Hackers Answered Ukraine’s Call For Help Against Russia

When the Russian military invaded Ukraine in a blitzkrieg of heavy weaponry, pro-Ukraine hacktivists looking to take down www.mil.ru met with something unexpected: a 418 error in which a server declares it cannot complete your request because it is a teapot.

The teapot error is a decades-old April Fools’ joke occasionally repurposed to tell would-be hackers that their efforts have been foreseen and blocked. “It’s almost like giving a middle finger,” Amit Serper, the director of security research at Akamai, told BuzzFeed News. Akamai, like its competitor Cloudflare, runs much of the plumbing that supports the internet.

A few days later, the teapot error vanished, and mil.ru and websites of prominent Russian banks such as Gazprombank went dark for most internet users outside Russia. The government had geofenced key websites — meaning those outside the country couldn’t access these sites, and so couldn’t hack them.

“I assume the Russians realized that pretty much whatever they are trying to do to everyone else, the same thing can be done to them,” Serper said. “By geofencing you are making it impossible for someone outside Russia to reach all those targets.”

In other words, Russia had expected retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine and had already preempted the cyberattacks it suspected were coming — and come they did.

A day after the invasion began, Reuters reported that a prominent Ukrainian entrepreneur was working closely with his government to assemble a phalanx of volunteers for cyber offense and cyber defense. While the offense would

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Biden Administration Has Been Planning To End Title 42 Border Policy

Top officials at the Department of Homeland Security have been planning to tell Mexico that a controversial Trump-era border policy enacted during the pandemic may come to an end as soon as April, which could lead to an increase of immigrants coming to the border and a strain on resources, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News.

The existence of such planning, which was revealed in a draft document, comes as the Biden administration deals with the fallout of two federal court orders on the border policy known as Title 42, which has been met with rebukes from Senate Democrats and immigrant advocates who have long argued it is illegal.

Former president Donald Trump first cited Title 42 as a way to contain the coronavirus by expelling immigrants at the border and blocking them from access to the US asylum system. Some immigrants are quickly expelled to Mexico, and others are flown back to their home countries. President Joe Biden has continued to enforce the policy during court challenges, expelling people at the border more than 1 million times in the process.

But a pair of court rulings — including one in which a judge ordered the continuation of immigrant children being turned back at the border — along with an already evolving federal response to the pandemic within the US could spell the end of the policy. One senior DHS official told BuzzFeed News that the agency has been planning for the end of Title 42. And the draft

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7 Photo Stories That Will Challenge Your View Of The World

This week, we had the honor of speaking with Michael Kamber, a photojournalist and the founder of the Bronx Documentary Center, who shared with us 10 images that shaped his career as an educator and journalist. On Sunday, a catastrophic apartment fire in the Bronx killed 17 people; we looked at photographs of how residents and first responders reacted after the blaze.

National Geographic reporters tried to track down a “sloth kingpin” (the animals are often illegally trafficked as pets), while Reuters looked at the chances of survival for cougars as humans expand into their territory in Washington state. NPR rounded up dramatic scenes from the protests in Kazakhstan, and Magnum photographer Alec Soth has a new exhibition, covered by the Guardian, of his years of road trips. These images are, no surprise, gorgeous. For those of us stuck at home, the New York Times’ 52 Places list has been released — and oh, how I long to visit them!

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