Friday Five: Dark Web Arrests, Apple and Google’s New Security Features, & More
Law enforcement saw big wins this past week with the arrest of nearly 300 cybercriminals and the seizure of nine crypto exchanges, Apple and Google released their new security features, and charging your phone at the airport may be safe after all. Catch up on all the latest in this week’s Friday Five!
NEARLY 300 ARRESTED IN SPRAWLING INTERNATIONAL DARK WEB DRUG MARKET TAKEDOWN BY AJ VICENS
Nearly 300 people accused of selling drugs on the dark web have been arrested as a result of the December 2021 seizure of the infrastructure supporting the Monopoly Market, according to U.S. and European authorities. The operation, which was dubbed SpecTor, resulted in a total of 288 arrests (including 153 in the U.S.), the seizure of 117 firearms, 850 kilograms of drugs — including 64 kilograms of fentanyl or fentanyl-laced narcotics — and $53.4 million in cash and virtual currencies, per a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.
APPLE’S FIRST RAPID SECURITY RESPONSE PATCH FAILS TO INSTALL ON IPHONES BY SERGIU GATLAN
Apple launched the first Rapid Security Response (RSR) patches for iOS 16.4.1 and macOS 13.3.1 devices this past week, but some users reportedly had trouble installing them on their iPhones after showing "Unable to Verify Security Response" errors. Despite the errors reading that the verification failed because the users were disconnected from the internet, BleepingComputer confirmed that a server-side bug likely caused the issues. Read more about Apple's new Rapid Security Response updates and how to ensure that the patches are available and enabled for your device in the full story from BleepingComputer.
FBI SEIZES 9 CRYPTO EXCHANGES USED TO LAUNDER RANSOMWARE PAYMENTS BY BILL TOULAS
The FBI and the National Police of Ukraine carried out a joint operation with the help of the Virtual Currency Response Team that resulted in the seizure of nine cryptocurrency exchange websites that facilitated money laundering for scammers and cybercriminals. The seized sites allowed cybercriminals to anonymously convert cryptocurrency into coins that are purposefully more difficult for law enforcement to trace. "By providing these services, the virtual currency exchanges knowingly support the criminal activities of their clients and become co-conspirators in criminal schemes," said the FBI in their recent announcement.
GOOGLE IS ROLLING OUT PASSWORD-KILLING TECH TO ALL ACCOUNTS BY LILY HAY NEWMAN
Google launched its passkey feature this past week and will reportedly begin "nudging account holders to convert their traditional username and password login to a passkey." Users are now able to proactively seek the feature out and turn it on, meaning that they will no longer have to rely on password-based authentication. Passkeys can sync between your devices through end-to-end encrypted services like Google Password Manager and iCloud Keychain, and users will be able to log in using biometric sensors like fingerprint or face scanners, your smartphone's device lock PIN, or physical authentication dongles like YubiKeys.
THOSE SCARY WARNINGS OF JUICE JACKING IN AIRPORTS AND HOTELS? THEY’RE MOSTLY NONSENSE BY DAN GOODIN
The FBI and Federal Communications Commission issued warnings earlier this month regarding "juice-jacking" attacks coming from public charging stations, warning the public that personal devices could be infected after connecting to a compromised USB port. But cybersecurity experts are easing some concerns, with one researcher saying, “At a high level, if nobody can point to a real-world example of it actually happening in public spaces, then it’s not something that is worth stressing about for the general public.” Read more about juice jacking attacks and why concerns about them may be overblown in the full story from Ars Technica.