Daily Digest (9/4)

Justice Dept. to File Antitrust Case Against Google This Month; Apple Delays Privacy Policy Change to Protect Ad Revenue; Financial Tech Companies Targeted in Secretive Trojan Malware Attack; Indian Prime Minister’s Twitter Account Hacked in Celebrity Cryptocurrency Scam. Click “Continue reading” below.

Justice Dept. to File Antitrust Case Against Google This Month

The Justice Department is expected to bring an antitrust case against Google as soon as this month, after Attorney General William Barr overruled career lawyers who said they needed more time to build a strong case against the tech giant.

The New York Times made the disclosure, citing “five people briefed on internal department conversations.”

Justice Department officials told lawyers in the antitrust probe into Alphabet, which owns Google and YouTube, to complete their work by the end of September, three of the people told the Times.

More than 40 lawyers who had been working on the investigation opposed the deadline, according to the report. Some said they would not sign the complaint, while several left the case this summer.

In a memo written this summer than “ran hundreds of pages,” the lawyers said they could bring a strong case but needed more time, the Times reports.

The team disagreed persistently over how broad the complaint should be against Google and what the company could do to resolve any problems the government uncovered.

The lawyers viewed the deadline as arbitrary, the Times reports.

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Apple Delays Privacy Policy Change to Protect Ad Revenue

Apple said Thursday that it would delay its privacy policy change until next year because of the potential reduction in ad sales by Facebook and other companies that target users of Apple products.

In last week’s response to the new policy, Facebook said the new iOS 14 operating system would render mobile-advertising tools ineffective, Reuters reports.

Apple announced the privacy policy in June, which had an additional requirement that advertisers employing Apple-provided tracking identifiers must show a pop-up notification seeking permission for tracking.

“When enabled, a system prompt will give users the ability to allow or reject that tracking on an app-by-app basis,” Apple told Reuters Thursday.

“We want to give developers the time they need to make the necessary changes, and the requirement to use this tracking permission will go into effect early next year.”

Facebook did not respond to a request for comment, Reuters reports.

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Financial Tech Companies Targeted in Secretive Trojan Malware Attack

The Evilnum hacking organization has deployed new trojan malware in a campaign targeting financial tech companies.

The group aimed to steal email addresses, passwords and other sensitive corporate information, ZDNet reports.

The group first appeared in 2018 targeting Fintech, located in Europe and the UK, but some victims are in the Americas and Australia.

The recent attack included Python-scripted malware, but Evilnum has used different components in JavaScript and C#, according to ZDNet.

Originally uncovered by researchers at the Boston-based Cybereason firm, the malware allows hackers to secretly steal corporate information using keylogging and screenshots.

“This tactic works to their advantage in several ways, including avoiding detection and maintaining persistence,” Tom Fakterman, a Cybereason researcher, told ZDNet. “The abuse of legitimate code is more common with more sophisticated hackers.”

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Indian Prime Minister’s Twitter Account Hacked in Celebrity Cryptocurrency Scam

Tweets from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s account were sent out Thursday, seeking cryptocurrency donations to a relief fund.

Twitter said it was aware of the attack and has moved to secure Modi’s account, BBC News reports.

The account, with more than 2.5 million followers, is the official Twitter handle for Modi’s website. His personal account was not affected.

“We are actively investigating the situation,” a Twitter spokesperson told the BBC. “At this time, we are not aware of additional accounts being impacted.”

Less than two months ago, 130 accounts had been targeted in a major celebrity cyberattack, including those belonging to Barack Obama, Elon Musk and Bill Gates.

Twitter said it had called in the FBI to investigate the celebrity attacks, limiting access to the company’s internal systems during the investigation.

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— By DPN Staff