A bill was recently introduced by Democratic members of Congress in an attempt to reduce the risk of cybersecurity threats during the 2020 presidential elections. The bill calls for hand-marked paper ballots and intense audits of cybersecurity for federal elections. It would also bar the use of any internet-connected voting and crack down on all other electronic forms of voting. The concern for heightened security comes after the Russian government was able to interfere with the United States’ 2016 presidential election.
Baltimore has been struck with another ransomware attack, and the city doesn’t plan on paying the ransom. After two weeks of 10,000 government computers being held by the hackers, citizens have been without access to websites for payments water bills, parking tickets, and property taxes. This attack comes not long after a previous attack in 2018, in which hackers took down the city’s 911 system for a day. The current ransom for Baltimore’s recent attack is 13 Bitcoins, which equates to about $100,000. According to the Mayor of Baltimore, Jack Young, the city has begun restoring the system and has cybersecurity experts working day and night to speed up the process of getting back online.
Most viruses and malware on computers come from malicious websites, phishing emails and more. Dell computer users are finding that this isn’t always the case, however. A recent software flaw was found in Dell’s “SupportAssist” feature which would allow hackers to remotely access the computers and take control of them. This issue was discovered by 17-year-old security researcher Bill Demirkapi. He reported the issue directly to Dell before sharing with the rest of the world, and Dell has since fixed the software in it’s recent update. It is now suggested that Dell users update their SupportAssist software to version 188.8.131.52 or later.
Many people install security cameras in their homes, but often forget that cameras also need their own cybersecurity. The D-Link DCS-2132L cloud camera, it has been discovered, had no encryption on the app or the connection between the cloud and the camera itself, leave video streams easily accessible by unauthorized eyes. It’s important to make careful choices when purchasing “smart” or internet-based security cameras, so you don’t put yourself and your family at risk of having their privacy compromised.
Security researches are claiming popular GPS trackers sold under the names Pebbell, OwnFone and SureSafeGo have a severe security flaw. These trackers are used by elderly patients as a panic alarm, by parents as a monitor for children, and a vehicle tracker. Although these devices don’t have any internet access, they do carry a SIM card which can be accessed via SMS. The security flaw lies within the SIM card, as hackers can send a text message with a keyword to a tracker device and in turn give away the location of the device at that moment. With a different command, a device can also be called, giving access for others to listen in on its microphone. The only information needed to hack the tracker was its phone number.