Archive for January, 2021

Canadian Busted By Cops In Ransomware Attack Scheme

Posted in Commentary with tags , on January 29, 2021 by itnerd

An investigation done by the U.S. Department of Justice on NetWalker ransomware attacks has led to charges against a Canadian man in Quebec. The accused is alleged to be part of a shadowy group of cyber criminals who have attacked several targets in Canada, including the College of Nurses of Ontario, a Canadian Tire store in B.C., and the Northwest Territories Power Corporation.

Details about the Canadian national indicted today are not yet available beyond his name and residence — Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins, of Gatineau.

Vachon-Desjardins is currently believed to be an “affiliate,” a person who rented the ransomware code from the NetWalker creator.

This type of business is called Ransomware-as-a-Service, or RaaS, and is a common setup employed by many ransomware gangs today.

This is yet another example of how ransomware attacks are affecting Canadians writ large and also sparks a broader concern on how threat-actors behind such attacks can be just around the corner.

David Masson, Director of Enterprise Security for Darktrace had this to say:

In the increasingly interconnected world we now live in, we can be anywhere and everywhere – which means the cyber threats we face can now reach us in new places. The recent NetWalker ransomware arrests follow worldwide attacks, including attacks launched against victims right here in Canada like the College of Nurses of Ontario and the Northwest Territories Power Corporation, and reveal a worldwide threat network stretching from Florida (where a Canadian alleged perpetrator has been arrested) to Bulgaria and beyond.

Complex and sophisticated malware like NetWalker are supported by highly complex and sophisticated criminal groups. The ability to see and make sense of what is happening, and how to deal with the threat, increasingly relies on AI as the essential solution in cybersecurity. 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Series 5G Are Now Available At TELUS

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 29, 2021 by itnerd

The Samsung Galaxy S21 5G,  Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G devices are now available at TELUS, the phone that changes everything to make your everyday epic for $0 upfront with TELUS Easy Payment® on the TELUS 5G network

The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is equipped with Samsung’s latest groundbreaking innovations, including:

  • Pro-Grade Camera –  Zoom in close, take photos and videos like a pro,and capture incredible share-ready moments with the easy-to-use, multi-lens camera.
  • 8K Video: Super smooth 8K video meaning super sharp, super clear video
  • Show-off worthy design: Modern haze finishes with an all-new integrated metal camera design and their toughest glass on a smartphone yet.
  • Galaxy 5G: Built with 5G connectivity in mind, you can share, scroll, browse and binge-watch in a flash.

With all of the latest technology now at your fingertips, customers can also take advantage of TELUS’ Peace of Mind plans where they’ll enjoy endless data, endless fun without worrying about overages. Pick yours up today.

TransferWise & Visa Announce Global Partnership

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 28, 2021 by itnerd

Visa and TransferWise today announced a global partnership and the first use of Visa Cloud Connect, a new way for fintechs and partners to securely connect to VisaNet, Visa’s global processing network, through the public cloud. Visa Cloud Connect underpins a new global agreement between Visa and TransferWise that will enable the expansion of TransferWise’s multi-currency debit cards in Asia Pacific, Europe, LAC, the Middle East, U.K. and U.S.  

The TransferWise multi-currency account allows consumers and businesses to hold and convert 55 currencies at the real exchange rate. The multi-currency debit card lets customers spend and withdraw directly from any of the currency balances. Expanding the offering into new markets would have previously required significant investment in local data centers, telecommunications infrastructure and specialized payment hardware. With Visa Cloud Connect, TransferWise can quickly establish a secure connection to VisaNet through its cloud provider, eliminating the need for costly local connectivity and speeding up TransferWise’s roll out plans.

