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InfoSec News Nuggets 4/2/2020

How to Protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) from Search Engines

In today’s internet age we take our privacy for granted. We sign up for many services which are “free.” We participate in giveaways and generally give out information about ourselves all the time to websites that might not be very reputable and hardly anyone reads their privacy policy or terms of service. In many cases, those “free” websites sell our data to data brokers. They in turn sell access to our information to anyone who wants to find us, under the pretense that you can find your long lost friend or family. But this information can also be used by criminals and anyone who would want to harass you or stalk you.


Have you backed up your smartphone lately?

In your pocket, you carry a supercomputer that outperforms all the tech that landed Aldrin and Armstrong on the moon. Although you may have heard this claim before, it probably never really resonated with you. Now, if we rephrase that to “you carry a device in your pocket that stores almost every aspect of your life, from memories in the form of photographs to personal notes, reminders, passwords and all kinds of sensitive data”, suddenly it feels a bit more personal. What if your phone gets locked up by a ransomware attack, stolen, bricked or even destroyed? Would you lose everything on it, or do you back it up regularly? If you don’t back up your phone regularly, then you should start right now. And since we are celebrating World Backup Day today, we’re going to walk you through the ways to do it on both iOS and Android-powered devices.


Could Work-From-Home Staff be Violating Privacy Laws During Conference Calls?

With the recent, rapid movement from in-person meetings at the office to phone conferences and videoconferences at home, employees suddenly have found themselves in new territory. If you are lucky enough to be able to do your job from home right now, you should be aware of a few key things. First, if your role requires you to maintain confidentially about sensitive information, having calls with your spouse or nanny nearby can violate that. While generally those individuals are not likely to leak such information, technically you should be having confidential conversations in a private room. This is particularly the case for people who work in healthcare and may be discussing protected health information (PHI) and for attorneys whose jobs require confidentiality.


Two Exabeam employees at RSA conference who tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering

The two Exabeam employees who were diagnosed with coronavirus after attending the RSA tech conference, which ran from Feb. 24-28 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, are on the road to recovery.  Chris Tillett, senior security engineer at Exabeam, is on the road to recovery and making positive strides every day, and so is the other affected employee, but no further details can be shared about that person, according to an Exabeam spokesperson. Exabeam is based in Foster City, Calif.


Comcast says voice and video calls have skyrocketed 212 percent during widespread self-isolation

Voice and video calls have more than tripled on Comcast’s network over the past month since people across the US started working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a blog post this afternoon, Comcast said traffic for that category is up 212 percent in total, with overall peak traffic on its network up by 32 percent. In some cities, like San Francisco and Seattle, Comcast says peak traffic is up closer to 60 percent. The numbers quantify a trend that’s been plainly obvious to anyone working or going to school from home in recent weeks. Video chats — particularly over Zoom — have become a regular occurrence, as offices and universities look for new ways to hold meetings and classes. Yoga, parties, and dates are all happening over Zoom right now.


No proof of a Houseparty breach, but its privacy policy is still gatecrashing your data

The group video chat app, interspersed with games and other bells and whistles, raises it above the more mundane Zooms and Hangouts (fun only in their names, otherwise pretty serious tools used by companies, schools and others who just need to work) when it comes to creating engaged leisure time, amid a climate where all of them are seeing a huge surge in growth. All that looked like it could possibly fall apart for Houseparty  and its new owner Epic Games when a series of reports appeared Monday claiming Houseparty was breached, and that malicious hackers were using users’ data to access their accounts on other apps such as Spotify and Netflix.

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