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What happens when hackers enter the art market. Google finds another big flaw in the Chrome browser. And Signal is the latest app to go down in China. This is CyberScoop for March 16, 2021.

Not so “nifty” after all

Users of the digital art marketplace Nifty Gateway reported that hackers had taken over their accounts and stolen artwork worth thousands of dollars over the weekend. Some users reported that their entire accounts of digital certificates of authenticity for digital assets — known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs or “nifties”) — were drained. Some users said the hackers weren’t kicked out, even after a password update. The apparent hacking comes amid a flurry of new attention to NFTs, a week after digital art backed by an NFT sold for nearly $70 million at Christie’s. Shannon Vavra has more.

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Chrome has a zero-day problem

For the third time this year, Google has rushed out a fix for a previously unknown flaw in popular internet browser Chrome that could allow attackers to steal user data. Hackers have reportedly started exploited the bug in Blink, the feature that Chrome uses to convert HTML code to web pages. It’s an example of the high-stakes cat-and-mouse game between attackers and defenders. Sean Lyngaas reports.

Signal is down in China

Signal users are reporting issues with the encrypted messaging app in China, in a sign that the government may be adding another chat application to its list of banned services. Signal’s website has been banned since Monday, according to Greatfire.org. It is the latest application or internet service — after Clubhouse — which has appeared to encounter China’s so-called Great Firewall. The government has long blocked access to various services, including Google, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Shannon explains.

An email scammer pleads guilty

A California man pleaded guilty to his role in a phishing scheme that stole millions of dollars from a boat-building company, the Justice Department announced. Leslie Redd III, and unnamed co-conspirators allegedly sent malicious links to employees at the company, which allowed them to view their victims’ emails and invoices. They used this information to pose as a billing executive at a manufacturing firm, requested payment from the victim, and successfully convinced the unwitting firm to route payments to their bank accounts. Redd pleaded guilty to pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud. Read the announcement here.

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