Very short issue today, since it seems that most of what happened this week was a continuation of previous stories. Recap in bullet form below. Still amounts to more than six links in the end.
- Ransomware–After mentioning last week that French insurer Axa was going to stop reimbursing ransomware payouts, we learned this week that they fell victim to a ransomware attack themselves. American insurer CNA was in the same boat. Meanwhile, cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs highlights a seemingly easy defence: most ransomware does not install on computers with a Russian language keyboard. Lastly, read this Twitter thread on why the rise in ransomware attacks goes hand in hand with the rise of crypto. (FT $, The Verge, Krebs on Security, Twitter)
- Crypto–And now for a seamless transition. Crypto markets gyrated wildly this week, with Bitcoin almost halving in value from its peak. One reason is that governments are starting to tighten the screws: the US Treasury announced that it will require any crypto transaction worth more than 10,000 USD to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service. And a Chinese province has asked inhabitants to report their neighbours if they suspect them of mining crypto, in a bid to contain energy use, apparently. (CNBC, FT $)
- Southeast Asian super apps–Indonesian giants Gojek and Tokopedia completed their merger. I can’t shake the feeling that this is more of a defensive move after talks between Gojek and Grab went nowhere. (TechCrunch)
- Apple v Epic trial–Testimony wrapped up and now it comes down to waiting for the verdict, potentially very impactful for the future of app stores and platforms. The testimony threw up lots of “inside baseball” on app reviews, in-app purchases, margins etc., if you’re into that sort of thing. (The Verge)
- Chronicles of dystopia–
Personal safety Vigilante justice app Citizen could be planning to launch a private security force, to be summoned through the app. What could possibly go wrong? (Vice)