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InfoSec News Nuggets 09/30/2020

Google to block election ads after Election Day

Google informed its advertisers Friday that it will broadly block election ads after polls close Nov. 3, according to an email obtained by Axios. Why it matters: Big Tech platforms have been under pressure to address how their ad policies will handle conflicts over the presidential election’s outcome. In the email, Google says that advertisers will not be able to run ads “referencing candidates, the election, or its outcome, given that an unprecedented amount of votes will be counted after election day this year.” The policy, which is intended to block all ads related to the election, will apply to all ads running through Google’s ad-serving platforms, including Google Ads, DV360, YouTube, and AdX Authorized Buyer.


Former Facebook manager: “We took a page from Big Tobacco’s playbook”

Speaking to Congress today, the former Facebook manager first tasked with making the company make money did not mince words about his role. He told lawmakers that the company “took a page from Big Tobacco’s playbook, working to make our offering addictive at the outset” and arguing that his former employer has been hugely detrimental to society. Tim Kendall, who served as director of monetization for Facebook from 2006 through 2010, spoke to Congress today as part of a House Commerce subcommittee hearing examining how social media platforms contribute to the mainstreaming of extremist and radicalizing content. “The social media services that I and others have built over the past 15 years have served to tear people apart with alarming speed and intensity,” Kendall said in his opening testimony. “At the very least, we have eroded our collective understanding—at worst, I fear we are pushing ourselves to the brink of a civil war.”


What to do when someone steals your identity

Did someone use your personal information to open up a new mobile account or credit card? Or maybe buy stuff with one of your existing accounts? Or did they file for unemployment or taxes in your name? That’s identity theft. If any of this happened to you, the FTC wants to help you stop the damage and start recovering. Learn more by watching this video. Not sure whether someone has stolen your identity? Check out these clues that someone is using your information. If your information has been compromised, find the next steps to take. But all roads lead to IdentityTheft.gov, so start there to get your recovery plan.


Apple gradually restores multiple services knocked offline

Multiple Apple services suffered a serious outage Tuesday night, with iCloud, the App Store, Apple TV+, Apple Music, and Apple Arcade among those that were knocked offline for several hours. The problems appeared to begin at around 9 p.m. ET. The tech company has yet to say what caused the issue. The latest updates regarding the ongoing disruption can be viewed on Apple’s Status Page. Shortly before midnight on Tuesday, the site suggested that all affected services were operating as usual again. Digital Trends has reached out to Apple for more information on what happened and we will update this article when we hear back.


Phishing awareness training wears off after a few months

Security and phishing awareness programs wear off in time, and employees need to be re-trained after around six months, according to a paper presented at the USENIX SOUPS security conference last month. The purpose of the paper was to analyze the effectiveness of phishing training in time. Taking advantage of the fact that organizations in the German public administration sector must go through mandatory phishing awareness training programs, academics from several German universities surveyed 409 of 2,200 employees of the State Office for Geoinformation and State Survey (SOGSS). Researchers tested the effectiveness of the phishing training over time, with periodic tests at regular intervals, to determine when SOGSS employees would lose their ability to detect phishing emails.


Epic Games, Spotify Form ‘Coalition for App Fairness’ to ‘Fight Back’ Against Apple’s Policies

The tech community is under heat following Apple and Epic Games’ clash over App Store policies. The latest comes in as a range of companies form a coalition called the “Coalition for App Fairness” in order to highlight issues pertaining to developers and Apple. The coalition describes itself as an organization and it has set out a ten-point plan on its website and hopes to see changes accordingly. It describes itself as  “an independent nonprofit organization founded by industry-leading companies to advocate for freedom of choice and fair competition across the app ecosystem.” The coalition is based in Washington D.C. and Brussels, and aims to lead legal and regulatory changes with regards to what it says are three key issues; “anti-competitive policies,” “30 percent app tax,” and “no consumer freedom.”

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