Daily Digest (8/13)

Experts Warn of New Fake COVID Aid Scam; Facebook Panics Amid New Tracking Option in Apple’s IOS Update; 350M Email Addresses Exposed on Unsecured Amazon Server; Facebook Defeats Investor Lawsuit Over Privacy. Click “Continue reading” below.

Experts Warn of New Fake COVID Aid Scam

Consumer groups are warning against a new wave of fraudulent services claiming to help individuals and businesses receive money from COIVD-19 government-aid programs.

Victims are lured by dishonest social-media ads, search results — even recommendations from unwitting friends and family, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Infosecurity reports.

After clicking on an ad, people are directed to fake “consultants” promising to secure aid where past applications have been denied.

“All you do is fill out some paperwork,” the BBB told Infosecurity. “This requires personal information, such as your full name, home address and government ID numbers.”

After the paperwork, the fake consultant will ask for an upfront payment.

“These ‘consultants’ don’t really have any special information, but they want the personal information and initial payment,” the bureau said.

Victims will lose both their personal information and their money, which puts them at risk for future identify fraud, according to Infosecurity.

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Facebook Panics Amid New Tracking Option in Apple’s IOS Update

The new privacy option in Apple’s iOS 14 update allows users to disable tracking between different applications.

But in Facebook’s quarterly earnings call last month, officials pointed out that the option could affect its advertising revenue, the 9To5Mac blog reports.

Facebook representatives have been meeting with mobile-game companies to discuss the privacy changes, using these sessions to ease “concerns,” the blog reports, as the companies are key advertising partners for Facebook, according to a report by The Information disclosed by 9To5.

Apple itself, the Information said, could lose out if their privacy changes impact the mobile-game industry, but the company still is doubling down on its commitment to user privacy with iOS 14.

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350M Email Addresses Exposed on Unsecured Amazon Server

An unsecured data bucket owned by an anonymous party was uncovered Monday, containing seven gigabytes of unencrypted files — including 350 million strings of unique email addresses.

Left on a public Amazon AWS server, the trove was downloadable by anyone accessing the data, CyberNews reports.

The bucket since has been closed by Amazon.

CyberNews cited the leak as the latest example of the growing cybersecurity gap.

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Facebook Defeats Investor Lawsuit Over Privacy 

Facebook defeated an investor lawsuit over revelations that it allowed outside companies, including Cambridge Analytica, to access information from over 87 million users.

U.S. District Court Judge Edward Davila in California ruled last week that the allegations, even if true, would not support accusations that Facebook engaged in securities fraud, MediaPost reports.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of investors who purchased stock in the company earlier this year, claiming Facebook misrepresented the protection of user privacy.

Judge Davila ruled that the investors hadn’t connected Facebook’s statements on privacy to economic harm, though his dismissal was without prejudice — meaning investors could reform their claims and bring them again.

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— By DPN Staff