Headlines 

A Blockbuster Indictment Details Russia’s Attack on US Democracy

Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation into Russia’s impact on the 2016 election entered a new phase Friday, as his team indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations for their “conspiracy” to illegally influence the US presidential campaign. It was an indictment unprecedented in American history—a direct and public charge that America’s main foreign adversary meddled extensively, expensively, and expansively in the core of the American democratic process, attempting to influence voters, spread disparaging information about the Democratic nominee, and “help” presidential candidate Donald Trump take office. The new charges…

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Worldwide Threats Briefing: 5 Takeaways, From Russia to China

On Tuesday, the heads of the NSA, CIA, FBI, and ODNI—America's intelligence community brain trust—gathered before members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to discuss various worldwide threats. And while most of the topics were familiar, the hearing also included a few revelatory moments, insights into fears that were either detailed or confirmed. The following doesn't comprise every single morsel shared by NSA chief Mike Rogers, CIA head Mike Pompeo, FBI director Christopher Wray, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats on Tuesday. But it does take a closer…

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Mind the Gap: This Researcher Steals Data With Noise, Light, and Magnets

The field of cybersecurity is obsessed with preventing and detecting breaches, finding every possible strategy to keep hackers from infiltrating your digital inner sanctum. But Mordechai Guri has spent the last four years fixated instead on exfiltration: How spies pull information out once they've gotten in. Specifically, he focuses on stealing secrets sensitive enough to be stored on an air-gapped computer, one that's disconnected from all networks and sometimes even shielded from radio waves. Which makes Guri something like an information escape artist. More, perhaps, than any single researcher outside…

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Bob Muellers Investigation Is Largerand Further AlongThan You Think

President Trump claimed in a tweet over the weekend that the controversial Nunes memo “totally vindicates” him, clearing him of the cloud of the Russia investigation that has hung over his administration for a year now. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, if anything, the Mueller investigation appears to have been picking up steam in the past three weeks—and homing in on a series of targets. Last summer, I wrote an analysis exploring the “known unknowns” of the Russia investigation—unanswered but knowable questions regarding Mueller’s probe. Today,…

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Your Sloppy Bitcoin Drug Deals Will Haunt You for Years

Perhaps you bought some illegal narcotics on the Silk Road half a decade ago, back when that digital black market for every contraband imaginable was still online and bustling. You might already regret that decision, for any number of reasons. After all, the four bitcoins you spent on that bag of hallucinogenic mushrooms would now be worth about as much as an Alfa Romeo. But one group of researchers wants to remind you of yet another reason to rue that transaction: If you weren't particularly careful in how you spent…

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Closer to Midnight: The Doomsday Clock and the Threat of Nuclear War

The accidental missile alert in Hawaii earlier this month made real for 38 terrifying minutes the vague, low-level dread that permeates American life today: Nuclear war seems closer and more real than it has in a generation. Even the pope—not exactly a fear-monger—said last week that the world now stood at “the very limit.” That existential fear was affirmed today by the organization of nuclear scientists who have spent seven decades trying to turn humanity away from nuclear weapons: The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved its Doomsday Clock 30 seconds…

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Tinder’s Lack of Encryption Lets Strangers Spy on Your Swipes

In 2018, you'd be forgiven for assuming that any sensitive app encrypts its connection from your phone to the cloud, so that the stranger two tables away at the coffee shop can't pull your secrets off the local Wi-Fi. That goes double for apps as personal as online dating services. But if you assumed that basic privacy protection for the world's most popular dating app, you'd be mistaken: As one application security company has found, Tinder's mobile apps still lack the standard encryption necessary to keep your photos, swipes, and…

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The Astrophysicist Who Wants to Help Solve Baltimore’s Urban Blight

Vacant buildings have their own sort of gravitational pull. When a home gets boarded up on one block, you can almost bet another will follow nearby. Often, they pull whole neighborhoods into their orbit, driving down the local housing market in ever-expanding clusters. Which at least begins to explain why Baltimore has tapped Tamás Budavári, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University, to study their patterns. Budavári has spent most of his career modeling the universe, studying galaxies and how they tend to cluster. He contributed research to the Sloan Digital…

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Apple confirms all Macs and iOS devices are affected by serious CPU bugs

Image: Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock Apple just confirmed that nearly all of its devices are impacted by the serious vulnerabilities affecting processors made by Intel and other chip makers. In the company’s first public statement on the vulnerabilities, Apple confirmed that all of its Mac and iOS devices are affected by the bugs known as Meltdown and Spectre. SEE ALSO: Cybersecurity agency: The only sure defense against huge chip flaw is a new chip “These issues apply to all modern processors and affect nearly all computing devices and operating systems. All Mac…

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How to Rip the Mics Out of Your MacBook and iPhone

Any self-respecting paranoiac long ago taped over the webcam on their laptop—and for good measure, the cameras on their smartphone too. But for those truly concerned that their computers have been hacked and turned into spy tools, the microphones on those devices represent just as much of a security threat as the cameras. They would allow a hacked gadget to bug an entire room. The good news for the targets of highly sophisticated cyberspies? There’s a practical fix for that audio espionage problem. The bad news: It requires some surgery….

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Hack Brief: Uber Paid Off Hackers to Hide a 57-Million User Data Breach

By now, the name Uber has become practically synonymous with scandal. But this time the company has outdone itself, building a Jenga-style tower of scandals on top of scandals that has only now come crashing down. Not only did the ridesharing service lose control of 57 million people's private information, it also hid that massive breach for more than a year, a cover-up that potentially defied data breach disclosure laws. Uber may have even actively deceived Federal Trade Commission investigators who were already looking into the company for distinct, earlier…

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Hackers Say They’ve Broken Face ID a Week After iPhone X Release

'It was even simpler than we ourselves had thought.' Bkav Researchers Aside from the challenge of acquiring an accurate face scan, the researchers’ simpler setup outperformed more expensive techniques for attempted Face ID trickery—namely, the ones we at WIRED tried earlier this month. With the help of a special effects artist, and at a cost of thousands of dollars, we created full masks cast from a staffer's face in five different materials, ranging from silicone to gelatin to vinyl. Despite details like eyeholes designed to allow real eye movement, and…

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Odds and Ends 

Trump discussed forming impenetrable cyber security unit with Russia

In a series of tweets on Sunday, U.S. President Trump recapped his lengthy meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday. Apparently, the two world leaders discussed collaborating on cybersecurity together. Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded.. Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2017 The tweet is a bit curious, considering that Russia is being investigated for its role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The Trump administration has come under fire for its…

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Odds and Ends 

G Suite admins can now whitelist connected apps

Google is launching a new feature for IT admins today that will make it easier for them to allow employees to use third-party apps in combination with its G Suite productivity tools. Like similar services, Google uses the OAuth standard to allow users of third-party apps (think email apps or calendaring services) to access their company data. While Google offers plenty of tools to avoid data leakage from its own services, though, theres no guarantee that third-party services will do the same, and that obviously makes IT admins a bit…

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