FixMeStick’s Weekly Cybersecurity Roundup: April 13th – April 20th

Hey there, FixMeFans and StartMeStars! We’re back with another edition of our weekly cybersecurity roundup where we deliver the most recent comings and goings of the cybersecurity world.

This week we’re dealing with how Apple and Google have blocked an official UK Covid-19 app update. As well as how Facebook has been accused of neglecting Covid-19 misinformation. And finally, how the US government has accused Russian companies of recruiting spies!

With the introduction of more liberal lockdown restrictions in England, the Government had also decided to make some minor changes to its Covid-19 tracing app, a decision which was inevitably blocked by Apple and Google.

NHS Covid-19 is the official iPhone and Android coronavirus contact tracing software used for the majority of the population of Great Britain. With the introduction of more liberal lockdown restrictions in England, the Government had also decided to make some minor changes to its Covid-19 tracing app, a decision which was inevitably blocked by Apple and Google.

Towards the beginning of the pandemic, Apple and Google created a smartphone feature known as Exposure Notifications, with the goal of helping governments and health agencies reduce the spread of COVID-19 through contact tracing. Many contact tracing apps make use of this feature, and NHS Covid-19 is among the list. However, as England has relaxed some of its restrictions, it also made some changes to its app – changes which apparently went against Apple and Google’s security and privacy regulations.

NHS Covid-19 had allegedly added location tracking features that would allow users to share their location logs with the health service. Although the feature was optional, it was swiftly blocked by Apple and Google, and thus made unavailable for download through both the App Store and Google Play.

Curious? You can read more about the situation here.

Facebook has recently been attempting to crack down on the spread of misinformation that appears on its site. With the recent pandemic, the social media giant has taken to blocking and removing accounts that spread false news, especially posts that spread harmful misinformation about Covid-19

Facebook has recently been attempting to crack down on the spread of misinformation that appears on its site. With the recent pandemic, the social media giant has taken to blocking and removing accounts that spread false news, especially posts that spread harmful misinformation about Covid-19. However, while the site has been heavily moderating English posts, less than half of non-English posts have actually been fact-checked.

According to campaign group Avaaz, 56 percent of misinformation in major non-English European languages was not acted upon by Facebook, compared with only 26 percent of English-language content debunked by US-based fact-checkers. According to these reports, Italian speakers are the least protected from misinformation, with no measures taken for 69 percent of Italian content. Spanish speakers were best protected, with only 33 percent of Spanish language misinformation left unacted on.

It seems much of the misinformation is centered around the side effects of the vaccines, promoting the theme of potential harm that the vaccines could cause.

You can read more about the situation here!

As part of President Biden's new cybersecurity campaign, the US government has turned its focus protecting itself against potential Russian hackers.

As part of President Biden’s new cybersecurity campaign, the US government has turned its focus to protecting itself against potential Russian hackers. Recently, the US government has accused Russian companies of recruiting spies and using hacking tools against the US.

The Biden administration claims that Positive Technologies, a cybersecurity firm headquartered in Moscow, actually supports Russian government clients. It has even gone as far as to supply Russian intelligence with offensive hacking tools, knowledge, and offensive operations. These claims come after the recent SolarWinds data breach, which had allegedly been caused by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), after uploading malicious code into the company’s software.

The Russian government has been known to use cybercriminals and advanced hacking campaigns to support government espionage goals, but the US government’s efforts to pin the recent government hacking on Russia has seen increased difficulty.

You can read more about the situation here!


That’s all for this week’s roundup folks! We hope you’re staying safe with all that’s going on, especially when it comes to your cybersecurity!