Late Friday Graphika described inauthentic networks based in Myanmar that Facebook took down on October 21st. Graphika says they contained a mix of clickbait (much of it involving celebrity news and gossip) and political content (much of it pro-army and anti-Muslim). The clickbait apparently predominated; the motivation for the operation, Graphika concluded, was more commercial than political.
Also on Friday the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions against the State Research Center of the Russian Federation FGUP Central Scientific Research Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics (TsNIIKhM) for its role in developing the Trisis/Triton malware. Trisis/Triton was designed to disable industrial safety systems. It was used against a Saudi petrochemical plant in 2017, but misfired. The intended effects were potentially lethal. The sanctions are noteworthy their direction against a nominal scientific research organization.
Finnish Psychotherapy Center Vastamo has sustained a data breach with loss of patient information, and individual patients have begun receiving extortion demands. Details remain sparse, but Computing reports that some 40,000 patients’ data were compromised. Thousands of the victims have already filed criminal reports; the incident has received attention at the highest levels of Finland’s government.
Four more European governments have signed on to the US-led Clean Networks program: Slovakia, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Kosovo. They join the US, Canada, the UK, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Albania, Greece, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, and the Czech Republic in agreeing in principle on the threat Chinese companies pose to 5G security.