September 13, 2023
In this Episode:
Marcel Brown: September 13th, 1959. The Soviet space probe, Luna 2, becomes the first man-made object to impact any celestial object. In this case, the Moon.
Edwin Kwan: In an effort to promote cybersecurity, staff and students from three universities and across three states attended an annual Australian music festival to run daily cybersecurity tune-ups for festival-goers.
Katy Craig: Temu, a shopping app that’s been downloaded over 100 million times in the US and Europe, is under serious scrutiny for some shady business practices. This app poses a significant risk to consumers. If you’ve got it on your phone, it might be time for a digital detox.
Hillary Coover: Diversity is gaining ground in the cybersecurity sector and there is now a wealth of data resources available. Despite this positive shift, there’s still a need to attract and retain more minority workers in the industry.
The Stories Behind the Cybersecurity Headlines
Cybersecurity Tune Up for Festival Goers
In an effort to promote cybersecurity, staff and students from three universities and across three states attended an annual Australian music festival to run daily cybersecurity tune-ups for festival-goers.
This is Edwin Kwan from Sydney, Australia.
Generation TikTok are cyber-savvy. They know where is danger and risk. Their photos and thoughts are posted for the world to see and they need cybersecurity more than ever. However, getting the message out is hard.
The universities decided to take this social-media-friendly approach to raising awareness about digital privacy and cyber security by going to the annual Australian Music Festival, ” Splendour in the Grass.” They ran security tune-ups in the Science Tents, where they chatted with festival-goers about the big four of cybersecurity for their mobile devices: patching, multi-factor authentication, password management, and encryption.
The event was supported by AISA, the Australian Information Security Association, and the New South Wales state government. Read more about it at the University of Melbourne’s website.
– University of Melbourne: https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/the-splendour-of-cybersecurity.amp
TEMU App: A Trojan Horse in Your Palm
Temu, a shopping app that’s been downloaded over 100 million times in the US and Europe, is under serious scrutiny for some shady business practices. Independent data security experts have found that Temu has all the characteristics of aggressive malware and spyware. The app has hidden functions that could allow bad actors to exfiltrate a treasure trove of data from your mobile devices.
And let’s be clear, this isn’t just a coding mistake. The app’s development team went to great lengths to hide these malicious features.
This is Katy Craig in San Diego, California.
Speaking of the development team, they’re the same engineers behind the Pinduoduo app, which was previously suspended from the Google Play Store for similar issues. Pinduoduo cleaned up its act to get reinstated, but guess what? Some of those same “bad parts” are now in Temu, strongly suggesting this isn’t an accident.
Financially, Temu is a head-scratcher. The app is hemorrhaging money, losing an estimated $30 per order. With astronomical ad spending and shipping costs, one has to wonder how this business model is sustainable. Well, selling stolen data could be one way to keep the lights on, and having the backing of your government is another way to stay in business.
A U.S. Congressional Committee has drafted HR 1153, which could seriously impair Temu’s business model. The bill aims to punish Temu for data exfiltration and close loopholes that give the app a free pass on postage, customs inspections, and tariffs.
Temu is not just a bad actor, it’s a blockbuster villain in the cybersecurity world. With its rapid user growth and hidden malicious intent, this app poses a significant risk to consumers. If you’ve got it on your phone, it might be time for a digital detox.
This is Katy Craig. Stay safe out there.
– Grizzly Reports: https://grizzlyreports.com/we-believe-pdd-is-a-dying-fraudulent-company-and-its-shopping-app-temu-is-cleverly-hidden-spyware-that-poses-an-urgent-security-threat-to-u-s-national-interests/
– CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2023/04/02/tech/china-pinduoduo-malware-cybersecurity-analysis-intl-hnk/index.html
– Wired: https://www.wired.com/story/temu-is-losing-millions-of-dollars-to-send-you-cheap-socks/
– Congress.GOV: https://www.congress.gov/bill/118th-congress/house-bill/1153
Diversity Trends Emerge in the Growing Cybersecurity Workforce
It is no surprise to anyone in the cybersecurity industry that there is a talent shortage and dire skills gap causing industry-wide burnout. The good news is that diversity is gaining ground in the cybersecurity sector and there is now a wealth of data resources available. Additionally, the forthcoming White House Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy promises to be an invaluable guide for cultivating and retaining a diverse talent pool in this industry.
Hi, this is Hilary Coover in Washington, DC.
The cybersecurity workforce is becoming more diverse, with 66 percent of recent entrants in the field across Canada, the UK, the US, and Ireland being non-white, according to ISC2. However, despite this positive shift, there’s still a need to attract and retain more minority workers in the industry. The demand for cybersecurity professionals is only going to increase due to rising cyberattacks.
Despite the challenge, there are reasons for optimism. Over the past year, cybersecurity workforce has expanded by a noteworthy 10%, reflecting a growing interest in the field. Moreover, companies are discovering success in diversifying their talent pools by emphasizing diversity, equity, and inclusion in their job descriptions. Tailoring job listings to specify the essential skills and training required for each role has also proven to be an effective strategy in attracting a wider range of candidates.
What’s particularly intriguing is that not all new entrants into cybersecurity are young. This signals a broader trend of career changes in professionals from other backgrounds venturing into the field, expanding its potential talent base.
However, amid these positive developments, it’s essential to acknowledge a pressing issue, burnout. A survey revealed that a significant 61 percent of cybersecurity workers are currently experiencing burnout, highlighting the challenges of retaining talent in the industry.
In light of these dynamics, all eyes are on the forthcoming cybersecurity workforce strategy from the White House. The strategy is expected to offer valuable insights and guidelines for both public and private sectors on how to effectively attract and retain diverse and skilled cybersecurity professionals, thereby ensuring the industry’s continued growth and success while addressing the imperative need for greater diversity.
– AXIOS: https://www.axios.com/2023/07/21/cybersecurity-workforce-slowly-diversifying
– CyberSeek Supply/Demand Employment Heat Map: https://www.cyberseek.org/heatmap.html
This Day in Tech History
This is Marcel Brown with some technology history for September 13th.
September 13th, 1959. The Soviet space probe, Luna 2, becomes the first man-made object to impact any celestial object. In this case, the Moon.
September 13th, 1983. The Osborne Computer Corporation declares bankruptcy only two years after producing the first portable computer, the Osborne I. Computer industry lore has it that the “Osborne Effect” killed the company, but it was also due to competitive pressure and mismanagement.
September 13th, 1985. Nintendo releases Super Mario Brothers for the “Famicom” in Japan. Nintendo later released Super Mario Bros. in North America for the Nintendo Entertainment System in October.
It goes without saying that Super Mario Brothers. is frequently called one of the greatest video games of all time, and is also one of the best-selling games of all time. It is credited alongside the NES as one of the key factors in reviving the video game industry after the 1983 crash, and it helped popularize the side-scrolling, platform-game genre.
The soundtrack to Super Mario Brothers is one of the earliest and most popular in video games, and Mario has become one of the most prominent video game characters of all time.
That is your technology history for today. For more, tune in tomorrow and visit my website, ThisDayInTechHistory.com.