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InfoSec News Nuggets 05/04/2021

1 – Ford’s Ever-Smarter Robots Are Speeding Up the Assembly Line

IN 1913, HENRY Ford revolutionized car-making with the first moving assembly line, an innovation that made piecing together new vehicles faster and more efficient. Some hundred years later, Ford is now using artificial intelligence to eke more speed out of today’s manufacturing lines. At a Ford Transmission Plant in Livonia, Michigan, the station where robots help assemble torque converters now includes a system that uses AI to learn from previous attempts how to wiggle the pieces into place most efficiently. Inside a large safety cage, robot arms wheel around grasping circular pieces of metal, each about the diameter of a dinner plate, from a conveyor and slot them together. Ford uses technology from a startup called Symbio Robotics that looks at the past few hundred attempts to determine which approaches and motions appeared to work best. A computer sitting just outside the cage shows Symbio’s technology sensing and controlling the arms. Toyota and Nissan are using the same tech to improve the efficiency of their production lines.


2 – Deepfake Attacks Are About to Surge, Experts Warn

A drastic uptick in deepfake technology and service offerings across the Dark Web is the first sign a new wave of fraud is just about to crash in, according to a new report from Recorded Future, which ominously predicted that deepfakes are on the rise among threat actors with an enormous range of goals and interests. “Within the next few years, both criminal and nation-state threat actors involved in disinformation and influence operations will likely gravitate towards deepfakes, as online media consumption shifts more into ‘seeing is believing’ and the bet that a proportion of the online community will continue to be susceptible to false or misleading information,” the Recorded Future report said.


3 – Don’t Buy Into Facebook’s Ad-Tracking Pressure on iOS 14.5

LAST WEEK, APPLE released iOS 14.5, and with it a new feature that sent online advertisers scrambling: For the first time, users can tell apps not to track their activity across different sites and services. In an attempt to dissuade them from doing so, the Facebook and Instagram iOS apps are admonishing users that tracking helps keep those platforms “free of charge.” This is technically true; Facebook is an advertising company that profits from showing ads that its users are more likely to click. But the iOS 14.5 notice also frames the issue in a way that implies Facebook can’t make money if it foregoes this kind of tracking, or worse, that Apple’s App Tracking Transparency update may force the social network to start charging its users a fee. So it’s worth being absolutely clear: Neither of those is the case. It’s not that Apple’s anti-tracking measures won’t take a bite out of Facebook’s profits. The proof is in the pushback; the platform has mounted a sustained campaign against the measures, including a series of full-page ads in major newspapers in December. (Facebook isn’t alone here; advertising companies and their adjuncts have broadly decried the update, and a marketing coalition in Germany has filed an antitrust complaint against Apple.)


4 – How to See Who’s Using Your Streaming Passwords

Siblings, parents, partners, friends, colleagues—chances are you’ve shared at least one or two passwords to your streaming service accounts over the years, which is perfectly understandable. These acts of digital generosity can quickly add up, though, and before you know it there too many people on your Netflix account and you’re getting the dreaded “too many simultaneous streams” message. So if the time has come for the password sharing to stop, either because those folks have drifted out of your life, or because you’re getting warnings from your streaming service provider, or for the simple reason that it’s bad practice from a security standpoint to let multiple people access your accounts whenever they want, we’ll walk you through the process. Booting unwanted users from your accounts isn’t particularly difficult, and you also have the option to change your passwords on those services to keep anyone from getting back in.


5 – Roblox accused of putting 100 million players at risk of data theft

Researchers have claimed that popular online game Roblox suffers from a series of security vulnerabilities that could have compromised the data of more than 100 million players, many of whom are children. According to a report from CyberNews, Roblox is guilty of a number of “glaring” lapses in security, specifically relating to the Android application. However, Roblox has denied the claims, stating that the research was based on inactive code and that the vulnerabilities weren’t serious at all. A Roblox spokesperson told TechRadar Pro: “We take all reports seriously, and immediately investigated when first approached by the researcher in March. Our investigation determined there is no correlation between these claims and real risk to users’ data privacy.”

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