Archive for January 13, 2023

The LCBO Has Been Pwned…. Data Stolen By Hackers

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 13, 2023 by itnerd

The Liquor Control Board Of Ontario or LCBO for short is a provincial crown corporation that distributes and sells alcohol in the Province of Ontario. And it put out a statement saying that its website and mobile app were taken offline due to a “cybersecurity incident” on Tuesday:

LCBO has experienced a cybersecurity incident, affecting online sales through Immediate steps were taken to contain the issue, including disabling customer access to both and our mobile app while we engaged with third-party experts to conduct a forensics investigation.  

At this time, we can confirm that an unauthorized party embedded malicious code into our website that was designed to obtain customer information during the checkout process. Unfortunately, customers who provided personal information on our check-out pages and proceeded to our payment page on between January 5, 2023, and January 10, 2023, may have had their information compromised. This could include names, email and mailing addresses, Aeroplan numbers, account password, and credit card information. This incident did not affect any orders placed through our mobile app or 

We are continuing our investigation into the incident to identify the specific customers impacted so that we can communicate with them directly. Out of an abundance of caution, we recommend all customers who initiated or completed payment for orders on during this window monitor their credit card statements and report any suspicious transactions to their credit card providers.

With a thorough review and testing of the website complete, including enhanced security and monitoring measures in place, and our mobile app have been restored and are fully operational. We have also reset all account passwords. Registered customers will be prompted to reset their password on login. 

Wow. This is not trivial. This is actually the absolute worst possible case scenario that could happen. Seeing as this is a crown corporation, meaning it’s run by the Provincial Government, I would hope that there is a full investigation and detailing of how this could have happened and what steps are being taken to not only stop this from happening again, but what its doing to protect those who were affected by this. If you’re an LCBO customer, that should be the least that you should expect from them.

Windows Defender Update Deletes All Start Menu And Desktop Shortcuts…. Yikes

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 13, 2023 by itnerd

Happy Friday The 13th. Unless you are running Microsoft Windows because an update to Windows Defender is apparently making the rounds and has some catastrophic effects. Specifically Windows users and system administrators worldwide are complaining that application shortcuts have disappeared from Start menus, desktops, and taskbars. You can read more on places like Reddit for example.

The problem appears to be related to a malfunctioning attack surface reduction (ASR) rule issued with Windows Defender security intelligence update 1.381.2140.0.

For what it’s worth, Microsoft has acknowledged the issue:

The good news is that regular Windows users and consumers aren’t affected by this bug. The bad news is that it will only affect managed machines inside organizations. Which is still hundreds or thousands or even millions of machines inside big businesses that rely on Microsoft’s threat detection security. Thus this is not a trivial issue and it will be interesting to see how Microsoft addresses this.

People Using Third Party Apps Can’t Log Into Twitter At The Moment

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 13, 2023 by itnerd

If you are using a third party Twitter client, chances are you can’t use Twitter right now.

9to5Google reports that the errors are happening on all third-party Twitter clients. Confirmed by this guy:

I agree that Musk would be signing the death warrant for Twitter if its option number two. We’ll just have to watch and see what the deal is.

Tim Cook Takes Massive Pay Cut…. That’s Not Good News

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 13, 2023 by itnerd

The news is out that Tim Cook who is the CEO of Apple is going to be taking a massive pay cut. How massive. According to the company’s proxy statement, Cook earned just under $100 million. But according to Bloomberg, he’ll be taking a roughly 40% pay cut this year based on “balanced shareholder feedback, Apple’s exceptional performance and a recommendation from Mr. Cook”.

That’s not good news.

The thing is that this might be a hint of things to come when Apple announces their earnings for the September to December quarter, which typically is the time of year that they print money. Given that they had huge issues with getting iPhones out the door during that quarter, and the global economy is not in a good place, Apple and Cook may be getting ahead of what is likely to be a bad earnings release. Or even worse, layoff announcements. Imagine if Apple laid off a ton of people and Cook was still making $100 million a year. The optics of that would suck. And keep in mind that Apple has suffered from bad optics over riots in their Chinese iPhone factories. So this company is likely hyper sensitive to how its being perceived at the moment.

While I am not a financial analyst, I’m going to suggest that you might want to buckle up as this is going to be a bumpy ride.

Tesla Has Just Become Another Car Company As Prices In The US For Their Cars Are Slashed

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 13, 2023 by itnerd

Tesla for years has tried to position itself as not like every other car company out there. But that’s clearly changing as news has come out that prices for many of their cars have been slashed:

This follows similar price cuts in China. The question is why are they doing this? I think the answer has many aspects to it:

  • Inventory: Tesla is likely sitting on a lot of inventory. They didn’t ship as many cars in 2022 as they had hoped. Thus they need to get rid of those cars. And fast.
  • A Slowing Economy: People are less likely to splash out the cash to by a big ticket item when the economy is slowing. Thus Tesla needs to give people an incentive to buy now rather than wait and see if the economy improves. Especially since this pricing change makes some of their cars eligible for tax credits which might make someone spring for a Tesla.
  • Elon Musk: The behaviour of Elon Musk has to be a factor here as there were stories of people cancelling their orders of Tesla vehicles because of the stuff he’s said and done over the last few months. That has to have cost Tesla a number of sales.
  • Competition: Tesla is no longer the only game in town when it comes to EV’s. GM, Audi, VW, Hyundai, Kia to name a few companies are all in this game. Which means that EV shoppers have options and Tesla won’t come out on top by default.

In short, Tesla has just become a car company who has to cut prices and offer incentives to get people to buy. And that’s a habit that’s hard to kick if you’re a car company because consumers just get used to incentives on new cars. Which is why I don’t know if they can get past this. I’m personally thinking that Tesla is in deep trouble here, and these price cuts are just the tip of the iceberg as they really don’t have a whole lot of cards that they can play here. But as always, I am free to be proven wrong.