March 2020

How to work during a pandemic

Consider testing your remote access tools and setting up your staff to work from home if necessary. Let us know if you need help.

Google and Microsoft are both offering free videoconferencing tools for a limited time.

Windows 10 version “2004”

Another major update to Windows 10 is coming – probably in April. Unlike Windows 10 1909 (October 2019 Update), which was more like a service pack, Windows 10 2004 will bring new features. Included is a new Reset this PC from cloud feature, an updated Task Manager with GPU temperature monitoring, and an optimized Windows Search, a new Cortana experience. Also included is Automatic Bluetooth pairing. 

Apple agrees to $500 million settlement for throttling older iPhones

The Settlement includes $25 payouts for iPhone 6 and 7 owners.

You might be able to get up to $100 from the settlement for Yahoo’s data breaches

Firefox browser (Mozilla) enables DOH by default in the US

DOH (DNS over HTTPS).is a way of securing the information sent when you connect to a web site  It prevents internet service providers from tracking which websites you visit and selling that information, which is the current practice.

The race is on to provide internet service via satellite:

Iridium’s AWS-Backed IoT Satellite Network Goes Live.

More information about Iridium for internet connected devices.

OneWeb Launches 34 Satellites for Space-Based Internet.

Hongyun aims to launch 156 satellites for broadband connectivity to China and elsewhere.

This Is How Elon Musk Can Fix the Damage His Starlink Satellites Are Causing to Astronomy.

Stanford Report Distills the Global Impact of AI and Machine Learning

The Environmental Impacts of AI and IoT In Agriculture

Within the next 80 years, an additional 3.6 billion people will need food. IoT and AI solutions can vastly improve crop yields and may be the only way to achieve a better system.

High-quality Deepfake Videos Made with AI Seen as a National Security Threat

The FBI is concerned national security could be compromised by fraudulent videos created to mimic public figures. “As AI continues to improve and evolve, we’re going to get to a point where there’s no discernible difference between an AI-generated video and an actual video.” This is likely to cause viewers to be more wary of content on the internet.

Facebook to ban coronavirus ‘cure’ ads.

About a year after Facebook first introduced its tools to increase “transparency” around political ads in the US, they are expanding those rules worldwide.

advertisers that buy ads related to elections or other political “issues” need to verify their identity with Facebook and disclose who paid for the ad. Anyone can see who paid for a particular ad.

Google admits it sent private videos in Google Photos to strangers.

Facial Recognition Biz Clearview AI Suffers Data Breach

Clearview gathered photos by scanning the internet and then built a massive facial recognition database which they are selling to law enforcement. The data is now also in the hands of hackers.

The FCC has officially determined that wireless carriers in the U.S. broke the law by secretly selling subscribers’ location data for years. The only thing that led to this case being investigated at all was public pressure on the FCC. Most agree that the fines to be imposed are insignificant to the carriers.

Federal Agencies Use Cellphone Location Data for Immigration Enforcement

Corcoran from Shark Tank (almost) lost nearly $400,000 in a classic email fraud scam.

A fraudster reportedly spoofed the email address of Corcoran’s assistant, telling the bookkeeper to wire the funds … they put in plenty of work ahead of time researching Corcoran’s business. “Hackers leverage impersonation and heavily researched social engineering tactics to appear as trustworthy senders, and their fraudulent messages are often indistinguishable from legitimate ones.” It’s reported that the email address used by the hacker was almost identical to that of Corcoran’s assistant but missing a single ‘o’ — a common tactic to trick recipients.  The bank questioned the transaction, avoiding a loss.

Ransomware victims are finding out too late that their vital backups are online and also getting encrypted by crooks.

Keeping a backup copy of vital data is a good way of reducing the damage of a ransomware attack. But that backup data isn’t much good if it’s also infected with ransomware — and thus encrypted and unusable — because it was still connected to the network when the attack took place. Ensure that a backup is kept separate from their network — offline — or in a cloud service designed for this purpose.

Chubb and other insurers have denied cybersecurity coverage on grounds that NotPetya ransomware was a “hostile or warlike” act or an act of terrorism, which are explicitly excluded by their policies. This may set a precedent which would limit ransomware coverage, as much of the malware originates from government cyber warfare.

Data breach hits agency overseeing White House communications

The US Department of Defense confirmed that computers in the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) was hacked, exposing the personal data of about 200,000 people.  The agency oversees military communications including calls for the US President.

MGM hack exposes personal data of 10.6 million guests

Over 120 Million US Consumers Exposed in Experian Mosaic database  

10GB of data from the Experian Mosaic consumer behavior product was left unsecured online. Information includes the address of each included household and the name/names of the heads of the household, plus their gender and marketing profile ID.

Tetrad Exposed Data on 120 Million Consumers

Kate Spade: exposed data included a spreadsheet of over 700,000 accounts making online purchases. Bevmo: 3.8 million loyalty card accounts.

By Tim Torian

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The Torian Group Times Newsletter is a service to our clients, and anyone who finds it useful. Topics include security updates; known problems with recent patches; new and upcoming software and hardware that might affect your business; and information about technology in the Visalia area.  It is free to anyone who wishes to subscribe by providing their name and email address. We will not do anything with this information other than sending the newsletter – no unsolicited marketing of any kind.

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