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InfoSec News Nuggets 10/16/2020

World’s fastest AI supercomputer is coming to Italy

Nvidia today announced that its accelerated computing platform will be used to build the world’s fastest AI supercomputer. The new system — called Leonardo — is being constructed by French IT firm Atos for Italian inter-university consortium Cineca. It’s expected to deliver 10 exaflops of FP16 AI performance, which will be harnessed by Cineca researchers to simulate planetary forces behind climate change and molecular movements inside a coronavirus molecule. Nvidia said its computing platform will accelerate the high-performance workloads while combining extremely high throughput and low power consumption. “We’re working with Cineac and Atos to accelerate scientific discovery across a broad range of application domains, providing a platform to usher in the era of exascale computing,” said Marc Hamilton, Nvidia’s VP of solutions architecture and engineering.


Twitter outage blocks users from tweeting, seeing notifications

Twitter is experiencing a worldwide service disruption preventing users from both sending tweets using Tweetdeck, the social network’s apps, and website, or from seeing their notifications. Twitter is currently investigating the issue leading to broken notifications and “Nothing to see here — yet” messages, as reported by countless users starting about an hour ago. When trying to tweet, users are currently seeing “Tweet failed: Twitter is temporarily over capacity. Please try again later” and “Something went wrong, but don’t fret — let’s give it another shot” errors. “We know people are having trouble Tweeting and using Twitter,” Twitter says on its status page. “We’re working to fix this issue as quickly as possible.” Twitter also says that there is no evidence that this outage is caused by a hack or a security breach.


Joker’s Stash claims 3 million cards stolen from Dickey’s Barbecue

Joker’s Stash, one of the most notorious web forums for stolen credit card data, has claimed a new scalp. Sellers on the site this week claimed to be offering 3 million payment card numbers used at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, a U.S. fast-food chain, researchers at intelligence firm Gemini Advisory said Thursday. More than 100 of the barbecue joint’s locations were affected by the breach, and the data is being sold for a median price of $17 per card, according to the research. The data from Dickey’s Barbecue Pit customers appears to have been compromised between July 2019 and August 2020, according to Gemini Advisory. Numerous restaurant and hospitality chains have been hit by scammers in recent years because of the personal financial data they collect.


These US Rural Areas Have the Highest (and Lowest) Internet Speeds

Thinking about moving to the country but need speedy your internet? There are some areas you might want to consider before others. SatelliteInternet.com published a report based on more than 1 million internet speed tests in rural cities: communities with populations of less than 10,000 people that are at least an hour away from the nearest major city. We covered the cities in rural areas with the fastest and slowest average internet speeds earlier this year, but things have changed in ten months. For one, the national average for all rural speed tests increased from 39.01Mbps to 45.9Mbps, which is encouraging. The rural area with the fastest average internet speed changed from Hampton, GA to Boardman, OR.  The rural areas that top the list are located near geographical features, such as mountains, lakes, and rivers. Keep in mind that the recommended internet speed is at least 25 Mbps. 


‘There’s a whole war going on’: the film tracing a decade of cyber-attacks

The Perfect Weapon, like Sanger’s book of the same name, traces in succinct, clinical style the Pandora’s box of chaos-sowing, digital tits for tats in the wake of the Stuxnet reveal, from hacks that garnered enormous and arguably outsized media attention – the leak of Democratic National Committee emails in the run-up to the 2016 election by Russian hackers, the 2014 Sony hack and its flurry of gossipy work emails – and lesser-known but still critical developments in what is essentially a multinational, virtual cold war. “There’s a whole war going on right underneath our noses that is state-sponsored,” John Maggio, the film’s director, told the Guardian. “The actual act may be carried out by ‘criminals’, but they’re sponsored by states – by Iran, by North Korea, by China, by Russia, and by America against their adversaries.”


Iran-Linked ‘Silent Librarian’ Back at Phishing Universities

Also tracked as TA407 and COBALT DICKENS, the adversary was previously observed launching similar attacks for two years in a row. In 2018, the group set up fake login pages for 76 universities. In 2019, Silent Librarian targeted more than 60 universities in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Switzerland, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Observed in mid-September, the new round of attacks revealed that the threat actor is expanding its target list to include more countries. One of the victims is the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, cybersecurity researcher Peter Kruse says. Silent Librarian, Malwarebytes’ security researchers reveal, has sent spear-phishing emails to both staff and students at the targeted universities, and the threat actor was observed setting up new infrastructure to counter efforts to take down its domains. “Considering that Iran is dealing with constant sanctions, it strives to keep up with world developments in various fields, including that of technology. As such, these attacks represent a national interest and are well funded,” Malwarebytes says.

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