Archive for December 2, 2021

BREAKING: Governor General’s Internal Network Pwned

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

For those of you who aren’t in Canada, the Governor General is the representative of the Queen Elizabeth II in Canada. If you want to find out what responsibility that this position entails, you can click here. But with that out of the way, news is breaking that the internal network of the Governor General has had ‘unauthorized access to its internal network’ which is code for saying that their network got pwned. Here’s a snippet from the statement that the Governor General’s office put out:

The Office of the Secretary to the Governor General (OSGG) confirms that there was an unauthorized access to its internal network. The OSGG is working with the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security on the investigation and took immediate action to strengthen its network.

The CSE who are the people who are responsible for providing the Government of Canada with information technology security and foreign signals intelligence put out a statement on this as well:

CSE and its Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre) can confirm we are working with the Office of the Secretary of the Governor General (OSGG) in response to a recent cyber incident. We are unable to comment further on any specific details regarding this incident.

Although this investigation is ongoing we can assure you that we are working closely with OSGG to ensure there are robust systems and tools in place to monitor, detect, and investigate potential threats, and to neutralize threats when they occur.

While there’s no word on the extent of the breach. Any breach of any network for any government is not trivial. Thus you can fully expect that there will be a lot of work over the coming days to figure out what happened and what was done. I also expect to see over the coming days commentary from the Canadian government on this. Especially since Revenue Canada has been pwned in the past. Thus you should watch this space for more on this story.

Holiday Season Sees 30% More Attempted Ransomware Attacks Says Darktrace

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

Darktrace, a global leader in cyber security AI, today reported that its security researchers discovered a 30% increase in the average number of attempted ransomware attacks globally over the holiday season in every consecutive year from 2018 to 2020 compared to the monthly average.

The researchers also observed a 70% average increase in attempted ransomware attacks in November and December compared to January and February. Following a record number of ransomware attacks this year, the company expects the spike to be higher over the 2021 holiday period.

During the nascent 2021 holiday season, Darktrace’s AI detected and autonomously stopped an in-progress, early-stage ransomware attack on a U.S. city before any data exfiltration or encryption could occur. The city’s security team had the foresight to deploy an AI solution to combat multi-stage ransomware attacks, enabling them to stop the attackers at the earliest stage. 

Ransomware is often falsely considered an encryption problem. This misconception masks and undermines attackers’ determination and creativity to initially break into and then move around within an organisation’s digital environment first to discover, then steal and encrypt data. The break-in is often through email, but that quickly evolves to targeting servers where the data lives. Therefore, a combination of email and network security is crucial to stop these attacks. 

Powered by Self-Learning AI, Darktrace technology develops an understanding of normal business operations for each organisation. It autonomously interrupts in-progress attacks at every stage from the initial entry with sophisticated spearphishing emails to brute-forced remote desktop protocol (RDP), command-and-control, and lateral movement, all without business disruption. 

Darktrace is a global leader in cyber security AI, delivers world-class technology that protects almost 6,000 customers worldwide from advanced threats, including ransomware, and cloud and SaaS attacks. The company’s fundamentally different approach applies Self-Learning AIto enable machines to understand the business in order to autonomously defend it. Headquartered in Cambridge, UK, the company has 1,600 employees and over 30 offices worldwide. Darktrace was named one of TIME magazine’s ‘Most Influential Companies’ for 2021.

Modern Campus Launches Transformational Web Content Management Experience For Higher Education

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

Modern Campus today announced the launch of Melody™, the industry’s first low-code web design tool purpose-built for higher education, and deeper personalization capabilities of Modern Campus Web Content Management (Omni CMS). With these additions, Modern Campus stands alone in the higher education market as a leader by enabling the next-generation web experience that modern learners expect and modern higher education marketers and web administrators desire.

Higher education institutions are adapting quickly to transform their institution to meet the digital needs of modern learners – often with limited resources – and their web and marketing teams are no exception. Despite the need to offer a web experience that differentiates their school in a crowded market and attracts and converts prospective students with high efficiency, they often must settle with pages built from a few generic templates or investing resources in costly web design services. As a result, higher education web pages don’t often match the expectations of modern learners, which are shaped by their experiences with leading consumer sites and apps. 

