Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) has released its latest bulletin on the coordinated influence operation campaigns it disrupted in the second quarter of 2023. The group deleted a total of 21,700 YouTube channels between April, May, and June.
These coordinated influence operations were linked to various countries, including China, Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, etc., where YouTube channels were terminated. In addition, there were a number of related Google Ads accounts and Blogger blogs that were purged as part of the investigation.
The recent number is upwards of what Google TAG reported earlier this year. The group took action against 20,126 YouTube channels between January, February, and March this year. Again, as per the bulletin, China has been linked to the majority of YouTube channels terminated in the second quarter, with their total count exceeding 19,000.
Google TAG said it also got leads from other platforms such as Graphika and LinkedIn which helped in their investigation. Apart from that, the group which has been tracking 0-day exploits since 2014 released its Year in Review report for 2022.
There was a drop in the number of "in-the-wild 0-days" that the group detected and disclosed in 2022 when compared to the previous year. One of the takeaways is that publicly disclosed vulnerabilities (N-days) can act like 0-days on Android as "there were multiple cases where patches were not available to users for a significant time."
In recent news, Google agreed to change its data portability tools in an attempt to settle an investigation by the Italian competition authority AGCM (Autorita' Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato). The search giant's Web Environment Integrity API which sparked controversy has been denounced by rival browsers such as Brave, Vivaldi, and Firefox.
Moreover, the company has started warning users again that it will delete inactive accounts by the end of the year 2023. Google's updated policy allows it to pull the plug on accounts that have been dormant for two years. However, the company said it won't take a toll on accounts that have YouTube videos and will consider your account as "active" if you sign in at least once every two years.