Daten über die Anzahl falscher Twitterkonten sollen einem Medienbericht zufolge in Kürze offengelegt werden. Elon Musk hatte eine Unternehmensübernahme daran gebunden.
Alive or dead, rare or mundane, bugs are weirdly easy to find for sale online. However, in some cases, the insects or spiders sold through the various e-commerce sites, both niche and large-scale, may be of dubious provenance. Some may be bred and reared in sustainable programs. Others might be taken from wild populations that are at risk, according to new research out of Cornell University that was published last week.
“It’s not always clear… if they’re sustainable or not,” John Losey, a Cornell entomology professor and one of the paper’s authors, told Ars. “There are sites out there that are definitely not providing documentation that what they’re selling is being done sustainably.”
According to Losey, some websites will provide no documentation or proof showing that a rare pinned butterfly specimen or pet tarantula was collected in a way that doesn’t pose a risk for wild populations. Some of them could very well have been reared in a sustainable program, Losey said—there’s just no way to tell.
Russian Twitter users noticed something strange when they tried to access the service on March 4: They couldn’t. For the previous six days, anyone trying to access Twitter from within Russia saw their Internet speed slow to a crawl, no matter how fast their connection. Then came the blackout.
Twitter going offline showed how seriously the Russian state took social media’s role in amplifying dissent about the country’s invasion of Ukraine. And it demonstrated Russia’s progress in creating a “splInternet,” a move that would effectively detach the country from the rest of the world’s Internet infrastructure. Such a move would allow Russia to control conversations more tightly and tamp down dissent—and it’s getting closer by the day.
The gold standard of digital walled gardens is China, which has managed to separate itself from the rest of the digital world with much success—although people still find their way around the Great Firewall. “I think they would aspire to [mimic China],” Doug Madory of Kentik, a San Francisco-based Internet monitoring company, says of Russia. “But it wasn’t easy for the Chinese.” China tasked huge numbers of tech experts to create its version of the Internet, and it spent huge amounts of money. By 2001, the International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development estimated, China spent $20 billion on censorious telecom equipment every year. The famed Great Firewall is just that: a firewall that inspects every bit of traffic entering Chinese cyberspace and checks it against a block list. Most Internet traffic into China passes through three choke points, which block any untoward content. Copying the Chinese approach in Russia is something Madory believes may be beyond Russian president Vladimir Putin’s reach. “I don’t think Russia has invested that kind of energy in engineering resources to replicate it,” Madory says. “There are quite a few countries that would love to have what China’s got, but they just can’t. They haven’t got the people to do it. There’s a ways to go before Russia becomes like China.”
More than 22,000 miles above Earth, the KA-SAT is locked in orbit. Traveling at 7,000 miles per hour, in sync with the planet’s rotation, the satellite beams high-speed Internet down to people across Europe. Since 2011, it has helped homeowners, businesses, and militaries get online. However, as Russian troops moved into Ukraine during the early hours of February 24, satellite Internet connections were disrupted. A mysterious cyberattack against the satellite’s ground infrastructure—not the satellite itself—plunged tens of thousands of people into Internet darkness.
Among them were parts of Ukraine’s defenses. “It was a really huge loss in communications in the very beginning of war,” Viktor Zhora, a senior official at Ukraine’s cybersecurity agency, the State Services for Special Communication and Information Protection (SSSCIP), reportedly said two weeks later. He did not provide any more details, and SSSCIP did not respond to WIRED’s request for comment. But the attack against the satellite Internet system, owned by US company Viasat since last year, had even wider ramifications. People using satellite Internet connections were knocked offline all across Europe, from Poland to France.
Almost a month after the attack, the disruptions continue. Thousands still remain offline in Europe—around 2,000 wind turbines are still disconnected in Germany—and companies are racing to replace broken modems or fix connections with updates. Multiple intelligence agencies, including those in the US and Europe, are also investigating the attack. The Viasat hack is arguably the largest publicly known cyberattack to take place since Russia invaded Ukraine, and it stands out for its impact beyond Ukraine’s borders. But questions about the details of the attack, its purpose, and who carried it out remain—although experts have their suspicions.