Latest news and features from theguardian.com, the world's leading liberal voice
  1. Bank of England paid £3m in 'golden goodbyes' over 15 months

    Rise in settlements in 2019 included those paid to departing tech security staff shortly before major breach

    The Bank of England paid departing staff almost £3m in “golden goodbyes” over 15 months, at the same time as an exodus of workers from its information security team.

    Settlement payments to former staff surged to £2.3m in 2019, according to data provided to the Guardian under freedom of information laws. The Bank confirmed that former information security staff received some of the payments.

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  2. Ransomware attack on Garmin thought to be the work of 'Evil Corp'

    Russian cybercrime gang is believed to be responsible for taking Garmin services offline

    A ransomware attack that took the GPS and smartwatch business Garmin entirely offline for more than three days is believed to have been carried out by a Russian cybercriminal gang which calls itself “Evil Corp”.

    Garmin began to restore services to customers on Monday morning, after being held hostage for a reported ransom of $10m, although some services were still operating with limited functionality.

    Ransomware is the most common form of criminal malware currently in use. Targets are commonly infected through malicious emails, which may trick them into downloading and running the software, or through exploiting vulnerabilities in other software such as Adobe Flash. When the ransomware program is activated, it encrypts the user’s hard drive with a single use encryption key, before flashing up a message asking for ransom, typically in the form of a payment in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

    Related:Garmin down: how to still get your activities on to Strava

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  3. Smartwatch maker Garmin hit by outages after ransomware attack

    US company forced to shut down call centres, website and some other online services

    Garmin has been forced to shut down its call centres, website and some other online services after a ransomware attack encrypted the smartwatch maker’s internal network and some production systems.

    The US company shut down services including the official Garmin website and all customer services, including phone lines, online chat and email.

    Related:The five: ransomware attacks

    Ransomware is the most common form of criminal malware currently in use. Targets are commonly infected through malicious emails, which may trick them into downloading and running the software, or through exploiting vulnerabilities in other software such as Adobe Flash. When the ransomware program is activated, it encrypts the user’s hard drive with a single use encryption key, before flashing up a message asking for ransom, typically in the form of a payment in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

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  4. US judge: WhatsApp lawsuit against Israeli spyware firm NSO can proceed

    NSO Group was sued last year by messaging app owned by Facebook

    An Israeli company whose spyware has been used to target journalists in India, politicians in Spain, and human rights activists in Morocco may soon be forced to divulge information about its government clients and practices after a judge in California ruled that a lawsuit against the company could proceed.

    NSO Group was sued by WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, last year, after the popular messaging app accused the company of sending malware to 1,400 of its users over a two-week period and targeting their mobile phones.

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  5. Spanish deputy PM urges investigation into Catalan spyware claims

    Exclusive:Pablo Iglesias calls alleged targeting of independence movement figures unacceptable

    The Spanish deputy prime minister, Pablo Iglesias, has become the most senior political figure to call for a parliamentary investigation into the use of spyware to target prominent members of the Catalan independence movement, saying such practices are “unacceptable in a democracy”.

    A joint investigation this week by the Guardian and El País has revealed that Roger Torrent, the speaker of the Catalan parliament, and former regional foreign minister Ernest Maragall are among at least four pro-independence activists who have been targeted using Israeli spyware that its makers said is sold only to governments.

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