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Today’s Cache | Sony’s cybersecurity challenge: Wolverine game breach; AI generates disturbing content; Apple’s bid fails, halting Watch sales | #ransomware | #cybercrime


(This article is part of Today’s Cache, The Hindu’s newsletter on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, innovation and policy. To get it in your inbox, subscribe here.)

Sony’s cybersecurity challenge: Wolverine game breach

In a recent cyber onslaught, the Ryhsida ransomware gang targeted Insomniac, the developer behind the upcoming Wolverine game. On December 12th, the breach unleashed 1.67 terabytes of data, including level designs, character materials, and undisclosed details about Insomniac and Sony games.

The Wolverine game is part of a planned X-Men trilogy, with the second and third titles anticipated by 2029 and 2033. Leaked projects include a third Spider-Man game, a Venom-based game, and a new Ratchet and Clank entry. Sony, Insomniac’s parent company, is yet to address the leaked materials. This incident follows Sony’s MOVEit cyberattacks, affecting around 6,800 employees.

AI generates disturbing content

A recent report exposes a concerning flaw in popular AI image-generators, housing thousands of child sexual abuse images. Urging swift action, the report highlights how these images enable AI systems to create explicit content and morph social media pictures of clothed teens into explicit depictions, causing alarm globally.

Previously, researchers believed unchecked AI tools produced such content by combining adult pornography and benign child images. However, the Stanford Internet Observatory discovered over 3,200 suspected child sexual abuse images in the LAION AI database, utilized by leading AI image-makers like Stable Diffusion. The watchdog group collaborated with entities such as the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, validating around 1,000 illegal images and reporting them to law enforcement.

Apple’s bid fails, halting Watch sales

On Thursday, Apple ceased online sales of its Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in the US following a failed attempt to resolve a patent dispute hindering the use of specific technology. The sales suspension, implemented at 3 p.m. ET, aligns with Apple’s response to the legal battle with medical technology firm Masimo. The International Trade Commission rejected Apple’s bid to circumvent an October order, preventing the use of technology in the Blood Oxygen feature of the watches.

Apple decided to comply with the ITC ruling, pending a potential reversal by the Biden administration by Christmas. The affected watches will remain on shelves until Sunday, with the less advanced Apple Watch unaffected. Previously purchased models with Blood Oxygen capability remain unaffected by the ITC order.

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