Patrick Howell O'Neill, MIT Tech Review

Patrick Howell O'Neill

MIT Tech Review

San Francisco, CA, United States

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Past articles by Patrick:

Chinese and Russian hackers were just sanctioned by Europe for the first time

EU officials imposed restrictions for ransomware and corporate espionage. → Read More

Twitter blocked tweets from verified accounts after a massive security breach

What do Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates have in common? Dozens of high-profile verified Twitter accounts were hacked on Wednesday, seemingly to push a cryptocurrency scam that may have netted upwards of $100,000 in a matter of minutes. These kinds of scams are old hat on Twitter, but never have so many prominent accounts been taken over at once. To stem the tide, Twitter… → Read More

Chinese hackers and others are exploiting coronavirus fears for cyber espionage

Headline news and global disorder are tools hackers take advantage of to make their next breach. → Read More

A billion Wi-Fi devices suffer from a newly discovered security flaw

More than a billion internet-connected devices—including Apple's iPhone and Amazon's Echo—are affected by a security vulnerability that could allow hackers to spy on traffic sent over Wi-Fi.The flaw, discovered by the cybersecurity firm ESET, effectively disarms the encryption used by a password-protected Wi-Fi network. → Read More

North Korea’s ultra-secretive ways can make the regime easier to track online

A regime known for iron-fisted control can’t keep all its secrets on the global internet. → Read More

Ransomware took an American gas pipeline operator offline

Hackers attacked an American natural gas compression facility with ransomware, according to an advisory from US officials at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.The attack started because an employee clicked a spearphishing link, a fake link that opened the door to the hackers who accessed the IT and then industrial networks.Impact: The immediate effect was that hackers… → Read More

Hackers can trick a Tesla into accelerating by 50 miles per hour

A two inch piece of tape fooled the Tesla’s cameras and made the car quickly and mistakenly speed up. → Read More

The US says the Chinese military hacked Equifax. Here’s how.

The data breach at US credit agency Equifax in 2017 was one of the biggest thefts of sensitive personal information of all time—and according to a new indictment unveiled today by the US Department of Justice, it was carried out by Chinese military hackers.Attorney General William Barr announced charges against four Chinese military hackers for breaking into Equifax and stealing trade secrets as… → Read More

A dark web tycoon pleads guilty. But how was he caught?

The FBI found Eric Marques by breaking the famed anonymity service Tor, and officials won’t reveal if a vulnerability was used. That has activists and lawyers concerned. → Read More

Iowa’s high-tech caucuses crashed, and paper ballots saved the day

“This is a very clear lesson of why paper records are critical,” said one election expert. → Read More

This is how a popular free antivirus program sells your data

One of the most popular antivirus companies in the world sells people’s sensitive data in a way that can put their privacy at risk, according to new reports.The culprit: Avast is a multibillion-dollar computer security company based in the Czech Republic. → Read More

UN calls for investigation of Saudis allegedly hacking Jeff Bezos

A tangled web of espionage may point to an intimidation campaign by the powerful Saudi Crown Prince. → Read More

Ukraine has asked for FBI help on the reported Russian hacking plot

Ukrainian authorities opened an investigation into Russian military intelligence hackers following allegations that they attempted to steal data from Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company where the son of American presidential candidate Joe Biden was a board member. → Read More

The NSA found a dangerous flaw in Windows and told Microsoft to fix it

You need to update your Windows machine right now. → Read More

The US AG has asked Apple to unlock the Pensacola shooter’s iPhone

William Barr, the US attorney general, has asked Apple to unlock the iPhone of the Saudi air force member who killed three American sailors in a terrorist attack last month. → Read More

It’s 2020. American elections are still “frighteningly easy” targets.

Election tech giants were called before Congress weeks before the 2020 primary season begins. All of them support greater transparency. → Read More

New ‘secure’ voting machines are still vulnerable—because of voters

A major study shows that people rarely notice if their vote gets changed by hackers—even when using technology meant to protect the ballot. → Read More

Ransomware may have cost the US more than $7.5 billion in 2019

It was another big year for ransomware, the extremely profitable style of cyberattack in which computer systems and data are taken over by hackers and held hostage until the victim hands over a payoff.In 2019, these attacks wreaked havoc around the globe, earned criminals vast sums, and even occasionally provided a weapon for government hackers. → Read More

Hackers will be the weapon of choice for governments in 2020

From the Olympics to elections, nations use hackers to win a bigger geopolitical game. → Read More

US senators on encryption back doors: “We will impose our will” on Apple and Facebook

Apple and Facebook sent representatives today to Washington, DC, where senators pushed them to create lawful back doors to encrypted data.A decades-old debate: Government officials have long argued that encryption makes criminal investigations too hard. → Read More