In our fifth week of working from home and sheltering in place, we’re accepting the new normal by embracing the technologies that keep us connected. While those technologies are sustaining us in these isolating times, they may also present some unique risks.
Using video conferencing software has proven challenging in the security department with Zoombombing and phishing campaigns up by a sizable percentage.
The good news is that there are ways to protect yourself that are easy to implement.
Another piece of exciting news is a joint effort by Google and Apple to help track the spread of the novel coronavirus with the release of an app in less than one month.
In this week’s roundup, we’ll explore the latest news in cybersecurity and changes in the technology landscape during the outbreak.
Password Security Alert as Half a Million Zoom Credentials Up for Sale
If you weren’t already using Zoom before the crisis, chances are, you’ve downloaded it for personal use to see your friends and family from home. It’s critical that you use good password hygiene for any new app or website that requires login, but video conferencing software is especially vulnerable, according to Joseph Carson, the chief security scientist at Thycotic.
Hackers are using stolen passwords retrieved through separate data breaches to attempt to login to Zoom and sell credentials in bulk. This form of hacking is called “password stuffing” or “credentials stuffing.” If you’re concerned about your security, consider entering your email into Have I Been Pwned and/or AmIBreached to find out which passwords need updating. Never use the same password or permutations of the same password across multiple sites to avoid opening the door to a threat like this. Learn more at SC Media UK.
Coronavirus Scrambles Tech’s Ecology
In the new coronavirus era, the world of technology is changing quickly. The major players like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple have the cash stores to weather this storm, and as they’ve become even more vital to each of us during this crisis, they may be able to shake off some of the heat from legislators who’ve wanted to impose antitrust regulations and break them up.
That being said, the vital role they’re playing right now to keep people connected could also mean that regulators will begin treating big tech giants like public utilities.
Smaller and medium-sized companies will survive if their products are vital (or at least useful) in the new isolated, work-from-home present (and medium- to long-term future). Scott Rosenburg of Axios predicts that we’ll start seeing a shakeup among smaller, early-stage companies with investors looking to place their money in longer-term bets.
The new normal means that streaming, video conferencing, and delivery services will thrive while in-person or live services for events or travel (like Uber and Airbnb) will suffer.
Cybersecurity Expert Sees ‘Massive Increase’ in COVID-19 Related Phishing
You’ve likely heard about the recent breaches in Zoom security, in which hackers were Zoombombing large meetings like school classrooms and corporate calls. Zoom has responded by adding password requirements to join private meetings and adding waiting rooms for those wanting to join. But this precaution hasn’t stopped the massive onslaught of phishing attacks on individuals and businesses that the move to work-from-home (WFH) has prompted.
David Kennedy, a cybersecurity consultant, reports a 500% increase in attacks related to WFH individuals with a 2,000% increase in phishing campaigns. (!!) Rob Wainright, Senior Partner at Deloitte cyber and financial crime, reports that some phishing hackers are posing as medical websites with helpful software to predate on vulnerable populations worried about coronavirus. A best practice for reducing phishing vulnerability is to require multi-factor authentication wherever possible as you use apps and the web. Listen to the full story at CNN Business.
Apple and Google Building Coronavirus Tracking Tech for iOS and Android, Coming in May
The two tech giants (and major competitors) have joined forces to create contact tracing software for both iOS and Android phones, an app projected to hit the app stores in May. Contact tracing software tracks whom you’ve come into contact with, and if those individuals report having the coronavirus or related symptoms, and alerts you so that you can take proper precautions (like staying home to slow the spread).
As these two operating systems make up nearly every smartphone on the market, company leaders believe that by joining forces to create an app that communicates seamlessly across both OS’s, they’ll cover nearly every smartphone user in the world.
First, the software will come in the form of an app, then both companies have agreed to include the software in an OS update to help users preserve battery life.
Both companies recognize the potential privacy issues and have baked in consent and transparency to ease the minds of consumers. They’ve also committed to shutting down the tool once the crisis has ended. Civil rights groups have expressed privacy concerns, but both companies are taking measures to ensure that individual privacy isn’t disrupted. Get more information on this story at CNet.
Read the last Weekly News Roundup.