Hey there, FixMeFans and StartMeStars! We’re back with another edition of our weekly roundup where we deliver the most recent comings and goings of the cybersecurity world.
This week we’re dealing with news regarding Facebook’s new attempts to squash the spread of conspiracy theories, and how different types of malware have been designed to poison your Google searches.
Over the past few months, Facebook has been using AI and human moderators to crack down on the spread of misinformation by QAnon and Covid-19 conspiracy theorists. This lead to blocking popular hashtags used by the misinformation spreaders – but many of these hashtags have actually been brought to their attention by outside sources.
The latest hashtag to be blocked, #DarkToLight, previously had almost 30,000 users utilizing the hashtag to spread QAnon conspiracy theories. While another Instagram hashtag, #Scamdemic, had nearly 112,000 tagged posts. While Facebook has blocked both hashtags from appearing in searches users have found ways around the block. Often making use of different hashtags in order to share and post misinformation.
Since 2016, Facebook has taken a stand against the spread of conspiracy theories and misinformation on its websites, especially those related to COVID-19. Adopting a variety of new guidelines, they’ve expanded their efforts to remove groups, pages and accounts that continue to spread false claims about Covid-19 and vaccines during the pandemic.
You can read more about the situation here!
Malware seems be evolving day to day, constantly finding new and innovative ways to spread itself to different victims. In a recent finding by SophosLab, a malware delivery system called Gootloader has been luring victims into malware-ridden pages by poisoning Google searches.
Gootloader makes use of “file-less” malware attacks, in which malware is launched on a victim’s computer simply by opening a page. In this case, Gootloader has hacked into hundreds of innocent sites which match exactly what a victim is searching for. When they go to click on the website, it launches malware onto the victim’s device.
The hacked websites, though fairly believable, have subtle details that differentiate from legitimate sites. The main issue however is that Google continues to rank these sites at the top of their search results.
Curious? 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!