Connect with us

Technology

SpaceX is reportedly building a network of spy satellites for US intelligence

Published

on

SpaceX is reportedly building a network of spy satellites for US intelligence

SpaceX’s Starshield unit has had a classified contract with the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) since 2021 to build a network of “hundreds” of spy satellites for the agency, Reuters reports today, citing unnamed sources “familiar with the program.”

A Wall Street Journal report in February listed a classified $1.8 billion SpaceX contract with a then-unnamed government agency. Now Reuters has attached a name, and that it’s to build a network of “hundreds of satellites bearing Earth-imaging capabilities that can operate as a swarm in low orbits.”

The report didn’t say when the network will be operational or what other companies are involved. It does mention that a US database of space objects lists satellites deployed by SpaceX that the company and government have not acknowledged and cites sources confirming those objects as Starshield prototypes.

A screenshot from SpaceX’s Starshield website.
Screenshot: Wes Davis / The Verge

According to Reuters, if the NRO contract is a success, it would “significantly advance the ability of the U.S. government and military to quickly spot potential targets almost anywhere on the globe.

Advertisement

While an NRO spokesperson reportedly declined to comment on Reuters findings about SpaceX’s involvement, it confirmed to the outlet that it’s working to develop “the most capable, diverse, and resilient space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance system the world has ever seen.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Technology

Tesla slashes price for monthly Full Self-Driving subscription

Published

on

Tesla slashes price for monthly Full Self-Driving subscription

Tesla is reducing the subscription fee for its Full Self-Driving (FSD) driver-assist software in a reflection of the company’s continuing financial hardships. The company slashed the price to $99 / month, down from $199 where it has been since at least 2021.

Tesla announced the price adjustment in a post on X, in which it described the Level 2 driver-assist system as “FSD (Supervised)” — a name tweak that’s meant to convey the fact that drivers are required to pay attention to the road and stand ready to take control of the vehicle. (The company has been criticized for failing to include proper driver monitoring and other protections against overreliance on the system.)

Tesla previously charged owners $199 a month to subscribe to FSD. (The driver-assist system was also available for a one-time fee of $12,000.) FSD was also available as a $99 monthly subscription to owners who already have Autopilot, which is less capable than FSD. But now Tesla offers Autopilot as standard on all new car purchases, obviating the need for the price differential.

The company also recently began pushing a one-month free trial of FSD in a bid to get more customers to use it. And Tesla has reportedly been mandating its service center employees take all prospective buyers on a demo ride with FSD, under direct order by Elon Musk.

The company also recently began pushing a one-month free trial of FSD in a bid to get more customers to use it

Advertisement

But FSD is not a perfect system. Some Tesla owners laud its capabilities, but others describe it as erratic and untrustworthy. The company has pushed out numerous software updates in a bid to improve its abilities, with the latest (v12) purporting to finally tap into what Musk calls “end-to-end neural nets.”

Most automakers’ driver-assist systems are for limited use on highways, while Tesla stands alone in encouraging its customers to engage FSD on local roads with traffic signals, intersections, and vulnerable road users. The system controls acceleration and deceleration, makes turns — including unprotected left turns, which are extremely difficult for automated systems — and recognizes traffic signals and other road signs. FSD also requires drivers to pay attention to the road and take control of the vehicle when asked.

Tesla’s driver-assist technology has pushed the boundaries of what’s safe for customers to use on public roads and has drawn scrutiny from federal regulators. Federal regulators are investigating 16 crashes in which Tesla vehicle owners using Autopilot crashed into stationary emergency vehicles, resulting in 15 injuries and one fatality. Both Autopilot and FSD have recently been recalled, with the company pushing software updates that safety experts have called insufficient.

Tesla’s financial difficulties may be behind the latest price cuts. The company’s quarterly vehicle deliveries have declined for the first time in years, putting more pressure on Tesla to increase revenue through its software services as a way to compensate.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Technology

Two new stealthy malware threats are targeting those of you who use Macs

Published

on

Two new stealthy malware threats are targeting those of you who use Macs

Join Fox News for access to this content

Plus special access to select articles and other premium content with your account – free of charge.

Please enter a valid email address.

By entering your email and pushing continue, you are agreeing to Fox News’ Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which includes our Notice of Financial Incentive. To access the content, check your email and follow the instructions provided.

Having trouble? Click here.

