Daily Digest (4/21)

Facebook Releases Map of Self-Reported COVID-19 Cases by US County; Privacy Advocates Warn of Abuse as Cities Use Drones in Pandemic; Hackers Steal $25M in Cryptocurrency From Uniswap and Lendf.me; Judge to Facebook Privacy Case Lawyers: Use Zoom, Not Email; Hacker Leaks 23M Usernames, Passwords From Webkinz Children’s Game. Click to read more.

Facebook Releases Map of Self-Reported COVID-19 Cases by US County

Facebook released a map Monday with a county-by-county look at self-reported COVID-19 symptoms in the U.S.

The map, to be updated daily, is based on responses to a survey by Carnegie Mellon University’s Delphi Research Center taken by Facebook users, NBC News reports.

The map was designed to help health officials detect virus hot spots and better allocate resources to those areas.

“Providing aggregate data to governments and health officials is one of the most important tools tech companies can provide,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.

The data doesn’t include individual people’s specific movements — and users must opt into the survey.

Facebook plans to start offering the surveys internationally and will be releasing reports on the global prevalence of the disease, according to NBC.

Source: NBC News, Facebook releases county-by-county maps showing people reporting COVID-19 symptoms

Privacy Advocates Warn of Abuse as Cities Use Drones in Pandemic

Privacy advocates have raised fears that drone technology that cities in Connecticut and New Jersey plan to use for COVID-19 could be employed improperly.

“There can be a place for advanced technology to support health efforts during a crisis like this one, but it should always serve a clear public-health purpose,” Daniel Schwarz, privacy and technology strategist with the New York Civil Liberties Union, told WABC-TV in New York last week.

“Indefinite and unwarranted mass-crowd policing does not fit that purpose,” he said.

Elizabeth, N.J., has been using drones with automated voice messages that remind people to keep their distance. Mayor Kevin Scarpati in Meriden, Conn., said the city soon would use drones to monitor parks and trails.

But some new drones will not only have cameras; they will include high-tech sensors that can help determine whether people are sick or are not social-distancing down below.

“Surveillance tools used during the pandemic should be scientifically justified, communicated transparently to the public, limited in their scope and duration — and should always require informed consent,” ACLU’s Schwarz said.

Source: ABC 7 NY, Coronavirus News: Pandemic drones to monitor fever, crowds from above

Hackers Steal $25M in Cryptocurrency From Uniswap and Lendf.me

More than $25 million in cryptocurrency has been stolen from the Uniswap exchange and the Lendf.me lending platform by hackers believed to have used an exploit shared on GitHub last year.

The attacks took place on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, ZDNet reports. The incidents are under investigation, but authorities believe they are related — and most likely were carried out by the same individual or group.

Investigators said hackers apparently chained together bugs and legitimate features from different blockchain technologies to execute a sophisticated “reentrancy attack.”

Such hacks allow schemers to withdraw funds repeatedly, in a loop, before the original transaction is approved or declined, ZDNet reports.

The alleged exploit was published in July 2019 on GitHub by OpenZeppelin, a company that performs security audits for cryptocurrency platforms.

Source: ZD Net, Hackers steal $25 million worth of cryptocurrency from Uniswap and Lendf.me

Judge to Facebook Privacy Case Lawyers: Use Zoom, Not Email

A California federal judge has ordered opposing attorneys in the class-action privacy litigation regarding Facebook’s data-sharing with third parties to meet directly on Zoom.

U.S. District Court Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley required the meetings Friday after discovery issues submitted from the lawyers brought no clarity in the case, Law360 reports.

Corley ordered the attorneys to “stop with the emails and letters” and shift to Zoom so “no one gets to feeling like we’re chasing each other down.”

Source: Law 360, Judge Tells Facebook Privacy Attys To Use Zoom, Not Email

Hacker Leaks 23M Usernames, Passwords From Webkinz Children’s Game

A hacker earlier this month leaked the usernames and passwords of nearly 23 million players of Webkinz World, an online children’s game managed by Ganz, the Canadian toy company.

The game was launched in 2005 as the online counterpart of a line of Ganz plush toys, ZDNet reports.

Users could enter a code from their plush toy on the Webkinz website, where they could play and manage a version of their toy as a virtual pet.

The game has been one of the most successful online children’s games of the past decade, next to Disney’s Club Penguin.

According to the report, the anonymous hacker posted part of the game’s database on a well-known hacking forum — and ZDNet obtained a copy of the leaked file over the weekend with the help of Under the Breach, a data-breach monitoring service.

The breached 1GB file contained 22,982,319 pairs of usernames and passwords, with the passwords being encrypted with the MD5-Crypt algorithm.

Source: ZD Net, Hacker leaks 23 million usernames and passwords from Webkinz children’s game

— By DPN Staff