Archive for November 25, 2021

Israel Restricts Exports Of Cyberweapons To Eliminate Autocratic Regimes From Accessing Them

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 25, 2021 by itnerd

I am guessing that the Israeli government isn’t thrilled with all the recent shots taken at The NSO Group from everyone from the US Government to Apple. I say that because the news is out that they are going to drop the list of countries that The NSO Group can export to from 102 countries to 37:

The new list, obtained by Israeli business newspaper Calcalist earlier today, only includes countries with proven democracies, such as those from Europe and the Five Eyes coalition: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US.

The list noticeably removes autocratic regimes, to which Israeli companies have often supplied surveillance tools. Spyware developed by Israeli companies like Candiru and the NSO Group has been linked in recent years to human rights abuses in tens of countries, with the tools being used by the local governments to spy on reporters, activists, dissidents, and political rivals.

I am not sure if this is really going to move the needle on this issue. The knives are out for The NSO Group and I am not sure that this move by the Israeli government will change that. But I am going to watch this closely as I am always free to be surprised.

iRobot Canada Black Friday Deals – Available Now

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 25, 2021 by itnerd

I would like to share iRobot’s Canadian deals that are now live on iRobot.ca. In addition to these deals, Rakuten is currently offering 6% cash back on the Roomba i3, which is fantastic! 

DEALS AVAILABLE NOW ON iROBOT.CA 

Roomba i3+: Regular Price: $749.99 CAD. Black Friday promo: Save $200  

Roomba i3: Regular Price: $499.99 CAD. Black Friday promo: Save $100  

Roomba 694: Regular Price: $369.99 CAD. Black Friday promo: Save $100  

Braava jet m6: Regular Price: $599.99 CAD. Black Friday promo: $100  

Braava jet 240: Regular Price: $279.99 CAD. Black Friday promo: Save $30  

H1 Hand Vac: Regular Price: $329.99 CAD. Black Friday promo: Save $100  

Root Coding Robot: Regular Price: $179.99 CAD. Black Friday promo: Save $30 

Mobile Klinik Opens 100th Store

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 25, 2021 by itnerd

Today Mobile Klinik, Canada’s expert leading chain on device performance and professional smartphone and tablet repair offering high-quality, certified pre-owned mobile devices, opened its 100th store location at the Pickering Town Centre in Pickering, Ontario. To celebrate this milestone, across Canada this holiday season, customers who purchase a certified pre-owned phone and activate select mobility plans in-store can save up to $250. Until the end of 2021 the Pickering Town Centre location is providing 20 per cent off most repairs, accessories and certified pre-owned mobile devices.

The demand for trusted repair outlets and locations to purchase high-quality certified pre-owned devices is growing. A recent Angus Reid Institute survey conducted by Mobile Klinik found 41 per cent of Canadians would consider purchasing a pre-owned phone, citing cost and environmental benefits as leading motivators. Further, the majority of Canadians consider their mobile phone as their most expensive personal item and are willing to consider repairing rather than replacing their device, with nearly half of those respondents having repaired their device before.

Mobile Klinik offers Canadians a trusted location to buy, sell, repair and connect their mobile devices:

  • Buy: Customers can choose from Canada’s widest variety of premium certified pre-owned devices, backed by an industry-leading one-year warranty
  • Sell: Mobile Klinik will buy most used device makes and models for top dollar, and to protect customer privacy will safely transfer the seller’s data to a new device or USB before properly wiping the old one
  • Repair: All repairs are performed by certified, expert technicians, with most completed in about an hour. Common issues include cracked screens, broken cameras, software updates, and battery replacements with premium-quality-parts and state-of-the-art diagnostics
  • Connect: Mobile Klinik also offers a full range of rate plans from leading Canadian wireless carriers, with special sustainability discounts to reward customers who extend the life of their devices by repairing their device or replacing it with a certified pre-owned device, rather than buying expensive new devices

Providing customers with further convenience, earlier this year Mobile Klinik launched its Onsite Repair Units, the first van service of its kind offering consumers and businesses nationwide the convenience of professional smartphone and tablet repair at the location of their choice. Now residents and businesses in more than 100 communities nationwide can conveniently access Mobile Klinik’s Onsite Repair Unit service.

Founded in 2015, Mobile Klinik has rapidly grown into Canada’s leader in professional smartphone and tablet repair, refurbishment and resale with 100 retail locations and 500 team members across Canada. For more information visit mobileklinik.ca.