This is why Modern Campus created Melody, a low-code tool for its next-generation web content management solution, which dramatically reduces the time and effort needed to create beautiful higher education web pages. Schools can build web pages without having to involve the IT team, without extensive knowledge of coding or programming languages, and without needing to use system tags.

Additional enhancements to its support of high-quality website design, Modern Campus is also launching:

  1. Deeper website personalization capabilities – enable higher education institutions to dramatically increase the engagement of website visitors by providing highly personalized content. Whether their goals are to attract new students, engage with alumni, or reach any other target audience, institutions can now turn website visitors into contacts, by importing external data from CRM or SIS systems and build targeted segments. For instance, a college can target out-of-state high achievers by showing dynamic content to website visitors based on their geolocation and high school GPA by importing external data from Ellucian Recruit or Salesforce. 
  2. Modern Campus Design Studio – a new set of services to handle customer web design projects and the Melody design library. These services will highlight the latest design elements available to Modern Campus users, and act as an agency to provide front-end web design support and design consultation, support with accessibility compliance, and web design modification for customers experiencing resource constraints.

Modern Campus is obsessed with empowering its 1,200+ higher education customers to thrive when radical transformation is required to respond to lower student enrollments and revenue, rising costs, crushing student debt and administrative complexity.

The Modern Campus engagement platform powers solutions for non-traditional student management, web content management, catalog and curriculum management, student engagement & development, career pathways, and campus maps & virtual tours. The result: innovative institutions can create a Learner-to-Earner Lifecycle that engages modern learners for life, while providing modern administrators with the tools needed to streamline workflows and drive high efficiency.

Modern Campus Web Content Management (Omni CMS) enables a next-generation web experience that attracts and engages modern learners with rich personalization – and enables modern marketers and web administrators to do big things with limited resources.

Infosec Institute Announces Monty Schmidt as Chief Technology Officer 

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

Infosec Institute, the leading cybersecurity education company, today announced the appointment of Monty Schmidt as the company’s first chief technology officer (CTO). In this role, Monty will oversee Infosec’s software engineering and product organization to accelerate platform innovation, execute Infosec’s go-to-market strategy and deliver customer value.

Monty brings over 25 years of experience leading high-growth software organizations spanning the education, media, healthcare and financial technology industries. Monty joins the organization as a proven technology entrepreneur, founding and growing Madison-based Sonic Foundry, a media software company. Over his 20 years at the organization, Monty led its products, people and business, transforming Sonic Foundry into a billion-dollar media company in the original business model and, later, reinventing the organization into the software company it is today.

Most recently, Monty served as the CTO for Welbi, a healthcare software platform, leading the organization’s product development and deployment strategy to drive growth for the company. Throughout Monty’s career, he has been an active contributor to Madison’s entrepreneur and technology community by mentoring start-ups and serving as an investor and board member for companies such as Gener8tor and TechStars.

Infosec is the only security education provider with role-appropriate training for the entire workforce. Year-to-date, the company has received many awards for its online training platforms, Infosec Skills and Infosec IQ, and announced several strategic industry alliances with organizations like MicrosoftCheck Point Software Technologies and Coursera
 

Canada Life Adds Dialogue’s iCBT To Consult+ For All Plan Members

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

The Canada Life Assurance Company and Dialogue Health Technologies Inc. jointly announce that, effective today, Dialogue’s internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) program will be made available to all Consult+ users across Canada.

Mental health issues are rising in and outside the workplace, making innovative mental health support options highly necessary. According to Statistics Canada, 23 per cent of Canadians with unmet mental health needs prefer to manage their mental health on their own.

iCBT uses similar principles and techniques as in-person cognitive behavioural therapy programs, but is delivered in a structured digital format consisting of educational material and interactive toolkits.

Earlier this year, Dialogue completed the acquisition of ehub Health, a mental health provider and leader in iCBT.

Incorporated in 2016, Dialogue is Canada’s premier virtual healthcare and wellness platform, providing affordable, on-demand access to quality care. Through our team of health professionals, we serve employers and organizations who have an interest in the health and well-being of their employees, members and their families. Our Integrated Health Platform™ is a one-stop healthcare hub that centralizes all of our programs in a single, user-friendly application, providing access to services 24 hours per day, 365 days per year from the convenience of a smartphone, computer or tablet.