If you use a Mac, it could be at risk of two new threats. While Apple has a reputation for having ironclad security, these two pieces of malware are designed to trick you and steal your data.

Jamf Threat Labs, an organization that focuses on the safety of Apple products, says the malware threats are part of a year-long attack on Mac systems.  

Advertisement

The group says hackers are using them to harvest data.  Attacks like these are constantly happening, according to the lab. That makes it all the more important for those who use a Mac to ensure your data is locked down.

It’s important to note that, according to the lab, these hackers largely target the crypto industry, putting those individuals, particularly, at risk. That said, all Mac users should still exercise caution.

CLICK TO GET KURT’S FREE CYBERGUY NEWSLETTER WITH SECURITY ALERTS, QUICK VIDEO TIPS, TECH REVIEWS AND EASY HOW-TO’S TO MAKE YOU SMARTER

MacBook Pro  (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

Malware posing as ads

Before we get into the malware, let’s talk about Arc Browser. For those unfamiliar with it, Arc Browser is a Mac web browser that looks to give users a unique experience. First and foremost, the main focus is on the webpage. Any buttons you might find in a traditional browser are relegated to a sidebar. It uses a bookmark system that gives you multiple workspaces. It also has automated tab management.

Advertisement

In other words, many Mac users would consider Arc Browser an upgrade over the already-included Safari. And its ever-growing popularity makes it a huge target for hackers.

ARC browser

Legitimate Arc Browser website  (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MORE: HOW CRYPTO IMPOSTERS ARE USING CALENDY TO INFECT MACS WITH MALWARE

How fake Arc Web Browser ads conceal dangerous malware

In this attack, hackers are hiding malware in advertisements posing as ads for Arc Browser, as seen below.

FAKE arc site

Malicious site aricl[.]net that imitates the legitimate arc.net  (Jamf Threat Labs)

The ad redirects to a malicious lookalike site: arc.net vs. aricl.net

Instead of taking you to the legitimate download page for the Arc web browser, the ad takes you to a lookalike malicious site, aricl[.]net, that imitates the legitimate arc.net and hosts malware.

fake arc site 2

Image of the malicious aricl[.]net site  (Jamf Threat Labs)

Malware disguised as Arc Browser unleashes Atomic Stealer

Once you download malware posing as Arc Browser, the malware unleashes an Atomic stealer. It’s a fake prompt that looks like a normal System Preferences prompt asking you for your password. Once the hackers get access to your system password, they can steal other data.

Advertisement
system preferences

Fake system preferences prompt  (Jamf Threat Labs)

Even worse, these so-called “ads” can appear as sponsored advertisements in a Google search. Jamf Threat Labs says these links can only be accessed through a generated sponsored link and not accessed directly. Attempts to access the malicious website directly returned an error message. This is presumably done to evade detection.

Fake meeting software

The researchers at Jamf Threat Labs have also discovered a fake website that offers malware hidden as free group meeting scheduling software. Meethub[.]gg appears to be legitimate. The company posts articles on Medium and has more than 8,000 followers on X, at the time of publishing. It, however, hosts malware that’s related to Realst, another piece of malware designed to drain crypto wallets.

Some of the attacks involving Meethub use social engineering. A hacker might approach their victim looking to interview them for a job or a podcast. In order to meet, they ask the victim to download Meethub’s software. According to Jamf, these attacks can sometimes lead to big paydays for hackers.

stealthy malware 2

Meethub website  (Jamf Threat Labs)

How to protect yourself

1. Don’t download bootleg software: It’s not worth the risk to download bootleg software. It exposes your device to potential security threats like viruses and spyware.  If someone emails you a link for a download, make sure it’s from a reputable source and scan it.

2. Don’t click on suspicious links or files: If you encounter a link that looks suspicious, misspelled or unfamiliar, avoid clicking on it. Instead, consider going directly to the company’s website by manually typing in the web address or searching for it in a trusted search engine. Most often, the first or second result that comes up is legitimate. If you see the word “Sponsored “above the search result, take a beat before clicking it and consider clicking on the result below it.

Advertisement

3. Have good antivirus software: The best way to protect yourself from clicking malicious links that install malware that may get access to your private information is to have antivirus protection installed on all your devices. This can also alert you of any phishing emails or ransomware scams. Get my picks for the best 2024 antivirus protection winners for your Mac, Windows, Android & iOS devices.

