaked by the hacktivist collective Guacamaya.

      Details exposed this way come from 35 AFP operations, some of them still active, and also contain surveillance reports from agents, phone tap recordings, and salary data for Colombian personnel.

      LINK: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/australian-police-secret-agents-exposed-in-colombian-data-leak/

      DATE: 14.10.

      TOPIC: Cyberconflict and warfare, Cybercrime

      EXCERPT: The identities of covert agents for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have been made public. This follows the release of data taken from the Colombian government by hackers. More than five terabytes of sensitive information were leaked by the hacktivist collective Guacamaya.

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    1. The Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) reports that it has tracked new ransomware dubbed Prestige that is being used to target transportation and logistics organizations in Ukraine and Poland. The latest ransomware campaign has not been attributed to any known threat actor.

      However, MSTIC added that 'the activity shares victimology with recent Russian state-aligned activity, specifically on affected geographies and countries, and overlaps with previous victims of the FoxBlade malware (also known as HermeticWiper)'.

      According to MSTIC, deployment of Prestige ransomware has not been previously recorded, and its activity was not connected to any of the 94 currently active ransomware activity groups that Microsoft tracks.

      The method of initial access remains unknown, with Microsoft noting that the threat actor had already obtained privileged access to the compromised environment to deploy the ransomware using three different methods.

      Microsoft reported observing three different methods for deploying the ransomware. Two involved attackers uploaded the payload to an admin-shared folder and then activated it on network systems using remote code tools to trigger them on victim systems. A third involved the payload being added to the Active Directory Domain Controller and deployed across networks.

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    1. Education Sector Experienced 44% Increase in Cyber-Attacks Over Last Year

      TITLE: Education sector recorded a 44% increase in cyberattacks since last year

      CONTENT: According to Check Point's 2022 Mid-Year Report, the education sector saw a 44% increase in cyberattacks from 2021 to 2022, with an average of 2297 attacks against organizations every week.

      The research illustrates that a factor in the attraction is the enormous amount of personal information that threat actors can amass by picking on businesses in this industry.

      According to the monthly threat index produced by the research team, the education sector will be most negatively affected in 2022. It is obvious that cybercriminals are finding success with these operations, and schools and colleges should be planning for a rise in the frequency of these attacks.

      In contrast to most businesses, which only have employees, academic institutions also have students. This makes the sector's networks much larger, more accessible, and harder to secure.

      TOPIC: Cyberconflict and warfare, Cybercrime, Cybersecurity

      LINK: https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/education-experienced-44-increase/

      DATE: 14.10.

      EXCERPT: The education sector saw a 44% increase in cyberattacks from 2021 to 2022, with an average of 2297 attacks against organizations every week. Cybercriminals are finding success with these operations, and schools and colleges should be planning for a rise in the frequency of these attacks.

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    1. Microsoft says Ukraine, Poland targetted with novel ransomware attack

      TITLE: Microsoft discovers new novel ransomware attack on Ukraine and Poland

      CONTENT: According to a blog post by Microsoft on Friday, a recently identified hacker group has used a novel kind of ransomware to assault logistics and transportation firms in Poland and Ukraine.

      In less than an hour on Tuesday, the attackers targeted a variety of computers, according to Microsoft, which added that it had not yet been able to connect the attacks to any known group.

      Researchers discovered that the cyberattacks, however, closely resembled past assaults by a cyber team connected to the Russian government that had affected Ukrainian government services.

      LINK: https://www.reuters.com/technology/microsoft-says-ukraine-poland-targetted-with-novel-ransomware-attack-2022-10-14/

      TOPIC: Cyberconflict and warfare, Cybercrime

      EXCERPT: A hacker group has used a novel kind of ransomware to attack logistics and transportation firms in Poland and Ukraine. In less than an hour on Tuesday, the attackers targeted a variety of computers. Microsoft has not yet been able to connect the attacks to any known group.

      DATE: 15.10.

