You Already Heard…
…about the world’s largest data breach. But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention, there are now 170 million people who had their names, address, and email addresses stolen. And let’s not forget about the 327 million people who had name, address, phone number, email address, birth date, gender, trip info, passport number and/or credit card numbers stolen.
Please start looking into identity theft protection safeguards available from your banking institutions and if you have ever reused a password, start changing all of them now, if you’ve stayed at any of the following hotels since 2014:
- W Hotels
- Le Meridien
- Four Points by Sheraton
- St. Regis
No One is Sure Why 45,000 Home Routers Have Been Compromised
Attackers have targeted the device that grants you access to the internet in your home. This is done through Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) using, what researchers are calling, EXTERNALSILENCE. UPnP allows devices, like gaming consoles, to connect to the internet more easily through non-standard ports.
There are about 277,000 routers on the internet right now that are vulnerable; of these more than 45,000 have been confirmed to be compromised. Using EXTERNALSILENCE attackers create an open channel to talk directly to the machines you have attached to your network.
Only speculation exists as to what’s actually being done with these affected devices. It could be cryptomining, or using your computer to mine cryptocurrencies like BitCoin. It could be zombification of your machines, which means they could be used for flooding websites with bad traffic that crashes them, also known as a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.
Whatever the purpose, you should make sure your routers have the latest updates installed.
Register of Copyrights
I re-tweeted this from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) yesterday, but it’s worth mentioning again. No matter what side of the political divide you stand on, it’s a terrible idea for the Register of Copyrights to be appointed by the President. This position needs to remain impartial to maintain both authorial rights and fair use.
Google Hangouts Next on Chopping Block
Google+ got the ax this year. Now, in 2020, Google has announced it will retire its chat app, Google Hangouts. Despite their dominance in the search and email industries, Google has yet to make a social platform that can compete. They are going to be refocusing on other methods of communication.
Chin up, Google. You’ll figure out how to be social one day.