Security News This Week: Hackers Are Erasing Western Digital Hard Drives Remotely

An array of ATMs and point-of-sale terminals can be hacked with a wave of your phone, according to research released this week about vulnerabilities in near-field communication card readers. And flaws in a well-intentioned Dell firmware update mechanism left 128 recent, popular PC models, including high-end devices with extra security protections, vulnerable to attack. 

This week, French authorities indicted four former executives of the surveillance firm Nexa Technologies (previously Amesys) for allegedly being complicit in torture and war crimes. The charges are the result of the company allegedly selling spyware to authoritarian regimes in Libya between 2007 and 2014.

Meanwhile, notorious antivirus pioneer John McAfee died in prison, reportedly by suicide, outside Barcelona on Wednesday after a Spanish court ruled that he could be extradited to the United States to face tax evasion charges. And a United States takedown of Iranian media sites raises important questions about global free speech precedents.

If you’ve been feeling Amazon breathing down your neck lately, take some time this weekend to remind yourself about the diverse array of data the company collects on its users and consider options to protect your own information.

And the Pentagon finally released its long-anticipated report on UFOs. It’s important for what it says—and what it doesn’t.

And there’s more. Each week we round up all the security news WIRED didn’t cover in depth. Click on the headlines to read the full stories, and stay safe out there.

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