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    1. TITLE: NATO establishes review board to govern responsible use of AI

      CONTENT: NATO has established a Review Board to govern the responsible development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) and data across the organisation. The decision was taken at the meeting of NATO Ministers of Defence which took place in Brussels on 12–13 October 2022. The Data and Artificial Intelligence Review Board (DARB) will work on developing a user-friendly responsible AI certification standard to help align new AI and data projects with NATO's Principles of Responsible Use. The board is also expected to act as a platform allowing the exchange of views and best practices to help create quality controls, mitigate risks, and adopt trustworthy and interoperable AI systems. NATO member states will designate one national nominee to serve on the DARB. Nominees could come from governmental entities, academia, the private sector, or civil society.

      TECHNOLOGY: AI

      DATE: 13 October 2022

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    1. Turkey: new ‘disinformation’ law could jail journalists for three years

      TITLE: Turkey’s new disinformation law imposes threats to domestic journalism and social media

      CONTENT: A comprehensive new rule that could result in up to three years in prison for people suspected of disinformation spreading has been approved by the Turkish parliament.

      Wide-ranging clauses of the contentious bill, put out by the government's Justice and Development party (AKP), are designed to control domestic journalism as well as social media.

      The bill provides a framework for extensive censorship of online information and the criminalization of journalism, which will enable the government to further subdue and control public debate in the run-up to Turkey's general elections in 2023, according to a coalition of 22 press freedom organizations.

      Additionally, the new law mandates that messaging services like WhatsApp, which is also owned by Meta, submit user information to the government upon request from the nation's Information and Communication Technologies Authority.

      EXCERPT: Turkey's parliament has approved a bill that could result in up to three years in prison for people suspected of spreading disinformation online. The bill, put out by the government's Justice and Development party (AKP), is designed to control domestic journalism as well as social media.

      LINK: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/oct/13/turkey-new-disinformation-law-could-jail-journalists-for-3-years

      DATE: 13.10.

      TOPIC: Freedom of the press, Freedom of expression, Content policy

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    1. Report Shows How China Has Been Using Cyberattacks Over the Past Decade

      TITLE: Report documents China's use of cyberattacks over the past ten years

      CONTENT: According to a report released on October 12, by consultancy firm Booz Allen Hamilton, Chinese state-sponsored cyberattacks pose a growing threat to US national security.

      ‘Same Cloak, More Dagger: Decoding How the People's Republic of China (PRC) Uses Cyber Attacks’ is a report aimed at CISOs of American companies and their allies, as well as threat analysts. It provides a thorough examination of more than 13 case studies of Chinese-sponsored cyberattacks over the last decade.

      According to their results, China is creating and using cyberattack capabilities to further its 'core interests' at home. These cyberattacks are a supplement to China's more well-known and varied efforts to use legal, financial, cultural, political, and technical tools to further its objectives online.

      Booz Allen did clarify that the report's main source of research was open-source. It is likely impossible to properly determine the exact extent of China's cyberattack capabilities from open sources. It's probable that China decided not to use all of its resources or that it did so secretly, based on the study.

      LINK: https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/report-china-cyberattacks-past/

      DATE: 14.10.

      TOPIC: Cyberconflict and warfare

      EXCERPT: 'Same Cloak, More Dagger: Decoding How the People's Republic of China Uses Cyber Attacks' is a report aimed at CISOs of American companies and their allies. It provides a thorough examination of more than 13 case studies of Chinese-sponsored cyberattacks over the last decade. It is shown that Chinese state-sponsored cyberattacks pose a growing threat to US national security.

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    1. Kazakh outlet Orda, staff subjected to months of threats, online harassment, cyberattacks

      TITLE: Kazakh media outlet Orda’s staff suffer from months of cyberattacks and online harassment

      CONTENT: The Committee to Protect Journalists said on Wednesday that Kazakhstani authorities should fully examine recent threats against independent news website Orda and its head editor Gulnara Bazhkenova and safeguard the safety of the publication and its personnel.

      Following the publishing by the outlet of an investigation into suspected lobbying methods by a corporation apparently related to Kazakhstan's former president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, there have been several internet harassments and cyberattacks against Bazhkenova, her family, and Orda.

