Judge allows suit against AT&T after $24 million cryptocurrency theft

An AT&T store in New Jersey.

Enlarge / An AT&T store in New Jersey. (credit: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

When Michael Terpin's smartphone suddenly stopped working in June 2017, he knew it wasn't a good sign. He called his cellular provider, AT&T, and learned that a hacker had gained control of his phone number.

The stakes were high because Terpin is a wealthy and prominent cryptocurrency investor. Terpin says the hackers gained control of his Skype account and tricked a client into sending a cryptocurrency payment to the hackers instead of to Terpin.

After the attack, Terpin asked AT&T to escalate the security protections on his phone number. According to Terpin, AT&T agreed to set up a six-digit passcode that must be entered before anyone could transfer Terpin's phone number.

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Tech firms “can and must” put backdoors in encryption, AG Barr says

Graffiti urging people to use Signal, a highly encrypted messaging app, is spray-painted on a wall during a protest on February 1, 2017 in Berkeley, California.

Enlarge / Graffiti urging people to use Signal, a highly encrypted messaging app, is spray-painted on a wall during a protest on February 1, 2017 in Berkeley, California. (credit: Elijah Nouvelage | Getty Images)

US Attorney General William Barr today launched a new front in the feds' ongoing fight against consumer encryption, railing against the common security practice and lamenting the "victims" in its wake.

"The deployment of warrant-proof encryption is already imposing huge costs on society," Barr claimed in remarks at a cybersecurity conference held at Fordham University Tuesday morning. Barr added that encryption "seriously degrades" law enforcement's ability to "detect and prevent a crime before it occurs," as well as making eventual investigation and prosecution of crime more difficult.

The existence of encryption means "converting the Internet and communications into a law-free zone" that criminals will happily take advantage of to do more crimes, Barr added, likening it to a neighborhood that local cops have abandoned.

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To catch a drug thief, hospital secretly recorded births, women’s surgeries

Not where you want a hidden camera.

Enlarge / Not where you want a hidden camera. (credit: Getty | Brendan Hoffman)

A California hospital faces a lawsuit from 81 women who allege they were secretly filmed by hidden cameras in labor and delivery operating rooms while undergoing extremely intimate procedures, including Caesarean births, sterilizations, and operations to resolve miscarriages.

The women claim that their privacy was egregiously violated by the hospital, Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, California, which is run by Sharp HealthCare. The women say they did not consent to be filmed during the procedures—and would not have done so if given the choice.

Moreover, they allege that their sensitive videos were insecurely stored on various desktop computers, some of which were not even password protected, and that numerous non-medical staff members—including security guards and attorneys—were able to watch the videos. The lawsuit further alleges that the hospital made no effort to log or monitor who viewed the footage and did not ensure proper deletion of the data. In all, the lawsuit estimates that the hospital had secret recordings of around 1,800 procedures that took place in the women’s center.

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Woman from China, with malware in tow, illegally entered Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

Large helicopter emblazoned with presidential logos lands at a seaside resort.

Enlarge (credit: The White House / Flickr)

A woman carrying four cellphones, two Chinese passports, and a thumb drive containing malware was arrested over the weekend after gaining access to President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort under false pretenses, a court document alleged.

The woman, identified as 32-year-old Yujing Zhang, on Saturday afternoon told a US Secret Service agent she was there to use the pool and produced the passports, a criminal complaint filed in US District Court for the Southern District of Florida alleged. She was admitted past a security checkpoint after a resort security manager verified that her last name matched the surname of a club member. A “potential language-barrier issue” raised the possibility she was the daughter of the member. She didn’t give a definitive answer when asked if she was there to meet anyone and was escorted to a front desk in a golf cart.

When questioned by a receptionist inside the club, Zhang said she was there to attend a United Nations Chinese American Association event later that evening, according to the complaint. The receptionist confirmed that no such event was scheduled and was unable to find Zhang’s name on any list of people approved to be past the security checkpoint.

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