Exploits obtaining access to Amazon's Ring camera have been in the news this week, and they seemed oddly pointless, at least as executed. Waking people in the middle of the night, frightening children, and so forth...these all seemed to be the sort of capers that were done out of motiveless malice. It's developed that in fact that's pretty close to the case. Many of the most repellent hacks were featured on the NulledCast podcast, livestreamed on Discord. Vice reports that NulledCast, once the mainstream media began to cover their antics, caught a sudden case of adult responsibility. "Nulled does not and will not tolerate the harassments [sic] of individuals over Ring cameras or similar." There's some evidence that they also hear the footsteps of law enforcement. Clickbait and the lulz: that's leetspeak for motiveless malice.
It's a sadly familiar story. As WIRED observes, new technologies attract creeps, and the IoT is drawing them like flies.
Apple's iOS 13.3 appeared this week with a new feature, "Communication Limits," that permits parents to place limits on the people with whom their children can communicate. By design minors working under parental Communication Limits should only be able to communicate with people in their contact list (presumably monitored and controlled by their parents). But the feature doesn't work as intended: a bug in the version, according to CNBC, enables children to communicate with anyone who contacts them. Apple is believed to be working on a fix.
If you've been waiting for the pro-encryption elephants to weigh in during the Crypto Wars current skirmishes, wait no longer. TechDirt reports that Representative Ro Khanna (Democrat of California, representing the 17th District which includes most of Silicon Valley) sent a letter to Senator Graham (Republican of South Carolina, who's running the Judiciary Committee's hearing on encryption) advocating strong encryption. Representative Khanna attached a letter from Pentagon CIO Dana Deasy that stressed the importance and value of strong, end-to-end encryption. Deasy noted that the Defense Department requires such encryption in all the mobile devices its employees use for official business. He's talking here about such devices as smartphones, not exotic "military-grade" gear. Thus the order of battle in the Crypto Wars is the long familiar one: on the anti-encryption side are law enforcement agencies; on the pro-encryption side are military organizations and the tech sector.