Hackers targeting US hospitals amid Covid-19 pandemic; Spotify backlash after Joe Rogan and Alex Jones podcast; Facebook sued for privacy breaches
US hospitals hit by ransomware attacks
A number of hospitals across the United States are being targeted by hackers, as the country hits new records in its struggle with the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the last few days alone, government officials in the US have confirmed that several hospitals have been subject to ransomware attacks, which are now being investigated.
Patients have had to be diverted to other hospitals because of the attacks.
A security expert has called it the “most significant cyber security threat” ever seen in the US.
“An Eastern European financially motivated threat actor, is deliberately targeting and disrupting U.S. hospitals, forcing them to divert patients to other healthcare providers. Patients may experience prolonged wait time to receive critical care,” Charles Carmakal, SVP and CTO of Mandiant told CNN.
Backlash against Spotify over Joe Rogan and Alex Jones podcast
Spotify is facing backlash over a three-hour long Joe Rogan podcast, interviewing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Rogan signed an exclusivity deal with Spotify earlier this year, for US$100 million. Multiple anti-misinformation groups and even Spotify staff have criticised the platform for allowing Alex Jones on the podcast.
I just cannot get over Joe Rogan getting paid god knows how much money from @Spotify so that he could give a platform to Alex Jones, who terrorized Sandy Hook parents for years. It is so disgusting.
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) October 29, 2020
Jones was banned from Spotify two years ago, because of continuous hate speech.
The exclusivity deal with Spotify did not give the platform editorial control over the podcast but multiple groups worry about the potentially dangerous spread of misinformation.
Weirdly Spotify didn’t respond to my question about why Alex Jones’ show is banned from the platform for “hate speech,” but it’s cool for him to appear for 3+ hours on someone else’s show on the platform. https://t.co/mn0sNgIjMA
— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) October 28, 2020
“They are essentially profiting from the platforming of, and giving exposure to, the most outrageous and fringe views in the desperate search for ad dollars and subscription revenues,” Imran Ahmed, chief executive of the Center for Countering Digital Hate told the BBC.
“That is a phenomenally cynical moral decision to take.”
The three-hour episode has now reportedly been removed from the platform.
Facebook sued for Cambridge Analytica scandal
Legal action has been launched against Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which reportedly saw data belonging to 87 million people being harvested for political purposes.
The new court case refers to data belonging to nearly one million users in England and Wales and is being brought on by the “Facebook You Owe Us” group.
A Facebook spokesperson has, however, said no documents have yet been received regarding this case.