May 31, 2023
22 Words that should Scare the Crap out of You, Malicious Android Spyware, DOD Cyber Strategy, Today in Tech History
In this Episode:
22 Words That Should Scare the Crap out of You
Malicious Android Spyware Downloaded 400 Million Times
DOD Cyber Strategy
This Day, May 31, in Tech History
From Sourced Network Productions in New York City, it’s 5:05 on Wednesday, May 31st, 2023. This is your host Pokie Huang. Stories in today’s episode come from Edwin Kwan in Sydney, Australia. Katy Craig in San Diego, California. Marcel Brown in St. Louis, Missouri. And me this week, calling in from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Mark Miller starts off today’s episode with “22 words that should scare the crap out of you”… let’s get to it.
“Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks, such as pandemics and nuclear war.” No, that’s not a statement that came from some postmodern dystopian sci-fi movie. It’s a statement signed by scientists and other notable figures from the Center for AI research.
This is Mark Miller in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I’m here for the International Society of Bassists competition, but after the statement from the Center for AI Research came over the newsfeeds, I knew I had to call in this update.
I have always thought all the hand wringing and doomsayers over AI was overblown. But the list of signatories on this statement gives me pause. There’s a link to the statement at the end of this episode on 505updates.com. But it is hundreds of signatures.
When this many scientists, when this many researchers put out a statement that is this prophetic, it should give everyone pause, “…a global priority alongside other societal risks, such as pandemics and nuclear war”.
A warning of this magnitude usually just passes by my filtering radar. But for some reason, this one hit me in the gut. We’ve all been playing around with ChatGPO. I’ve even done a couple of episodes about it with John Willis.
But what the researchers are basically saying is that we are all participating in our own demise through the thoughtless use of this technology.
While I still might not be convinced that it’s the demise of humanity, as we know it, as I said, it does give me pause that I probably don’t know what’s happening. Too many respected people are saying, “Look, there’s something here. You need to take a closer look. “And I will be.
I’ll be talking more about this in future episodes and offer you the chance to participate in the comments on this thread.
Am I convinced? With the power of numbers behind it, I’ll use the old cliche, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”
This is Edwin Kwan from Sydney Australia.
Security researchers have discovered an Android software module with spyware functionality. The spyware module dubbed SpinOk, demonstrates a seemingly legitimate software behavior. It states that it is designed to maintain user’s interests in the app through the use of mini games, which are a system of tasks. It has alleged prices and reward drawings.
However, this Android module is a Trojan SDK which first checks the Android device sensor to confirm that it is not running in a sandbox environment. It then connects to a remote server to download a list of URLs to display the expected mini games.
While the games are being played, the Trojan SDK is running additional malicious functionality in the background. This includes listing files in directories, searching for particular files, uploading files from the device, or copying and replacing clickbot contents.
Security researchers found this malicious SDK being used in over a hundred apps, and those apps had a cumulative download of over 421 times.
Google has received a report of the malicious SDK and has since removed the offending apps until the developers submit a clean version.
I’ve got some Defense Department news for you today. Last week, they unleashed their 2023 Cyber Strategy on Congress. Now, I don’t have all the classified details, but I’ve got the rundown on the unclassified elements.
This is Katy Craig in San Diego, California.
The new strategy builds on what they planned back in 2018. They’ve been out there in cyberspace, defending forward, and busting up those malicious cyber activities before they wreak havoc on our homeland. They’ve learned a thing or two from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, and that wake up call showed them how cyber capabilities can play a big role in major conflicts.
Who’s on their cyber hit list? North Korea, Iran, and Russia are prime suspects. But let me tell you, China is giving them a run for their money.
China is the pacing challenge in the cyber domain, and they’re playing the cyber game on expert mode.
So what are DoD’s goals in this cyber strategy? First, defend the nation against those cyber miscreants .Second, amp up our preparedness for cyber warfare. Third, build stronger cyber alliances with our buddies around the world. And finally gain the upper hand in the vast cyber universe.
DoD says, “With a robust and integrated cyber capability, the department will work to deter conflict where it can and prevail where it must.”
This is Katy Craig. Stay safe out there.
This is Marcel Brown, the most trusted name in technology, serving you up some technology history for May 31st.
May 31st, 1991. Sega releases the video game Zero Wing for the Sega Mega Drive system in Europe. The game was never released in North America and was relatively unknown until years later when the poorly translated opening scene was popularized on the internet.
The most famous mistranslation is the phrase, “All your base are belonged to us”, which needless to say, has become a very popular internet meme.
May 31st, 2006. Swedish Police rated the Pirate Bay website and shut it down. The site was relaunched three days later and has since become a focal point in the ongoing battle between large corporate content creators such as Hollywood Studios and the pirating community.
That’s your technology history for today. For more, tune in tomorrow and visit my website ThisDayInTechHistory.com.
That’s it for today’s open source and cyber security updates. For direct links to all stories and resources mentioned in today’s episode, go to 505updates.com.
505 is a Sourced to Network Production with updates available Monday through Friday on your favorite audio streaming platform. Just search for It’s 5:05.
And FYI, no AI was used in the authoring of today’s episode.
So you tomorrow… at 5:05.