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Hillicon Valley — Cyberattack hits Ukrainian defense

Hill Illustration/Madeline Monroe/iStock
Cybersecurity companies warn that criminals are using malware, phishing campaigns and cryptocurrency scams to exploit people’s concerns about the Ukraine war.

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Follow The Hill’s tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@millsrodrigo) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.

A cyberattack hit Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense as the country faces heightened tensions with Russia. Meanwhile, Facebook settled a long-running privacy lawsuit for $90 million.

Let’s jump into the news.

 

Ukraine Defense Ministry hit by cyberattack 

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense on Tuesday said it had been hit with a cyberattack amid heightened tensions with Russia and concerns Moscow could launch aggressive actions against the country, including a potential ground invasion.  

In addition, at least two Ukrainian banks and some ATMs lost connectivity, according the Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security, which is part of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, Reuters reported.

Netblocks, a watchdog group monitoring cybersecurity and global internet connectivity, confirmed that real-time network data showed a loss of connectivity to Ukraine’s State Savings Bank, impacting ATM and banking services.   

Ukrainian officials did not assign blame for the attack but a statement suggested Russia could be behind it, Reuters reported, as the country has earlier come under cyberattacks from Moscow.  

“It is not ruled out that the aggressor used tactics of little dirty tricks because its aggressive plans are not working out on a large scale,” the statement read. 

In January, Ukrainian officials blamed Russia for a cyberattack on government websites, with Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Development saying in a statement that “Moscow continues to wage a hybrid war and is actively building up its forces in the information and cyberspaces.” 

Read more here.

 

Facebook settles for $90M 

Facebook will pay $90 million to settle a privacy lawsuit dating back to 2012, according to a proposed settlement filed Monday night.  

The preliminary settlement filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ends a decade-long case against Facebook over allegations of the tech giant using “cookies” to track users’ internet use even after they logged off the social media platform.  

As part of the proposed settlement, Facebook, now under the parent company Meta, also agreed to sequester and delete all the data at issue. 

“Reaching a settlement in this case, which is more than a decade old, is in the best interest of our community and our shareholders and we’re glad to move past this issue,” Meta spokesperson Drew Pusateri said in a statement.  

The case had been dismissed in 2017, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit revived the lawsuit in 2020.  

Facebook appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the court declined to hear the company’s appeal of the lower court ruling. 

Read more here.

NONWHITE AREAS IN NYC SUBJECT TO GREATER SURVEILLANCE

New York neighborhoods in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx that are mostly made up of nonwhite residents are subject to greater surveillance than white neighborhoods, according to an Amnesty International report released Tuesday

Digital volunteers found more than 25,500 CCTV cameras across New York City which are allegedly facial recognition-compatible. 

“The shocking reach of facial recognition technology in the city leaves entire neighborhoods exposed to mass surveillance,” said Amnesty International artificial intelligence and human rights researcher Matt Mahmoudi. 

Research shows that the higher the proportion of nonwhite New Yorkers, the higher the concentration of CCTV cameras. 

New York Police Department (NYPD) Deputy Commissioner John Miller told ABC News that city residents who are victims of violent crime are “overwhelmingly” nonwhite. 

Read more here.  

 

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BITS AND PIECES

An op-ed to chew on: With more jobs than jobless, the supply chain needs urgent repairs  

Lighter click: sounds reasonable 

Notable links from around the web: 

A Network of Fake Test Answer Sites Is Trying to Incriminate Students (The Markup / Colin Lecher) 

Democratic DAO Suffers Coup, New Leader Steals Everything (Motherboard / Edward Ongweso Jr.) 

Elon Musk’s brain implant startup Neuralink denies that researchers abused monkeys (The Verge / Adi Robertson) 

One last thing: Thiel’s new investment 

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is investing in the planned conservative dating app The Right Stuff, a person familiar with the situation told Axios.

He has given $1.5 million to the platform, which is targeted toward conservatives who live in large cities dominated by liberals.

The app will begin in Washington, D.C., and only be available on the iOS mobile operating system. It will be an invite-only platform in its beginning stages. 

“We’re excited to launch The Right Stuff dating app this summer. Conservatives deserve an easy way to connect,” John McEntee, the creator of the app and former aide to former President Trump, told Axios.  

Read more here.

 

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s technology and cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you Wednesday.

Tags Donald Trump Elon Musk John McEntee

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