Thought for the day

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.<br>The functions of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents.<br>There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves; nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe." -- Thomas Jefferson

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An information technology company that supports U.S. defense and intelligence apparently was victimized by a ransomware attack.

BlackCat, a ransomware outfit also known by the names ALPHV and Noberus, alerted IT company NJVC about the breach.

"We strongly recommend that you contact us to discuss your situation," BlackCat told NJVC, according to a DarkFeed tweet early Thursday morning. "Otherwise, the confidential data in our possession will be released in stages every 12 hours.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has increased its investment in digital ID projects through part of a $1.27 billion package to support “global health and development projects.” Part of the funding, $200 million, will go to digital public infrastructure, including civil registry databases and digital ID.

The CIA used hundreds of websites for covert communications that were severely flawed and could have been identified by even an “amateur sleuth”, according to security researchers.

The flaws reportedly led to the death of more than two dozen US sources in China in 2011 and 2012 and also reportedly led Iran to execute or imprison other CIA assets.

This is Google's Quantum AI laboratory, where dozens of super-smart people labor in an office kitted out with climbing walls and electric bikes to shape the next generation of computers -- a generation that will be unlike anything users currently have in their pockets or offices.

"It is a new type of computer that uses quantum mechanics to do computations and allows us... to solve problems that would otherwise be impossible," explains Erik Lucero, lead engineer at the campus near Santa Barbara.

Researchers have revealed a never-before-seen piece of cross-platform malware that has infected a wide range of Linux and Windows devices, including small office routers, FreeBSD boxes, and large enterprise servers.

Update (1625ET): Hours after Bloomberg reported on the Wall Street WhatsApp settlement, the outlet reported that Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are among a group of 16 banks that have agreed to pay $1.1 billion in penalties for failing to monitor employees using unauthorized messaging apps.

The banks, along with Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley, are among the 16 financial firms that reached agreements with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the regulator said in a statement Tuesday. -Bloomberg

Upon learning of Monday's decree signed by Vladimir Putin to grant Russian citizenship to ex-NSA employee Edward Snowden after having been given asylum since he arrived there in 2013, the US administration called on Snowden to return to American soil to "face justice".

"Mr. Snowden should return to the United States where he should face justice as any other American citizen would," State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday.