Black Friday deal:

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NordVPN’s Black Friday promotion is now live with 68% off a 2-year VPN subscription and an additional three months for free. This offer gives you a total of 27 months of VPN access for a monthly cost of $3.30!

NordVPN’s Black Friday promotion is now live with 68% off a 2-year VPN subscription and an additional three months for free. This offer gives you a total of 27 months of VPN access for a monthly cost of $3.30!

If you wish to stay anonymous on the Internet while browsing the web, streams movies or listen to music, then this NordVPN deal may be something that will interest you.

As part of this deal, you get a 27-month subscription to the NordVPN VPN service, which allows you to browse the Internet, send email, download files, or perform network requests anonymously.


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Zero Trust architectures: An AWS perspective

Our mission at Amazon Web Services (AWS) is to innovate on behalf of our customers so they have less and less work to do when building, deploying, and rapidly iterating on secure systems. From a security perspective, our customers seek answers to the ongoing question What are the optimal patterns to ensure the right level of confidentiality, integrity, and availability of my systems and data while increasing speed and agility? Increasingly, customers are asking specifically about how security architectural patterns that fall under the banner of Zero Trust architecture or Zero Trust networking might help answer this question.

Given the surge in interest in technology that uses the Zero Trust label, as well as the variety of concepts and models that come under the Zero Trust umbrella, we’d like to provide our perspective. We’ll share our definition and guiding principles for Zero Trust, and then explore the larger subdomains that have emerged under that banner. We’ll also talk about how AWS has woven these principles into the fabric of the AWS cloud since its earliest days, as well as into many recent developments. Finally, we’ll review how AWS can help you on your own Zero Trust journey, focusing on the underlying security objectives that matter most to our customers. Technological approaches rise and fall, but underlying security objectives tend to be relatively stable over time. (A good summary of some of those can be found in the Design Principles of the AWS Well-Architected Framework.)

Definition and guiding principles for Zero Trust

Let’s start out with a general definition. Zero Trust is a conceptual model and an associated set of mechanisms that focus on providing security controls around digital assets that do not solely or fundamentally depend on traditional network controls or network perimeters. The zero in Zero Trust fundamentally refers to diminishing—possibly to zero!—the trust historically created by an actor’s location within a traditional network, whether we think of the actor as a person or a software component. In a Zero Trust world, network-centric trust models are augmented or replaced by other techniques—which we can describe generally as identity-centric controls—to provide equal or better security mechanisms than we had in place previously. Better security mechanisms should be understood broadly to include attributes such as greater usability and flexibility, even if the overall security posture remains the same. Let’s consider more details and possible approaches along the two dimensions.

Source: Zero Trust architectures: An AWS perspective | Amazon Web Services

SANS Webcast – Zero Trust Architecture

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LidarPhone Attack Transforms Smart Vacuum Cleaners Into Spying Tools

LidarPhone attack targets the lidar sensors in smart vacuum cleaners transforming them into microphones to record sounds and eavesdrop.

Describing LidarPhone in brief, the researchers stated, The fundamental concept of LidarPhone lies in sensing such induced vibrations in household objects using the vacuum robot’s lidar sensor and then processing the recorded vibration signal to recover traces of sounds. This sensing method is inspired by the principles of laser microphones that use reflected laser beams to sense sounds from vibrating objects. Although laser mics require sophisticated setups, the rotating lidar sensors are equipped with at least a laser transmitter and reflection sensor. This enables the key possibility to transform a lidar into a microphone.

Source: LidarPhone Attack Transforms Smart Vacuum Cleaners Into Spying Tools

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How does the Schrems II ruling affect your organization?

GDPR compliance got even more complicated this summer when the CJEU (European Court of Justice) ruled the EU–US Privacy Shield invalid.

Organizations that had relied on the framework for transatlantic data transfers have been scrambling for a solution – with even some multinationals unsure how to proceed.

If you’re among those trying to understand how the ruling affects your data transfer processes, then ITGP updated books can help.

EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – An implementation and compliance guide

This comprehensive guide covers:

  • DPO (data protection officer) requirements, including which organizations need a DPO and what DPOs do;
  • When organizations must conduct DPIAs (data protection impact assessments);
  • GDPR implementation FAQs;
  • Guidance on how to create data protection processes that are in line with best practices; and
  • An index of the GDPR.
EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – An implementation and compliance guide, fourth edition

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EU GDPR – An international guide to compliance

Ideal for those trying to understand the essentials of GDPR compliance, EU GDPR – An international guide to compliance:

  • Explains the terms and definitions used in the GDPR;
  • Sets out the circumstances under which organizations may receive fines;
  • Shows how to meet your compliance requirements; and
  • Provides guidance on the technologies and documentation you can use to protect the personal data that you process.
EU GDPR – An international guide to compliance

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Nearly Two Dozen AWS APIs Are Vulnerable to Abuse

Attackers can conduct identity reconnaissance against an organization at leisure without being detected, Palo Alto Networks says.

