Illustrations via Max Fleishman

Cell-site simulators, Subway masturbators, Harambe ties with Stein: ICYMI

Important news you may have missed on Tuesday, Aug. 16.


Dell Cameron


Published Aug 16, 2016   Updated May 26, 2021, 6:08 am CDT

Here’s some news you may have missed:

Kaspersky Lab says it has “a high degree of confidence” in its verification of cyberweapons supposedly stolen from an advanced NSA-linked threat called “Equation Group.” It appears the veracity of at least two exploits leaked by the so-called Shadow Brokers is confirmed. Among people fingering Moscow for the leak is Edward Snowden, who currently resides in Russia under right of asylum.

Several civil liberties groups have requested the FCC investigate the Baltimore Police Department’s use of technology to locate suspects by mimicking cellphone towers. The groups contend police are using devices—often called “cell-site simulators” or “Stingrays”—in violation of federal communications laws. The Justice Department now requires federal agencies to get a warrant before using the devices. But those rules do not apply on the state or local level.

Tests conducted by Duo Security indicate, on average, it takes about 25 minutes to phish an employee of a targeted organization and to obtain his or her login credentials. The cybersecurity firm examined data collected by a free web-based tool used by approximately 400 organizations to run faux-phishing campaigns on their employees.

Speaking of “Duo,” Google just launched an all-new video calling app called Duo. The app does not require a Google account (just a working phone number) and has been released for both Android and iOS devices.

And a new search tool from Google should make it easier than ever to carry out your civic duty. Type “How to vote” into any Google search bar and you’ll be given a slew of information that will help inform your decisions on Nov. 8.

Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling says Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein is polling at 2 percent among likely Texas voters. That’s roughly the same support the pollsters discovered for Harambe in a separate poll that included some theoretical candidates, but not Stein.

A Facebook video of a woman calling out a man on the subway for allegedly fondling himself in public has gone viral. In this report, journalist Mary Emily O’Hara discloses her personal experience being similarly targeted on the subway. It’s common everywhere, she writes, “but New Yorkers have a particular tendency to ignore weird shit happening right in front of their faces.”

Masquarading as cell towers, Stingrays enable police to electronically search large areas for a particular phone’s signal.

The FBI has turned over to Congress material from its criminal probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, including the classified emails they found and reports from interviews with Clinton and others. —via Karoun Demirjian and Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post

So far, there’s been only one significant bid on the data allegedly stolen from the NSA, which was recently put up for auction by Shadow Brokers: a measly $865 worth of bitcoins. —via Andy Greenberg, Wired

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, has refused once again to endorse Donald Trump. “I’m not supporting him at this time,” Sandoval said. —via Melissa Matheney, News 4

A wave of “spoofed” PGP keys demonstrates why it’s a bad idea to base verification solely on the short IDs people often list on social media. —via Joseph Cox, Motherboard

New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro, a Republican who co-chairs Donald Trump’s national veterans’ coalition, doubled down on comments he made saying Hillary Clinton “should be shot in a firing squad for treason.” —via Shira Schoenberg, Mass Live

The Trump campaign says it has nearly three months to counter Clinton’s vast swing state operation. But early voting actually begins in less than six weeks. —via Patrick Healy, the New York Times

Univision will pay $135 million to acquire Gawker Media, which filed for bankruptcy in June after Hulk Hogan won a $140 million judgment in a privacy case over the release of a sex tape. —via Peter Kafka, Recode

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*First Published: Aug 16, 2016, 9:01 pm CDT