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Raining USBs: Google’s latest measure to protect users from cyber crime



The tech giant has the key to protecting high-risk users from impending scams in yet another move to safeguard the digital cyberspace.

Google distributes free USBs to safeguard users against cyber crime

Google is giving free physical USB security keys to 10,000 users who are at high risk of experiencing cyber threats.

The “Titan” USB key will provide two-factor authentication which will supply users with an additional layer of security.

Politicians and human rights activists are among the large number of users receiving the USB, which are normally available to buy for $41.

Google’s partner against crime

A number of organisations have partnerd with Google to help fund the distribution of the keys, Partnership Manager Grace Hoyt and Project Manager Nafis Zebarjadi said in a statement.

“We’re excited to be working with these leading organisations to protect high risk user groups and learn more about the needs of at-risk users and organisations.”

“These collaborations help us make the world’s most advanced security even stronger, more inclusive and easier to use – helping everyone stay safer with Google.” 

It comes as the tech giant encourages its users to join its “advanced protection program“.

Under the program, users with high visibility and sensitive information are safeguarded under new protections added to defend against impending cyber threats.

Preventing unauthorised account access, extra protection from harmful downloads and securing personal information are among the measures Google is taking to protect users.

Fighting back against phishing

In late September, the tech giant warned thousands of Gmail users that they had been targeted in a scam coordinated by Russia-linked hacking group APT28,

In an email campaign designed to look legitimate to trick people into revealing their passwords, the Russian fraudsters tried to phish high-profile users.

Shane Huntley, director of Google’s Threat Analysis Group says around 14,000 accounts “across a wide variety of industries” were targeted,

“As we always do, we sent those people who were targeted by government-backed attackers warnings,” Huntly said before confirming the emails were successfully blocked.

Google vows to continue to support their users in the fight against the rise in cyber crime, with these measures the first of many more to come.

Written by Rebecca Borg


TikTok’s parent company loses $7bn



TikTok’s Parent company sees losses grow as it tries to outplay Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has experienced a loss of more than $7 billion dollars in operating costs, tripling last year’s records.

The company attributes the huge loss to its massive investment in global growth. It detailed the results in a financial report which was provided to internal stakeholders.

In the first quarter of 2022, the company recorded a profit in its operating costs, with the company’s revenue expanding by more than 80% to $61.7 billion in 2021.

But expenses that are focused on expanding its products worldwide continue to swell at a rapid rate.

While TikTok is one of ByteDance’s most successful and well-known products, the company owns a wide range of digital platforms including: Douyin, Toutiao, Vigo Video, Helo, Lark and BytePlus. In total, it attracts hundreds of millions of users in China alone and 1 billion TikTok users worldwide.

The internal report was emailed to all ByteDance’s 130,000 employees. In a note of assurance, company execs “remain confident in the strength of our business and organisation.”

The ability for ByteDance to continue to invest in the company’s growth is clearly a strong advantage the company has over its competitors in the market.

A new report found Australians spent more time on TikTok in the last 12 months than on Facebook, a leader for many years in the space.

With other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube scrambling to compete with TikTok, it seems ByteDance must have a long-term expansion strategy in mind.

The company is evidently trying to arrive at a place where such massive losses relating to operating will be a distant memory.

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Australian government will temporarily change telco laws amid Optus data breach



Australians impacted by the Optus data breach are set to be given greater protection as authorities scramble to protect the personal information that was leaked online

Today, the Australian federal government has announced it will temporarily change the country’s telecommunication laws, paving the way for Optus to share sensitive data.

The move will see the divers licenses, alongside Medicare and passport numbers of impacted customers provided to financial institutions.

Allowing enhanced monitoring for those who were compromised in the cyberattack.

Optus will be working hand-in-hand with banks to monitor fraudulent activity, hopefully avoiding any breaches.

The government says all of the personal information must be immediately destroyed once it is no longer deemed necessary.

When announcing the changes, Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said financial institutions have been proactive throughout this process – but elements of the Optus response have previously been criticised.

The breach affected nearly 10 million customers and former customers, sending the country into a panic.

Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers says this latest move is designed to help keep impacted residents safe from cyber crime.

This unprecedented move now sits with the Governor General who is required to give final approval.

Australians are told the regulations will remain in place for a period of 12 months.

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Another twist in the Musk and Twitter deal



The trial between Twitter and Elon Musk is still set to go ahead

The trial between Twitter and Elon Musk is set to go ahead, in a strange series of events. This comes despite Musk’s recent change of heart over the deal to buy the social media platform

Delaware Court judge Kathaleen McCormick says neither party has applied for a “stay” in the action. Now, proceedings are still due to begin on October 17.

This comes a day Musk performed a U-turn, deciding to go ahead with the multi-billion dollar deal to buy the social media giant.

Musk’s lawyer says his client has “reconsidered his position” and is now “committed to completing the transaction.”

The transaction values Twitter at $54.20 per share, bringing the total sale price to around 44 billion.

The trial was scheduled to run over five days with Twitter arguing the Tesla CEO should be required to complete the transaction.

Musk launched a counterclaim, alleging the company suffered a substantial reduction in its value, rendering the deal invalid.

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