      While Orda has improved its cybersecurity, Bazhkenova claims that DDoS and other types of cyberattacks have been ongoing since July, with perpetrators constantly looking for ‘weak spots’ that cause the site to go offline for brief periods.

      In addition to the website cyberattacks, she claims that unidentified users have flooded Orda's Telegram chat with derogatory images and insults aimed at Bazhkenova and Orda staff. However, most recently, the online insults have been replaced by threats against her and her 7-year-old son. LINK: https://cpj.org/2022/10/kazakh-outlet-orda-staff-subjected-to-months-of-threats-online-harassme nt-cyberattacks/

      EXCERPT: Cyberattacks against independent news outlet Orda have been ongoing since July, with perpetrators constantly looking for 'weak spots' that cause the site to go offline for brief periods. The Committee to Protect Journalists said on Wednesday that Kazakhstani authorities should fully examine recent online threats.

      DATE: 12.10.2022.

      TOPIC: Freedom of the press, Cybercrime

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    1. Greece: At a meeting with RSF, the government commits to ban the use of spyware

      TITLE: Greek government promises ban on spyware of journalists at the meeting with RSF

      CONTENT: At their meeting on October 10th, the representative of RSF requested that the Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister and Government Spokesperson, Ioannis Oikonomou, initiate discussions for a complete reform of the legal safeguards against the arbitrary surveillance of journalists.

      The recent revelations of the intelligence agency's surveillance of reporters using spyware have increased the gap of mistrust between Greek journalists and the authorities, according to Pavol Szalai, head of RSF's European Union and Balkans desk. He further stated that the new legal framework the government promised must be both ambitious and properly consult with the main stakeholders: journalists.

      The government ‘will soon submit a bill to make the use of spyware illegal,’ according to Ioannis Oikonomou, who also reiterated that the Greek authorities did not acquire or use Predator, in response to Pavol Szalai's call for legislation on spywares.

      LINK: https://rsf.org/en/greece-meeting-rsf-government-commits-ban-use-spyware

      EXCERPT: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called for a complete reform of the legal safeguards against the arbitrary surveillance of journalists in Greece. The government 'will soon submit a bill to make the use of spyware illegal,' according to Ioannis Oikonomou, who also reiterated that the Greek authorities did not acquire or use Predator.

      TOPIC: Freedom of the press

      DATE: 12.10.

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    1. Ukraine Enhances Cooperation With EU Cybersecurity Agencies

      TITLE: Ukraine tightens collaboration with EU cybersecurity agencies

      CONTENT: Recently, representatives from the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) and the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine (SSSCIP) met to explore enhancing networking and collaboration.

      The working meeting took place as part of the Cybersecurity East Project trip to the ENISA headquarters in Athens.

      After the conference, Viktor Zhora, the deputy head of the SSSCIP, stated: ‘Cooperation with the European partners includes two key vectors for our country. On the one hand, Ukrainian experience in cyber-war, confronting cyber-threats from Russia would definitely be beneficial for other democracies.’

      The SSSCIP claimed that the meeting was essential for European integration as well, with ENISA special partner status being a key step in that direction since the Ukrainian conflict has pushed the country even further toward its Western peers.

      According to SSSCIP, achieving this accreditation is a crucial step in the process of aligning national cybersecurity laws with EU law.

      DATE: 10.10.

      TOPIC: Cybersecurity, Cyberconflict and warfare

      EXCERPT: Ukraine and the European Union have met to discuss enhancing networking and collaboration. The meeting took place as part of the Cybersecurity East Project trip to the ENISA headquarters in Athens. SSSCIP claimed that the meeting was essential for European integration as well, with ENISA special partner status being a key step in that direction. This will also push the country's aligning of national cybersecurity laws with EU law.

