Get WIRED’s daily briefing in your inbox. Sign up here
Apple contractors say that they regularly hear private conversations accidentally recorded by the Siri digital assistant, including business deals, sexual encounters, seemingly criminal acts and doctor-patient discussions (The Guardian).
Like its AI assistant rivals, Apple hires humans to review Siri recordings and their interpretations for accuracy to improve the accuracy of the machine-learning based service. However, although user data is nominally anonymised, whistleblowers say that personal details can easily be identified and that’s minimal vetting of who works with the data and how it’s handled.
Marcus ‘MalwareTech’ Hutchins, the British computer security professional who famously stopped the 2017 WannaCry ransomware in its tracks, has been sentenced to supervised release and time served for his involvement, some years earlier, in creating the Kronos banking trojan (Ars Technica). He was arrested by US officials in 2017 after visiting the country to attend a professional conference and, following sentencing, said: “Having grown up, I’ve since been using the same skills that I misused several years ago for constructive purposes.”
Wildfires continue to rage across the Arctic following unprecedented summer temperatures resulting from climate change (BBC News). Swathes of northern Siberia, northern Scandinavia, Alaska and Greenland are in flames, visible on satellite imagery, with smoke affecting air quality neighbouring cities and vast amounts of formerly sequestered CO2 being released into the atmosphere as forests and peat burn.
However, Russian authorities say that they cannot justify the cost of fighting the fires as “they do not threaten any settlements or the economy” while Alaskan regional government representatives say that “fire-suppression efforts sometimes are more damaging than the wildfire.”
The UK is seeing a growth in the number of sextortion cases and new analysis reveals the people behind the blackmailing scams are making thousands of dollars through the practice (WIRED). The NCA received 1,484 reports of sextortion – or cyber-enabled blackmail with a financial motive – in the whole of 2018, as well as a further 241 without any financial motive. So far this year they’ve recorded 703 cases where people sought to profit, and a further 95 where money didn’t change hands.
Epic Games, the developer behind Fortnite has awarded $30 million in prize month to competitors at its first World Cup event, held in the US, with sixteen-year-old US player Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf taking away the top $3 million Solos prize and all competitors getting $50,000 for qualifying (TechCrunch). For the UK, fifteen-year-old Jaden “Wolfiez” Ashman will split the $2.25 million second-place Duos prize with partner David “Rojo” Jong of the Netherlands.
Listen now, subscribe via RSS or add to iTunes.