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U.K. ups security laws - This week in cybersecurity

August 11, 2017 - 3 min read

The U.K. government has issued new cybersecurity guidelines for smart cars

The British government today issued a new set of guidelines designed to encourage automakers to make vehicles cybersecurity a priority. U.K. Transport Minister Lord Callanan says that as autonomous and connected vehicles are increasingly used on British roadways, minimum protections should be established to protect consumers from cyber attacks. Read more.

U.K. Proposes Law Letting Citizens Erase Personal Data on Web

The devil’s bargain underlying the internet economy is that people get free usage of websites such as Google and Facebook in exchange for letting companies collect all sorts of personal data that can be used to sell advertising and other services. But in recent years European governments have pushed back, arguing the balance of the trade has gotten overly skewed in favor of giant technology companies. Read more. 

HBO Hackers Release Ransom Note and New Trove of Stolen Data

According to Wired, one week after hackers spilled multiple episodes of unreleased HBO shows and scripts online, the same group has dropped its second trove of purported internal data from the premium network. And this time it's not just nihilistic Game of Thrones spoilers—there's a ransom note, too. Read more.

Irish power grid reportedly compromised by foreign actor

A foreign power compromised the cybersecurity of the state-owned Irish power grid company EirGrid, Ireland's Independent newspaper reports. The report, issued Monday in Ireland, says that the telecommunications company Vodafone discovered last month that hackers had compromised its systems more than two months prior. Read more.

More pseudo-ransomware attacks are probably on the way per new report

Kaspersky Labs has published a new report examining cybersecurity trends for the quarter. According to the report, “ransomware” — emphasis on the air quotes — will remain very much in vogue through 2017. The last few months saw some major malware moments, most notably the WannaCry and NotPetya (a.k.a. ExPetr/Nyetya/Petya) attacks. Read more. 

Biohackers Encoded Malware in a Strand of DNA

When biologists synthesize DNA they take pains not to create or spread a dangerous stretch of genetic code that could be used to create a toxin or, worse, an infectious disease. But one group of bio-hackers has demonstrated how DNA can carry a less expected threat—one designed to infect not humans or animals but computers. Read more. 

Destructive, disk-encrypting Mamba ransomware springs back to life

According to ZDNet, a powerful form of ransomware, which encrypts whole hard drives instead of just files, has suddenly returned -- and there's no way for victims to decrypt the data. Similar tactics have been used in other ransomware attacks, most notably Petya, which experts said was designed to outright destroy data rather than generate ransom money. Read more.

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