Our picksThe final battle of Big Tech; SF potential earthquake damage; enhancing bird flu lethality, and more

Published 15 April 2019

·  The final battle in Big Tech’s war to dominate your world

·  Mysterious hackers hid their Swiss army spyware for 5 years

·  Trump’s unpardonable challenge to the constitution

·  AI is already keeping tabs on 1 million clearance holders

·  Top anti-vaxxer says he learned all he needs to know from being a producer on “Dr. Phil” and “The Doctors”

·  Brooklyn measles outbreak: How a glossy booklet spread anti-vaccine messages in Orthodox Jewish communities

·  How a group for Jewish moms spread anti-vax propaganda before New York’s measles outbreak

·  How much could an earthquake damage San Francisco?

·  Why bug bounty firms want to be penetration testing companies

·  Why the scientific debate over a UW bird flu study isn’t going away

The final battle in Big Tech’s war to dominate your world (David Dayen, New Republic)
Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google are fighting for unbroken control of American life.

Mysterious hackers hid their Swiss army spyware for 5 years (Andy Greenberg, Wired)
It’s not every day that security researchers discover a new state-sponsored hacking group. Even rarer is the emergence of one whose spyware has 80 distinct components, capable of strange and unique cyberespionage tricks—and who’s kept those tricks under wraps for more than five years.

Trump’s unpardonable challenge to the constitution (Quinta Jurecic, The Atlantic)
The president regards the border as a lawless space, where courts have no purchase and the only thing that matters is strength of will.

AI is already keeping tabs on 1 million clearance holders (Aaron Boyd, Defense One)
Trusted Workforce 2.0 tools regularly scan a set of data sources for anomalies in the behaviors of more than a million federal and private workers.

Top anti-vaxxer says he learned all he needs to know from being a producer on “Dr. Phil” and “The Doctors” (Jackie Kucinich, Daily Beast)
Del Bigtree, one of the movement’s most visible figures, has no medical degree or training. But he did read a lot of medical material, he says, working on television.

Brooklyn measles outbreak: How a glossy booklet spread anti-vaccine messages in Orthodox Jewish communities (Brandy Zadrozny, NBC News)
“The Vaccine Safety Handbook” looks legitimate but is filled with wild conspiracy theories and inaccurate data.

How a group for Jewish moms spread anti-vax propaganda before New York’s measles outbreak (Claudia Koerner, Julia Reinstein, BuzzFeedNews)
“Frankly, it is dangerous and of great concern to our Department of Health,” said a New York county official.

How much could an earthquake damage San Francisco? (Kimberly Veklerov, San Francisco Chronicle)
If a quake like that were to strike along the San Andreas Fault today, building damage would eclipse $98 billion and tens of thousands of residents would become homeless.

Why bug bounty firms want to be penetration testing companies (Jeff Stone, Cyberscoop)
A popular form of crowdsourcing might have a problem with the size of its crowd.
Most of the high-value digital security vulnerabilities reported to bug-bounty programs are found by just a fraction of the freelance researchers who participate in those contests, recent reports show, suggesting that there are not enough skilled bounty hunters to handle the available work.

Why the scientific debate over a UW bird flu study isn’t going away (Will Cushman, WisContext, Global Biodefense)
Experiments Making Deadly Influenza Virus More Contagious In Mammals Are Resuming