Hackers Post Fake News Stories on Websites

  • Hackers have broken into real news websites and posted fake stories stirring up anti-NATO sentiment, a cyber-security firm has warned.
  • The disinformation campaign, nicknamed “ghostwriter”, has been ongoing since 2017, according to FireEye researchers.
  • It is designed to “chip away” at support for NATO in Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland, they said. While the false stories are “aligned with Russian security interests”, it is not known who is behind the attack.
  • The disinformation campaign uses “falsified news articles, quotes, correspondence and other documents designed to appear as coming from military officials and political figures in the target countries,” FireEye said. In some cases, false news stories were posted on real news websites without permission.

TikTok Creates Fund for European Creators

  • TikTok is launching a $70 million (£54m) fund to pay some European creators for their content.
  • It’s the first time the app’s made money available to EU users. The platform wants to hold onto existing talent and attract new ones as Facebook attempts to persuade creators toward its new platform – Reels. 
  • The video app says it wants to “help support ambitious creators” and says it hopes it will allow users to “foster a livelihood”. Previously, users only made money with live streams or brand partnerships.
  • A similar fund, of $200m, was launched for US users earlier this month.
  • This news comes amid continued calls from politicians for the app to be banned in America and the UK due to security concerns.

Big Tech Giants Sales Soaring During Lockdown 

  • Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon have seen sales increase exponentially, during the pandemic.  
  • Amazon sales soared 40% in the three months ending June, while Apple saw a surge in purchases of its iPhones and other hardware. At Facebook, the number of people on its platforms, which include WhatsApp and Instagram, jumped by 15%.
  • The gains come as the firms face scrutiny over market dominance. CEO’s are currently being questioned by US Congressmen in Washington about whether they were abusing their dominance to quash rivals, noting the sharp contrast between their fortunes and many other firms.
  • David Cicilline, the Democrat who leads questioning in Washington said ‘prior to the coronavirus pandemic, these corporations already stood out as titans in our economy, In the wake of COVID-19, however, they are likely to emerge stronger and more powerful than ever before’.

Charities Plea to Increase School Uniform Grant in Scotland

  • A charity that supports low-income families has called for more financial help for parents and carers in Scotland struggling to pay for school uniforms.
  • Eligible pupils currently receive a minimum £100 school clothing grant, with some primary school starters eligible for a further £250.
  • The Gate charity, which runs a uniform bank, said they have seen demand steadily increase and have supplied hundreds of families with items this year.
  • The Child Poverty Action Group said some parents faced “extraordinary financial pressure.” John Dickie, Child Poverty Action Group director in Scotland, said the grants were a good way of “getting additional support directly to families.”

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