But wait, there’s more. Each week we round up the security topics that we haven’t covered extensively ourselves. Click on the headlines to read the full stories. And stay safe out there.
Most of the TikTok challenges you hear about are fake. However, this is deadly serious. Automaker Huyandai this week agreed to pay around $200 million to customers whose vehicles were stolen following a viral TikTok challenge that exposed a major security flaw in some Hyundai and Kia vehicles.
The challenge began after user “Kia Boys” posted a video on TikTok showing that it was possible to short-circuit the vulnerable vehicles using a USB cable. At least 14 accidents and eight deaths have been linked to the challenge, according to Engadget. Hyundai will pay affected customers up to $6,125 for stolen vehicles and up to $3,375 to cover costs of damage caused by those who exploited the vulnerability. The company also has aAnti-theft update” available for affected vehicles. Check if your vehicle is affected Here.
The US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court yesterday unsealed an April 2022 opinion exposing the FBI’s rampant misuse of the so-called Section 702 database, a vast collection of electronic communications records used by the FBI and the National Security Agency. The court found that the FBI unlawfully searched the database established under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act more than 287,000 times in 2020 and 2021. Targets of the FBI’s searches include Jan. 6 protesters, people arrested during their protest against police’s killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and some 19,000 American political donors to an unidentified US congressional campaign.
Section 702 gives the US government authority to collect communications from targets abroad. Communications from Americans may enter the database if they are communicating with someone outside of the United States. An audit released late last year by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence found several similar cases in which the FBI misused the Section 702 database to conduct searches on American citizens, including US Congressman Darin LaHood. Following the ODNI review and the release of the court ruling this week, the FBI said the abuse was the result of a “misunderstanding” and promised to have fixed the issue. Regardless, Section 702 will expire at the end of the year without renewed approval from Congress, which could be jeopardized by the FBI’s repeated and widespread abuses.
The US Department of Justice on Tuesday announced Charges against a former Apple engineer accused of stealing the company’s source code related to its self-driving car technology. Weibao Wang allegedly stole the “sensitive” documents in the final days of his tenure at Apple in April 2018. According to the report, Wang left Apple five months after signing an employment contract for a US subsidiary of a China-headquartered company’s Justice Department. After US law enforcement raided his home in Mountain View, California, in June 2018, Wang, 35, fled to China, according to the Justice Department. If convicted, Wang faces up to ten years in prison and fines.
Everyone knows how much data can be collected about you whenever you are online. But a bigger concern might be what someone can gather about you anytime, anywhere. That is the warning in a new research workIt has been found that it is possible to collect “environmental DNA” – traces of genetic material suspended in air or liquids, also called eDNA – which can be linked to a person’s medical or ancestral data. Legal experts who spoke to the The New York Times warn that if police or other government agencies start collecting eDNA, as scientists studying animals have been doing for a decade, it could lead to widespread violations of privacy and civil liberties.