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InfoSec News Nuggets 05/04/2023

Apple and Google Join Forces to Stop Unauthorized Tracking Alert System 

Apple and Google have teamed up to work on a draft industry-wide specification that’s designed to tackle safety risks and alert users when they are being tracked without their knowledge or permission using devices like AirTags. “The first-of-its-kind specification will allow Bluetooth location-tracking devices to be compatible with unauthorized tracking detection and alerts across Android and iOS platforms,” the companies said in a joint statement. While these trackers are primarily designed to keep tabs on personal belongings like keys, wallets, luggage, and other items, such devices have also been abused by bad actors for criminal or nefarious purposes, including instances of stalking, harassment, and theft. 


Chegg shares drop more than 40% after company says ChatGPT is killing its business 

Chegg shares tumbled after the online education company said ChatGPT is hurting its growth. “In the first part of the year, we saw no noticeable impact from ChatGPT on our new account growth and we were meeting expectations on new sign-ups,” CEO Dan Rosensweig said during the earnings call Monday evening. “However, since March we saw a significant spike in student interest in ChatGPT. We now believe it’s having an impact on our new customer growth rate.” 


Artificial Intelligence: What to Know 

The concept of AI is not new. Originally covered in science fiction novels, AI is something that has been in development for decades. The reason you are hearing so much about it now is that for the first time, anyone has the opportunity to interact with and see the true functionality of AI. ChatGPT, an online-powered AI chat bot, is one of the first publicly available solutions that is able to respond like a real human, passing something called the Turing Test. This test determines a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior by having a real human interact with the machine through a text- based chat channel. If the human could not tell whether they were interacting with a machine or person, the machine is said to have passed the test. AI solutions today are the first publicly available that do just that. 


City of Dallas hit by ransomware attack impacting IT services 

The City of Dallas, Texas, has suffered a ransomware attack, causing it to shut down some of its IT systems to prevent the attack’s spread. Dallas is the ninth largest city in the United States, with a population of approximately 2.6 million people, according to US census dataLocal media reported that the City’s police communications and IT systems were shut down Monday morning due to a suspected ransomware attack. 


Court Rules in Favor of Merck in $1.4 Billion Insurance Claim Over NotPetya Cyberattack 

The Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division has ruled in favor of Merck in its $1.4 billion claim against the insurance industry for denying payment for damages caused by the 2017 NotPetya cyberattack. Merck did not have separate cyber insurance, and instead relied on the ‘all risks’ element of its property insurance. According to Merck, within ninety seconds of the initial NotPetya infection, roughly 10,000 machines in its global network were infected by the malware, and over 40,000 machines were ultimately infected across the company globally. The insurers claimed that the property insurance was subject to a war exclusion clause, and the “exclusion is clear and unambiguous, and it plainly applies to the NotPetya attack.”  


Promising Jobs at the U.S. Postal Service, ‘US Job Services’ Leaks Customer Data 

A sprawling online company based in Georgia that has made tens of millions of dollars purporting to sell access to jobs at the United States Postal Service (USPS) has exposed its internal IT operations and database of nearly 900,000 customers. The leaked records indicate the network’s chief technology officer in Pakistan has been hacked for the past year, and that the entire operation was created by the principals of a Tennessee-based telemarketing firm that has promoted USPS employment websites since 2016. 

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