      LINK: https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/ukraine-cooperation-with-eu/

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    1. US airports' sites taken down in DDoS attacks by pro-Russian hackers

      TITLE: US airports’ hit with DDoS by pro-Russian hackers

      CONTENT: The websites of numerous major airports in the United States have allegedly been subjected to widespread distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, according to the pro-Russian hacktivist organization 'KillNet.'

      Travelers are unable to login and receive information about their booked flights or make reservations for airport services because the servers hosting these sites are being overloaded by trash requests as a result of the DDoS attacks.

      The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), one of the nation's major air traffic hubs, and the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which is occasionally offline or very slow to reply, are notable examples of airport websites that are now inaccessible.

      DATE: 10.10.

      LINK: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/us-airports-sites-taken-down-in-ddos-attacks-by-pro-russian-hackers/

      TOPIC: Cyberconflict and warfare, Cybercrime

      EXCERPT: The websites of numerous major airports in the U.S. have allegedly been subjected to widespread distributed denial-of-service attacks caused by pro-Russian hackers. The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), and the Los Angeles International Airport are notable examples of airport websites that are now inaccessible.

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    1. How Cyberfeminism Is Helping Women Forge Solidarities In Conservative Societies

      TITLE: Expansion of cyberfeminism in the Middle East and South Asia

      CONTENT: Feminist activists in Iraq started a social media campaign in September last week to call for the Ministry of Education to issue a formal resolution that will forbid ‘the imposition of the veil as a condition for academic enrollment.’

      The online campaign, which emphasized the value of women's personal freedom, provided another illustration of how cyberfeminism is taking a dynamic shape in the Middle East and South Asian countries through the hashtag #No_for_forced_veiling on Iraqi social media networks.

      LINK: https://www.outlookindia.com/national/how-cyberfeminism-is-helping-women-forge-solidarities-in-conservative-societies-news-228660

      DATE: 09.10.

      TOPIC: Gender rights online

      EXCERPT: Feminist activists in Iraq started a social media campaign to call for the Ministry of Education to issue a formal resolution that will forbid 'the imposition of the veil as a condition for academic enrollment'. The online campaign, which emphasized the value of women's personal freedom, generated #No_for_forced_veiling on Iraqi social media networks.

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    1. Germany's cybersecurity chief faces dismissal, reports say

      TITLE: Germany's cybersecurity chief may be dismissed

      CONTENT: Due to potential interactions with individuals associated with Russian security services, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser wants to fire the nation's cybersecurity director, according to late-Sunday reports in German media that cited official sources.

      According to numerous sites, Arne Schoenbohm, the head of the federal information security organization BSI, may have had these contacts through the German Cyber Security Council.

      Schoenbohm founded the organization, which includes a German firm that is a subsidiary of a Russian cybersecurity firm founded by a former KGB employee.

      EXCERPT: Germany's interior minister reportedly wants to fire the nation's cybersecurity director. Arne Schoenbohm may have had contacts with individuals associated with Russian security services. His organization, BSI, is a subsidiary of a Russian cybersecurity firm founded by a former KGB employee.

      LINK: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/germanys-cybersecurity-chief-faces-dismissal-reports-2022-10-09/

      TOPIC: Cybersecurity

      DATE: 10.10.

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    1. TITLE: Six countries selected to host future European quantum computers

      CONTENT: The European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JC) had announced the the selection of six sites across the EU to host and operate the first EuroHPC quantum computers: Czechia, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain. The quantum computing systems to be developed within these sites are to be made available to European users (scientific communities, industry, the public sector, etc.) mainly for research and development purposes.

      For background, the EuroHPC JU is a legal and funding entity launched in 2018 to enable the EU and countries participating in the EuroHPC to coordinate efforts and resources towards developing supercomputing facilities in the EU.

      TECHNOLOGY: Emerging technologies

      TREND: Quantum computing

      Date: 4 October 2022

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    1. TITLE: US White House publishes Blueprint for an AI Bill or Rights

      CONTENT: The US White House, through the Office of Science and Technology Policy, has issued a Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights to guide the development, deployment, and use of automated systems. The blueprint outlines five key principles and is accompanied by a framework to help incorporate the protections into policy and practice.