MORE: STEALTHY BACKDOOR MAC MALWARE THAT CAN WIPE OUT YOUR FILES 

What to do if you’ve been hacked

If it has already happened, and you’ve been hacked, then you should take immediate action to minimize the damage and secure your device. Here are some steps that you can follow:

Change your passwords

If hackers have recorded your passwords, they could access your online accounts and steal your data or money. On another device (i.e., your laptop or desktop), you should change your passwords for all your important accounts, such as email, banking, social media, etc. You want to do this on another device so the hacker isn’t recording you setting up your new password on your hacked device. And you should also use strong and unique passwords that are hard to guess or crack. You can also use a password manager to generate and store your passwords securely.

Enable two-factor authentication

You’ll want to activate two-factor authentication for an extra layer of security.

Advertisement

Monitor your accounts and transactions

You should check your online accounts and transactions regularly for any suspicious or unauthorized activity. If you notice anything unusual, report it to the service provider or authorities immediately. You should also review your credit reports and scores to see if there are any signs of identity theft or fraud.

Use identity theft protection

Identity theft protection companies can monitor personal information like your home title, Social Security number, phone number and email address and alert you if it is being used to open an account.  They can also assist you in freezing your bank and credit card accounts to prevent further unauthorized use by criminals. See my tips and best picks on how to protect yourself from identity theft.

Contact your bank and credit card companies

If hackers have obtained your bank or credit card information, they could use it to make purchases or withdrawals without your consent. You should inform your bank and credit card companies of the situation. They can help you freeze or cancel your cards, dispute any fraudulent charges, and issue new cards for you.

Alert your contacts

If hackers have accessed your email or social media accounts, they could use them to send spam or phishing messages to your contacts. They could also impersonate you and ask for money or personal information. You should alert your contacts and warn them not to open or respond to any messages from you that seem suspicious or unusual.

Advertisement

MORE: HOW A FLEW IN iPHONE’S SECURITY COULD LEAVE YOU LOCKED OUT

Kurt’s key takeaways

While Macs are generally secure devices, that hasn’t stopped hackers from stealing data. In fact, these two new attacks show how creative they can be while trying to break into your device. That’s why it’s so important to have good antivirus software and safety practices.

Good safety practices are even more essential for people who trade and use cryptocurrencies in these particular situations. As mentioned before, these attacks focus largely on draining crypto wallets. And while anyone can be hacked, crypto users have a higher risk. So take the time to assess a link before clicking on it. Don’t just download software because someone tells you to. Do your research. At the end of the day, it will help keep your data and your wallet safe.

Are you worried about hackers finding more creative ways to break into your computer? If you use crypto, how are you keeping your crypto wallet safe? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact

Advertisement

For more of my tech tips and security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter

Ask Kurt a question or let us know what stories you’d like us to cover

Answers to the most asked CyberGuy questions:

Copyright 2024 CyberGuy.com.  All rights reserved.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Technology

Here’s 16 pages of what Epic wants after winning its Google app store lawsuit

Published

on

Here’s 16 pages of what Epic wants after winning its Google app store lawsuit

Do you think a judge will make Google allow an Android version of the Epic Games Store to live inside its own Google Play Store, let the Epic Games Store have access to every app inside Google Play, and let Android users begin sideloading apps with a single tap? Because Epic’s asking for those and a whole lot more in the aftermath of Epic v. Google.

On December 11th, Epic won a surprise victory against Google in federal court. A jury unanimously decided that Google had turned its Google Play app store and Google Play Billing service into an illegal monopoly. But what did Epic win? That’s yet to be decided by Judge James Donato, and today, we’re finally learning precisely what Epic believes it should get.

As you’ll see in the 16-page proposed injunction and my bullet points below, Epic’s asking for a lot — it doesn’t just want to block Google from most every kind of potentially unfair behavior it highlighted during the trial but also proactively and instantly put third-party app stores and billing systems on the same footing with Google Play and Google Play Billing in one fell swoop.

Even if you might think that fair, it’s unlikely a judge will go that far. Today’s Epic document is just the starting point in a negotiation — Google gets to file its response by May 2nd, and then Judge Donato will hear from experts on both sides at a hearing on May 23rd.

Okay, here’s the document, following my rough summary of what Epic’s asking for.

Advertisement

What Epic wants from Google:

That’s broad strokes; here are the specifics.

See you on May 23rd, I suppose!

Continue Reading

Trending