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InfoSec News Nuggets 4/28/2020

Microsoft Word now flags double spaces as errors, ending the great space debate

Microsoft has settled the great space debate, and sided with everyone who believes one space after a period is correct, not two. The software giant has started to update Microsoft Word to highlight two spaces after a period (a full stop for you Brits) as an error, and to offer a correction to one space. Microsoft recently started testing this change with the desktop version of Word, offering suggestions through the Editor capabilities of the app. If you’re still (strangely) on the two-spacer side, you will be able to ignore the suggestion. The Editor feature in Word allows users to ignore the suggestion once, make the change to one space, or turn off the writing-style suggestion. We understand Microsoft has been testing the feature change recently and it will roll out to everyone using the desktop version of Word soon. Feedback to the change has been overwhelmingly positive.


RIPE opposes China’s internet protocols upgrade plan

EU-based Internet governance body RIPE is opposing a proposal to remodel core internet protocols, a proposal backed by the Chinese government, Chinese telecoms, and Chinese networking equipment vendor Huawei. Named “New IP,” this proposal consists of a revamped version of the TCP/IP standards to accommodate new technologies, a “shutoff protocol” to cut off misbehaving parts of the internet, and a new “top-to-bottom” governance model that centralizes the internet and puts it into the hands of a few crucial node operators.


Phishing uses lay-off Zoom meeting alerts to steal credentials

Zoom users are targeted by a new phishing campaign that uses fake Zoom meeting notifications to threaten those who work in corporate environments that their contracts will either be suspended or terminated. So far this series of phishing attacks that spoof automated Zoom meeting alerts has landed in the mailboxes of over 50,000 targets according to researchers as email security company Abnormal Security. Potential victims are more willing to trust such emails during this time given that a lot of employees are now working from home and take part in daily online meetings through video conferencing platforms like Zoom because of stay-at-home orders and lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Muscle sensors may let you control a drone by clenching your fist

There might be a more intuitive way to control robots and drones than waggling joysticks or tapping at a screen. MIT CSAIL researchers have developed a control method, Conduct-A-Bot, that uses muscle sensors and motion detection for more ‘natural’ robot control. Algorithms detect gestures using both your movement as well as the activity in your biceps, forearms and triceps. You can wave your hand, clench your fist or even tense your arm to steer the bot. The system doesn’t need environmental cues, offline calibration or per-person training. You could just start using it, in other words.


Phishing spoofs US Federal Reserve to steal online bank accounts

Scammers have been sending out emails that impersonate the U.S. Federal Reserve and lure recipients with financial relief options through the Payment Protection Program. This phishing theme is becoming common these days as the U.S. government is offering funding options to citizens and businesses to overcome the problems created by the new coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic put tens of millions of Americans in a rough financial spot and cybercriminals are now taking advantage of the situation in an attempt to drain their bank accounts.

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