Archive for September 2, 2021

WhatsApp Slapped With $267 Million USD Fine

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 2, 2021 by itnerd

Bad news for WhatsApp. They apparently didn’t fully explain to Europeans how it uses their data as called for by EU privacy law according to Ireland’s Data Protection Commission. WhatsApp’s punishment? The regulator hit the messaging app with a fine of 225 million euros which about $267 million USD:

Partly at issue is how WhatsApp share information with parent company Facebook, according to the commission. The decision brings an end to a GDPR inquiry the privacy regulator started in December 2018. WhatsApp said it disagrees with the decision and plans to appeal. “We have worked to ensure the information we provide is transparent and comprehensive and will continue to do so,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said via email.

Fun fact: WhatsApp pulled in about $5 to $10 billion last year. Thus while this fine is significant, it’s still pocket change to WhatsApp. But the other side of that coin is that it does send a message that the EU is serious about this sort of thing. But you know that.

ASUS Reveals Powerful Creator-Focused Laptop Lineup

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 2, 2021 by itnerd

I wanted to share some of the exciting new products revealed by ASUS that you might have missed. ASUS revealed the Zenbook Pro, ProArt Studiobook, and Vivobook Pro lineups, a series of powerful laptops geared to creators at any level.

The Zenbook Pro: A recipient of the CES 2021 Innovation Award, the Zenbook Pro Duo 15 OLED is perfect for advanced creators on the go. The 15.6 Inch laptop brings the ASUS ScreenPad Plus, a 14 inch secondary touchscreen to allow effortless multitasking. It features up to an Intel Core i9 processor with up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 to easily run demanding applications.

ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED: This laptop is equipped to display professional grade videos with a 16 inch 4k OLED HDR display, an AMD Ryzen 5000 H-Series Processor or a 3rd Generation Intel Xeon workstation processor, and an NVIDIA RTX A2000 or A5000, allowing users to seamlessly run visualization, simulation, or photorealistic rendering applications.

Vivobook Pro: Perfect for hobbyists and aspiring creators alike, the 15.6 Inch Vivobook Pro 15 OLEDweighs just under 3.64 lbs, has an FHD OLED display, ultrafast WiFI 6, and a powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050. It’s a perfect, budget friendly yet highly capable laptop for those looking to break into the creative world.

You can get more info from this press release.

Fired Employee Takes Revenge On Those Who Fired Her By Deleting Gigabytes Of Data…. Ouch!

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 2, 2021 by itnerd

Talking about wanting vengeance.

A former employee of a New York credit union pleaded guilty to accessing the financial institution’s computer systems without authorization and destroying over 21 gigabytes of data in revenge after being fired:

According to court documents, the defendant worked remotely as a part-time employee for the credit union until May 19, 2021, when she was fired.

Even though a credit union employee asked the bank’s information technology support firm to disable Barile’s remote access credentials, that access was not removed. Two days later, on May 21, Barile logged on for roughly 40 minutes.

The defendant deleted over 20,000 files and around 3,500 directories during that time, totaling roughly 21.3 gigabytes of data stored on the bank’s share drive.

The wiped included files related to customers’ mortgage loan applications and the financial institution’s anti-ransomware protection software.

Besides deleting documents with customer and company data, Barile also opened various confidential Word documents, including files containing board minutes for the credit union.

Five days later, on May 26, she also told a friend via text messages how she was able to destroy thousands of documents on her former employer’s servers, saying, “They didn’t revoke my access so I deleted p drift lol. [..] I deleted their shared network documents.”

The credit union had backups. So they were able to restore the data. Though it did cost them a fair amount of money and time to do so. But the takeaway from this is that every company is one disgruntled employee away from a major disaster. So all companies need to ensure that they not only backup their data, but they have controls in place to ensure that when someone is fired or quits, their access to data is removed so that this sort of thing doesn’t happen.

Guest Post: 50% Of Companies Suffer Repeat Attacks By The Same Hackers Says Atlas VPN

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 2, 2021 by itnerd

According to the data presented by the team of Atlas VPN, 50% of businesses worldwide have experienced recurring attacks from the same hackers, with companies in the United Kingdom suffering the most.

What is more, out of the businesses that experienced repeated attacks, a whopping 61% of them did not remediate the breaches, leaving the companies vulnerable to any further attacks.

Companies in the UK have had the most repeat cybersecurity incidents — 55%, followed by organizations in North America (50%), Europe (49%), and Latin America (48%).

The top five security threats affecting organizations are cloud vulnerabilities (65%), denial of service attacks (60%), phishing and social engineering attacks (52%), malicious insider threats (45%), as well as DNS-based attacks (44%).

Low-value security alerts and shortage of staff are the main security  challenges for organizations

As cyber attacks are growing more sophisticated, breaches are becoming everyday events rather than worst-case scenarios. But what are the challenges that organizations face when dealing with cyber incidents?

The number one challenge of survey respondents is that their systems generate too many low-value security alerts. When security analytics systems cannot effectively prioritize alerts, it wastes the team’s time by asking it to clear low-value alerts while highly important alerts linger at the bottom of the queue. Therefore, 69% of companies see it as a significant challenge.

Shortage of staff is another prevalent issue. In total, 60% of companies have a shortage of in-house expertise that could utilize security technologies, 56% say they lack the staff to pick up the workload, while 53% lack employees or skills to deliver lasting data-driven outcomes

Ruth Cizynski, the cybersecurity researcher and writer at Atlas VPN, shares her thoughts on the situation:

“As long as organizations do not address existing vulnerabilities and security issues, they risk being hit by cybercriminals again. Organizations should prioritize internal processes that they can control over external security risks that they cannot. ”

To read the full article, head over to:

Challengermode Expands Women In eSports Drive With Organizer Partnerships

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 2, 2021 by itnerd

eSports platform Challengermode has announced its partnership with the Super Girl Gamer Series to host tournaments across a range of esports. This forms part of Challengermode’s initiative to support more female-led esports initiatives to its grassroots esports platform.

The Super Girl Gamer Series joins other female-focused esports organisations using Challengermode, such as Girls’ House, a girls focused space for players interested in participating in women’s-only VALORANT events, and The Goose House which has received funding from Challengermode and Opera GX’s grassroots esports fund for its Birds of Prey: Episode One tournament’s prize pool. 

Organizers can register their interest in the Challengermode / Opera GX esports fund via the website here, which also provides external platform support provided by Challengermode to streamline setting up tournaments and competitions.

Super Girl Gamer Pro esports director Amanda Ball said: “Over the last five years, the Super Girl Gamer Series has expanded to provide opportunities for women all across North America in a variety of different titles and we hope to continue that expansion into the EU scene as well.  We have been extremely happy working with Challengermode and look forward to continuing that partnership in being a driving force in changing the narrative for women in esports.” 

You can catch the Super Girl Gamer – Summer Season – League of Legends Championships on September 18th 2021 at 1:30p EST through Challengermode and streaming live to  The Super Girl Gamer – Fall Season kicks off on October 16th, across both VALORANT and Fortnite.