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Author: Robert Vinet (page 1 of 25)

Personal information belonging to 144,000 Canadians breached at federal departments and agencies over the past two years

Catharine Tunney, CBC »

Federal departments or agencies have mishandled personal information belonging to 144,000 Canadians over the past two years, according to new figures tabled in the House of Commons — and not everyone who was swept up in a privacy breach was told about it.

The new figures were included in the federal government’s answer to an order paper question filed by Conservative MP Dean Allison late last month. The nearly 800-page response didn’t offer an explanation for the errors, which range in seriousness from minor hiccups to serious breaches involving sensitive personal information.

The Canada Revenue Agency leads the pack in breaches, with more than 3,005 separate incidents affecting close to 60,000 Canadians between Jan. 1, 2018 and Dec. 10, 2019.

The department blames the breaches on misdirected mail, security incidents and employee misconduct.

Even the keepers of Canada’s official secrets aren’t immune. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Communications Security Establishment and the RCMP all reported missteps as well.

The Department of National Defence said most of its 170 breaches, which affected more than 2,000 people, were due to inappropriate access to, or use or disclosure of, personal information.

Mac malware outpaced Windows PCs threats for first time

That’s a distinction Apple most probably doesn’t want.

Mikey Campbell, Apple Insider »

In its annual State of Malware Report (PDF link), antivirus software maker Malwarebytes tracked a more than 400% increase in detected Mac malware on a year-over-year basis.

Tallying up threat detections on a per endpoint basis, calculus applied to account for growth in the number of Macs running Malwarebytes software, the firm found 11 threats per Mac endpoint in 2019, up from 4.8 in 2018. By comparison, results show an average of 5.8 threats detected per Windows endpoint over the same period.

The report speculates Macs are quickly becoming a sweet target for cybercriminals due to increased marketshare, though recent industry estimates show Apple’s slice of market shrank over the past two quarters.

Malwarebytes

Mac threats increased exponentially in comparison to those against Windows PCs. While overall volume of Mac threats increased year-over-year by more than 400 percent, that number is somewhat impacted by a larger Malwarebytes for Mac userbase in 2019. However, when calculated in threats per endpoint, Macs still outpaced Windows by nearly 2:1.

More » The Register

Samsung is betting a lot on it’s new foldable Galaxy Z

Available from Friday, February 14. Will this be a Valentine’s Day for your sweetheart?

 

Four things you can do today that helps protect your privacy and security

1. Scrub your email

2. Ditch old passwords

3. Update your software

4. Upgrade your browser

More » Mozilla

South Korean government may move from Windows 7 to Linux desktop

South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense and National Police Agency are already using Harmonica OS 3.0, which is based on Ubuntu.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, ZDNet »

With Windows 7 in its support coffin, some institutions are finally giving up on Windows entirely. The biggest of these may be the South Korean government. In May 2019, South Korea’s Interior Ministry announced plans to look into switching to the Linux desktop from Windows. It must have liked what it saw. According to the Korean news site Newsis, the South Korean Ministry of Strategy and Planning has announced the government is exploring moving most of its approximately 3.3 million Windows computers to Linux.

The reason for this is simple. It’s to reduce software licensing costs and the government’s reliance on Windows. As Choi Jang-hyuk, the head of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, said, “We will resolve our dependency on a single company while reducing the budget by introducing an open-source operating system.”

How much? South Korean officials said it would cost 780 billion won (about US$655 million) to move government PCs from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith is asking the British government to rethink its decision to allow Huawei to play a role in the UK’s 5G network

There appear to be legitimate national security concerns about allowing Chinese firm Huawei to bid on and install 5G mobile networking equipment. Boris Johnson’s government announced they will allow the firm to install it’s equipment, however, they have not addressed those concerns or stated why they will allow this added risk, when there are other highly reputable alternatives.

The decision appears to be a political one, and not one based on facts. To be clear, Huawei should not be banned based on what is being asked for by the Trump Administration. National security should be top priority.

BBC »

In a letter, the group – which includes four ex-cabinet ministers – said there were alternatives to the Chinese firm.

They want “high-risk” vendors to be ruled out now, or phased out over time.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the decision followed a “rigorous” review by security experts and that Huawei’s involvement would be restricted.

More » The Independent

[Updated] US Attorney General Bill Barr encourages Americans to invest in Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericcson to counter China’s Huawei

Nokia and Ericsson shares got a boost. So someone made a profit on that stock tip.

Bill Barr was previously a lawyer for US phone carrier Verizon.

Meanwhile, much of Ericsson and Nokia hardware is built in China.

Reuters »

“Putting our large market and financial muscle behind one or both of these firms would make it a far more formidable competitor and eliminate concerns over its staying power, or their staying power,” Barr said in a speech to a Washington think tank conference on China.

“We and our closest allies certainly need to be actively considering this approach,” Barr said.

The United States alleges that the Chinese government could use Huawei’s equipment for espionage, which Huawei denies.

More » Financial Times

Updated Feb 7, 2020 » Reuters » ‘No concrete proposition’ from U.S. to back Huawei rival Ericsson: Swedish minister

US Homeland Security Dept has purchased access to at least one database to track the locations of millions of mobile phones and is using the info in immigration and border controls and possibly other secret government surveillance programs

If the headline surprises you, you haven’t been paying attention. This has been going on for years. Ask Snowden.

What I’d like to know is how much tracking is DHS doing outside it’s borders?

US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) acknowledges tracking millions of smartphone users within the USA, despite a Supreme Court order limiting it’s authority to do so. DHS will not state how the data is being used.

Byron Tau and Michelle Hackman, Wall Street Journal »

The Trump administration has bought access to a commercial database that maps the movements of millions of cellphones in America and is using it for immigration and border enforcement, according to people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The location data is drawn from ordinary cellphone apps, including those for games, weather and e-commerce, for which the user has granted permission to log the phone’s location.

More » Apple Insider

The Conservative British government is banning the sale of new gasoline, diesel, and hybrid cars and vans by 2035, less than 15 years

This will be a major boost for electric vehicle manufacturing.

This is also an opportunity to develop other clean, sustainable, and accessible propulsion technology.

Kylie MacLellan, Reuters »

Britain will ban the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars from 2035, five years earlier than planned, in an attempt to reduce air pollution that could herald the end of over a century of reliance on the internal combustion engine.

The step amounts to a victory for electric cars that if copied globally could hit the wealth of oil producers, as well as transform the car industry and one of the icons of 20th Century capitalism: the automobile itself.

More » BBC

Apple has been fined €25 million by a French consumer fraud group for intentionally slowing down older iPhones

Tim Hardwick, MacRumors »

The Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and the Suppression of Fraud (DGCCRF), which is part of the country’s economy ministry, concluded that Apple had failed to inform users that iOS updates to older iPhones could slow down their devices.

The investigation followed Apple’s admission in 2017 that it slows down some older iPhones with degraded batteries during times of peak power usage in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns.

Apple has accepted an agreement with France’s public prosecutor to pay the fine of 25 million euros and to publish a press release on its website for one month.

More » DGCCRF press release, BBC

 

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