Connecting Visa’s state-of-the art infrastructure with the cloud 

Today, global card programs expanding into multiple countries require investment in local data centers using specialized hardware and telecommunications infrastructure as well as coordination with local partners to adhere to regional standards. This can slow down new rollouts and delay customer adoption. Visa’s new Visa Cloud Connect platform provides a secure cloud-based connection to VisaNet, including a unified certification and testing framework, Visa-hosted security services such as transaction encryption and PIN key management, and simplified settlement in local markets. 

This combination of technology and services simplifies global connectivity and testing, lowers IT costs through cloud integration, and speeds time to market for launching programs in new geographies. This is particularly beneficial for new types of clients like TransferWise who have been operating on cloud-based systems from their inception.  

Visa Cloud Connect is currently in pilot phase with TransferWise and is slated for global availability for other clients in August 2021. 

TransferWise Multi-currency Account

TransferWise, now 4-years profitable, serving 10 million customers and moving $6 billion in cross-border transactions every month, will be the first company to integrate globally with Visa via a single integration. This will dramatically speed up TransferWise’s plans to rollout to customers the debit cards that accompany its multi-currency account in a host of new markets. 

Since launching the TransferWise multi-currency account in 2018, the company has issued more than 1 million debit cards through existing processors and partners. The account and card help people and businesses avoid high foreign transaction fees and costly exchange rates when travelling, managing their money in multiple currencies, or doing business across borders.

OpenText Will Showcase Next-Generation Early Case Assessment During Legalweek(year) 2021

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 28, 2021 by itnerd

OpenText™ will highlight the recently launched OpenText™ Axcelerate™ Investigation platform during Legalweek(year) 2021. Launched as part of OpenText Cloud Edition 20.4, Axcelerate Investigation expedites early case assessment (ECA) and investigations, helping to improve efficiency and reduce costs by providing rapid access to the facts.

Typical ECA tools collect, process and cull data. For analysis, legal teams must transfer the data to an eDiscovery platform for a full review, use standalone analytics, or both. Axcelerate Investigation helps eliminate potentially error-prone data transfers, time-consuming and costly document reviews and multiple point solutions by combining robust collection, processing and culling with powerful front-ended analytics in a single solution. When full review and production is needed in a case, all data and work product can be seamlessly and automatically uploaded directly from Axcelerate Investigation to Axcelerate Review & Analysis OnDemand in the cloud.

Purpose-built to quickly find the facts, Axcelerate Investigation features:

  • Visual analytics, including Hypergraph Communications Map, which helps make complex information easier to understand and uncover relevant data with greater speed and precision.
  • Predictive searching and filtering—technology-assisted review on the fly without the workflow—which aids in delivery of rapid insights and identifies unknown unknowns.
  • Concept, phrase and sentiment analysis, automated summaries and entity extraction for a faster and deeper understanding of data
  • Analytics to identify sensitive, confidential and privileged data


The launch of OpenText™ Axcelerate Investigation comes as the legal community will gather together during Legalweek(year), held virtually beginning February 2 – 4, 2021. Legalweek(year) brings together thousands of legal professions for a series of events on emerging trends, cutting edge legal technology and expert analysis of the tectonic shifts in the industry.

OpenText is leading an educational track at Legalweek(year) on February 2: “When an Investigation Hits: Strategies for Effective and Rapid Resolution When Your Team is Remote,” and will be showcasing Axcelerate Investigation at the OpenText virtual booth on February 4, 2:30-3:30 p.m. EST and in private virtual meetings.

To book a meeting, visit: https://www.opentext.com/info/legalweek. For more information on OpenText Legal Tech solutions, visit: www.opentext.com/discovery.

“Future-Ready” Organizations Leveraging Digital To Operate Faster & Smarter Could Help Unlock $200 Billion In Economic Growth In Canada: Accenture

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 28, 2021 by itnerd

The pandemic-driven acceleration of digital adoption and the resulting new, agile ways of operating could unlock $200 billion in profitable growth in Canada if applied broadly, according to a new report by Accenture.

