Hello there. It’s yet another beautiful week coming to an end. The happenings of the last week have been sensational as we finally see the Nigerian government lifting the prolonged ban on Twitter.
There have equally been a lot of interesting happenings this week on the global scene. Here are some that made the news rounds.
EU watchdog investigates Meta over VR children’s safety
The Facebook parent company, Meta, is under further scrutiny for its attitude towards children’s safety and is expected to face investigations from the EU watchdog.
According to a report from the BBC, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is meeting with Meta to discuss how its virtual reality (VR) company, Oculus, adheres to the regulator’s “children’s code.”
The goal of the guidelines is to guarantee that online services that children are likely to access are acceptable for their usage.
This discussion became necessary as a campaign organization has recently discovered evidence of harassment of under-18s in a popular third-party VR chat software. However, Meta says it is working to implement the code with the ICO.
In addition, the code’s creator, Baroness Beeban Kidron, had expressed concern that Meta’s platform made it too simple for children to sign up and expose themselves to abuse, harassment, and sexual content.
Meta demands a Facebook account and consequently, a user’s age be at least 13 years old. But that doesn’t ensure they follow the code’s age restrictions.
Children may be allowed to enter potentially harmful virtual reality chatrooms simply by ticking a box to indicate they’re mature enough.
The watchdog wants to know if Meta’s headgear and VR services safeguard children’s privacy and data adequately.
Ukraine blames Russia for recent cyber-attacks on dozens of official websites
The Ukrainian government has blamed Russia for recent cyber-attacks targeting hundreds of its official websites on Friday.
The attack, which was one of the largest in Ukraine in four years, saw some 70 government websites briefly down.
A message flashed on the webpages before they went offline, urging Ukrainians to “prepare for the worst.” The majority of the sites were accessible again within a few hours.
The United States and NATO have condemned the incident and pledged their support for Ukraine. Russia has remained silent about the hack.
Experts from Ukraine’s information ministry released a chronology of how knowledge of the incident circulated, noting that Russian media broke the story first.
The assaults, they said, were in retaliation for what they saw as Russia’s failure in recent discussions with Nato over Ukraine.
The White House has stated that it will offer any assistance required for Ukraine to recover from the strike.
It’s still unclear whether the Russians were responsible for the strikes. However, according to a BBC report, cyber reporter and expert, Joe Tidy, believes the attacks were more of a coordinated operation by patriotic Russian hackers, instead of a cyber-offensive directed by the Kremlin.
Darknet marketplaces for stolen credit cards, UniCC shuts down
After generating an estimated $358 million (£260 million) on the darknet, the operators of one of the largest illicit marketplaces for stolen credit cards are retiring.
The criminal website, UniCC’s and its anonymous proprietors expressed gratitude to the criminal community for their businesses so far, citing age and health as reasons for the shutdown.
During the winter, several additional illicit darknet marketplaces voluntarily shut down for unclear reasons. However, police say they’re conflicted about the pattern.
The darknet is a section of the internet that can only be accessed via specialized browser software.
UniCC has been in operation since 2013, with tens of thousands of fresh stolen credit cards being advertised for sale every day.
Hundreds of millions of payment card numbers were stolen from online shops, banks, and payment organizations and sold on internet markets like UniCC.
These cards are valuable because they may be used to buy expensive things or gift cards, which can then be resold for cash.
UniCC’s closing comes little over a year after the previous market leader, Joker’s Stash, retired.
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