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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

A 'Scarily Simple' Bug Put Millions of Cox Communications Customers at Risk

The most straightforward insecurities can sometimes be the riskiest.
Source: Wired

California passes law that bans default passwords in connected devices

Good news!

California has passed a law banning default passwords like “admin,” “123456” and the old classic “password” in all new consumer electronics starting in 2020.

Every new gadget built in the state from routers to smart home tech will have to come with “reasonable” security features out of the box. The law specifically calls for each device to come with a preprogrammed password “unique to each device.”

It also mandates that any new device “contains a security feature that requires a user to generate a new means of authentication before access is granted to the device for the first time,” forcing users to change the unique password to something new as soon as it’s switched on for the first time.

For years, botnets have utilized the power of badly secured connected devices to pummel sites with huge amounts of internet traffic — so-called distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Botnets typically rely on default passwords that are hardcoded into devices when they’re built that aren’t later changed by the user. Malware breaks into the devices using publicly available default passwords, hijacks the device and ensnares the device into conducting cyberattacks without the user’s knowledge.

Two years ago, the notorious Mirai botnet dragged thousands of devices together to target Dyn, a networking company that provides domain name service to major sites. By knocking Dyn offline, other sites that relied on its services were also inaccessible — like Twitter, Spotify and SoundCloud.

Mirai was a relatively rudimentary, albeit powerful botnet that relied on default passwords. This law is a step in the right direction to prevent these kinds of botnets, but falls short on wider security issues.

Other, more advanced botnets don’t need to guess a password because they instead exploit known vulnerabilities in Internet of Things devices — like smart bulbs, alarms and home electronics.

As noted by others, the law as signed does not mandate device makers to update their software when bugs are found. The big device makers, like Amazon, Apple and Google, do update their software, but many of the lesser-known brands do not.

Still, as it stands, the law is better than nothing — even if there’s room for improvement in the future.


Source: TechCrunch

Former Formation 8 GP Shirish Sathaye joins Cervin Ventures

Longtime venture capitalist Shirish Sathaye has quietly joined early-stage investor Cervin Ventures as a general partner.

Most recently, Sathaye was a general partner at Formation 8, the embattled venture firm co-founded by Palantir’s Joe Lonsdale, Brian Koo (a scion of the Koo family, owners of the electronics giant LG) and former Khosla GP Jim Kim. Formation 8 announced in 2015 that it would not raise a third fund and would begin winding down operations.

Sathaye, who’s been in the VC business since 2001 as a GP at Matrix Partners, then at Khosla Ventures, remains a partner in Formation 8’s sophomore fund. His previous investments include Nutanix, Samsung-acquired Grandis, McAfee-acquired Solidcore Systems, cybersecurity startup Vectra Networks and data storage provider Panzura.

He’d only been at Formation 8 for one year when the firm began to crumble. As we now know, conflict between the firm’s founding partners led to its demise. Lonsdale quickly raised $425 million for a spin-off fund called 8VC; Koo, in a similar fashion, brought in $357 million for Formation Group and Kim followed up with a $200 million fund called Builders.

Sathaye, for his part, had grown tired of the “bigger is better” mentality and opted to leave the business of big VC for good.

He began making angel investments and advising startups at Cervin Ventures, a pre-Series A VC fund focused on the enterprise. It closed a $56 million fund in 2017, its largest vehicle to date.

“Smaller funds, in general, make better decisions,” Sathaye told TechCrunch. “At a larger fund, there are more people around the table to make decisions. I think returns are better when there are fewer people making those decisions.”

Watching funds swell past the billion-dollar mark and investors deploy the “spray and pray” strategy was a turn-off, Sathaye said. Startups have more access to capital than ever before, yet most companies can get off the ground with very little funding, thanks to recent innovations like Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services.

“With AWS, companies can bring products to market quickly and they can reach their customers with much less money,” Sathaye said. “If you look at it just from a returns profile, the smaller funds will get better cash-on-cash returns simply because companies don’t need that much money to be successful.”

Palo Alto-based Cervin is led by two other GPs, Preetish Nijhawan and Neeraj Gupta. It invests $1 million to $2 million in early-stage startups. Sathaye says he’ll be focused specifically on the security, mobile, cloud and data verticals.


Source: TechCrunch

Surface Pro 6 vs. Surface Book 2

Microsoft has a lot of great 2-in-1s in its Surface line of hardware, but which one is the best of the best? To find out, we pitted the Surface Pro 6 vs. Surface Book 2. It’s a tough battle, but only one Surface is left standing.

The post Surface Pro 6 vs. Surface Book 2 appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Is your router vulnerable to attacks? New report says the odds aren’t in your favor

American Consumer Institute studied a total of 155 routers and concluded that that 83 percent of those routers in the United States are vulnerable to cyberattacks. A majority of those routers showed critical security vulnerabilities.

The post Is your router vulnerable to attacks? New report says the odds aren’t in your favor appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

The Apollo Breach Included Billions of Data Points

Sales intelligence firm Apollo left a “staggering amount” of exposed online, including 125 million email addresses and nine billion data points.
Source: Wired

Magic Leap buys mesh-computing startup Computes

Magic Leap has announced that they’re acquiring Computes, a decentralized mesh computing startup. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

From Magic Leap’s blog post:

From the beginning, Chris Matthieu and Jade Meskill started Computes, Inc. based on the principle of enabling the next generation of computing. We believe Magic Leap is the perfect home to achieve this vision

Why would Magic Leap want to get their hands on this company? Well, it’s no secret that building a “digital layer” on top of the real world is more than a little compute-heavy, mesh computing offers an attractive future for leveraging the power of grouped systems to push resources to the devices that need it most.

From one of the company’s white papers:

The Lattice protocol allows authorized computers to self-organize into a mesh computer, limited only by the number and power of the members. Lattice will intelligently allocate work to the best members of the mesh, based on the requirements of the task.

This is an interesting idea for AR headset systems where eventually most of them may be in standby on average and could theoretically push their compute power to another system. Perhaps more likely is offsite PCs with beefy internals offering the headsets a punch. This is all theoretical and there are plenty of reasons why this shouldn’t work but Magic Leap buying a small startup working on this signals some thinking about it.

If you’re still curious of what they do and interested in some mildly dubious explaining, check out this video from Computes’ CEO which only mildly resembles a video from the Dharma Initiative.

 


Source: TechCrunch

Apple is making 2018 iMac Pro, MacBook Pro repairs even harder

Apple is using new proprietary diagnostics software when repairing 2018 iMac Pro and MacBook Pro models. This locks out these products from repairs at third-party stores and forces owners with these models to get repairs at Apple.

The post Apple is making 2018 iMac Pro, MacBook Pro repairs even harder appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Windows 10 October 2018 Update may delete personal files during some upgrades – CNET

According to user reports, the latest Windows 1809 feature update is resulting in permanently deleted personal files.
Source: CNET

Fake news on Twitter is still reaching millions, study finds – CNET

More than 80 percent of accounts that spread misinformation during the 2016 election are still active, according to a new study.
Source: CNET

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