Canada Life is a leading insurance, wealth management and benefits provider focused on improving the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians. For more than 170 years, individuals, families and business owners across Canada have trusted us to provide sound guidance and deliver on the promises we’ve made

On January 1, 2020, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life became one company – Canada Life, and today, we proudly serve more than 12 million customer relationships from coast to coast to coast.

Review: Comply Premium Earphone Tips For AirPods Pro

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

I have been using the AirPods Pro for a couple of weeks now, and the number one complaint that I have is that I couldn’t keep them in my ears for more than 30 minutes due to the ear tips being super slippery. And if you guess that it also means that working out with them is also a #fail as well due to sweat, you go to the front of the class. But I have solved that problem via using the Comply Premium Earphone Tips For AirPods Pro. Quite frankly they have transformed the AirPods Pro for me.

I got them in small, medium, and large tips. And if you’re new to Comply Earphone Tips, that’s how you should buy them so that you can figure out what size works for you. In my case, that turned out to be medium. That was interesting because the stock Apple tips that I was using in my follow up were the large ones. They install just like Apple’s own tips. But they fit far better and won’t move in my ears under any situation. Such as listening to music, doing Zoom and Teams calls, and doing workouts. And they are even more comfortable than the Apple supplied tips. That’s a total win for me. Another thing that I noticed is that the Comply Earphone Tips do a much better job of isolating you from outside noise. That makes the noise cancelling work much better, and frankly the music sounded a bit better as well as I could lower the volume a bit which helps to bring out more detail in the music that I used to test these ear tips.

They also give your AirPods Pro a distinctive look. Especially since I have a case on them that matches the color of these ear tips. One thing that I will note is that you might have trouble closing the case with these ear tips on. But if you rotate the tips as they are oval shaped, that problem will go away.

Now, a word about how you buy them. Comply Earphone Tips for AirPods Pro come in a pack of small, medium and large as well as in a pack of three in the size of your choice.. I would buy the former to figure out what size works best for you. Then given that you need to replace them every three months, you can then get a three pack in the size that you determine that works for you. Either way, a set of three is $24.99 USD directly from the company. If you have AirPods Pro and you would like them to fit better in your ears, you need to get these to enhance your experience with your AirPods Pro.

Guest Post: Americans lost a record $3.5bn to cybercrime in 2021 YTD Says Atlas VPN

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

The wave of cybercrime is plowing throughout America with the biggest damages in history.

Atlas VPN extracted data from publicly available government sources and found that US citizens already lost $3.49 billion to cybercrime in the first three quarters of 2021. You don’t need to bring out the calculator – the damages come out to $12.78 million per day. 

Edward Garb, a cybersecurity researcher at Atlas VPN explains the main driving forces behind the surge in cybercrime damages:

Cybercriminals are using the buzz around cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and the metaverse to trick people into investing in bogus projects that disappear after raising a hefty sum of money.”

The data for the analysis is based on reports submitted through the official Federal Trade Commission websites –  IdentityTheft.gov and ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Citizens can get help by receiving personal identity theft recovery plans. 

Regarding monetary damages – the FTC does not resolve the allegations, but it does disseminate the information to over 3,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States for further investigation.

The analysis reveals that cybercrime damages sky-rocketed by 82.91% in 2021 compared to last year. To be exact, people lost $1.58 billion more (yes, billion) this year than they did in the same period in 2020.

These losses are a result of 1.6 million unique fraud and identity theft reports submitted to the Federal Trade Commission websites mentioned previously.  This means that the FTC has to deal with around 5,869 complaints every single day.

Last year, the number of reports stood at 1.09 million after the first three quarters of the year, which is around a third less than in 2021. Back then, they had to go through 3,981 complaints daily.

Most damaging types of cybercrime

To better understand the current cybercrime landscape, we will analyze which crimes caused the most trouble.

We already noted that investment-related crimes are on the rise due to countless projects in the crypto, NFT, and metaverse markets. This year, US citizens lost a staggering $956 million to these types of scams, representing a 277.87% growth YoY.

To read the full article, head over to: https://atlasvpn.com/blog/americans-lost-a-record-3-5bn-to-cybercrime-in-2021-ytd