Huge rise in ‘self generated’ child sex abuse images online 

  • Child abuse experts are warning that an growing trend of children being groomed through webcams and live streaming by predators has led to a sharp rise in the number of abusive images circulating online since the beginning of the pandemic
  • Much of this abuse is happening in children’s own homes while their parents or carers are in another room according to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), which says it had already dealt with an increased number of reports of online child abuse images this year
  • September was a record month with 15,000 reports from the public, 5,000 more than the same month in 2019
  • By the end of November, 138,000 reports sent to the IWF were confirmed to contain child sexual abuse imagery, which was then removed, compared to 132,730 in all of 2019. 
  • Sarah Smith is Technical Projects Manager at the IWF. She said “in recent years we have seen a really big increase in what we call ‘self generated content’, which is where there may not be an adult present in the images”

Flaw allows Iphones to be hacked remotely via Wifi 

  • Researchers have revealed a flaw that allowed Apple iPhones to be hacked from afar without the owner doing anything
  • Usually, smartphone hacks rely on user error – by clicking on a suspicious link, opening a message or downloading a malicious app – to gain control
  • But Google Project Zero researcher Ian Beer has revealed how attackers could steal emails, photos, messages – and even access the camera and microphone
  • Apple fixed the issue in May so make sure you always keep your device software up-to-date to stay  secure
  • For more information on keeping your device and computers secure, read our latest article here, where our online safety experts offer key advice

TikTok reveals most viral video in its 2020 round-up

  • TikTok has revealed its most viral video of 2020 to be Bella Poarch’s hypnotic video lip-syncing “M to the B” 
  • Bella Poarch was followed by a video created by user ‘420doggface208’ with their instantly iconic skate / cran-raspberry juice video which featured Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.”
  • The rankings were revealed as part of TikTok’s year-end roundup of its biggest videos, trends, and creators
  • The rankings aren’t entirely scientific (the viral video rankings, for instance, are based on both “views” and “impact”), but they offer a representative look at what dominated the app and broke out beyond it
  • Other videos on TikTok’s top viral list include Will Smith’s entry in the Wipe It Down challenge, and Julian Bass’ superhero special effects video that went viral enough to get the attention of Disney executive chairman Bob Iger.

Bus driver found guilty of making indecent images of children

  • A bus driver who took photos of young boys after grooming them with football memorabilia has avoided jail for possessing child abuse images
  • Police were originally alerted to the offender by a concerned parent whose son was given a personalised gift on the Go-Ahead London service in east London
  • The offender would ask young boys for their names and offer signed pictures of a football team, mugs, water bottles, keyrings, mouse mats and fridge magnets and then ask boys to pose for photos that were not indecent, a court heard
  • On his home computer and mobile, further abuse images graded from the most serious category A to B were discovered
  • He pleaded guilty to four counts of making indecent images of children during a first hearing at North East London Magistrates’ Court on August 25
  • At Snaresbrook Crown Court today, the offender was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months