      The five principles are:

      • Safe and effective systems: Users should be protected from unsafe and ineffective systems.
      • Algorithmic discrimination protection: Users should not face discrimination by algorithms and systems should be used and designed in an equitable way.
      • Data privacy. Users should be protected from abusive data practices via built-in protections and should have agency over how data about them is used.
      • Notice and explanation: Users should know that an automated system is being used and understand how and why it contributes to outcomes that impact them.
      • Human alternatives, consideration, and fallback: Users should be able to opt out, where appropriate, and have access to a person who can quickly consider and remedy problems they encounter.

      Within the scope of the blueprint are automated systems that have the potential to meaningfully impact the public's rights, opportunities, or access to critical resources or services.

      It is important to note that the blueprint does not have a regulatory character, and is meant to serve as a guide.

      TOPICS: AI

      TRENDS: AI governmental initiatives

      DATE: 4 October

      COUNTRY: USA

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    1. The Kyiv Post reports that "tough" Russian threat actors target within their own country as reprisal for the Ukrainian war and the overall situation in Russia. The organization, known as the National Republican Army (NRA), apparently launched several attacks, including one on Unisoftware, a Russian software company that purportedly collaborates closely with government clients.

      NRA claimed to have stolen all data held by the firm, such as banking and personal account credentials, employee information, phone numbers, addresses, contracts, and proprietary code for Unisoftware clients and software.

      The group has also been linked to the attack on Russian IT retail chain DNS, which confirmed earlier this week that it had been breached without providing additional information

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    1. Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan, has stated in a policy speech that the country's plans for investing in digital transformation include the Metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) services. In his address to Japan's parliament, Kishida stated Japan will continue to focus on 'supporting the social implementation of digital technology' and will 'promote efforts to expand the use of Web3 services that utilize the metaverse and NFTs.' Previously, Japan had recently established a Web3 policy office under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), which is focused on improving the business environment related to Web 3.0. Furthermore, METI is reportedly looking into a proposal to offer tax exemptions to Japanese crypto companies to entice them to keep their business in the country and further fuel the nation's evolving Web3 sector.

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    1. Taliban shuts down two news websites in Afghanistan 

      TITLE: Taliban deactivate two news websites due to ‘false propaganda’ in Afghanistan

      CONTENT: According to a tweet from the ministry's spokesperson Anayatullah Alokozay and a report by the London-based independent Afghanistan International TV station, the Taliban's Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology shut down the websites of Hasht-e Subh Daily and Zawia News on Monday, October 3, due to 'false propaganda' against the Taliban.

      In separate statements on Monday, the Hasht-e Subh daily and Zawia News sites, which are run by Afghan journalists who have been reporting from exile since the August 2021 Taliban takeover, said the Taliban had deactivated their website domain names.

      Since then, Hasht-e Subh Daily has resumed its online presence under a new domain. According to Zawia News, it will keep publishing news on the website of Zawia Media, its parent firm.

      LINK: https://cpj.org/2022/10/taliban-shuts-down-two-news-websites-in-afghanistan/

      EXCERPT: Afghanistan's Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology shut down the websites of Hasht-e Subh Daily and Zawia News on Monday, October 3. The sites are run by Afghan journalists who have been reporting from exile since the August 2021 Taliban takeover.

      DATE: 04.10.

      TOPIC: Freedom of the press

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    1. FBI and CISA Publish Advisory on Malicious Cyber Activity Against Election Infrastructure

      TITLE: FBI and CISA joined in a public announcement on malicious cyber activities against election infrastructure

      CONTENT: An official public service announcement about hostile cyber activity intended to compromise election infrastructure has been released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

      The agencies stated in the letter made public on Tuesday that it is unlikely that attempts to breach election infrastructure will result in widespread disruptions or stop voting.

      The notice also made clear that authorities employ a range of safeguards to lessen the possibility of hostile cyber activity compromising the security, reliability, or accessibility of election infrastructure systems.

