Between the Bytes: Episode 13
Welcome to this week’s Between the Bytes where we are not as smart as your average nerd. I’m Arash Bankhshandehpour and I’m Gary Arnold. This week we’re going to be giving you some updates with some white hat hackers, the iPhone updates and the new products they’re coming out with, some facts with Equifax among other stuff.
Two-Factor Authentication Hack
A group of research hackers in Massachusetts were trying to find exploits and weaknesses in a system recently and were able to get into somebody’s Bitcoin wallet and account simply by knowing their name and mobile phone number, which aren’t hard things to come by. What they did was take your first and last name and get your Google account from that and your mobile phone number. Then, they have this system software that will intercept a text message, (straight out of Jason Bourne type stuff here), and the weakness isn’t in two-factor authentication. Two factors are when you receive a text to confirm you are who you say you are. The weakness is in the text messaging because they were able to intercept the text message saying, “here’s a code, verify who you are.” They drop that code and are able to log into somebody’s Gmail account. They went over to the Bitcoin wallet, said “reset the password again”, it sent a code to their cell phone number. The email may not have access to reset that was able to get in and presumably would have been able to release funds to another account. Obviously, they didn’t do that, it was just an experiment. But, it’s an interesting story about two-factor authentication. It’s something that you need to be aware of, it may be something you use on your own account and it’s easy to deactivate if it’s something you’re worried about. It’s a pretty rare instance so we don’t necessarily recommend just stopping all two-factor authentication because it’s a good security feature but just be aware that it’s out there. Learn more.
New Apple iPhone
Apple update: last week Apple released their new versions of their iPhones, including the iPhone X.It will have an OE l LED display, a much larger screen, and a smaller bezel. The cool thing that this phone is doing, is it no longer has the home button that all the iPhones have come to be known for. There’s also no keypad for a password to enter, it is face ID authentication to log in, it even works in the dark. Once again, it is customized to phone’s user. It’s a faster processor but there’s always a catch. The iPhone X is starting at $999 dollars and is not available until November. G4C Apple is continuing its kind of dominance in the cell phone world and these prices are significantly increasing. Apple knows its users and Apple users (bless your hearts) are very loyal. I buy laptops for cheaper than that so I’m out. I may have to give up my loyalties as well. (Come to the Google side.)
Record-Setting Electric Bus
In other news, a company called Proterra recently broke records for electric vehicles. Their electric bus went the longest distance on a single charge, farther than any other vehicle before, even the small, light one person vehicles. The electric bus was able to go 1,102 two miles on a single charge, which is incredible. No gas vehicle can do that regardless of the gas hyper. They are obviously trying to put this into further development and get it out to cities over the coming years to have that become a regular occurrence. They’re developing a supercharging station that will be able to charge the buses in about an hour, which again, isn’t a problem. Buses usually come to a garage anyway, so they’ve got all night to charge. That’s something to look forward to down the line, seeing electric buses buzzing around town.
Equifax Hack Continued
As we are aware, regarding Equifax several weeks ago, there was a hack breaching regarding 143 million Americans accounts. Now, Equifax also recently found out that there was another breach back in March. Fortunately, or maybe, unfortunately, we don’t know if any data was stolen but it is still scary that someone was able to make that breach as there’s a lot of vital, personal information for a lot of people on Equifax. Stocks are tanking for sure. We do want to let you know that Equifax has set up a website where you can sign up for credit monitoring and protection. That is something to look into, but also something to be very aware of is that scammers and criminals will be taking advantage of this and be saying, “hey check your credit or set up free monitoring.” You want to be very wary of offers that seem too good to be true from unfamiliar sources, always look at a link before you click on it, and see if it’s weird or where the email is really coming from. Tread lightly when it comes to this breach as there will be criminals trying to take advantage of it.
We’ve got a new piece of technology here at the Executech office that we wanted to show off a little bit. It’s something that we’ve been pre-moving as part of our grand opening. Thanks again, by the way, to all those who made it out to our grand opening last week. It was a lovely day, a ton of fun, and lots of great food and people. So we’ve got a new piece of technology as part of our new building, it’s actually right behind us (or you I guess) really cool piece of technology stay tuned for that we’ll be demoing.
Product Insider – Microsoft Surface Hub
On this week’s product insider, we have KC Kuhns who is one of the techs here at Executech, (he’s also been featured here on Between the Bytes), here to give us a description. Take us away, KC. This is Microsoft’s brand-new surface hub, it’s an 82-inch screen. It’s great for meetings, conference calls, and it has a lot of multitasking capabilities and overall it’s an awesome product for large environments. I’ll just jump into it. When you first load it up, it takes you to all the apps that are available. There are more apps that are available once you install all the updates and the plugins are ready for it. We’ll jump into just the whiteboard here so you can kind of see how the multitasking works on here. With this you can draw with your hands, (or there’s a pen right there) so both of us can be drawing at the same exact time. Like I said, it’s great for multitasking. So let’s say that you had somebody drawing over here, and you needed a presentation over here. You can do both things at the same time. One of the other cool things that you can do on here, (it comes preloaded with Microsoft’s Maps), on maps so you can zoom in on any location anywhere in the world. It comes with satellite images everywhere, (very similar to Google Maps) and then on here you can basically fly around in 3D space and see all different buildings and how things are laid out. Casey, once again, thanks for coming by and making time for us, and that will do it for this weeks product demo.
Frontline: CCleaner Infected With Malware
This is frontline worthy: Welcome to Executech’s frontline, we’re bringing you breaking news about cyber-attacks and other digital threats that may be relevant to you. Recently on “Between the Bytes”, several weeks ago we covered a software called CCleaner. It’s actually a very useful software and a lot of techs will use it to clean up unnecessary data and other files hanging around your computer. Unfortunately, we’ve recently found out that CCleaner was infected by malware. Hackers were able to get in and inject malware into the legitimate software. Fortunately, the company that owns CCleaner has already sent out a fix so that the malware will not take effect, it will be removed. It also was only affecting 32-bit machines and most machines nowadays run on 64-bit so most people don’t even have anything to worry about. But, it is just something to keep in mind. Keep your software up-to-date, keep your operating system up-to-date, and all these things can be avoided. That’s it for today on Frontline.
We’re back. And you thought that we had forgotten about our third member of the cast but we haven’t. Alexa tell us a joke.
“Why do meteors prefer cold showers when they get home?”
“They’re always burning up on entry”
We’ll catch you next week on Between the Bytes.