Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas

Based in Cincinnati, OH, the Brian Thomas Morning Show covers news and politics, both local and national, from a conservative point of view.Read More

 

Tech Friday with Dave Hatter - August 6th 2021 - SPONSORED BY INTRUST IT


Dozens of Google employees fires for data misuse:

  • Per an internal Google document obtained by Motherboard, Google terminated roughly 70 employees between 2018 and 2020 for abusing access to tools and/or data
  • The document details investigations into Google employees abuses
  • Motherboard has uncovered similar situations at Facebook, Snapchat, and MySpace in the past
  • The document says that 36 Google employees were terminated in 2020
  • 86% of these issues involved mishandling confidential information
  • 10% of the 2020 allegations involved misuse of systems
  • The individual that provided the document to Motherboard said that 26 Google employees were terminated in 2019 and 18 were fired in 2018
  • A Google spokesperson gave the following statement to Motherboard: "The instances referred to mostly relate to inappropriate access to, or misuse of, proprietary and sensitive corporate information or IP."
  • The statement also said "Regarding user data, we tightly restrict employee access through a number of industry leading safeguards, including: limiting access to user data to necessary individuals, requiring a justification to access such data, multi-stage review before access is granted to sensitive data, and monitoring for access anomalies and violations," the statement added. "The number of violations, whether deliberate or inadvertent, is consistently low. Every employee gets training annually, we investigate all allegations, and violations result in corrective action up to and including termination. We are transparent in publicizing the number and outcome of our investigations to our employees and have strict processes in place to secure customer and user data from any internal or external threats."

Chrome browser called spyware by some:

  • Geoffrey Fowler is a technology columnist with the Washington Post
  • Fowler has reported on privacy extensively.
  • He did an experiment and found that Google's web browser Chrome allowed 11,000 tracking "cookies" in a single week
  • A cookie is a small text file that websites save on your computer for a variety of reasons including to track you
  • One study found third-party tracking cookies on 92% of websites
  • Fowler said that when testing of Chrome vs. Firefox (my preferred browser) he discovered 11,189 requests for cookies that were automatically blocked by Firefox but would have been allowed by default with Chrome
  • Chrome also started automatically logging you in when you use Gmail which means they could connect your browser history to your profile
  • Matthew Green, a professor at Johns Hopkins, caused a stir in the tech world when he blogged he was done with Chrome due to the automatic sign in
  • Fowler reports that Chrome on an Android is even worse, it captures your location with each search
  • Firefox on the other hand is made by a non-profit organization who is not in the business of monetizing your data
  • Firefox now has "enhanced tracking protection" to block many cookies by default
  • Apple’s Safari browser has a similar feature named "intelligent tracking protection" that attempts to block most cookies
  • Get Firefox here:https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/

A hacker impersonates an aerobics instructor to target a US employee:

  • Cybersecurity researchers at Proofpoint reported that hackers with ties to the Iranian government have targeted US defense contractors
  • One attack was executed by impersonating a UK-based aerobics instructor
  • Proofpoint wrote about "a years-long social engineering and targeted malware campaign by the Iranian-state aligned threat actor TA456"
  • TA456 is also known as "Tortoiseshell"
  • Proofpoint said that TA456 "sent TA456’s target benign email messages, photographs, and a video to establish her veracity and build rapport with the intended victim" over a period of 8 months
  • The report said "At one time, TA456 attempted to send a benign, but flirtatious video via a OneDrive URL"
  • Proofpoint included a screenshot of the now-suspended Facebook account and claim it was used by Iran-backed hackers to communicate with the target since at least November 2020
  • Proofpoint's security software was apparently able to block the malware but it is still uncertain if hackers were able exfiltrate any data
  • Proofpoint's Sherrod DeGrippo said that the campaign "demonstrates that even after an individual is targeted by a persona, it can take months or years for TA456 to attempt to deliver malware"

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