Based on a global survey of 1,100 top executives and externally validated financial data, the reportassessed the impact of achieving progressive levels of business operations maturity. The higher the maturity, the greater the degree of digital capabilities, such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud and data analytics.

Accenture’s findings indicate that even amid the current economic uncertainty, a small core of companies globally—about 7%—still achieved nearly twice the efficiency and three times the profitability of peers. These “future-ready” entities are expected to represent 20% of Canadian organizations by 2023 — a five-fold increase from just 4% today.

Future-Readiness in Canada

Future-ready enterprises transform how work gets done by using rich data for decision-making, augmenting people with artificial intelligence (AI) and employing agile workforce models. The survey, which included 50 companies headquartered in Canada, identified organizations’ growing levels of digital and operational maturity. The areas of focus include:

  • Cloud: Four in five organizations (82%) in Canada use cloud infrastructure at scale, and 64% are also exploring new areas to scale and maximize value.
  • Machine Intelligence: With a focus on augmenting people with technology, 52% of Canadian organizations have fully adopted AI and data science capabilities — a nearly 13-fold increase from just 4% three years ago — and 30% of organizations plan to scale AI practices by 2023.  
  • Automate at Scale: Only 6% of organizations have achieved automation maturity. A third (34%) expect to do so by 2023.
  • Smarter Data: One in five organizations (18%) in Canada use analytics at scale—paired with better, more diverse data—to generate actionable insights and inform decision-making. That is expected to grow to 40% by 2023.
  • Agile Workforce: Only 10% of organizations have adopted an agile workforce strategy at scale, enabling them to tap into an expanded talent pool among ecosystem partners to mobilize special talent as needed. That is expected to grow to 28% by 2023.

By assessing what Accenture calls “transformational value” — a concept that factors in financial performance and the differentiated experience delivered — the research found progressing to future-ready achieved average efficiency gains of 13.1% and lift profitability by 6.4%.

In Canada, organizations that advanced operational maturity level in the past three years reported improvements in customer experience (cited by 78%), speed of product and services innovation (72%), operational efficiency (71%), business value generated from data (70%), employee engagement and retention (56%) and employee talent mix and reskilling efforts (50%).

Methodology

Accenture surveyed 1,100 senior-level executives worldwide, 44% of whom were C-suite executives, across 13 industries and 11 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, United States). The research, conducted in 2020, assessed four levels of business operations maturity — stable, efficient, predictive and future-ready — with each level underpinned by progressing digital capabilities, such as AI, cloud, and data. The business impact was assessed by combining survey responses with externally validated financial data from 810 of the 1,100 organizations surveyed.

Guest Post: Generation Z Is Most Concerned About Sharing Their Location Data With The Government Says Atlas VPN

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 28, 2021 by itnerd

It is no secret that tech companies have shared their user information with governments in the past. This makes many Americans feel uncomfortable with how their data is handled. 

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, 50% of the adults born in Generation Z feel very uncomfortable sharing their location data, including where they had traveled, with the government. Along with the Baby Boomer generation, of whom 54% are highly insecure about sharing their whereabouts, they are the most concerned about personal data privacy. 

Nevertheless, 15% of adults born in Gen Z and 17% of Baby Boomers still feel confident about the government tracking their location, with 6% in each generation stating they feel very secure with the situation. 

Millennials (1981-1996) and Generation X (1965-1980) are a little more positive about their location data being known to the government. Overall, 13% of Millenials are very confident with sharing their whereabouts, while 40% are strongly against it. In the meantime, 14% of adults born in Generation X are highly comfortable sharing their location data, and 46% of Gen Xers feel the opposite.

However, all adult groups are less against their location data being shared with the government if it is for the purpose of Coronavirus tracking.

Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN, shares her insights on why various generations view privacy differently:

“Each generation is distinct in its own way. After all, every one of them grew up under different historical, economic, and cultural circumstances that shape their outlook of the world. The latter also impacts how protective they are of their personal data.”

