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04/27/2022
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WorkScoop
Opening up Twitter's algorithms could be a mix of good and bad. Human rights activists have some worries about a new cybercrime treaty. And the State Department is offering a reward for finding the NotPetya hackers. This is CyberScoop for April 27.

Musk wants to open up Twitter's algorithms

Experts say that while opening source code to the internet can make a company vulnerable, Elon Musk's plans to reveal Twitter's algorithms poses less of a threat of hacking and more of manipulation. “The idea of open sourcing code allows for the community to inspect it — both the good guys and the bad guys,” said Chris Wysopal, co-founder and CTO of Veracode, told CyberScoop. One way to avoid any potential chaos? Make sure that whatever code is released is heavily audited beforehand by both vulnerability testers and experts in algorithmic discrimination, said Katie Moussouris, CEO of Luta Security. Tonya Riley explains what it means.


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Human rights activists alarmed by potential UN cybercrime treaty outcomes

Human rights activists worry that a Russian push to get the United Nations to approve a wide-ranging cybercrime treaty could lead to the criminalization of free speech and give governments U.N.-backed cover for mass surveillance of citizens. The cybercrime treaty could take years to negotiate, but human rights advocates say that the large number of issues it plans to incorporate could lead to troubling compromises — particularly since many governments are more ambivalent than the U.S. and Europe about giving governments more power to crack down on protesters and dissidents under the guise of cybercrime enforcement. The next phase of negotiations begins May 30. Suzanne Smalley has the story.


Chinese hackers targeted Russians in March as part of broad hacking campaign

An early March Chinese hacking effort that was seen targeting European diplomatic entities and non-governmental organizations in the days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine also apparently included attempts to get inside Russian government systems, the Secureworks Counter Threat Unit reported Wednesday. The researchers analyzed a malicious file that was sent to an eastern Russian border unit in a town on the border between Russia and China. If activated, the file displayed a decoy document discussing migrant and refugee issues in Belarus, while also deploying a well-known malware variant known as PlugX. AJ Vicens has more.


State Department offers $10M bounty for NotPetya perps

The State Department on Tuesday announced a $10 million award for information on the location of the six Russian intelligence officers responsible for devastating 2017 malware attacks known as NotPetya. The bounty is part of State’s Rewards for Justice program. The hackers are part of the elite Sandworm unit of the country's intelligence service, which is known for highly skilled hacking. The June 2017 NotPetya attacks impacted businesses and governments worldwide and caused an estimated $1 billion in damage in the U.S. The malware also knocked down the system monitoring radiation at Chernobyl. Suzanne has this one, too.


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