In This Issue


WhatsApp taking NSO Group to court for selling governments exploits to its app

WhatsApp is suing NSO Group, accusing it of "helping government spies break into the phones of roughly 1,400 users across four continents in a hacking spree whose targets included diplomats, political dissidents, journalists and senior government officials". NSO Group found a flaw in WhatsApp that allowed an attacker to look in on conversations and instead of telling WhatsApp about it, decided to sell the flaw to governments like Mexico, the UAE and Bahrain so they could get a heads up on what people the government doesn't like are up to. NSO Group reckons they're the good guys, providing "technology to licensed government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to help them fight terrorism and serious crime". Yeaahhhh, sure, tell yourself that so you can sleep at night you rat fucks.

Vernon Unsworth’s defamation case against Elon Musk to get a trial in December

The man Elon Musk called "pedo guy" is getting his day in court, after Musk's efforts to have the case dismissed have failed. In December, a jury of Los Angeles locals will decide if Musk defamed Vernon Unsworth by calling him a "pedo guy" and a "child rapist". Musk has put himself in a tough spot to win this, as his argument to dismiss the case was pretty much (I’m paraphrasing here) "these are insults, not facts and in South Africa we call people pedos all the time but don't actually mean they fuck kids", but he got busted sending emails to journalists telling them to dig into Unsworth's past, as well as hiring a private investigator to see if Unsworth is dodgy (he isn't).

xHelper is a new “unremoveable” trojan hitting Android users sideloading apps

On one hand, I hate malware developers because they aim to benefit from the misery of harming someone's computer. But on the other hand, they're extremely sophisticated pieces of software that figure out cunning ways to circumvent detection of removal that are just straight up impressive. xHelper is one such piece of malware that's on 45,000 Android devices right now and persists even after a factory reset of the device. Luckily "all" it does is display ads and re-direct users to install apps off the Google Play Store (for which xHelper's owners get paid for). If you're wondering how xHelper gets on a device in the first place, it's silly users tempted by free stuff (games usually), sideloading apps infected with xHelper.

Not News

ARPANET kicked off the internet we now love/hate 50 years ago today

It's been 50 years today since ARPANET, the precursor to what we now know as the internet, sent its first packets. I always thought that ARPANET was a deep military project to keep communications going after an all-out nuclear war with the USSR, but in fact it was pitched as a way for academics to use powerful research computers spread across the USA. The nuclear was stuff was just a hook to get cash out of the military to fund this academic pursuit. ARPANET no longer exists, but the technology we take for granted now certainly does. One of its creators, Lenoard Kleinrock, has an opinion piece in the LA Times reflecting on 50 years of the thing he helped create and how he regrets what it has become.


No bargains around today, so here’s a bunch of shit I found on AliExpress instead:

If you’re an AliExpress fiend like me, please feel free to drop me links to the crap you find any time you like!

🎶 Dopamine Waster - Horror My Friend

😁 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.

The Sizzle is created on Wathaurong land and acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay my respect to them and their cultures and to elders both past and present.​