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InfoSec News Nuggets 5/11/2020

South Dakota’s Official Coronavirus App Shows Limits of Contact Tracing Tech

One of the first official contact tracing apps from U.S. state Departments of Health doesn’t reliably record location data, which it is supposed to do in order to help state governments monitor coronavirus infections and warn other residents if they may have been exposed to the virus. This is not to say that app is not working as intended, but the news shows the potential limitations of contact tracing apps that are supposed to help track and contain the spread of coronavirus. The news comes after Motherboard found that another app from the United Nations didn’t even function correctly at all.

 

Unemployed Americans offered ‘remote jobs’ as money mules

Cybercriminals are exploiting the increasing number of layoffs during the current pandemic to recruit new money mules which can later be used to help them launder money gained from illicit activities. Some phishing messages discovered by PhishLabs researchers are trying to convince targets from Canada and the United States who might have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 outbreak to start working from home, promising them $5,000 per month. The potential victims are not provided with any other info regarding what the remote jobs require but are instead asked to request more info via email.

 

Clearview AI Has Promised To Cancel All Relationships With Private Companies

Clearview AI — the controversial face-tracking company known for scraping more than 3 billion photos from social media sites including Facebook and Twitter — said it is ending its relationships with non–law enforcement entities and private companies amid regulatory scrutiny and several potential class action lawsuits. Responding to one of those lawsuits, Clearview claimed in legal documents filed in an Illinois federal court on Wednesday that it was taking those voluntary actions and would “avoid transacting with non-governmental customers anywhere.” 

 

Niantic CEO’s public service message: Take a walk

Niantic CEO John Hanke has a reputation for being purposeful with his work in games like Pokemon Go, like getting people to go outside to visit monuments. And so it’s no surprise that, during the midst of the pandemic, is that he wants people to take a walk. In a blog post, Hanke said that while we’re debating much about the proper response to the pandemic, no one is disputing the fact that walks are good for us. “But the walk, the solo walk, or the stroll with our quarantine partners, that is a pleasure we should indulge,” Hanke said. “Social distancing observed, mask worn if needed, definitely.”

 

Microsoft’s Outlook on the web is getting a Gmail-like text prediction feature

Microsoft is working on a new text prediction feature for Outlook that’s similar to Gmail’s Smart Compose. The text predictions will allow Outlook.com and Outlook on the web to write emails for people using predictive tech that offers up suggestions while you type. A support document reveals that Outlook users will be able to accept suggestions with tab or right arrow on a keyboard, or just keep typing to ignore them. Microsoft is currently planning to roll this out later this month, and it’s marked as “in development” on the company’s Microsoft 365 feature roadmap. Microsoft is also working on a “send later” feature for Outlook on the web that will allow users to schedule when to send an email message. That’s particularly useful if you wake up from a deep sleep at 5AM and remember you need to email your boss, but don’t want it to look like you’re eagerly sending emails at early hours of the morning. Microsoft says the send later feature should arrive before the end of June, and text predictions will appear in May.

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