New Mirai version out. PLA told to go easy on US election. Monero in criminal markets. Excel and COVID. John McAfee indicted.

Threatpost reports that 360Netlab researchers have found a version of Mirai botnet malware, “Ttint,” operating in the wild against Tenda routers. Ttint has both remote access Trojan and spyware functionality.

Information operators in China’s People’s Liberation Army have been told to go easy on stories about the US election, the South China Morning Post reports. This seems less an irenic gesture than it does a ratcheting up of central control over a campaign that could run in directions not necessarily to the Chinese Communist Party’s advantage.

Digital Shadows finds that Monero is taking marketshare from Bitcoin as the preferred cryptocurrency of criminals, extortionists, and dealers in contraband. Both currencies are imperfectly anonymous, but Monero is generally thought to be better, and in any case to enjoy a lower profile in law enforcement eyes.

A spike in English COVID-19 cases may be due, not to infection, but to bureaucratic misunderstanding of Office 365. Public Health England said it had corrected a “technical issue” in the “data load process” by which officials shared positive test results. Public Health England isn’t saying much more, but according to the Independent, Prime Minister Johnson has ascribed the glitch to a failure to appreciate that Microsoft Excel spreadsheets have limits in the number of rows and columns they can handle. Thus the data were “truncated.” Excel is a useful product, but it’s not intended to be a big data tool.

The US has indicted security pioneer John McAfee on ten counts related to income tax evasion.