Increasingly prevalent hacktivism efforts following the Russia-Ukraine war have prompted the International Committee of the Red Cross to introduce new rules of engagement for both hacktivists and states that seek to prohibit the involvement of civilians in cyberattacks, The Register reports.
Hacktivist groups are not only discouraged from launching cyberattacks and using malware and other tools against civilians but also from targeting humanitarian and medical facilities, as well as inciting international humanitarian law violations. The ICRC's new rules have also given states legal responsibility for hacktivists they control, as well as the obligation to conduct war crime prosecutions in a bid to curb hacktivism efforts. While such rules are notable, no significant impact is being expected by experts. "The ICRC rules of engagement are sensible, ranging from not directing cyber-attacks against civilian objects to complying with these rules, even if the enemy does not. However, any cyber offensive team which tried to adhere to 'these noble goals' would be at a significant disadvantage," said Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Senior Member and Ulster University Cybersecurity Professor Kevin Curran.
New variants of the QBot malware, also known as Qakbot, have emerged since mid-December despite having been disrupted in August, suggesting continuous testing by the malware developer, BleepingComputer reports.
More than $10 billion in fraud-related losses were reported by U.S. consumers for the first time in 2023, representing a 14% growth over 2022, even though the number of individuals who reported being targeted by fraud held steady at over 2.6 million, BleepingComputer reports.
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