Nov 24, 2019

Member of group that hacked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's account arrested

Photo: Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Motherboard reported Sunday that a former member of a hacker group notorious for taking over social media accounts was arrested earlier this month, citing law enforcement and members of the group.

Driving the news: According to Motherboard, authorities arrested a onetime member of "Chuckling Squad," a notorious group that, among other mischief, took over Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's Twitter account in August. That hacker, an unnamed minor, had previously been kicked out of the group

How it works: Chuckling Squad is a prolific user of SIM swapping, a technique through which hackers cajole cellphone companies to transfer a victim's phone number to phones that the hacker controls. From there, SIM swappers can use their access to a supposedly secure phone number to reset account passwords or otherwise tamper with accounts.

The big picture: The lesson from groups like Chuckle Squad and others using this mode of account takeover is that for people who require the most security and attach cell numbers to their accounts, it's important to turn on whatever added protections a mobile provider has to prevent SIM swapping. Those often including adding a passcode to move the phone number or to only allow that service to be done in person. 

Go deeper: The rule-free world of federal officials' personal accounts

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Virginia governor announces removal of Richmond's Robert E. Lee statue

Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Thursday that the state will remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Richmond's historic Monument Avenue.

Why it matters: It's a watershed moment for Virginia, which has been at the center of a years-long national debate about whether Confederate monuments should be displayed publicly. That discussion reached a boiling point when protests about a statue of Lee in Charlottesville turned violent in 2017.

RNC expands convention search across the Sun Belt

Donald Trump, Mike Pence and their families on the last night of the Republican National Convention in Ohio in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images.

The Republican National Committee is planning site visits over the next 10 days to more than a half-dozen cities — across the South and into Texas and Arizona — as it scrambles for a new convention host, people familiar with the internal discussions tell Axios.

Driving the news: The RNC's executive committee voted Wednesday night to allow most of the convention to move — with only a smaller, official portion remaining in Charlotte — after North Carolina's governor said the coronavirus pandemic would mean a scaled-back event with social distancing and face coverings.

Oil faces tough road back from coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Oil companies in the battered shale patch are starting to bring back some production as prices climb, but a new report underscores how the pandemic is taking a heavy financial toll despite signs of revival.

Driving the news: Fourteen North American producers have filed for bankruptcy thus far during the second quarter, per a tally from the law firm Haynes and Boone, which closely tracks the sector's finances.