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Following a hack that resulted in leaking about 808,000 email addresses and over 1.8 million usernames and passwords, a social network website in Germany received a fine of EUR 20,000 from the Baden-Württemberg Data Protection Authority. In July this year, flirty chat platform Knuddels.de suffered a data breach and the information stolen from its servers was published online in clear form. A member of the staff said at the time that the incident affected all users that had an account with the service or a username for the chat platform on July 20, 2018. According to a post from another team member, 330,000 of the leaked email addresses were verified, and once Knuddels learned of the leaks (one on Pastebin, another on Mega cloud storage service), it improved security measures, alerted the users and reset their passwords. It was later discovered that the website did not apply any form of protection for sensitive information such as passwords and stored them in plain text. If you think that we made a type about the penalty to be paid and it is missing zero, it is not. To remove all confusion, converted to other currencies, the fine incurred by Knuddels.de is $23,000, or around £18,000. This is the first penalty in Germany under the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which entered into force in May this year. Get more involved and read more on OUR FORUM.

With the shopping season underway, cybercriminals are making efforts to capitalize from key holidays and users' craze for Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts. Scams and malicious email campaigns are in full swing, and so are web-skimming operations that steal payment card information from vulnerable online stores.  The US-CERT released a warning this week about the growing number of emails with malicious links or attachments, malvertising campaigns, and donation requests from fake charitable outfits. The alert is backed by findings from cloud security company Zscaler that say they've "seen a steady rise in phishing attacks leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday". Between mid-October and mid-November, the company observed 723,942 targeted phishing campaigns and almost half a million generic spam attacks. In total, the company recorded almost 1.3 million events of this type. The research reveals that with some targeted attacks the purpose is to compromise Amazon accounts and steal payment card data. Two examples of fake pages for logging into Amazon and for billing verification show that cybercriminals have become adept social engineers, leaving few tells for the scam. To an unsuspecting user, the fake login page is indistinguishable from the original, but a look at the URL in the address bar gives away the fraud attempt since the domain name is not from Amazon. The absence of a secure http connection is another tale of mischievous activity, which browsers like Chrome will mark with a 'Not Secure' indicator. "The best defense is to always be conscious of the address bar. A store like Amazon is never going to ask you for sensitive information away from the Amazon site," advises Chris Mannon, a senior security researcher at Zscaler. There's more detailed information posted on OUR FORUM.

Last week, a bunch of new patents for Microsoft’s foldable or dual-screen mobile devices were published on USPTO. The patents have revealed the ideas that Microsoft inventors have imagined for the company’s dual-screen device but as it is the case with all patent applications, there is no guarantee that this patented device will ever make it into a consumer product. There are two new patents that went unnoticed and both were published by USPTO on November 15. The first patent details a dual-screen device with the ability to adjust the volume and the second patent appears to detail another dual-screen device that can display data on first or second display simultaneously. The patent titled “VOLUME ADJUSTMENT ON HINGED MULTI-SCREEN DEVICE” was published on November 15 and it appears to detail a device featuring two displays, a front-facing camera on the first display and another front facing camera on second display. It also features a speaker. In the background section of the patent application, Microsoft explains the audio volume problems that many customers may have experience when using mobile computing devices. “Users interact with multi-screen mobile devices throughout a variety of positions, including holding the device vertically, holding the device with a primary screen facing toward the user, holding the screen with a second screen facing toward the user, and other positions and orientations. When viewing content on the screens in these varying positions, users may encounter challenges adjusting the audio volumes of different applications executed on each of the screens, or different audio-enabled graphical user elements displayed on each of the screens,” Microsoft writes. Want to know more visit OUR FORUM.

What would the Internet be without the JerryRigEverything scratch, burn and bend tests? He usually applies those to smartphones, but now it’s time for a tablet to go through it, Apple Pencil 2 included. Let’s see the result. The YouTuber breaks the pen in half and says that the accessory is a tad more resilient than the average wood pencil. A pressure sensitive tip and some magnets pop up. As far as the iPad Pro (2018) scratch test goes, the screen gets some tracks at level 6 out of 9, like the usual smartphone nowadays. Then the patient guy takes a cutter to the sides, back and edges. It’s all metal, so there’s no unpleasant surprise here. Extra bonus points go to the creator of the video for the Spider-Man drawing with the cutter at the back. The main camera is covered by sapphire glass, at least on paper, but in real life it’s normal glass, scratching at the same level 6. The lighter test saw the screen lasting 10 seconds under the heat of the flame, before turning off and then recovering slowly. The core point of the video was the bend test and it didn’t work out fine. The new iPad Pro (2018) is waaaay too easy to bend, sadly. JerryRigEverything didn’t even break a sweat when doing, but the screen did… break in a million pieces. The middle of the device is the weakest point and it’s very vulnerable. The worst thing is that the breakage leaves vital stuff open, like the battery pack and components. Want more visit OUR FORUM.

Microsoft is betting big on the 5G promise to transform computing as we know it despite a growing outcry that it poses serious health and environmental dangers. 5G, the next evolution of mobile networks, promises to transform the way we experience technology. 1G brought voice to a mobile platform. 2G introduced text. 3G delivered higher speeds and enabled music and video streaming. 4G or LTE brought up to 10-times higher speeds than 3G. 5G has been described as an evolution of mobile computing due to the many new computing scenarios it is expected to enable such as connected cars, advanced A.I., remote healthcare, advanced augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) and much more. 5G networks will have low latency (very responsive with no delay). They will be exponentially faster than current networks and more robust (able to handle more data). And they will be capable of connecting far more devices. Devices will not only connect and communicate with the network, but 5G's robust low latency qualities will allow devices to connect, communicate and "make decisions" between one another (i.e., smart cars) in real time. These capabilities are foundational to Microsoft's "Azure as the world's computer vision, " its intelligent edge and IoT infrastructure and its always connected PC, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), Mixed Reality and xCloud game streaming strategies. Get the facts on OUR FORUM.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 and Office telemetry has been found to be in violation of General Data Protection Regulation by Dutch regulators, reports the Telegraph. The complaint centers around the normal software monitoring of users of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook which Microsoft says it is collecting for functional and security purposes.  The data was found to include sentences from Microsoft Word or lines of emails if its automated systems detected certain actions, like using a spell-checker. The Dutch Ministry of Justice was however not satisfied, noting in a report that analysis of the data showed the data collected included email subject lines,  saying: “Data provided by and about users was being gathered through Windows 10 Enterprise and Microsoft Office and stored in a database in the US in a way that posed major risks to users’ privacy.” Privacy Company, who conducted the investigation on behalf of the Dutch government, said Microsoft engaged in “large-scale and secret processing of data”. Microsoft has made efforts to come into compliance before, by moving its data collection back to Europe and the company agreed in October to undertake an improvement plan for its services. More on this can be found on OUR FORUM.