Two weeks after the takedown of the Dark Web marketplace AlphaBay, its successor Hansa Market was also closed as part of a coordinated operation by the Dutch National Police, Europol, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). In the process, the authorities seized personal data for all users.

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On 28 February, cybersecurity expert Troy Hunt reported that data from thousands of Spiral Toys customer accounts had been leaked online. Spiral Toys, a California-based company, sells connected CloudPets teddy bears, which can play remotely recorded voice messages to children. The database used to store account data and voice messages was completely unprotected: more than 2 million audio messages and 821,000 user records had been exposed on the Internet.

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The Global Distribution System (GDS) is a unique tool used by travel agents worldwide to book air travel – yet it has very few security features. Unless the system’s IT infrastructure is overhauled, cybercriminals will continue to be able to access passengers’ personal data and hack their plane tickets.

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