Over 22 billion records exposed in data breaches in 2020: Report

Agencies
January 16, 2021

Los Angeles, Jan 16: Over 22 billion records were exposed worldwide amid 730 publicly disclosed data breaches in 2020, a new report revealed on Friday.

Thirty five percent of breaches were linked to ransomware attacks, resulting in tremendous financial cost, while 14 per cent of breaches were the result of email compromises, according to an analysis of breach data by cyber exposure company Tenable's Security Response Team (SRT) from January through October last year.

One of the overarching themes of the threat landscape in 2020 was that threat actors relied on unpatched vulnerabilities in their attacks as well as chaining together multiple vulnerabilities as part of their attacks.

"Every day, cybersecurity professionals in India and the rest of the world are faced with new challenges and vulnerabilities that can put their organisations at risk," said Satnam Narang, Staff Research Engineer at Tenable.

"The 18,358 vulnerabilities disclosed in 2020 alone reflects a new normal and a clear sign that the job of a cyber defender is only getting more difficult as they navigate the ever-expanding attack surface," Narang added.

From 2015 to 2020, the number of reported common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) increased at an average annual percentage growth rate of 36.6 per cent.

In 2020, 18,358 CVEs were reported, representing a 6 per cent increase over the 17,305 reported in 2019, and a 183 per cent increase over the 6,487 disclosed in 2015.

"Pre-existing vulnerabilities in virtual private network (VPN) solutions — many of which were initially disclosed in 2019 or earlier -- continue to remain a favorite target for cybercriminals and nation-state groups," the report mentioned.

Web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge are the primary target for zero-day vulnerabilities, accounting for over 35 per cent of all zero-day vulnerabilities exploited in the wild, it added.

"In 2021, it's essential that we have the tools, awareness and intelligence to effectively reduce risk and eliminate blind spots. It's only through looking at where we've come from that we can effectively plan for what lies ahead," Narang noted.

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Agencies
February 27,2021

Facebook launches TikTok-like app for creating, sharing raps – Mysuru Today

Washington, Feb 27: Facebook has doubled down on its efforts to take on the growing Chinese short-video making platform TikTok, this time by launching a new app for creating and sharing raps.

Called BARS, the app is now available in the Apple App Store in the US and makes it easy to create and share raps so that rappers can focus on and experiment with the content, "rather than investing heavily in equipment and production".

"Audio production tools can be complicated, expensive and difficult to use. With BARS, you can select one of our professionally-created beats, write lyrics and record yourself dropping bars," Facebook said in a statement on Friday.

"BARS auto-suggests rhymes as you're writing to keep your flow going. You can also jump into Challenge mode and freestyle with auto-suggested word cues. Choose from a variety of audio and visual filters to take your creations to the next level," the company added.

Facebook's internal R&D group, the New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team, is behind the new experimental app.

BARS is NPE Team's second launch in the music space, following its public debut of music video app Collab last year.

Collab brings together creators and fans to create, watch, and mix and match original videos, starting with music.

For BARS, no formal rap experience is required.

"You can create something great whether you've just thought of a dope couplet or have been freestyling for years," Facebook said.

A rapper Erica aka @Bliss posted on Facebook: "The final product on the BARS app sounds like you went to a studio and recorded it. I just create for myself, but hearing my creations sound good, and the positive feedback from other people makes me feel like, "Hey maybe I can really create a good song and put it out there and people will like it!"

The company said it will open up invites in batches for the app, starting in the US.

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Agencies
February 19,2021

Image result for Can’t read your chats with new privacy policy: WhatsApp

New Delhi, Feb 19: Facing intense scrutiny over alleged data sharing with Facebook via new privacy policy, WhatsApp has reiterated that personal messages will always be end-to-end encrypted and the company can't read or listen to them.

In a new blog post on Thursday, WhatsApp said that in the coming weeks, it will display a banner in its main platform providing more information that people can read at their own pace.

"We've also included more information to try and address concerns we're hearing. Eventually, we'll start reminding people to review and accept these updates to keep using WhatsApp," the company said.

Last week, the Supreme Court said that people have grave apprehensions on loss of privacy, making it clear that it is the court's duty to protect this right as it heard a plea against WhatsApp's new privacy policy which has now been deferred till May 15.

A bench, headed by the Chief Justice and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, told counsel for WhatsApp: "People have grave apprehensions about loss of privacy. You may be 2 or 3 trillion dollar company, but people value their privacy more than your money... we have to protect people's privacy."

The top court issued notice to WhatsApp and Facebook on this plea against its new privacy policy.

WhatsApp said that it believes people are looking for apps to be both reliable and safe, even if that requires WhatsApp having some limited data.

"We strive to be thoughtful on the decisions we make and we'll continue to develop new ways of meeting these responsibilities with less information, not more," it mentioned.

WhatsApp delayed the implementation of a new privacy policy by three months after it faced backlash, with millions of its users moving from the platform to rivals like Telegram and Signal.

The policy change was originally scheduled to come into effect on February 8.

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Agencies
February 24,2021

Sensex zooms 1,030 points, Nifty tops 14,950 at closing | Deccan Herald

Mumbai, Feb 24: Equity benchmark indices jumped by nearly 2 per cent on Wednesday with banking and financial stocks gaining substantial ground.

The BSE S&P Sensex closed 1,030 points or 2.07 per cent higher at 50,782 while the Nifty 50 advanced by 274 points or 1.86 per cent to 14,982.

At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), trading in all segments remained halted for several hours due to a technical problem. As a result, trading at both the stock exchanges was extended.

Except for Nifty IT, which slipped marginally, all sectoral indices were in the green zone with Nifty private bank gaining by 3.8 per cent, financial services by 3.4 per cent and PSU bank by 2.8 per cent.

Private banks gained substantially after the Finance Ministry allowed private sector banks for government related transactions.

Among stocks, HDFC Bank advanced by 5.3 per cent to Rs 1,611.05 per share. Axis Bank was up by 5.1 per cent, ICICI Bank by 3.8 per cent and Kotak Mahindra Bank by 2.4 per cent.

State Bank of India ticked up by 3 per cent and Bajaj Finance by 3.3 per cent. Coal India gained by 5.2 per cent to Rs 144.10 per share while infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro gained by 2.5 per cent.

The other major gainers were HDFC and UltraTech Cement. However, those which lost were UPL, Dr Reddy's, Sun Pharma, Cipla, JSW Steel, Tata Motors and Asian Paints.

Meanwhile, Asian equities opened lower on concerns about rising interest rates and rich equity valuations.

South Korea's Kospi shed 2.45 per cent on valuation nerves while Japan's Nikkei 225 was down by 1.61 per cent on profit booking in tech shares.

Hong Kong shares slumped by 2.99 per cent, the most in nine months, on stamp duty hike.

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