Signal Is Finally Testing Usernames

Drones, hidden cameras, thermal vision scopes—these are just a few examples of the high-tech equipment recommended by the animal liberation group Direct Action Everywhere, according to a manual released by the organization this week. The document, which was reviewed by WIRED, is a rare glimpse into how the organization is using tech to target factory farms in often brazen operations that have rescued pigs, goats, ducks, and chickens.

Extremist groups are experimenting with generative AI to flood social media with propaganda and misinformation, researchers at Tech Against Terrorism have told WIRED. A new report from the group details how, in recent months, terrorists and other extremist organizations have been using artificial intelligence to manipulate imagery and thwart content moderation. As platforms have struggled to keep up with this flood of extremist content, a new tool called Altitude, built in collaboration between Tech Against Terrorism and Google, is seeking to address the problem. The tool centralizes the collection of verified terrorist content, allowing companies to easily vet posts shared to their platforms.

Israel is exacerbating the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza by likely imposing devastating internet blackouts in the region. Last week, Israel reportedly imposed a full internet shutdown in the area as its troops moved into the Gaza Strip. After internet access was restored, the area suffered two additional connectivity blackouts. The most recent lasted for about 15 hours on Sunday as Israel was carrying out an intense operation to cut off Gaza City in the north from southern Gaza.

In other infrastructure news, a report from the ​​cybersecurity firm Mandiant reveals that last year, the Russian military intelligence agency known as Sandworm carried out a power grid attack targeting a Ukrainian electric utility causing a blackout for Ukrainian civilians. According to the report, the cyberattack coincided with the start of a series of missile strikes targeting Ukrainian critical infrastructure across the country.

The third GOP presidential primary debate was livestreamed on Rumble, a YouTube alternative home to what the Southern Poverty Law Center says is one of America’s most notorious white nationalists, Nick Fuentes. Since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict last month, Fuentes has used his Rumble channel to push antisemitic hate speech and Holocaust denial conspiracies, racking up hundreds of thousands of views. Fuentes’ YouTube account was terminated in 2020 after Google demonetized it.

And there’s more. Each week, we round up the security and privacy news we didn’t cover in depth ourselves. Click the headlines to read the full stories, and stay safe out there

On Wednesday, you and everyone you know had trouble getting ChatGPT to ghostwrite their emails as developer OpenAI was hit by what it thought was a distributed denial-of-service attack. For nearly two hours, users who tried to access the chatbot were greeted with a message telling them “ChatGPT is at capacity right now.”

In a tweet, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman initially blamed its outage on a surge in interest in the platform’s new features. By Wednesday night the company announced that the periodic outages were due to an “abnormal traffic pattern reflective of a DDoS attack.”

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