HIDDEN MALWARE IN GAMING MAKES HACKERS RICH
Malware inside games is being used by hackers to make money, new research from Avast has found.
The malware is hidden inside games such as Pro Evolution Soccer, The Sims and Grand Theft Auto. These are sold on unofficial sites or given away for free for users to download, as pirated versions, in online forums.
Once installed, the malware disables both anti-virus protection and system updates and runs crypto mining software, which generates digital coins that can be sold by the hackers.
More than £1.4 million has been made by this type of hacking in over a dozen countries, with over 8,000 gamers falling victim to the malware in the U.K. alone, according to Avast.
In addition to the malware, gamers have also been increasingly exposed to cyber-attacks, in which hackers steal valuable in-app purchases and sell them in hacking forums. Web attacks on gaming companies have risen 340% since 2019, and credential stuffing attacks (a type of account takeover) in the gaming industry rose 224% according to cyber-security company Akamai.
OFSTED HANDBOOK UPDATE
Changes have been made to the education inspection handbook by Ofsted, to take effect in September. The update follows Ofsted’s recent review of sexual abuse in schools and clarifies how schools’ approaches to peer-on-peer abuse will be assessed.
Ofsted, National Education Director, Sean Harford, explained “We will expect schools … to have created a culture where sexual abuse and harassment is not acceptable and never tolerated. And where pupils are supported to report any concerns about harmful sexual behaviour and can feel confident they will be taken seriously.”
7.2 MILLION UNDERAGE TIKTOK ACCOUNTS REMOVED
Social media platform TikTok has removed 7.2 million suspected under-age accounts from its platform, according to their Community Guidelines Enforcement Report Q1 2021.
Accounts belonging to users believed to be under the age of 13, which are not permitted by TikTok’s guidelines, have been removed. Over 60 million videos that did not meet TikTok’s guidelines or violated their terms of service have also been removed.
The data is being shared as part of efforts to “help the industry push forward when it comes to transparency and accountability around user safety,” according to TikTok. The Company says it plans to publish future data on guidelines enforcement to a dedicated “transparency centre” which will be a “home for our transparency reporting and other information about our efforts to protect the safety and integrity of our platform.”
TWITTER DEFAMATION INCURS SIX FIGURE DAMAGES
A Twitter user who wrote defamatory posts about radio broadcaster Stephen Nolan has apologised and agreed to pay a six-figure sum in damages. The individual, who has asked to remain anonymous on the grounds of security, mounted an online petition against Nolan, which was based “entirely on false and defamatory allegations.”
“I unreservedly apologise to Mr Nolan for any distress caused and confirm that the aforesaid Twitter accounts have since been deleted,” the individual’s lawyer said on their behalf in a statement.
“The important thing for me is to send out a very, very, strong message that if you get off on abusing people you will be tracked down and you will have a high price to pay,” Nolan said in an interview on BBC Radio Ulster.
DCMS ISSUES ONLINE SAFETY GUIDANCE
Guidance on how to improve the safety of online platforms has been published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
The guidance suggests a range of measures to reduce the threat of online abuse, including implementing automated technology to identify abusive messages or content, limiting functionality for younger users and tightening age verification controls.
“We’re helping businesses get their safety standards up to scratch before our new online harms laws are introduced and also making sure they are protecting children and users right now,” said UK digital minister Caroline Dinenage. “We want businesses of all sizes to step up to a gold standard of safety online and this advice will help them to do so.”
The guidance comes amid calls for social media companies to be more proactive in tackling online abuse on its platforms. Over 200 high-profile women — including British actresses Thandiwe Newton and Emma Watson — have signed a letter addressed to the chief executives of Twitter, Facebook, Google and TikTok, asking that they “urgently prioritise the safety of women on your platforms.”
According to the letter, which was published at the UN Generation Equality Forum, the scale of online abuse “means that, for too many women, these digital town squares are unsafe. This is a threat to progress on gender equality.” “If you build this better internet for women, you will build a better internet for everyone.”
CALLS FOR EVIDENCE
The Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has launched a 6-week consultation for evidence on behaviour in schools ahead of a planned update to Government Guidance. Views are being sought from parents and teachers on issues such as how schools maintain calm classrooms, the use of removal rooms and creating mobile phone-free school days.
The Independent Reviewer of Prevent, William Shawcross, is also seeking the views of a wide range of the people before submitting his recommendations to the Government. Consultation will be via three virtual public engagement events on 13, 14 and 15 July 2021. Links to sign up to the events can be found here. Key issues on which views are sought include the impact of Prevent on individuals, families and communities; any criticisms and complaints about Prevent; whether Prevent is tackling the causes of radicalisation and whether there should be a Prevent strategy and what it should look like.
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