As A Swatting spree spreads across the US, in which false reports of active shooters send police charging into schools, WIRED investigated more than 90 of the incidents and found potential connections between many of them. “In speaking to a number of people who experienced it, I can tell you that the anxiety and fear—it was real to them for 15 minutes,” Amanda Klinger, director of programs and cofounder of the Educator’s School Safety Network, told WIRED. “There’s a period of time in these incidents where people are literally running for their lives, law enforcement is responding with their weapons, and people think it’s the real thing.”
Even after extensive sanctions meant to isolate Russia from the global economy amidst its ongoing war with Ukraine, investigators around the world are working to curb the ongoing influx of capital to Russian military and paramilitary groups. Former Uber executive Joe Sullivan was convicted this week of obstructing a Federal Trade Commission investigation and failure to report a felony, a development that is being watched closely by the tech industry because it is likely the first time a corporate executive has faced criminal charges related to a data breach. The Biden administration’s new executive order addressing privacy seems like more of a Band-Aid than a panacea, as it attempts to reassure Europeans that their data is safe when stored in the US, despite government surveillance.
Meanwhile, Meta released findings on more than 400 malicious Android and iOS apps that it says were harvesting Facebook credentials to take over users’ accounts. And we took a look at the toll of living your life online, the potential erosion of privacy that comes with consistent social media posting, and the ways it can impact your sense of self.
Plus, there’s more. Each week, we highlight the news we didn’t cover in-depth ourselves. Click on the headlines below to read the full stories. And stay safe out there.
Another day, another massive hack in the cryptocurrency industry. But this one is strange.
Binance revealed Friday that unidentified hackers managed to exploit a flaw in the company’s BNB Chain crypto token, allowing them to mint 2 million of the company’s decentralized tokens worth a total of $569 million. That money wasn’t actually stolen from Binance, in other words, but rather fabricated out of thin air thanks to a flaw in the security of Binance’s cryptocurrency. But the hack nonetheless seemed poised to flood the market with BNB and thus reduce its value for legitimate owners, while allowing the hackers to walk away with half a billion dollars.
Unfortunately for those hackers, even they didn’t seem prepared for their sudden windfall. Cryptocurrency-tracing firm Elliptic found that they quickly traded away some fraction of their tokens for a variety of other cryptocurrencies. That allowed them to obtain about $53 million in Ethereum-based tokens. But other cryptocurrencies that they traded their BNB for, like Tether and USDC, are more centrally controlled, allowing the funds to be frozen. Binance, meanwhile, managed to temporarily shut down its BNB blockchain to prevent the hackers’ newly mined currency from moving further. “So we have a very sophisticated exploit, managing to mint yourself $569 million,” says Elliptic research lead Thibaud Madelin. “But what followed was a complete shambles, to be honest.”