Nearly two dozen application programming interfaces (APIs) across 16 different Amazon Web Services offerings can be abused to allow attackers to obtain the roster and internal structure of an organization’s cloud account in order to launch targeted attacks against individuals.

All that a threat actor would require in order to carry out the attack is the target organization’s 12-digit AWS ID — something that is used and shared publicly — Palo Alto Networks said this week.

Source: Nearly Two Dozen AWS APIs Are Vulnerable to Abuse

Testing and Monitoring APIs on AWS – AWS Online Tech Talks

API Security in Action teaches you how to create secure APIs for any situation. By following this hands-on guide you’ll build a social network API while mastering techniques for flexible multi-user security, cloud key management, and lightweight cryptography.

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Japan Inc to begin experiments issuing digital yen

More than 30 major Japanese firms will begin experiments next year towards issuing a common, private digital currency to promote digitalisation in one of the world’s most cash-loving countries, the group’s organising body said on Thursday.

Source: Japan Inc to begin experiments issuing digital yen

Japan experimenting with digital yen!

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Senate passes bill to secure internet-connected devices against cyber

The Senate this week unanimously passed bipartisan legislation designed to boost the cybersecurity of internet-connected devices.

The Senate passes a bill that would require all internet-connected devices purchased by the US government to comply with NIST’s minimum security recommendations

The Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act would require all internet-connected devices purchased by the federal government — such as computers and mobile devices — to comply with minimum security recommendations issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The bill would require private sector groups providing devices to the federal government to notify agencies if the internet-connected device has a vulnerability that could leave the government open to attacks.

The legislation, which the Senate advanced on Tuesday, was passed unanimously by the House in September. It now heads to President Trump for a signature.

“Most experts expect tens of billions of devices operating on our networks within the next several years as the Internet of Things (IoT) landscape continues to expand,” Gardner noted in a separate statement. “We need to make sure these devices are secure from malicious cyber-attacks as they continue to transform our society and add countless new entry points into our networks. Ensuring that our government has the capabilities and expertise to help navigate the impacts of the latest technology will be important in the coming years and decades.”

Source: Senate passes bill to secure internet-connected devices against cyber

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Microsoft’s Pluton chip upgrades the hardware security of Windows PCs

Pluton chip

The next Windows PC you buy could come with an advanced security co-processor that will protect your data from being stolen by hackers.

The next Windows PC you buy could come with an advanced security co-processor that will protect your data from being stolen by hackers. Building on work it started with the Xbox One, on Tuesday Microsoft announced the existence of Pluton. It’s a new project the company is working on with both AMD and Intel, as well as Qualcomm, to create x86 and ARM CPUs that integrate a dedicated security component.

At its simplest, Pluton is an evolution of the existing Trusted Platform Module (TPM) you find in many modern computers. TPMs store security-related information about your operating system and enable features like Windows Hello. However, for all the additional security they add to PCs, they still have vulnerabilities. As security researchers have shown, it’s possible for hackers to attack the bus interface that allows the TPM and CPU to communicate with one another.

That’s where Pluton comes into the picture. By integrating the TPM into the CPU, Microsoft says it’s able to close off that avenue of attack. When the first slate of Pluton-equipped CPUs and computers start making their way out to consumers, Microsoft says they’ll emulate TPM chips so that they can take advantage of existing APIs and provide Windows users with immediate usefulness. The end goal is for Pluton-equipped CPUs to protect your credentials, encryption keys and personal data. In that way, it will be similar to the T2 and Titan M security chips Apple and Google offer, but with the added advantage of being there for the entire Windows ecosystem to use.

Source: Microsoft’s Pluton chip upgrades the hardware security of Windows PCs

Microsoft Pluton is a new security chip for Windows PCs

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Dozens of ransomware gangs partner with hackers to extort victims

Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) crews are actively looking for affiliates to split profits obtained in outsourced ransomware attacks targeting high profile public and private organizations. The more well-known ransomware gangs run private affiliate programs where affiliates can submit applications and resumes to apply for membership.

For affiliates that are accepted into the program, the ransomware developers receive a 20-30% cut, and an affiliate gets 70-80% of the ransom payments they generate.

