Up Times · February 2022

Up Times

by Bryley · December 2023

Is the End of Windows 10 a Real Worry?

In the past year-and-a-half Microsoft has made Windows 11 more stable and usable. And most critically, Windows 10 support – that is, providing security patches – is ending. So this means in October 2025, it will become unsafe to use devices running Windows 10.

Now is the ideal time to create a plan for migration, including performing an audit of devices: some will be able to be upgraded and some will need to be sunsetted. Also Windows 11’s compatibility with legacy software and hardware must also be assessed and addressed … [4 min. read]

PLACEHOLDER

A redacted portion of a dark web page. Victim organizations, in pink squares, have countdown timers until their data is made public; the green squares, lower right, show organizations whose data has already been leaked.
Source: bloombergtechnoz.com

There’s Power in Least Privilege

Ransomware is a somewhat straightforward criminal action – data is illicitly encrypted and you may be able to restore systems from a backup or pay the crooks to hopefully get a decryption key from them.

Things have veered in a different direction now (see Claims Have Risen for Ransomware, below). Today a lot of ransomware attacks are cyber-extortion attacks. In these attacks the criminals capture your data and encrypt it, but they also exfiltrate your data to their servers. And the threat is often, ‘unless you pay, we will release your data on the web’ … [5 min. read]

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Business Continuity Mixtape – Bryley-curated stories from around the internet:

Dashboard lightsThe Anti-Privacy MachineMozilla Foundation has named the auto industry the most egregious offenders among businesses that gather our information and show little concern for securing that data. I sincerely hope it does some good that US Senator from Massachusetts Ed Markey has penned a letter of rebuke to the manufacturers.

Self-driving cars, per the Electronic Frontier Foundation [EFF], cars with autonomous modes, or even just cars connected to the internet and equipped with cameras pose a vital threat to privacy, not just to drivers and passengers, but also to other motorists on the road and pedestrians who are forced to walk past these cars every day … [5 min. read] eff.org

Google privacy settings

Default Privacy Settings Change at Google — Google has given its users a “Got It” default button that automatically opts us into tracking our behavior to the benefit of its advertisers. If you turn this tracking off through the following instructions, you can selectively turn on Google’s tracking of particular areas of interest if you decide you’d like that functionality later (for example, you might find tracking ads useful for shopping for towels or a motorbike) … [5 min. read] washingtonpost.com

Hand gun silhouette threat

Claims Have Risen for Ransomware — Allianz Commercial insurance company reports that after two years of lower ransomware claims, the trend has reversed.

Most ransomware attacks now involve the theft of personal or sensitive commercial data for the purpose of extortion, increasing the cost and complexity of incidents as well as bringing greater potential for reputational damage, per Allianz.

Among the tools to avoid data theft and extortion are sound IT governance (that includes risk management and IT resource strategies) data encryption and adhering to the principle of least privilege … [4 min. read] insurancejournal.com

Lightbulb

Have you ever thought you can Ctrl+Z in the world? – Technology is rewiring us. Back in 2008 Scientific American conducted an MRI brain-imaging study, reporting that after just five days of practice, the exact same neural circuitry in the front part of the brain became active in the Internet-naive subjects. Five hours on the Internet, and these participants had already rewired their brains.

So we may enter into technologies like streaming services or ChatGPT and believe we’re being more efficient, but the reality is that we are quickly altering our synaptic connections and how we behave … [7 min. read] 3quarksdaily.com

Robot listening

Can you hear me now?  — This heads-up came courtesy of the Morning News. Cox Media Group, owner of TV and radio stations, is claiming it has the ability – through smartphones, TVs and other connected devices – to use what they are calling Active Listening that can identify consumer needs from our casual conversations in real time.

Apparently they are listening with the devices’ microphones and using AI to pluck out of our conversations things like: this AC is on its last leg.

Is this legal? the Cox website asks and then answers, YES- it is totally legal for phones and devices to listen to you. That’s because consumers usually give consent when accepting terms and conditions of software updates or app downloads.

If you don’t like the sound of that, opt-out where possible.

And does Ed Markey know about this? [5 min. read] 404media.com

Note: The Mixtape section is Bryley’s curated list of external stories. Bryley does not take credit for the content of these stories, nor does it endorse or imply an affiliation with the authors or publications in which they appear.

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