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InfoSec News Nuggets 10/19/2020

Minneapolis Will Consider Facial Recognition Ban

A Minneapolis City Council member filed a motion that could result in a citywide ban on law enforcement use of facial recognition technology. If successful, the motion, which was filed on October 2 and will be officially introduced Friday, could signal a wave of reforms over the use of military and surveillance equipment following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. As calls to defund and disband police forces reverberate across the United States, a coalition has formed in Minnesota to reign in intrusive surveillance technology and establish democratic controls over policing. The POSTME coalition, which stands for Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology and Military Equipment, lobbied for a ban on the use of facial recognition by police in Minneapolis, among other reforms.


Massive New Phishing Campaigns Target Microsoft, Google Cloud Users

Researchers are warning of a series of massive phishing campaigns underway that are taking special aim at public cloud users. The campaigns are targeting accounts on Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s Gmail with tactics designed to provide a false sense of security or prey on curiosity about current events. Researchers at Greathorn point to a campaign using open redirectors to take victims to fraudulent Office 365 login pages where credentials are stolen and loaders installed. At the same time, Toolbox reports that Menlo Security researchers say a campaign is using multiple CAPTCHA images to convince victims, primarily in the hospitality industry, to give up their credentials and personal information.


NASA taps Nokia to bring LTE to the Moon

When NASA returns to the Moon sometime in 2024, it wants to have an efficient and reliable way for its astronauts to communicate with one another, and it’s turning to mobile pioneer Nokia for help. This week, the space agency said it will provide Nokia with 14.1 million in funding to build out a 4G LTE cellular network on the lunar surface. NASA Associate Administrator James Reuter told United Press International cellular service on the Moon could enable communication between lunar habitats and the astronauts out exploring its surface. It could also provide a way for the agency to communicate with spacecraft. “With NASA funding, Nokia will look at how terrestrial technology could be modified for the lunar environment to support reliable, high-rate communications,” he said. The contract is part of $370 million in new Artemis funding NASA announced this week. Much of the money went to companies like SpaceX and United Launch Alliance. 


FAA seeks 4 airports to test drone detection and mitigation technology

The Federal Aviation Administration wants to test drone detection and mitigation technology at four airports prior to permitting its broader use, according to a new solicitation. FAA plans to try out at least 10 technologies and systems for dealing with errant and hostile unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), which threaten the safety of airplanes and their passengers, for up to 24 months beginning in early 2021. The tests will represent the arrival of the new Airport UAS Detection and Mitigation Program, fulfilling a requirement of the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act that the agency work with the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security to ensure the technology doesn’t interfere with airport operations.


Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 is out: $25 with a new form factor and new connectors

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has unveiled the new Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, a stripped-down Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, which is available today from $25. This latest Raspberry Pi module for deeply embedded applications succeeds the Compute Module 3 and 3+ from 2017 and 2019, respectively. The Compute Module 4 features the same 64-bit 1.5GHz quad-core BCM2711 processor as the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, and offers key improvements over its compute module predecessors, including faster CPU cores, better multimedia, more interfacing capabilities, a range of RAM densities and a wireless connectivity option. It’s available with 1GB, 2GB, 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM with optional storage of 8GB, 16GB or 32GB eMMC Flash. The wireless option includes 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11b/g/n/ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth 5.0. There’s also Gigabit Ethernet. 


Why IBM believes Confidential Computing is the future of cloud security

More than a decade into the cloud computing era, the most pressing demand for migrating data and applications has largely been met. To convince companies to put even more core functions and sensitive data in the cloud, a wide range of companies are pushing for a new standard that would guarantee more profound levels of security and privacy. Dubbed “Confidential Computing,” this standard moves past policy-based privacy and security to implement safeguards on a deeper technical level. By using encryption that can only be unlocked via keys the client holds, Confidential Computing ensures companies hosting data and applications in the cloud have no way to access underlying data, whether it is stored in a database or passing through an application.

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