This Week in Tech News

"Vishing" is the latest online scam to steal your company login information

VISHING

Episode 1721

Much like phishing and spear-phishing, VISHING is the latest online scam designed to steal your logins. Only VISHING uses voicemail to do it, according to the FBI and the Cyber Security Agency (CISA). They are targeted attacks on employees of corporations using voicemail to get users working at home to call back and then use social engineering to steal VPN credentials. Check out Brian Krebs' article here.

Microsoft Surprises with New Tablet-like Announcement

Duo

Episode 1719

Microsoft surprised everyone this week with the announcement of a two-screen mobile device, that Leo describes the Surface DUO as a kind of folding notebook you'd get at a bookstore. Like a pocket-sized portfolio or Moleskine. It has two 6" screens that when unfolded creates an 8" diagonal tablet running Android. The screens can work in concert or independently for multi-tasking.  Leo stresses that Microsoft insists the DUO is NOT a phone, but an internet-enabled device that can also make phone calls.

RIP Frances Allen

Frances Allen

Episode 1718

You may not know her name, but Frances Allen passed away this week. She is responsible for the software used to compile computer code and optimize it into programming. A legend in the computer community. After retiring, she turned her attention towards enabling young girls to see careers in math, science, and computing. 

TikTok to be Banned From Revenue in US Starting September

Tik Tok

Episode 1717

TikTok will be banned on September 20th in the United States, according to the White House. Leo says that technically, the ban is only on money that is transferred out of the US to China, including ad revenue.  The President has also given Microsoft the OK to buy TikTok and they have until Sept 20 to get a deal done. Not only that, but Trump wants the US to receive a cut of the deal if it happens. 

Leo Uses TikTok

TikTok

Episode 1716

Leo downloaded and installed TikTok today, to get the experience before the US bans it. Is he worried about his data getting grabbed by the PRC? Not at all. Leo says it's the most creative and fun app going right now. TikTok has been trying to avoid the ban by having a US CEO, hired over 10,000 US jobs, and even courting Microsoft to buy their US operations. But the White House seems in earnest to ban it. 

White House to Announce Banning of Tik Tok Social Network

ByteDance

Episode 1715

Citing security concerns with Tik Tok, the fastest growing social network in the world, the White House is poised to announce it will ban the app in the US.  The app, which includes a lip-syncing feature that is very popular with teens and preteens, caused Tik Tok to catapult to the number one social network in the US. The feds are concerned that the Chinese owned Tik Tok is a security concern for spying on US users, and many banks, companies, and government agencies have banned its use on employee phones.

Researchers Announce New Quantum Internet

"Quantum Internet"

Episode 1714

Researchers have announced a theoretical new internet known as the Quantum Internet, which will use quantum entanglement to connect computers without a physical connection. And the government is investing $500-700 million a year to make it a reality. Researchers also claim that because of the nature of photons to connect, there will be absolute security with no means to hack into it, thanks to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

Ransomware hits huge international conglomerates

Types of Ransomware

Episode 1714

Norsk-Hydro, a huge international conglomerate was hit with ransomware, costing the company $60 million. The malware came from an innocent email that had been intercepted and altered to include malware that infected the network when opened. Encrypting all data. The malware infected the company in December but wasn't triggered until March. Norsk-Hydro had a cyber insurance policy that consistently tests the network, but they were infected anyway. The company decided not to pay and relied on backups to restore their network. But the damage had been done as the network was down for weeks.

Microsoft Announces New Games and online gaming service

Xbox

Episode 1713

Microsoft announced some new versions of old games at their annual Xbox Games Showcase including Tetris and Halo Infinite. Microsoft is also making all their games available through Microsoft Game Pass, a monthly subscription service. Leo also says that Microsoft is also working on a new streaming game service, codenamed XCloud, which won't require a game platform. Users will play anywhere on any device, as the game servers will do all the work.