Every day we wake up, drink some coffee, get ready for work and check on the latest tech. So here’s a handful of stories from around the tech world condensed to fit into that first cup. These are things you need to know before you step foot out of your door (or in front of a webcam) and into the real world this morning.
MoveIt hack exposes DMV data of millions of Americans
A massive cyberattack on MoveIt, a cloud-based file transfer service, has compromised the personal data of millions of Americans who applied for driver’s licenses or vehicle registrations.
The hack, which was discovered on June 15, 2023, affected states that used MoveIt to share sensitive information with other agencies.
The hackers gained access to names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and driver’s license numbers of the applicants. MoveIt has notified the affected states and customers and has launched an investigation into the breach.
The company has also suspended its service until further notice. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are also involved in the probe. The hack is one of the largest data breaches in US history and poses a serious risk of identity theft and fraud for the victims.
Squarespace acquires Google Domains in a surprise deal
Squarespace, the popular website builder and hosting service, has announced that it has acquired Google Domains, the domain name registrar service launched by Google in 2015. The deal, which was not disclosed, will allow Squarespace customers to easily register and manage their domain names through the Squarespace platform.
Google Domains was one of the many products that Google created to compete with other online services, but it never gained much traction or popularity among users. Google said that it decided to sell Google Domains to Squarespace as part of its ongoing efforts to focus on its core products and services.
Squarespace said that it will continue to support existing Google Domains customers and will integrate Google Domains into its own platform over the next few months. Squarespace also said that it plans to expand its domain name offerings and features with the help of Google Domains’ technology and expertise.
European Consumer group warns of generative AI risks
A European consumer group has urged the EU to investigate the potential harms of generative AI, a technology that can create realistic content such as images, text, and audio.
The consumer group is the BEUC (European Bureau of Consumers’ Unions), which represents consumer organizations in 13 countries in the EU. It issued the call to coincide with a report from one of its members, Forbrukerrådet in Norway. The group claims that generative AI poses serious threats to privacy, security, democracy, and human dignity.
It calls for strict regulation and oversight of the technology, as well as public awareness and education. The group also warns that generative AI could be used for malicious purposes such as deepfakes, misinformation, identity theft, and cyberattacks. The EU has not yet responded to the group’s request.
The US Navy, NATO, and NASA are using a shady Chinese company’s encryption chips
A recent investigation by Ars Technica has revealed that several US and European government agencies are using encryption chips made by a Chinese company with ties to the Chinese military and intelligence.
The chips are used in devices such as routers, firewalls, and VPNs that secure sensitive communications and data. The company, called HiSilicon, is a subsidiary of Huawei, which has been banned by the US and other countries for posing a national security threat.
The investigation found that HiSilicon has been selling its chips to third-party vendors who then rebrand them and sell them to government customers. The chips have not been independently audited or certified, and could potentially contain backdoors or vulnerabilities that could compromise the security of the users.
The US Navy, NATO, and NASA are among the agencies that have been using these chips, according to the report.
Fungal meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated steroid injections
A rare and deadly form of fungal meningitis has infected at least 91 people and killed seven in 19 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The outbreak is traced to contaminated steroid injections used to treat back pain.
The CDC estimates that about 17,000 vials of the tainted drug were shipped to 75 clinics across the country, and that as many as 14,000 patients may have been exposed.
The agency is urging anyone who received a steroid injection since May to contact their doctor and watch for symptoms such as headache, fever, nausea, and stiff neck. The fungal infection can take weeks to develop and requires antifungal treatment that can last months.
The CDC is working with state and local health officials to identify the source of the contamination and prevent further infections.