#AxisOfEasy 254: Apple Debuts Lockdown Mode to Prevent State-Sponsored Spying

Weekly Axis Of Easy #254

Last Week’s Quote was  “No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation,” … was by General Douglas MacArthur. 4 guesses, but none were right.

This Week’s Quote:  “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” … by ???

THE RULES:  No searching up the answer, must be posted to the blog – the place to post the answer is at the bottom of the post, in the comments section.

The Prize: First person to post the correct answer gets their next domain or hosting renewal on us.


This is your easyDNS #AxisOfEasy Briefing wherein our Technology Correspondent Joann L Barnes and easyCEO Mark E. Jeftovic send out a short briefing on the state of the ‘net and how it affects your business, security and privacy.

In this issue:

  • Apple Debuts Lockdown Mode to Prevent State-Sponsored Spying
  • Cruise’s Robot Car Outages Are Jamming Up San Francisco
  • Lawyers urged to stop advising clients to pay ransomware demands
  • Canada wide Rogers outage
  • Elon Musk backs out of Twitter deal
  • China suffers cyber security breach affecting 1 billion people
  • Canada is censoring us and bill c-11 will make it worse

Elsewhere online

  • Something Snaps In The US Labor Market: Full, Part-Time Workers Plunge As Multiple Jobholders Soar
  • Rolls Royce, EDF among winners of UK greenhouse gas removal tech funding
  • Primary-age children’s screen time went up by 83 minutes a day during pandemic – study
  • China’s Tonto Team APT Ramps Up Spy Operations Against Russia


Apple Debuts Lockdown Mode to Prevent State-Sponsored Spying

The new feature ‘Lockdown Mode’ will be added to iOS devices. It allows Apple users to protect themselves from ‘highly targeted mercenary spyware.” This specialized protection is to prevent targeted cyberattacks or spying, and state-sponsored spies/hackers.

Apple’s head of security engineering and architecture, Ivan Krstić, called it a “groundbreaking capability” reflecting their  “unwavering commitment to protecting users from even the rarest, most sophisticated attacks.”

Although a fraction of users may be at the risk, (those targets of threat actors) such as human rights activities, political nonconformists, protestors and journalists, etc.. users targeted by the NSO Group, it is still a welcome addition for iOS users.

Announced via Apple’s official blog, here are some of the capabilities which include blocking/disabling link previews and attachments in messages, incoming service requests, invitations and FaceTime calls from unknown users, blocking wired connection with any computer, device, or accessory if the iPhone is locked, blocking configuration profiles installation and enrollment of the device in MDM (mobile device management), disabling just-in-time JavaScript compilation except if the user has excluded some website from blocking.

Read: https://www.hackread.com/apple-lockdown-mode-prevent-state-sponsored-spying/

Cruise’s Robot Car Outages Are Jamming Up San Francisco

In San Francisco a man became trapped by a bunch of autonomous vehicles while in traffic for approximately 15 minutes. Many Cruise vehicles shut down as they were unable to reach the central server. A whistle blower from the company alleges that this happens with ‘regularly.’ Testing started in 2015 and was granted approval by the DMV 5 years later.

Read: https://www.wired.com/story/cruises-robot-car-outages/

Lawyers urged to stop advising clients to pay ransomware demands

The UK’s NCSC and ICO urged lawyers to stop advising clients to pay ransomware to cyber attackers. They are also working to help business and those who need guidance should they find themselves victim of such an attack. By trying to mitigate risk, the ICO hopes organisations can improve security and keep appropriate back up files.

Read: https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/lawyers-advising-ransomware-demands/

Canada wide Rogers outage

The unthinkable happened in Canada. One of the major internet and communication providers, Rogers Communications, went offline in the early morning hours of Friday July 8th, 2022.

Their internet home phone customers, cell phone customers and internet customers were literally left without the ability to communicate through their service. Some banks were crippled because their backup systems were Rogers resellers and the hardest hit were small businesses, who were hit the most, had to turn away customers without cash.

The service was mostly restored after about a day with a “maintenance update gone wrong” as the reason given. This incident put a major dent in the narrative of a cashless society.

One thing is for sure. Those affected are looking to spread their eggs out of the single basket they had. That is the exact reason easyDNS developed the Proactive Nameserver service.

Read: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/rogers-outage-cell-mobile-wifi-1.6514373

Read:  https://kb.easydns.com/knowledge/proactive-nameservers/

Elon Musk backs out of Twitter deal

After a few months of a potential deal to buy twitter for $44 billion, Musk sent a letter to terminate the deal near the end of business day on Friday.

The Twitter stock price started going down in after hours trading, immediately.

The main reason seems to be Twitter’s refusal to comply with its contractual obligation. Musk wanted to asses the claim that only 5% of active users are spam accounts and Twitter has ignored requests or flat out rejected them.

Twitter is pursuing avenues to complete the deal so it looks like the saga will continue. Stay tuned.

Read: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/08/elon-musk-notifies-twitter-he-is-terminating-deal.html


China suffers cyber security breach affecting 1 billion people

The Shanghai National Police database got hacked. Seems the personal data of 1 billion people was unsecured.

This is the largest security leak in China’s history. A massive amount of information was made available on a hacker forum:

In 2022, the SHGA database was leaked. This database contains many TB of data and information on Billions of Chinese citizen [sic]. Databases contain information on 1 Billion Chinese national residents and several billion case records, including: name, address, birthplace, national ID number, mobile number, all crime/case details.

So far no group has claimed responsibility and investigations are under way.

Read: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/china-suffers-massive-cybersecurity-breach-affecting-over-1-billion-people/

Canada is censoring us and bill c-11 will make it worse

Timothy Denton explains how the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is about the control of speech already. Dictating acceptable speech regardless of how it affects the right of freedom of expression.

Bill C-11 aims to change the definition of “broadcasting” to include user generated content on the Internet, therefore lumping all of it under government control.

He says:

“To expand the definition of ‘broadcasting’ is to expand government regulation.

No matter how nicely the defenders of bill c-11 try to make it sound, disguising it in flowery terms, it directly aims at regulating what anyone says online to match government approved opinions.

Read: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/timothy-denton-our-government-is-censoring-us-and-with-bill-c-11-it-will-get-worse


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