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Hackers lure people by promising ChatGPT, steal information instead

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People are being hoodwinked by hackers with the help of generative artificial intelligence (AI) to install harmful codes on their devices, Meta warned Wednesday.

Chief information security officer Guy Rosen said in a news briefing that “over the course of the past month, security analysts with the social-media giant have found malicious software posing as ChatGPT or similar AI tools.”

The officer said: “The latest wave of malware campaigns have taken notice of generative AI technology that’s been capturing people’s imagination and everyone’s excitement.”

Rosen was of the view that the parent company of WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram often shares what it learns with industry peers and others in the cyber defence community.

Rosen said: “Meta has seen threat actors hawk internet browser extensions that promise generative AI capabilities but contain malicious software designed to infect devices.”

Hackers easily trap their prey through click-bait attempts encouraging people to click on malicious links or installing programs that have the potential to steal the victims’ data and essential information.

Rosen added: “We’ve seen this across other topics that are popular, such as crypto scams fuelled by the immense interest in digital currency,” while noting that “from a bad actor’s perspective, ChatGPT is the new crypto.”

Meta’s security team maintained: “Meta has found and blocked more than a thousand web addresses that are touted as promising ChatGPT-like tools but are actually traps set by hackers, according to the tech firm’s security team”.

Rosen said: “Meta has yet to see generative AI used as more than bait by hackers, but is bracing for the inevitability that it will be used as a weapon”.

“Generative AI holds great promise and bad actors know it, so we should all be very vigilant to stay safe,” Rosen said.

Meanwhile, the tech behemoth is working to use ChatGPT for defensive purposes such as shielding against hackers’ attacks and misleading online campaigns.

Meta head of security policy Nathaniel Gleicher said in the briefing: “We have teams that are already thinking through how [generative AI] could be abused, and the defences we need to put in place to counter that.”

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Google abandons its plans to do rid of cookies in Chrome

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The significant change in course comes as a result of worries expressed by advertisers, who provide the majority of the company’s revenue, that their capacity to gather data for customised advertisements will be restricted due to the removal of cookies from the most widely used browser in the world, leaving them reliant on Google’s user databases.

Due to worries that Google’s proposal would stifle competition in the digital advertising market, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has also carefully examined the proposal.

“Rather than discontinuing third-party cookies, we would launch a fresh experience in Chrome that empowers individuals to make a knowledgeable decision that is applicable to all of their online browsing, and they could modify that decision whenever they choose,” stated Anthony Chavez, vice president of the Privacy Sandbox project, which is supported by Google, in a blog post.

A major objective of the Privacy Sandbox project, which was started in 2019 by Alphabet (GOOGL.O), opens new tab unit, is to phase out third-party cookies while simultaneously improving online privacy and boosting digital enterprises.

Though they can potentially be used for unauthorised monitoring, cookies are information packets that websites and advertisers use to identify specific online users and follow their browsing patterns.

Within the European Union, publishers are required to obtain explicit agreement from users before storing cookies, as per the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Cookie deletion is another feature that most popular browsers offer.

While continuing to fund the Privacy Sandbox programme, Chavez stated that Google was collaborating on the new strategy with publishers, privacy organisations, and regulators like the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office and CMA.

Many responded differently to the announcement.

Analyst Evelyn Mitchell-Wolf of eMarketer stated in a statement, “Advertising stakeholders won’t have to prepare to quit third-party cookies cold turkey.”

One example of how cookies can hurt consumers is when they display predatory advertisements that target specific demographics, according to Lena Cohen, a staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. According to Cohen, Google’s choice to keep accepting third-party cookies is a direct result of their advertising-driven business model, even though other major browsers have been banning them for years.

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Pakistani cellphone customers are unable to utilize WhatsApp.

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On social media, a number of users have reported that although media files like movies and photographs are not loading or processing regularly, WhatsApp calls and text messages are working as usual. By comparison, WiFi users can seamlessly utilize WhatsApp.

WhatsApp is down.During peak hours after Youm-e-Ashur, the issue with media loading was at its worst. No explanation for the ongoing problem has been provided by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). The topic is presently being looked at by major cellphone operators.

Many users had reported frequent breakdowns on X and LinkedIn, and the bug has previously also affected other Meta apps, such as Facebook and Instagram. That disruption, meanwhile, is currently mainly confined to mobile network users’ access to WhatsApp services.

Facebook users had issues across multiple internet service providers (ISPs) after local authorities limited access to the social media platform earlier this week without any formal announcement. WhatsApp and Instagram were also affected by this restriction at the time, according to Downdetector.

Although the administration was meant to know how or if to eliminate the limitation by July 17, it doesn’t seem like they have made up their minds.

Due to major technical issues that Pakistani users have been having since Muharram 9th, Facebook users on July 17 witnessed widespread irritation and conjecture on the social media platform.

People in Pakistan have moved to alternative social media platforms, such as X (previously known as Twitter), to express their worries after reports surfaced that several ISPs have been unable to access Facebook and Instagram since Tuesday.

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Pakistan’s IT industry is expanding rapidly.

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With the assistance of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), the information technology industry is expanding significantly.

This year, the government has set aside seventy-nine billion rupees for the information technology sector, taking into account its extensive potential.

Amounts of 19 billion and 22 billion rupees, respectively, have been set aside for the Pakistan Software Export Board and the development of IT parks in Islamabad and Karachi.

With SIFC’s assistance, the IT industry is expanding quickly, and a large number of start-ups are making their global debuts.

The nation’s IT exports will increase, as Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif had already promised.

A complete package for the IT industry needs to be prepared, the prime minister stressed while chairing a high-level meeting on the industry’s promotion.

Along with forming a committee to study the issue and instructing it to give recommendations as soon as possible, PM Shehbaz opted to include a fixed tax regime for the IT sector in the budget.

The government would invest a significant sum of money in training young people for careers in the IT industry, according to PM Shehbaz. As of right now, he continued, 45,000 youth nationwide are receiving IT-related training.

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