FBI/CISA Issues A Ransomware Holiday Warning

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 25, 2021 by itnerd

Earlier this week, CISA and the FBI issued a warning reminder for organizations to stay vigilant against cyber threats during the holiday season, especially on weekends when ransomware gangs normally like to strike – since many companies are closed, short-staffed or off-guard.

While CISA and the FBI provided some best practices to manage the risk of posed cyber threats, I sourced some commentary. Starting with Brent Sleeper, data security product marketing manager at HelpSystems, a provider of IT management software and services, who says the following:

“Ransomware has been a constant cybersecurity threat to organizations for many years. With the tools needed to carry out these attacks readily available on the dark web, ransomware has evolved into a serious activity for today’s cybercriminals. The tools are used to gain access to systems or networks with the objective of stealing or locking down sensitive data. The perpetrators then demand a ransom for its safe return, with many threatening to release the data into the public domain or destroy it if the ransom is not paid. Organizations that fall victim to ransomware attacks will often face weeks of costly disruption and unwanted publicity, so it’s important to understand the risks and limit the number of vulnerabilities that could potentially be exploited.

Improving awareness is a step in tackling ransomware. As ransomware is often delivered through email, employees should be educated on what to look out for and understand the dangers of clicking on unsolicited links or opening attachments. However, even with training in place, employees may still inadvertently trigger an attack, which is why it’s critical to have technology that prevents ransomware from reaching your organization in the first place. Email security solutions that automatically detect and remove malicious content or active code buried deep in attachments can neutralize threats before they do any harm. Organizations can also make sure that vulnerabilities in systems, software and applications are minimized by keeping them patched and up to date. These countermeasures will help ensure an organization’s defense against ransomware is more resilient and robust, and that its data is well protected.”

Next up is Mieng Lim, VP of product management at Digital Defense by HelpSystems, who says:

“Ransomware threats are constantly evolving. From the commoditization of ransomware through the recent availability of as-a-service tools, to increasingly sophisticated attack strategies, it is a threat landscape that demands constant monitoring and education from organizations and governments alike. This is perfectly illustrated by the new strain of ransomware discovered by Sophos this week.

Typically, hackers enter their victim’s systems and linger undetected, harvesting data and identifying targets before they deploy a targeted ransomware attack. However, this new python-based ransomware enters systems and initiates an attack within a few hours, making fast-acting threat detection and response absolutely essential for businesses. 

The first step in building an effective ransomware mitigation strategy is always setting realistic expectations. Ransomware breaches are no longer fully preventable, so businesses must focus on layering defensive barriers between an attacker and their most sensitive data. Running regular penetration testing and vulnerability scanning can help an organization identify and repair possible attack vectors, closing backdoors before an attacker can enter them and minimizing an attacker’s ability to escalate their privileges once inside the system. 

However, for any organization looking to improve its cyber threat response time, threat detection tools are a must. Network Traffic Analysis (NTA) works to monitor a network for any suspicious activity, detecting ransomware breaches and infection as quickly as possible. On top of these, active threat scans can give the organization peace of mind. If a breach is spotted, it is important to reassess the state of the IT environment to ensure that there isn’t a repeat attack. Unfortunately, we live in an era where preventing 100% of cyber risks is no longer possible, but constant vigilance, ongoing-cyber threat education, and a well-planned threat detection and response strategy will go a long way towards keeping your organization’s most sensitive data safe.”

Guest Post: Over 100 Million Windows-Targeted Malware Developed In 2021 Alone Says Atlas VPN

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 25, 2021 by itnerd

According to data analyzed and presented by Atlas VPN, 2021 marks a record year for the development of new Windows malware. Even though 2021 has another month to go, cybercriminals have already developed a whopping 107.28 million unique threats targeted at Windows devices. 

The data for the analysis was provided by AV-TEST GmbH, an independent research institute for IT security. The figures were last updated on November 23, 2021

Interestingly, the creation of new malware types targeted towards Windows OS devices has been growing steadily since 2012. On average, the quantity of new malicious software samples grows by 9.5 million or 23% YoY.

This year so far, we see 107.28 million new threats for Windows OS, representing a 16.53 million or 18% increase over 2020.

In other words, cybercriminals employed more of their resources towards Windows OS than ever before. To put things in perspective, threat actors developed around 328 thousand malware samples daily in 2021.