REvil private affiliate program

Source: Dozens of ransomware gangs partner with hackers to extort victims

Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS)

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Costaricto APT: Cyber mercenaries use previously undocumented malware

CostaRicto APT is targeting South Asian financial institutions and global entertainment companies with an undocumented malware.

Blackberry researchers have documented the activity of a hackers-for-hire group, dubbed CostaRicto, that has been spotted using a previously undocumented piece of malware to target South Asian financial institutions and global entertainment companies.

“During the past six months, the BlackBerry Research and Intelligence team have been monitoring a cyber-espionage campaign that is targeting disparate victims around the globe.” reads the analysis published by BlackBerry. “The campaign, dubbed CostaRicto by BlackBerry, appears to be operated by “hackers-for-hire”, a group of APT mercenaries who possess bespoke malware tooling and complex VPN proxy and SSH tunnelling capabilities.”

Source: Costaricto APT: Cyber mercenaries use previously undocumented malware

Tim Maurer discusses “Cyber Mercenaries: The State, Hackers and Power”

Cyber Mercenaries: The State, Hackers, and Power

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Google patches two more Chrome zero-days

Google has now patched five Chrome zero-days in three weeks.

Source: Google patches two more Chrome zero-days | ZDNet

URGENT Google Chrome Zero Day flaw security update

Zer0 Days

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FBI: Hackers stole source code from US government agencies and private companies

FBI blames intrusions on improperly configured SonarQube source code management tools.

FBI officials say that threat actors have abused these misconfigurations to access SonarQube instances, pivot to the connected source code repositories, and then access and steal proprietary or private/sensitive applications.

Officials provided two examples of past incidents:

“In August 2020, unknown threat actors leaked internal data from two organizations through a public lifecycle repository tool. The stolen data was sourced from SonarQube instances that used default port settings and admin credentials running on the affected organizations’ networks.

“This activity is similar toa previous data leak in July 2020, in which an identified cyber actor exfiltrated proprietary source code from enterprises throughpoorly secured SonarQube instances and published the exfiltrated source codeon a self-hosted public repository.”

Source: FBI: Hackers stole source code from US government agencies and private companies | ZDNet

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Pwn2Own Tokyo Day one: NETGEAR Router, WD NAS Device hacked

Pwn2Own Tokyo 2020 hacking competition is started, bug bounty hunters already hacked a NETGEAR router and a Western Digital NAS devices.

The Pwn2Own Tokyo is actually coordinated by Zero Day Initiative from Toronto, Canada, and white hat hackers taking part in the competition have to demonstrate their ability to find and exploit vulnerabilities in a broad range of devices.

On the day one of the competition, bug bounty hunters have successfully hacked a vulnerability in the NETGEAR Nighthawk R7800 router. The participants were the Team Black Coffee, Team Flashback, and teams from cybersecurity firms Starlabs and Trapa Security, and the Team Flashback earned $20,000 for a remote code execution exploit that resulting from the chaining of two bugs in the WAN interface.

“The team combined an auth bypass bug and a command injection bug to gain root on the system. They win $20,000 and 2 points towards Master of Pwn.” reads the post on the official site of the Pwn2Own Tokyo 2020.
The Trapa team successfully chained a pair of bugs to gain code execution on the LAN interface of the router, the experts earned $5,000 and 1 point towards Master of Pwn.

The STARLabs team earned the same amount after using a command injection flaw to take control of the device.

The Western Digital My Cloud Pro series PR4100 NSA device was targeted by The Trapa Security team also earned $20,000 for a working exploit for the Western Digital My Cloud Pro series PR4100 NSA device.

The exploit code chained an authentication bypass bug and a command injection vulnerability to gain root on the device.

Source: Pwn2Own Tokyo Day one: NETGEAR Router, WD NAS Device hacked

Pwn2Own Tokyo (Live from Toronto) 2020 – Day One

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Spotting a Common Scam

Spotting a Common Scam 

These scams seek to collect personal information about you, often appearing to come from a real business or agency. Someone may pose as an official disaster aid worker, or send you a fraudulent COVID contact tracing email. If you receive a message with a link, you should not click it as it may download malware to your device to steal passwords and personal information. Government agencies like FEMA or the IRS will never contact you asking for a FEMA registration number, a Social Security number, or a bank account or credit card number to give you a COVID or FEMA payment—or ask you to pay anything up front to fill out an application or to access state or federal resources.




Before sharing, check that what you are reading is from a trustworthy source. Disinformation can be life threatening in a global pandemic.



No cures or vaccines have been approved for COVID-19 yet. Online offers claiming to provide a medicine or device to treat or prevent COVID should be ignored. When there is a new breakthrough in the treatment and prevention of COVID, it will be widely reported on by reputable news sources.





