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Malicious Pokémon spam, ‘NSA’ exploit patched, Facebook fails to diversify: ICYMI

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


Dell Cameron


Posted on Aug 17, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 5:58 am CDT

Here’s some news you may have missed today:

An Irish security firm warns Pokémon Go spam is leading users to sites infected with malicious malware. Thousands of players have been targeted with a widespread SMS campaign offering free in-game currency.

Cisco has patched the so-called “ExtraBacon” exploit unearthed by Shadow Brokers, a mysterious entity auctioning off data allegedly stolen from an NSA-linked threat known as Equation Group. The exploit would have allowed the NSA to penetrate corporate networks and data centers.

The NSA’s website is suffering intermittent downtime, stirring rumors about a possible link to the alleged Equation Group hack. It may be a DDoS attack—or, as an unidentified source told FedScoop, an “internal review”—but either way, Patrick Howell O’Neill writes, “We’re all left to wonder why America’s top cyber operators can’t keep their website working.”

Michael Moore, ahem, claims he knows for a fact that Donald Trump doesn’t want to be president. The filmmaker and liberal activist, who’s obviously not a big fan of Trump, says the Republican nominee’s recent cringeworthy gaffes are likely an attempt at self-sabotage.

Donald Trump’s hire of Stephen Bannon, a Breitbart News executive, is likely to intensify the negativity surrounding the 2016 election. The move is  “expected to extinguish any semblance of Trump as a moderate candidate in line with the rest of the Republican Party,” Layer 8 editor Andrew Couts writes.

Speaking of Breitbart, a former editor for the company went on CNN Wednesday to voice his opinion about Bannon’s new job. Ben Shapiro, colorfully describing Trump as a “turd tornado,” said the shake-up signaled the campaign intended to double down on the hostile strategy so far playing poorly with historically Republican voters.

Incentives offered to Facebook’s recruiters for hiring new black, Hispanic, and female candidates apparently failed to further diversify the company: Facebook’s workforce is still predominantly white and male. “Diversity is just one part of the shift within the tech industry,” writes Selena Larson, “creating an inclusive environment in which these individuals can thrive is vital to making any progress.”

Ivanka Trump is learning why a candidate’s family needs to be cautious when throwing cash around. A boutique jewelry company announced plans to donate the proceeds of a recent purchase by the Republican candidate’s daughter to Hillary Clinton. Critics have blasted the “stunt” as unprofessional, but as writer Jaya Saxena points out, Trump threw her own hat in the ring last month during the RNC.

Current mood

China is the first country to launch a quantum satellite into space in hopes of creating an unhackable communications system for the “post-Snowden age.” —via Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer, Popular Science

Vox valiantly attempts to kill the Harambe meme. They will fail. —via Aja Romano, Vox

Donald Trump’s post-convention collapse appears to be having an effect on the Republican Party’s U.S. Senate candidates. —via Harry Enten, FiveThirtyEight

Trump says he doesn’t trust the classified intelligence briefings he’s receiving from the current administration. “Look what’s happened over the years,” he said. “It’s been catastrophic.” —via Nick Gass, Politico

Here’s how DEA Special Agent Carl Force got caught trying to launder $700,000 from the Silk Road investigation. —via Cyrus Farivar and Joe Mullin, Ars Technica

A top Canadian police organization vows to pursue a law that would force people to turn over their encryption passwords, given a judge’s consent. —via Jordan Pearson, Motherboard

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*First Published: Aug 17, 2016, 4:13 pm CDT