May 23, 2019

Hacktivism is down 95% since 2015

Photo: Towfiqu Photography via Getty Images

Hacktivism — when activist groups like Anonymous use cyber disruption for political means — declined 95% between 2015 and 2018, according to a report by IBM.

Details: There are a variety of reasons for the decline, like governments impersonating activists and increased arrests.

  • Anonymous is in decline. The Guy Fawkes-mask-wearing, decentralized affiliation of hackers and trolls behind attacks on Pay Pal, Stratfor and others was a leading organization platform for political attacks. Anonymous' efforts have decreased, and no one has filled in the void.
  • Governments, including Russia, are impersonating activists, and that's made it harder to know the "real" activists.
  • There have been a ton of arrests, reducing the feeling of invulnerability.

Yes, but: IBM notes that attacks are up in 2019 — not up to 2015 levels, but up from 2018 — spurred in part by the arrest of Julian Assange and a campaign against Saudi targets.

Go deeper: Wireless insiders charged in phone-access scam

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Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 10 hours ago - Health

California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 10 hours ago - Health

Big video game conference delayed amid coronavirus concerns

Photo: GDC

Next month's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco became the latest tech event to be cancelled or postponed amid growing concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The big picture: A growing number of events are being scrapped, including Mobile World Congress and Facebook's F8 developer conference. Some, like the giant SXSW event in Austin, insist they are moving forward.