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InfoSec News Nuggets 4/14/2020

Apps collecting data to help stop the virus spread must limit sharing of information, cybersecurity expert says

Apple and Google’s joint initiative to build a platform that helps contain the spread of the coronavirus looks promising, but steps have to be taken to prevent it from invading the privacy of users for the long term, an academic with expertise on science and tech policy told CNBC. The tech giants announced Friday they were working together to provide tools that help track the spread of coronavirus, a process commonly referred to as “contact tracing.” They will do so by allowing app makers to use Bluetooth technology to inform people when they’ve come into contact with an infected individual. Apple said in a press release announcing the partnership that user privacy and security will be central to their efforts. 


Google will show virtual care options more prominently in search results

Google is making changes to search results to make it easier for people to find virtual health care options, the company said in a blog post published today. The changes, which will be rolling out “over the coming week,” appear to make it easier to find telehealth services, which have seen a surge in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health care providers that offer virtual care options will be able to add a link to their virtual care website on their business profile, and that link will appear in both search results and on Google Maps. If a health care provider has a page dedicated to COVID-19-related information, Google says it will automatically surface a link to that page as well.


Sextortion emails and porn scams are back – don’t let them scare you!

We’ve seen a recent surge of concern about sextortion emails over the last few days. A sextortion or porn scam email is where cybercriminals email you out of the blue to claim that they’ve implanted malware on your computer, and have therefore been able to keep tabs on your online activity. The crooks go on to claim that they’ve taken screenshots of you looking at a porn site – along with video recorded from your webcam. They say they’ve put the screenshots and the webcam footage side-by-side to create an embarrassing video that they’re going to send to your friends and family……unless you pay them blackmail money, usually somewhere from $1,500 to $4,000, paid in bitcoins to a BTC address that the crooks provide in the email.


Debunking Myths about Quantum Cryptography

Quantum computing has long captured the imagination of the technology industry, and last year’s news of Google reaching a “quantum supremacy” milestone planted a real stake in the ground. It’s clear that quantum computing will vastly change what we can do with computers. It will bring unprecedented speed and capabilities that will lead to fast scientific and medical advances, better diagnosis of illness, faster production of drugs and improved modelling of climate change forecasts, among many other things that will greatly impact society. It also will break the encryption we use to protect data and computer systems today. Given how much data is stolen from U.S. industry and government, this is a huge problem. 


6GHz Wi-Fi access could boost speeds and generate $183 billion by 2025, study says

Wi-Fi currently sends its signals in the 2.4 and 5GHz bands — but a new FCC proposal seeks to expand unlicensed Wi-Fi use into the much wider 6GHz band. Doing so would open up more than 1,200MHz of new bandwidth for next-gen, Wi-Fi 6E devices, up from a total of 500MHz from the 5GHz band. With room for seven new 160MHz channels — and with no interference from previous-gen devices at all — the 6GHz band could potentially serve as a multilane superhighway for the latest Wi-Fi devices, all of them using Wi-Fi 6, the newest, fastest and most efficient version of Wi-Fi.

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