cybersecurity, UnitedHealth, hacker breach, ransom claim, data recovery
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Hacker Forum Post Claims UnitedHealth Paid $22M Ransom to Recover Data (Maria)

The author writes, “A post on a hacker forum popular with cybercriminals has claimed UnitedHealth Group paid $22 million in a bid to recover access to data and systems encrypted by the Blackcat ransomware gang, according to two researchers. Neither UnitedHealth nor the hackers involved have commented on the alleged ransom payment, but a cryptocurrency tracing firm partially corroborated the claim on Monday. … The forum post, dated Sunday, said a partner of Blackcat was responsible for the intrusion into UnitedHealth. The message, allegedly from the partner, included a link showing that someone had moved about 350 bitcoins — now worth about $23 million … from one digital currency wallet to another.”

Did Biden Commit Treason? Dissecting Elon Musk’s Public Meltdown (DonkeyHotey)

From Popular Information: “On Tuesday, billionaire Elon Musk told his 175 million followers on X that President Biden had committed ‘treason’ by ‘secretly’ flying ‘320,000 illegal immigrants’ from Latin America to US airports. It is quite a dramatic claim. The only problem is that nearly everything Musk said is a lie.”

How the Pentagon Learned to Use Targeted Ads to Find Its Targets — and Vladimir Putin (Sean)

From Wired: “In 2019, a government contractor and technologist named Mike Yeagley began making the rounds in Washington, DC. He had a blunt warning for anyone in the country’s national security establishment who would listen: The US government had a Grindr problem. A popular dating and hookup app, Grindr relied on the GPS capabilities of modern smartphones to connect potential partners in the same city, neighborhood, or even building. The app can show how far away a potential partner is in real time, down to the foot. In its 10 years of operation, Grindr had amassed millions of users and become a central cog in gay culture around the globe. But to Yeagley, Grindr was something else: one of the tens of thousands of carelessly designed mobile phone apps that leaked massive amounts of data into the opaque world of online advertisers.”

Trump-Allied Election Groups Burned Through Millions With No Evidence of Widespread Fraud (Dana)

The author writes, “Several groups founded by allies of former President Donald Trump to combat alleged ‘voter fraud’ now have little money or results to show for their efforts. Trump’s false claims that he lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden only as the result of widespread ballot fraud and other irregularities were the impetus for the creation of those nonprofit groups and political action committees. But a glaring problem for those groups has been the fact that federal and state officials have repeatedly debunked Trump’s claims of fraud.”

Killer Fungi Detectives: Inside the Lab That May Be Fighting the Next Pandemic (Russ)

The author writes, “Researchers in Adelaide are at the forefront of finding new fungal pathogens, which are spreading more because of climate change and can be deadly without effective drugs.”

A Man Deliberately Got 217 COVID Shots. Here’s What Happened (Mili)

From CNN: “One German man has redefined ‘man on a mission.’ A 62-year-old from Magdeburg deliberately got 217 Covid-19 vaccine shots in the span of 29 months, according to a new study, going against national vaccine recommendations. That’s an average of one jab every four days. In the process, he became a walking experiment for what happens to the immune system when it is vaccinated against the same pathogen repeatedly. A correspondence published Monday in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases outlined his case and concluded that while his ‘hypervaccination’ did not result in any adverse health effects, it also did not significantly improve or worsen his immune response.”

‘A Giant Litter Box’: Our Favorite 1-Star Reviews for National Parks (Laura)

The author writes, “A Yelp reviewer from Woodland Hills, Calif., has nothing nice to say about Yosemite. Unlike landscape photographer Ansel Adams and free solo climber Alex Honnold, Kevin K. was not inspired by the California national park when he visited in 2015. As he wrote in his one-star review, he found it ‘disappointingly pointless’ and ‘heartbreakingly awful.’ His advice to the National Park Service: Shut it down, and fire the ‘owners.’”

From Our Archives

Suppressed Movie Part 1: The Documentary on Donald Trump He Tried to Suppress

January 19, 2016: “Donald Trump’s entire career has been about creating and projecting an image of himself that suits his needs. That has never been truer than during his current presidential bid. But what lies behind the image? Is Trump the genius and unremitting success he would have us believe? Is he the master of knowing how to pull all things off, how to win big while intimidating the bad guys and be loved by everyone else? Long ago — a quarter century ago — when Trump was already making noises about wanting to be president, some filmmakers set out to discover what the man was made of. They learned a lot — an astonishing amount. And they made a documentary. Trump, always aggressive, threatened to sue, and the film never saw the light of day.”

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