FixMeStick’s Weekly Cybersecurity Round-Up: Sept 2nd-8th

Last week, the giants of the tech world dominated the news; from Facebook’s massive privacy breach, to Google facing a new investigation from US Attorneys Generals, to YouTube finally settling its FTC investigation. Let’s get cyber-savvy, FixMeFans!

Remember the Capital One breach that affected more than 100 million customers in early August? Justice has now been served to 33-year-old former software engineer, Paige Thompson, who was indicted last week by the federal grand injury.

It was revealed that Capital One was just one of more than 30 entities targeted by Thompson’s attacks. As of Wednesday, law enforcement is still working to inform all the victims whose data was accessed. Check in with Capital One’s notification page to stay up-to-date on the status of breach.

Breach alert! A researcher stumbled upon a public database this week that contained the telephone numbers of hundreds of millions of Facebook users. Sanyam Jain, researcher for the non-profit GDI Foundation, found the database contained 419 million users’ records, which included names, gender and location, as well as their phone numbers. Are you affected by this massive breach? Find out now.

Last week, we speculated on the timing of YouTube’s announcement to launch ‘YouTube Kids’. It happened just as Google, the streaming service’s parent company, was in hot water over the FTC’s investigation into YouTube’s alleged tracking and targeting of kids who use their site.

This week, news has surfaced that Google has agreed to pay a $150-200 million dollar settlement to resolve the investigation after it was found that the site violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). This settlement will make it into the hall of fame for one of the biggest fines in FTC settlement history, with the exception of Facebook’s $5 billion settlement following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Some say that massive corporations, like Facebook and Google, see these fines as chump change and it won’t influence the tech giants to change their privacy laws going forward…only time will tell.

Google has more on its mind this week than just YouTube’s shenanigans. Fifty attorneys general are beginning an antitrust investigation on Google’s advertising practices. New York Attorney General, Letitia James, said in a statement:

“Google’s control over nearly every aspect of our lives has placed the company at the center of our digital economy. But it doesn’t take a search engine to understand that unchecked corporate power shouldn’t eclipse consumers’ rights.”


Read the full story on TechCrunch today.

We all know that as technology becomes more advanced, so do scammers. But this week scammers took it to the next level when they generated a deepfake audio clip of a CEO’s voice (generated using AI technology). They used it to convince a UK-based energy firm to send $243,000 to the scammers. “Deepfakes” are videos that use AI technology to manipulate video and audio content, and they’re highly convincing. Learn more about how this technology can be highly threatening by reading the full story.

That’s all for the round-up this week. Have you shared it with a friend? Keep a friend informed today!