December 16, 2021, 2:55 AM

Top News

Project Zero:
A deep dive into an NSO zero-click iMessage exploit, captured in the wild by Citizen Lab and one of the most sophisticated Google's Project Zero has seen  —  We want to thank Citizen Lab for sharing a sample of the FORCEDENTRY exploit with us, and Apple's Security Engineering and Architecture …
Eighteen Democratic lawmakers ask the Treasury and State Departments for Magnitsky rights abuse sanctions on four spyware firms, including NSO and DarkMatter  —  A group of U.S. lawmakers is asking the Treasury Department and State Department to sanction Israeli spyware firm NSO Group and three …
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Memo: Apple delays its return to corporate offices to a “date yet to be determined”, after previously setting a February 1 return date  —  - Company had planned to bring corporate workers back by Feb. 1  — Delay comes in response to rising Covid-19 cases, new variant
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Apple closes three retail stores in Miami, Annapolis, and Ottawa, Canada after a rise in employee COVID-19 cases and exposures  —  - Company is closing locations in Miami, Maryland and Ottawa  — Cases and exposure among Apple's employees spurred the move
Dan Primack / Axios:
Katie Haun is leaving Andreessen Horowitz to start a new firm focusing on crypto and Web3 startups; Haun's deals at a16z included OpenSea and Coinbase  —  Katie Haun, one of the world's most influential crypto venture capitalists, is leaving Andreessen Horowitz to form her own firm.
Mike Isaac / New York Times:
Reddit, home to 100K+ active communities visited by 50M+ people every day, has raised $1B+ in private capital and was most recently valued at $10B+ in August  —  Reddit announced on Wednesday that it had confidentially filed paperwork for an eventual public offering of its stock …
More: CNET
Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:
IBM and Samsung say Vertical Transport Field Effect Transistors, an alternative to FinFET chip designs, can offer 2x performance, amid similar claims from Intel  —  The next big advance in chips is looking up  —  IBM and Samsung have announced their latest advance in semiconductor design …
Tim Hardwick / MacRumors:
Apple quietly removes all mentions of CSAM scanning on its Child Safety webpage, but says its plans have not changed since September when it delayed the feature  —  Apple has quietly nixed all mentions of CSAM from its Child Safety webpage, suggesting its controversial plan …
Wall Street Journal:
Microsoft and cybersecurity company Mandiant say state-backed hacking groups linked to China, Iran, North Korea, and Turkey are exploiting the Log4j flaw  —  Researchers call it one of the most dire cybersecurity threats to emerge in years and could enable devastating attacks
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Amazon says it will reduce its Alexa skills commission from 30% to 20% for developers who earn less than $1M per year, starting in Q2 2022  —  Amazon is joining other tech giants by lowering its cut of developer revenue generated by voice apps, known as Alexa skills, which run on Amazon's smart speakers and other Alexa-powered devices.
Aditya Kalra / Reuters:
ShareChat, a social network offered in 15 Indian languages, raises a $266M Series G led by Alkeon Capital at a $3.7B valuation  —  Indian content-sharing platform ShareChat on Thursday said it had raised $266 million in fresh funding from U.S.-based Alkeon Capital and some existing investors, pushing its valuation to $3.7 billion.
Electronic Frontier Foundation:
Google's Manifest V3 rules for Chrome extensions won't stop malware, but will hurt innovation, reduce capabilities, and harm performance  —  It's been over two years since our initial response to Google's Manifest V3 proposal.  Manifest V3 is the latest set of changes to the Chrome browser's rules for browser extensions.
Yasemin Craggs Mersinoglu / Financial Times:
Redditors grieve as Reddit sunsets its beloved annual Secret Santa exchange platform Reddit Gifts, which facilitated anonymous giving between users globally  —  I first heard about Reddit Secret Santa four years ago, when my friend told me she had been gifted a trip to a music festival in Switzerland.
Nilay Patel / The Verge:
Q&A with CEO John Hanke on Niantic's Lightship platform for building AR apps, why VR is an easier tech problem to solve than AR, the metaverse, and more  —  John Hanke is the CEO of Niantic, a company that makes the wildly popular Pokémon Go mobile game in partnership with Nintendo …
Catalin Cimpanu / The Record:
Meta updates its bug bounty program to pay researchers who find anti-scraping loopholes and reward those who find scraped Facebook data with charity donations  —  The Meta (formerly Facebook) security team has added scraping attacks to the list of incidents covered by the company's bug bounty program.
Foo Yun Chee / Reuters:
The EU Parliament passes the Digital Markets Act, after Vestager's suggestion last month; EU countries and the Commission will consider the law next year  —  EU lawmakers voted on Wednesday to beef up draft rules to rein in U.S. tech giants, including extending the scope to their retailing activities …
Henry Mance / Financial Times:
Interview with Nick Clegg, Meta's VP of global affairs, on moving from politics to Meta, the impact of Haugen's leaks, and the decision to ban Trump  —  Nick Clegg may be available in Berlin.  He has a slot in Paris.  He'll make time for lunch in Brussels.

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Earlier Picks

Sankalp Phartiyal / Reuters:
Jennifer Pattison Tuohy / The Verge:
Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss / Reuters:
Emily Birnbaum / Politico:
Amanda Silberling / TechCrunch: