Yogurt Heist Reveals a Rampant Form of Online Fraud

The Journal’s story reveals that cargo hijacking fraud remains a serious problem—one that cost $500 million in 2023, quadruple the year before. Victims say load board operators need to do more to verify users’ identities, and that law enforcement and regulators also need to do more to address the thefts.

Multifactor authentication (MFA) has served as a crucial safeguard against hackers for years. In Apple’s case, it can require a user to tap or click “allow” on an iPhone or Apple Watch before their password can be changed, an important protection against fraudulent password resets. But KrebsOnSecurity reports this week that some hackers are weaponizing those MFA push alerts, bombarding users with hundreds of requests to force them to allow a password reset—or at the very least, deal with a very annoying disruption of their device. Even when a user does reject all those password reset alerts, the hackers have, in some cases, called up the user and pretended to be a support person—using identifying information from online databases to fake their legitimacy—to social engineer them into resetting their password. The solution to the problem appears to be “rate-limiting,” a standard security feature that limits the number of times someone can try a password or attempt a sensitive settings change in a certain time period. In fact, the hackers may be exploiting a bug in Apple’s rate limiting to allow their rapid-fire attempts, though the company didn’t respond to Krebs’ request for comment.

Israel has long been accused of using Palestinians as subjects of experimental surveillance and security technologies that it then exports to the world. In the case of the country’s months-long response to Hamas’ October 7 massacre—a response that has killed 31,000 Palestinian civilians and displaced millions more from their homes—that surveillance now includes using controversial and arguably unreliable facial recognition tools among the Palestinian population. The New York Times reports that Israel’s military intelligence has adopted a facial recognition tool built by a private tech firm called Corsight, and has used it in its attempts to identify members of Hamas—particularly those involved in the October 7 attack—despite concerns that the tech was sometimes faulty and produced false positives. In one case, for instance, the Palestinian poet Mosab Abu Toha was pulled out of a crowd by soldiers who had somehow identified him by name, before he was beat, accused of being a member of Hamas, and interrogated, before soldiers then told him the interrogation had been a “mistake.”

In other dystopian AI news, The Guardian this week reported on a government project in San Jose, California, that used AI-enabled computer vision technology to identify encampments and vehicles lived in by unhoused people. In the project, video recorded from a car around the city is given to participating companies including Ash Sensors, Sensen.AI, Xloop Digital, Blue Dome Technologies, and CityRover, which use it as training data to develop a system that can recognize tents or vehicles that people might be living in. While the project has been described as a way to identify and help people in need, advocates for the unhoused in San Jose say they’re concerned the data is likely to instead be given to the police, and thus as just another form of surveillance targeting the most vulnerable inhabitants of the city.

Radical libertarian Ammon Bundy, a well-known figure on the far right, has been on the run since last year, charged with contempt of court after being ordered to pay $50 million to an Idaho hospital he’d accused of child trafficking and leading a campaign of harassment that targeted its staff. Then last month, he posted a provocative video to YouTube titled, “Want to Know Where Ammon Bundy Is?” The open source detectives at Bellingcat apparently did: They found enough evidence in Bundy’s videos to convincingly reveal his location. Bellingcat was able to use material like a school calendar in the background of one shot, a mountain range in another, and a highway sign in a third to place Bundy in a certain county in southern Utah. When contacted by Bellingcat, Bundy denied hiding and wrote, a little confusingly, that “at any time peace officers could find me if they wish.”


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