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Technology 1 June 2021

The Week in Internet News: Russia Hackers Target Human Rights Groups

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Targeted attacks: A Russian hacking group is targeting international aid and human rights organizations, according to Microsoft, Al Jazeera reports. The recent attacks, from the Nobelium group, targeted about 3,000 email accounts of more than 150 organizations spanning 24 countries. Nobelium is blamed for the recent SolarWinds attacks as well. The group gained access to an email marketing account used by the U.S. State Department’s international aid agency, USAID, from which it targeted other organizations.

No more regulations: Messaging app WhatsApp is suing the government of India for new regulations requiring messages to be traceable, the Associated Press reports at Federal News Network. WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption, which shields messages between senders and receivers from being seen by others. The new regulations in India require Internet platforms to erase content authorities decide is illegal and to help with police investigations, including identifying the originators of “mischievous information.”

Power to the Wi-Fi: Researchers in Singapore and Japan have figured out a way to use Wi-Fi signals to generate energy for small devices, Futurity reports. The researchers have “developed a technology that uses tiny smart devices known as spin-torque oscillators to harvest and convert wireless radio frequencies into energy to power small electronics.”

Squashing bugs: Scientists in Israel are using artificial intelligence to predict infestations of the red palm weevil, an invasive insect, the Jerusalem Post writes. Researchers created a global monitoring system using Google’s aerial and street view technologies. Using images of palm trees, the team trained used deep learning to identify infected palm trees. 

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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