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InfoSec News Nuggets 12/03/2020

5G rollout faster than expected; will reach a billion people this year

The super-fast technology reached more customers this year than expected and will cover about 60% of the global population by 2026, according to a new report from Ericsson. That makes 5G the fastest deployed mobile network ever, the Swedish networking giant said. By the end of this year, there will be 218 million 5G subscriptions around the world, up from Ericsson’s forecast in June for 190 million — which itself was an increase from an earlier estimate. “5G coverage will be built out to the extent that 1 billion people will live in 5G coverage areas by the end of 2020 worldwide,” Patrick Cerwall, head of strategic marketing insights at Ericsson, said in an interview ahead of the release of the company’s biannual mobility report. “That’s around 15% of the world’s population.” By 2026, that will soar to 3.5 billion 5G subscriptions. In June, Ericsson estimated there would be 2.8 billion 5G subscriptions by 2025. 

 

Dox, steal, reveal. Where does your personal data end up?

One of the most affected areas in this regard is communication and sharing of information, especially personal. Posting something on the internet is not like speaking to a select club of like-minded tech enthusiasts anymore — it is more akin to shouting on a crowded square. This gives rise to many unique threats, from cyberbullying and simple financial scams to spear phishing and social engineering attacks on business executives and government officials. And while awareness of privacy issues is increasing, much of the general public still only have a basic understanding of why privacy matters. Unfortunately, even if we take good care of how and with whom we share our personal data, we are not immune from being doxed. The abusers may be motivated enough to go beyond gathering data available in the public domain and turn to the black market in the hope of finding personal information that will do real harm, for instance, gaining access to social media accounts. In this report, we will dig deeper into two major consequences of (willing and unwilling) sharing personal data in public — doxing (the public de-anonymization of a person online) and the selling of personal data on the dark web — and try to untangle the connection between the two. We’ll’ also look at how these phenomena affect our lives and what challenges these conditions present to users.

 

This zero-click iOS exploit could let hackers hijack your iPhone

A Google Project Zero researcher has discovered an iOS exploit that allows a threat actor to remotely take over an individual’s iPhone. The vulnerability, which has now been patched, put sensitive corporate information stored on business smartphones at risk, as well as a substantial amount of personal data too. The vulnerability enabled hackers to remotely take control of some iPhone and other iOS devices, allowing them to read messages, view images – essentially, monitor everything taking place – as long as the device was in relatively close proximity. Apple security updates released earlier this year have now patched the vulnerability in question and users of most recent iOS releases will be protected.

 

US alert urges think tanks to be on guard for foreign hacking activity

Think tanks should be on high alert for nation-state hacking attempts in the coming days, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned in a joint report issued Tuesday. The alert, which comes just as President-Elect Joe Biden carves out his national security team — many of whom are currently employed at prominent non-governmental organizations and think tanks in D.C. — notes that foreign state-linked hacking groups are primarily going after think tank employees that focus on national security and foreign policy. “Given the importance that think tanks can have in shaping U.S. policy, CISA and FBI urge individuals and organizations in the international affairs and national security sectors to immediately adopt a heightened state of awareness and implement the critical steps listed in the Mitigations section of this Advisory,” the bulletin states.

 

AWS has just shown its new hybrid cloud ambitions make it an even broader threat

Amazon Web Services poured out a deluge of news yesterday, but the most significant announcement could be an unusual and, I think, very significant hybrid cloud play with a set of new appliances. One is called the AWS Panorama Appliance and is a sealed box that ingests video from cameras that don’t have analytical capabilities in their supporting storage or compute infrastructure. The Panorama Appliance can run machine vision models so that operators of those old, dumb, video rigs can start to use machine learning to analyse their video streams. As AWS puts it, the device “can run computer vision models on multiple camera streams in parallel, making possible use cases like quality control, part identification, and workplace safety.” The box can run models developed with AWS’ own SageMaker ML toolkit or third-party models.

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