Fake charities often emerge following a crisis, soliciting donations, but not using them for the described purpose. Before donating, check out  to research the organization and make sure it’s legitimate.



If you receive a robocall, you should hang up instead of pushing any buttons or giving away any personal information. If a call claims to be from the IRS or FEMA, but demands immediate payment through debit card or wire transfer, it is fraudulent. Federal agencies will never demand immediate payment over the phone, threaten immediate arrest, or ask you to make a payment to anyone other than the U.S. Treasury.

Warning Signs that a Loved One may be the Victim of a Scam 
Victims to a scam may be embarrassed or uncomfortable asking for help. It’s not always obvious when someone has been scammed, so check in with your loved ones frequently, especially if they are older, live alone, or are otherwise high risk.

Warning signs include large ATM withdrawals, charges, or checks; secretiveness and increased anxiety about finances; large quantities of goods being delivered that they do not need; an unusual number of phone calls or visits from strangers; and a sudden lack of money, unpaid bills, or a change in daily habits.


For more information, and to get help with a potential FEMA fraud, you can call the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or FEMA’s Public Inquiry Unit at 916-210-6276. For questions about pandemic scams, go to or www.cdc.goc/coronavirus/2019-ncov .

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Privacy-focused Brave browser grew over 130% in the past year

Brave Browser, the privacy-focused web browser, announced today that it grew in usage by over 130% in its first year of the release of its ‘Stable’ version.

Source: Privacy-focused Brave browser grew over 130% in the past year

Brave Browser Review 2020: Should you make the switch?

Why you should download Brave Browser NOW!

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Cyber Security Training Courses

Cyber Security Training Courses via Simpliv

Simpliv Links

To review each course download a pdf of Cyber Security Training Courses

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Open Shell brings back the glory days of the Windows Start Menu

Open Shell, originally known as Classic Shell, is open-source software that allows you to replace the standard Start Menu on Windows 10 and Windows 8.

Source: Open Shell brings back the glory days of the Windows Start Menu

Make Your Start Menu Look Like Windows 7 With Open Shell

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In a first, researchers extract secret key used to encrypt Intel CPU code

Hackers can now reverse-engineer updates or write their own custom firmware.

Source: In a first, researchers extract secret key used to encrypt Intel CPU code

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Buer Loader “malware-as-a-service” joins Emotet for ransomware delivery

A relative newcomer in the “malware-as-a-service” scene is starting to attract the big-money ransomware criminals.

Source: Buer Loader “malware-as-a-service” joins Emotet for ransomware delivery

Understanding malware as a service

MaaS Chaos. Is Malware-as-a-Service Growing?
In the legitimate business world, there’s something known as Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS. Here’s a definition: A software licensing-and-delivery model in which centrally located and controlled software is made available and licensed/rented on a subscription basis by users. SaaS clients are generally businesses.

Now, organized online crooks have moved into that space and business model too. It didn’t take long for that large-scale approach to not only hit the Internet, but to create a lucrative malware business for criminals who are selling viruses and more to anyone who wants it and is willing to pay for it. It’s “MBA-like” thinking for the purpose of making money by committing technologically based crimes.

Malware-as-a-Service is the latest term for the business of a network of sophisticated cyber-crooks providing illegal services, for a fee.

One of the reasons that cybercrime has grown so rapidly is that the criminals at the top of the “food chain” have built scalable business models for their crimes. This allows experienced hacking groups to collaborate, and new criminals to leverage the resources of veteran hackers. “Crime-as-a-service” is nothing new, but the tools change rapidly as crimeware developers work to exploit the latest vulnerabilities and stay ahead of security. The Emotet banking trojan has emerged as a leader in providing malware delivery services to other hacking groups, and you will want to make sure you understand and defend against this threat.

Emotet emerges as a leader in Malware-as-a-Service

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Google Mending Another Crack in Widevine

For the second time in as many years, Google is working to fix a weakness in its Widevine digital rights management (DRM) technology used by online streaming sites like Disney, Hulu and Netflix to prevent their content from being pirated.

The latest cracks in Widevine concern the encryption technology’s protection for L3 streams, which is used for low-quality video and audio streams only. Google says the weakness does not affect L1 and L2 streams, which encompass more high-definition video and audio content.

“As code protection is always evolving to address new threats, we are currently working to update our Widevine software DRM with the latest advancements in code protection to address this issue,” Google said in a written statement provided to KrebsOnSecurity.

In January 2019, researcher David Buchanan tweeted about the L3 weakness he found, but didn’t release any proof-of-concept code that others could use to exploit it before Google fixed the problem.

Source: Google Mending Another Crack in Widevine

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