From The Blog

Wait, another danger of AI article? Yes, another one. Since far too many people and companies are ok with ignoring the dangers simply for the sake of the next big shiny thing, we thought we would at least be part of the awareness of it. I might also say “I told you so” when things do start to go sideways… ok I would not be that much of a jackass, but I do think that making sure to point out issues with new technology while others seem ok with glossing them over is a good idea.

The leak of tools used by threat groups, and spying agencies are events of inestimable importance in both the threat group and security worlds. To threat groups this is like free money. They now have access to someone else’s development efforts meaning they can spend less money developing the next payload for their own interests. On the security side it means that there is a high potential to see new variants of these tools hitting the wild which they now must defend against. It also increases the attack pool which they must defend against since now even unsophisticated groups have access to all the fun tools.

Microsoft’s $69 Billion wish list includes the acquisition of Activision Blizzard and all the goodies that it controls. This deal has been called the largest in gaming history and it should be. It involves a massive amount of money, and a large stockpile of AAA gaming IP. It would all be under Microsoft’s control. The deal has been approved by 37 different agencies (including the EU) and has two notable hold outs; the US FTC and the UK’s CMA. Microsoft has appealed the UK regulator’s move to block the deal while the FTC case is not set to be heard until August.

Geoffrey Hinton, a former engineering fellow at Google and a vice president focusing on AI has made comments after his retirement from Google earlier this month (May 2023). Although his retirement was about more than his change of mind on AI (he was also 75), he has said that his concern has only grown seeing the state of AI and how hard organizations are pushing for it.

The Google Play Store is and has always been something of a playground for mobile malware groups. Over the past few years hundreds of malicious apps have been uncovered with tens of thousands of downloads. Everything from banking malware to information stealers and worse has been identified in the store. Google, to their credit, has tried to find a solution to this. The problem is that the mobile device theater is about as secure as the PC industry was in the late 90s given the shovel ware from mobile device makers, and then carriers.

With some of the news around AI I feel like I should just create a “what could go wrong” series of articles. After all, as we see the term “AI” pushed around as the savior for all the things, we should be aware of the fact that things could go horribly wrong with any of these systems. So, it is with that in mind that we bring you news that Microsoft is now offering an AI content moderation system called Azure AI Content Safety. I mean having a system that was taught what is harmful content to control speech in online platforms… what could possibly go wrong?

In what seems to be a tit-for-tat move, Chin has announced a ban on products from US chip maker, Micro. The reasons for this are vague with the Cybersecurity Administration of China (CAC) saying it is for National Security reasons. This move comes after the US has banned a couple of technology companies from China for the same reasons and as social time-wasting platform TikTok comes under greater scrutiny in possible preparation of a nationwide ban on the platform. Montana has already signed a ban into law although this ban might not bear the scrutiny of a Constitutional Review.

In the never-ending saga of Ransomware, the threat groups that deploy or leverage this tool for financial gain are always looking for a new method of installation and ways to avoid increasingly sophisticated security measures. Although most organizations might not be employing overly sophisticated security, the really good targets might be. Even the use of advanced MDR/XDR makes the exposure window smaller when it comes to many ransomware attacks.

Long, long ago in a development studio far away there was a concept for a game where the protagonist was something more than just another boss to beat. In 1994 LookingGlass studios launched the game System Shock. It was a 1st person shooter game where you take the role of a “hacker” onboard a space station in 2072. Your nemesis, a malevolent AI called SHODAN. The game was a critical success although it lost money for LookingGlass. System Shock also changed the genre of first-person shooters with its innovative style, story line and, of course, SHODAN.

Video editing software CapCut users are being targeted by attackers to push different strains of malware. For those that are not aware of that CapCut is, it is a video editor and maker for TikTok and is the official one at that (ByteDance also owns TikTok). With over 500 million downloads from Google Play alone it is clearly a very popular app for people to grab to feed their TikTok streams with. It was only a matter of time before someone decided to go after the poplar app and with the growing number of bans and lock outs for ByteDance and their services, offering what appears to be an alternative way to get this software makes sense (from an attacker perspective).