By: Anthony Gil

Hackers are coming - This week in cybersecurity

Too busy working to keep up with cybersecurity news this week? Here’s a round-up of the top stories from the cyberscape.

After China’s crackdown, now Russia is banning VPNs too

Russia has banned VPNs and other technology that allows users to gain anonymous access to websites. The new law signed today by President Vladimir Putin goes into effect on Nov. 1 and represents another major blow to an open internet. This follows closely on news that Apple has removed most major VPN apps from the App Store in China. Read more.

Hackers Break Into HBO’s Networks

Hackers have broken into the networks of HBO and leaked unreleased episodes of a number of shows, including “Ballers.” The hackers also claim to have released the script for next week’s “Game of Thrones” episode. Altogether, they have reportedly obtained a total of 1.5 terabytes of data. Read more.

DEFCON hackers find it’s very easy to break voting machines

DEFCON hosted a Voting Machine Hacking Village for the first time this year and many researchers expressed their surprise at how easy these machines were to hack. DEFCON received more than 30 voting machines to play with, providing a rare opportunity for hackers to find the flaws in our democracy's technology. Read more.

Two U.S. lawmakers think the government has a new cybersecurity problem: The Internet of Things

Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat in Virginia, and Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado introduced a bill meant to combat the cybersecurity threat posed by IoT devices. Their measure — called the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017 — is an attempt to force companies that sell wearables, sensors and other web-connected tools to federal agencies to adhere to some new security standards. Read more.

Ransomware Attack on Merck Caused Widespread Disruption to Operations

According to a story in Dark Reading, an earnings report from pharmaceutical company Merck reveals that a cyberattack that hit the company on June 27 caused significantly more disruption to its operations than many might have assumed. Read more.

Hackers Can Turn Some Amazon Echo Models Into Bugging Devices

Security researcher Mark Barnes has found a way to hack into older units of Amazon's Echo, in a way that could turn the microphone-equipped device into a bug. The hack works only against older models of Amazon Echoes. It also requires physical access to the device by a hacker with above-average skills in Linux and embedded hardware systems. That means people aren't likely to be exposed to such attacks unless they own a 2015 or 2016 device. Read more.

Corporate profits to take more hits from Ukraine cyber attack

The NotPetya cyberattack which began on June 27 in the Ukraine has taken a costly toll on the results of major European and U.S. companies in their latest quarterly financial earnings reports Reuters. The marks the first time that major players across a range of industries have blamed cyber attacks for significant financial damage. Read more.

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