FixMeStick’s Weekly Cybersecurity Roundup: September 15th – September 21st

Hey there, FixMeFans and StartMeStars! We hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. 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 back with news about President Trump’s most recent ban on TikTok, a budding Russian facial recognition startup, and how a recent bust on a dark web opioid operation has resulted in 179 arrests and $6.5 million seized.

Where President Trump’s anger for TikTok stems from, we’ll never know – though with recent moves to ban the app this past Sunday, we can tell that this won’t be the last we see of it.

With attempts to ban the app under the guise of advancing national security interests, President Trump has made it clear that TikTok (and its allegations of leaking information to Chinese data companies) is not welcome in the US.

However, despite this step to see TikTok downloads halted in the US, a judge in California has since halted the banning of the app, citing that it infringes on the merits of the First Amendment – though we’ll see how long it takes before Trump finds another way to push for the ban of TikTok

If you already thought facial recognition companies in the US were unnerving, a new startup in Russia has been pushing for a new form of facial recognition with “aggression detection”, and has even received close to $15 million in investments from sovereign wealth funds.

Essentially, the facial recognition technology plans to scan an individual’s face for levels of aggression. If all goes according to plan, you can expect to see Russian NtechLab’s technology being used by its surveillance partners and customers in the year 2021. 

NtechLab first made headlines with its app FindFace, which allowed users to use an image of a face and link it to an individual’s social media profiles. Since then, the company has expanded to be a key surveillance supplier in Moscow, using its algorithms to power a massive facial recognition project.

Curious? You can read up on the situation here.

Recently, global police agencies announced that they had arrested 179 vendors and buyers of illegal drugs in Europe and the US in one of the biggest dark web drug busts to date.

According to reports, over $6.5 million had been picked up in the drug raid, as well as over 1,100 pounds of drugs, which included the likes of fentanyl and oxycodone, as well as heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and MDMA. 

The raid has since been dubbed as DisrupTor, as it is on the Tor browser that these transactions typically take place. Law enforcement has since taken the necessary steps to ensure that similar illegal activity on the dark web is being monitored and mitigated.

You can read into 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!

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