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Cyber Daily: TikTok’s Future Remains Unclear | Amazon’s Home Drone Prompts Privacy Worries – Wall Street Journal


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Cyber Daily: TikTok’s Future Remains Unclear | Amazon’s Home Drone Prompts Privacy Worries – Wall Street Journal

Sept. 28, 2020 10:20 am ET | WSJ Pro Good day. An eleventh-hour ruling blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to ban TikTok downloads in the U.S. The popular video-sharping app says it plans to continue its discussion with the U.S. government to reach an agreement. Other news: Russian pleads not guilty in scheme to invade Tesla’s…

Good day. An eleventh-hour ruling blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to ban TikTok downloads in the U.S. The popular video-sharping app says it plans to continue its discussion with the U.S. government to reach an agreement.

Other news: Russian pleads not guilty in scheme to invade Tesla’s networks;
Twitter

hardens security, adds employee training; Russia proposes non-interference pact as vote-meddling accusations mount; and
Amazon
’s
home drone prompts privacy worries.

TikTok Developments

Beijing frets over losing control of TikTok as it debates the app’s fate. Chinese officials weighing whether to approve or kill an agreement to turn TikTok into a U.S.-based company are eager to ensure that the short-video app’s Chinese owner retains control over its global operations and that TikTok’s source code remains secret.

The China-owned app gained a reprieve after a U.S. federal judge blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to ban TikTok downloads in the U.S., as it scrambles to ensure its future while caught in a battle of brinkmanship between global superpowers.

TikTok parent ByteDance Ltd. said it had submitted to Chinese authorities its plan, which involves a partnership with
Oracle
Corp.
and
Walmart
Inc.
Much uncertainty still surrounds the proposed deal on both sides of the Pacific; Chinese state media has criticized it as “dirty and unfair.”

Officials at China’s Commerce Ministry have pored over U.S. media reports about the deal, and have been troubled by conflicting accounts of who would have ultimate control of TikTok’s world-wide operations, according to people familiar with the matter.

They have also been concerned about reports that U.S. parties in the agreement would be allowed to review TikTok’s source code—the basis of a computer program that companies generally consider proprietary—these people said. TikTok’s fate touches upon China’s “core interests,” such as protecting Chinese-developed intellectual property from falling into foreign hands, people privy to the discussions said.

Read the full story.

Big Number

$22 Billion

The expected market valuation of Palantir when the data-mining-software firm debuts in a public offering planned for Wednesday.

More Cyber News

Russian pleads not guilty in ransomware scheme against Tesla. Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, 26, is accused of conspiracy to damage a protected computer in a plot to induce a Tesla employee to plant ransomware on the company’s network. Mr. Kriuchkov, who was arrested in August, will remain in custody after his plea last week before a federal judge in Reno, Nev., the Associated Press reports. Attorneys for the Russian citizen didn’t respond to requests for comment from the AP. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Twitter hardens security after July account take-over incident. Twitter employees received additional cybersecurity training and hardware security devices, the social media firm said. The company has also conducted penetration tests, ZDNet reports. In July, prominent accounts, including those of
Joe Biden
,
Elon Musk
, and Apple, were taken over, one by one, to promote a cryptocurrency scam. Three people were charged in connection with the hack, including a 17-year-old juvenile whom authorities have accused of masterminding the scam. Twitter has also conducted exercises to prepare for attacks expected as November’s U.S. presidential election draws near, the company said.

Related: Russia Proposes Noninterference Pact, as Vote-Meddling Accusations Mount (WSJ)

Amazon’s home drone prompts privacy worries. Some consumers posted concerns about how the Always Home Cam, which Amazon’s Ring division debuted last week, will collect and store images and video, ThreatPost reports. Users can set flight paths for the drone and control it with an app. Ring said features such as a low hum when it is in use help the device alert people about when the camera is on. Ring also said users will be able to encrypt the data collected. The device is due to ship next year for $250.

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