Non-college graduates least trust the government with their data

Most people feel uneasy about their personal data, such as their location, being shared with the government. Nevertheless, it seems that higher education levels in adults lead to higher trust in the government with their data.

Overall, 74% of American adults that had not completed a college education feel uncomfortable with the government tracking their whereabouts. While 51% of such adults said they are very insecure with the situation, 23% are somewhat uncomfortable. 

Other adult groups in the US feel slightly less pessimistic about the tech companies sharing their location data with the government. In total, 45% of adults with Bachelor’s degrees feel very unsafe with the government having their location data, while the number drops to 32% in adults with Postgraduate education.

To read the full article, head over to: https://atlasvpn.com/blog/generation-z-is-one-of-the-most-concerned-about-sharing-their-location-data-with-the-government

YouTube Has Extended Trump’s Suspension From The Platform….. Twice

Posted in Commentary with tags , on January 27, 2021 by itnerd

YouTube on Tuesday said it is extending its suspension of former President Donald Trump, who’s been banned from posting videos to his channel since Jan. 12. Comments on Trump’s videos will also remain disabled indefinitely. Apparently, this is the second time that they have extended his ban:

“In light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, the Donald J. Trump channel will remain suspended,” a YouTube spokesperson confirmed to CNET. “Our teams are staying vigilant and closely monitoring for any new developments.” YouTube first extended Trump’s suspension last week, saying it would reevaluate the situation in a week. The company gave no indication on Tuesday of how long the latest extension would last. 

YouTube has a three-strikes policy when it comes to policing its platform. Three infractions within a 90-day period results in being permanently kicked off the platform. The first strike typically comes with a one-week ban that prohibits the posting of new content. A second strike comes with a two-week ban.

To me, this sounds like Google who owns YouTube are trying to walk some sort of line. Clearly they think that Trump is a bad actor, but they don’t want to punt him from YouTube. So they extend this ban rather than Thanos snapping him out of existence. A bit of a weak response if you ask me. But I guess someone who makes a lot of money thought that this was the correct course of action.

Digital Defense Announces Technology Integration With LogRhythm

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 27, 2021 by itnerd

Digital Defense, Inc., a leader in vulnerability management and threat assessment solutions, today announced the integration of its Frontline Vulnerability Manager™ (Frontline VM™) proprietary scanning technology, part of its Frontline.Cloud™ cloud-native software as a service (SaaS) platform, with the LogRhythm NextGen SIEM Platform. The combined solution improves threat detection and response through risk-based prioritization and remediation that can be leveraged by any size organization or as part of a comprehensive managed services offering for managed security providers (MSPs) and managed service security providers (MSSPs).

As security information and event management (SIEM) becomes the basis for security operations center (SOC) platforms, integrating vulnerability management and risk posture information helps security teams understand which systems are most severely impacted by threats and provide needed context for security teams to remediate systems. As a member of the LogRhythm Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) Program, Digital Defense enables clients, MSPs and MSSPs to leverage vulnerability and threat assessment data from Frontline.Cloud that is ingested and correlated by the LogRhythm Platform to assess the risk posture of systems and leverage that data to prioritize threat investigations and remediation efforts.

The integration supports on-premises, hybrid-cloud and multi-tenant environments to provide the following benefits:

  • Frontline.Cloud feeds real-time asset information and context into the LogRhythm NextGen SIEM Platform, including deduplication of assets such as virtual, cloud and mobile infrastructures that are dynamic in nature.
  • In a dedicated dashboard within the LogRhythm Platform, Frontline.Cloud provides customized vulnerability risk and threat posture and prioritization based on business criticality for each asset.
  • The LogRhythm Platform can provide better prioritization, real-time asset context and risk posture customized for client environments with the goal of empowering security teams to accelerate attack remediation efforts.

The Frontline.Cloud and LogRhythm integration is currently in use by Avertium, a managed security and consulting provider that delivers secure, comprehensive digital solutions, including extended detection and response (XDR).