      The Election Security Group (ESG), a body created at the end of August by the US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and the National Security Agency (NSA), was created to safeguard electoral processes from hacking and disinformation before and during the November elections.

      EXCERPT: An official public service announcement about hostile cyber activity intended to compromise election infrastructure has been released by the FBI and CISA. The agencies stated that it is unlikely that attempts to breach election infrastructure will result in widespread disruptions or stop voting. Election Security Group (ESG) was created to safeguard electoral processes from hacking and disinformation.

      LINK: https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/fbi-cisa-advisory-cyber-activity/

      DATE: 06.10.

      TOPIC: Cyberconflict and warfare, Cybersecurity, Cybercrime

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    1. US govt shares top flaws exploited by Chinese hackers since 2020

      TITLE: US government agencies reveal top weak points exploited by Chinese hackers since 2020

      CONTENT: In order to attack government and critical infrastructure networks, hackers supported by the People's Republic of China (PRC) most frequently use certain security flaws, according to information released today by the NSA, CISA, and the FBI.

      In a combined alert, the three government agencies claimed that Chinese-sponsored hackers are targeting tech businesses and networks in the United States and its allies in order to enter private networks and steal intellectual property.

      The report also includes suggestions for addressing each of the security holes that Chinese threat actors use the most, as well as detecting techniques and weak technologies to aid defenses in identifying and thwarting incoming attacks.

      TOPIC: Cyberconflict and warfare, Cybercrime

      LINK: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/us-govt-shares-top-flaws-exploited-by-chinese-hackers-since-2020/

      DATE: 06.10.

      EXCERPT: NSA, CISA, and FBI warn that Chinese-sponsored hackers are targeting tech businesses and networks in the U.S. and its allies to steal intellectual property. Report also includes suggestions for addressing each of the security holes that Chinese threat actors use the most.

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    1. Mexico continued to use spyware against activists

      TITLE: Spyware still used by Mexico against activists

      CONTENT: Despite a commitment by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to halt such activities, it is reported that the Mexican government or army has continued to utilize spyware meant to hack into the cellphones of activists.

      Press freedom advocacy organizations reported on Monday that they had discovered proof of recent attempts to target activists looking into Mexican army human rights violations using the Israeli spyware tool Pegasus. The University of Toronto group Citizen Lab conducted a forensic study to confirm the Pegasus virus.

      The targets included rights campaigner Raymundo Ramos, according to a report by the press freedom organization Article 19, The Network for the Defense of Digital Rights, and Mexican media outlets.

      TOPIC: Cybercrime, Freedom of expression

      LINK: https://apnews.com/article/technology-mexico-caribbean-hacking-cd4e4a0bcf13705072af19b2d97bbf63

      EXCERPT: Despite a commitment by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to halt such activities, it is reported that the Mexican government or army has continued to utilize spyware. Targets included rights campaigner Raymundo Ramos, according to a report by the press freedom organization Article 19.

      DATE: 03.10.

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    1. A Bolsonaro reelection poses biggest threat to Brazilian press freedom, says RSF

      TITLE: Election campaign and online attacks pose threat to Brazilian press freedom

      CONTENT: The image of the media by President Bolsonaro as an enemy of the state that must be stopped has always resonated strongly with his support base, which is well-organized on social media, but especially during this election campaign.

      Since the campaign's launch on August 16th, RSF has carefully tracked (put this link on ‘carefully tracked’: https://rsf.org/en/press-under-pressure-brazil-rsf-analyzes-online-attacks-against-journalists-during-presidential ) these online attacks and has recorded no less than 2.8 million posts that target and degrade journalists.

      In terms of direct assaults, 86% of victims were female journalists. The president's family and government officials, who have millions of followers on social media, have shared the vast majority of this offensive material.

      LINK: https://rsf.org/en/bolsonaro-reelection-poses-biggest-threat-brazilian-press-freedom-says-rsf

      EXCERPT: RSF has recorded more than 2.8 million posts that target and degrade journalists in Brazil since the beginning of election campaign.

      TOPIC: Freedom of the press

      DATE: 30.09.

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