Cybercriminals work together to reduce costs

The fact that malicious software is easier to develop than ever before contributes to this unprecedented increase in risks.

Hackers no longer require advanced programming abilities because they can buy ready-made malware code, customize it to their needs with a little coding, and create an entirely new malware type.

Moreover, the wide availability of hackers-for-hire made prices ridiculously cheap. For example, one of our earlier analyses uncovered that hiring attacks on the dark web cost as little as $250 per attack.

To read the full article, head over to: https://atlasvpn.com/blog/over-100-million-windows-targeted-malware-developed-in-2021-alone

Vector Institute Event: Learn How Ontario Companies Are Using AI To Drive Businesses Forward

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 25, 2021 by itnerd

The Vector Institute, an independent, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to research in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), is hosting a virtual event on Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 11:00AM EST for ambitious professionals and CXOs to explore the latest innovations in AI strategies to drive businesses forward. 

As part of the Vector Institute’s recently launched FastLane program to support Ontario small-medium-enterprises (SMEs), leading CEOs and professionals from some of Ontario’s fast-growing companies will discuss how businesses are leveraging the innovative technology of AI and share its impact on a range of industries including, manufacturing, mining, and agriculture.

Speakers include Garth Gibson, President & CEO of the Vector Institute along with:

  • Ed Clark, Vector Board Chair
  • Victor Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
  • Janet Bannister, Managing Partner, Real Ventures
  • Michael Cohen, CEO, Qii.AI
  • Dr. Jennifer MacLean, Vice President of Research and Innovation, Aspire Food Group
  • Gus Minor, Chief Innovation Officer, Sofvie Inc.

The event is open to the public and anyone who is interested in attending can register here. 

Moove-It.com Releases The Healthtech Index

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 25, 2021 by itnerd

Software development company Moove-It.com has released a study that analyzes the healthtech capabilities of 85 global cities. As a company that helps organizations use technology for positive impact in multiple industries including healthcare, Moove It decided to conduct a study to identify which global locations have the most developed healthtech ecosystems. To do this, they assessed each city against a range of factors related to investment, corporate infrastructure, human capital, and their healthtech credentials in different sectors.

How the study was conducted:

Moove It began the study by identifying a list of indicators that signal whether or not a city is a leading healthtech location, incorporating investment, corporate infrastructure, human capital and sector expertise. Then, they shortlisted thousands of global cities that are prominent in the healthcare space, before choosing the 50 highest ranking US cities and the 35 highest ranking cities located outside of the US to analyze and compare.

The first factor they looked at was research and development funding in each city, with a particular focus on private institutions, healthcare institutes, governmental research bodies and universities.

Next, they assessed the current healthcare landscape by assessing the numbers of active healthtech startups and healthcare legacy corporations in each city. They also studied the amount of funding given to healthtech companies and the number of people employed in this area.

Following this, Moove It compared the salary levels of healthtech workers in each city, to gauge where workers are paid the most and the least for the same types of job roles.

To conclude the study, the researchers analysed data on company size and funding to identify which cities are the healthtech capitals of different sectors. The following healthtech sectors were assessed: telemedicine, mental health & psychology, biometric data gathering, prosthetics, health data & analysis, dental care, medical vision & imaging, hearing aids, gynaecology, eye care, cardiovascular, dermatology, and nutrition.

The resulting index reveals which cities have the most mature and advanced healthtech ecosystems, and which are the healthtech leaders of different healthcare sectors.

You can find the full results and methodology here: https://moove-it.com/most-developed-healthtech-countries, but here are some highlights with a particular focus on Toronto Canada:

The table below reveals a sample of results for the top 10 cities for healthtech out of the 85 cities in the index. All scores are out of 100, with 100 being the highest possible score and 50 being the lowest.

The tables below reveal a sample of results for the 10 cities with the highest levels of R&D funding in healthtech and those with the highest number of healthtech startups:

The tables below show the 10 cities with the highest number of healthcare legacy corporations, and those which have the highest rates of private funding and employment in healthtech:

The tables below compare how much healthtech workers are paid for the same healthtech job roles. The table on the left reveals the 10 cities with the highest salary levels, and the 10 cities with the lowest salary levels:

The tables below reveal the global capitals of telemedicine and the global capitals of mental health & psychology:

Moove It is a leading technology consulting firm that blends strategy, design and software engineering services for organizations that want to make a transformative and positive impact through modern native digital experiences. Find out more at Moove-It.com.