For more information about the Digital Defense Frontline Vulnerability Manager and LogRhythm SIEM integration, visit: https://www.digitaldefense.com/technology/frontline-vm-integration-logrhythm-siem/.

For a complete list of Digital Defense’s technology integrations, visit: https://www.digitaldefense.com/partners/technology/.

McAfee Canada Data Shows That The Profound Shift In Everyday Tech Highlights The New Landscape Of Personal Security

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 27, 2021 by itnerd

McAfee Corp. today announced findings from its 2021 Consumer Security Mindset Report revealing that while the shift to a digital-first life was brought on by the global pandemic, Canadian consumers plan to keep it up – with online banking (78%), personal shopping (63%), and social engagements (59%) at the top of the list. With the increase in activities online, consumers are potentially exposed to more cyber threats. Notably, 3 out of 5 of people in Canada (60%) say they’re concerned about today’s cyber risks, with nearly half (45%) of respondents admitting that they are not confident in their ability to prevent a cyber-attack.

As consumers continue to adapt to and embrace their new digital worlds, cyber criminals are taking note and looking to take advantage. The more time consumers spend online interacting with various applications and services, the greater their exposure is potential risks (such as third-party breaches) and threats (such as phishing attacks or fraud). Further proof this is a big concern for consumers: McAfee found 67% of Canadian respondents admitted to being most concerned about their financial data being stolen and 65% were concerned that their personal information, such as birthday or address, could get hacked.

Consumer Digital-First Mindset Influenced by Shopping Habits

Consumers buying habits indicate how they are going about their new digital-first lives, with 66% of respondents saying they’ve purchased at least one connected device in 2020. However, only 42% took action by purchasing security software, and 1 in 4 admitted that they do not actually check if their security software is up to date.

Consumers are also becoming more comfortable with sharing information online which is a big risk – especially as services often ask for multiple contact points. Notably, McAfee’s report found that 70% of respondents indicated to have started using features designed for convenience in 2020, such as paperless transaction records (40%), text and email notifications (35%), and downloading web/mobile applications vs. using desktop sites (31%)

Besides not always taking the necessary security precautions, Canadian consumers admitted that they haven’t really thought about why hackers might want their data. Notably, nearly 2 in 3 Canadian respondents (61%) admitted that they never considered how much their data that is stored and available online is worth. Hackers are always looking for ways to exploit others for money, and a person’s identity is valuable and can be resold for quite a bit of money. However, 8 in 10 consumers say they would be proactive about protecting it, if that data could be traded as a currency.

Some ways consumers can protect themselves and their loved ones include:

  • Use multi-factor authentication to double check the authenticity of digital users andadd an additional layer of security to protect personal data and information.
  • Connect with caution. If you have to conduct transactions on a public Wi-Fi connectionuse a virtual private network (VPN) like McAfee® Safe Connect to help keep you safewhile you’re online.
  • Browse with added security using a tool like McAfee WebAdvisor to block malware andphishing sites if you click on a malicious link.
  • Protect your identity and important personal information by using McAfee IdentityTheft Protection, which also helps you recover your information if your identity is compromised.

McAfee’s 2021 Consumer Security Mindset Report Methodology: McAfee commissioned MSI-ACI to conduct an online questionnaire to 1,000 adults over the age of 18 in Canada between December 11-23, 2020.

Update Your Apple Devices NOW As There Are Security Flaws That Are Being “Actively Exploited”

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 26, 2021 by itnerd

Today Apple dropped a bunch of updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS as well as software for the HomePod. And a lot of them have fixes for security issues that according to Apple are being “actively exploited.” You can find details on the issues here:

That pretty much means that you need to stop what you are doing and and update your iPads, Apple Watches, iPhones, and Apple TVs right now. Apple normally doesn’t use words like “actively exploited” in their release notes and security info. Which means that this is a big deal and your devices are at some sort of risk if you don’t update ASAP.