Russia Implicated in BGP Hijacking Incident This Week

· Andrew Orr · Link

Russian hacker in front of Russian flag

Russian telecom company Rostelecom is implicated in a BGP hijacking incident which rerouted network traffic from Akamai, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and others.

BGP stands for the Border Gateway Protocol and is the de-facto system used to route internet traffic between internet networks across the globe…

BGPMon founder Andree Toonk is giving the Russian telco the benefit of the doubt. On Twitter, Toont said he believes the “hijack” happened after an internal Rostelecom traffic shaping system might have accidentally exposed the incorrect BGP routes on the public internet, rather than Rostelecom’s internal network…

But, as many internet experts have also pointed out in the past, it is possible to make an intentional BGP hijack appear as an accident, and nobody could tell the difference.

40 Days of Russian Darkness With iPhone Night Mode

· Andrew Orr · Link

Amos Chapple bought an iPhone 11 Pro and traveled to Russia’s Murmansk, the biggest city in the Arctic circle. From December to January the sun never rises in the city, and Mr. Chapple went there to test the iPhone Night Mode feature in a photo essay.

On the first morning I woke up in Murmansk, it really hit me what a revolution this generation of phone represents…As I walked down the corridor I remember thinking I’d just had more trouble organizing the equipment I needed to brush my teeth, than I had preparing for a 12-hour day of professional photography. No SD cards to check, no stacks of batteries to charge, no bag full of lenses… Total freedom.

These photos are gorgeous.

Russia Disconnects From Internet in Tests

· Andrew Orr · News

Icon to represent the internet

Russia announced it successfully completed a series of tests that disconnected the whole country from the internet.

Russian Dairy Cows Wear VR Headsets to Reduce Anxiety

· Andrew Orr · Link

The RusMoloko farm is experimenting with giving cows VR headsets. They claim it can reduce anxiety and thereby increase milk production.

“Examples of dairy farms from different countries show that in a calm atmosphere, the quantity, and sometimes the quality, of milk increases markedly,” it read.

Researchers will examine the effects of the programme in a long-term study. The developers reportedly hope to expand the project if positive results continue.

Would Apple Leave Russia Over Device Ban?

· Andrew Orr · Link

TMO's Dramatic Reenactment of a Typical Russian Hacker

Going into effect on July 2020, Russia just passed a law that would ban the sale of devices that don’t come pre-installed with Russian software. This obviously butts up against the integrity of iOS. Would Apple have the “courage” to leave the country if the Kremlin tried to force them to install their surveillance software? Because of course it’s for surveillance. Why else would a government meddle with device makers in this way?

The law will not mean devices from other countries cannot be sold with their normal software – but Russian “alternatives” will also have to be installed.

The legislation was passed by Russia’s lower house of parliament on Thursday. A complete list of the gadgets affected and the Russian-made software that needs to be pre-installed will be determined by the government.

Russian Confesses to JPMorgan Chase Hack

· Andrew Orr · Link

Russian hacker in front of Russian flag

Russian national Adrei Tyurin confessed to the 2014 hacking of JPMorgan Chase which stole the data of over 80 million customers.

Tyurin carried out the hacks at the direction of co-conspirator Gery Shalon, who used the stolen data to further a variety of schemes, including securities fraud. One scheme involved artificially inflating the price of certain publicly traded stocks by marketing them in a deceptive and misleading manner to customers of companies Tyurin had hacked.

Instagram from Facebook, Fake Story Views, and Russian Growth Hackers

· Andrew Orr · Link

Some Instagram from Facebook users have noticed views on their Story from accounts that don’t follow them and seemed to be Russian. Instagram said it’s aware of the issue.

It also said this inauthentic activity is not related to misinformation campaigns but is rather a new growth hacking tactic — which involves accounts paying third parties to try to boost their profile via the medium of fake likes, followers and comments (in this case by generating inauthentic activity by watching the Instagram Stories of people they have no real interest in in the hopes that’ll help them pass off as real and net them more followers).

Chuck Schumer Calls For Investigation into FaceApp

· Andrew Orr · Link

U.S. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer called on the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate FaceApp over privacy and national security concerns.

The viral smartphone application, which has seen a new surge of popularity due to a filter that ages photos of users’ faces, requires “full and irrevocable access to their personal photos and data,” which could pose “national security and privacy risks for millions of U.S. citizens,” Schumer said in his letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and FTC Chairman Joe Simons.

A misconception around the app is that is transmits all of your photos. It doesn’t; it only uses photos that you willingly upload.

Trump Administration Talking About Banning Encryption

· Andrew Orr · Link

Image of locks to suggest security and encryption

Politico reports that the Trump administration is in talks about banning encryption, or at least certain forms of it that law enforcement can’t crack.

The encryption challenge, which the government calls “going dark,” was the focus of a National Security Council meeting Wednesday morning that included the No. 2 officials from several key agencies, according to three people familiar with the matter…Senior officials debated whether to ask Congress to effectively outlaw end-to-end encryption, which scrambles data so that only its sender and recipient can read it…

Great. I can’t wait for Russia and China to intercept all of our insecure communications.

Russian Network RT America Wants You to Distrust 5G Networks

· Andrew Orr · Link

5G graphic (mesh)

Russian network RT America recently aired a segment called “A Dangerous Experiment on Humanity” to get people to distrust 5G. The segment links 5G to brain cancer, infertility, autism, heart tumors and Alzheimer’s disease, none of which are backed by scientific evidence.

Yet even as RT America, the cat’s paw of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has been doing its best to stoke the fears of American viewers, Mr. Putin, on Feb. 20, ordered the launch of Russian 5G networks in a tone evoking optimism rather than doom.

Russia is definitely not the first to attempt to link certain cellular frequencies to health problems, but a it’s an interesting new twist in the matter.

Russian iCloud Data to be Stored Locally

· Andrew Orr · News

Like it did in China, Apple has decided it will comply with a 2014 Russian law requiring citizen data to be stored in local servers.