Author: securnerd

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GitHub, a leading software development platform, has declared the public beta availability of its latest Copilot Chat feature. The novel addition, reminiscent of a ChatGPT-like experience, is crafted to assist developers in their coding endeavors. GitHub has limited the initial rollout to enterprise companies and organizations, with the feature accessible through Microsoft’s Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code applications. The announcement, first made in March, marked Copilot Chat as the flagship component of GitHub’s Copilot X initiative. This development came as an enhancement of the original Copilot code completion tool, which incorporated OpenAI’s advanced GPT-4 model. The key aim of…

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Newly-discovered ransomware, known as Mallox, (alternatively named TargetCompany, FARGO, and Tohnichi), is launching an aggressive campaign against Microsoft SQL (MS-SQL) servers. First appearing in June 2021, this specific strain of ransomware is particularly worrisome due to its focus on exploiting unsecured MS-SQL servers, giving it the potential to cause widespread network breaches. Unit 42 security researchers, who recently identified the Mallox ransomware, reported an alarming 174% spike in incidents involving Mallox targeting MS-SQL servers, utilizing brute force attacks, data theft, and network scanners for distribution. The Mallox Ransomware Modus Operandi The perpetrators of the Mallox ransomware adopt a two-pronged strategy,…

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Seven of the world’s leading tech giants – Google, OpenAI, Meta, Amazon, Anthropic, Inflection, and more – have joined forces with the United States government under President Joe Biden’s administration. The shared objective? To effectively address the inherent risks linked with artificial intelligence (AI) technology by implementing comprehensive, safe, and responsible AI development measures. According to the latest report by IANS, these tech companies have vowed to conduct rigorous security testing on AI systems and provide public access to the results. This move signifies a bold stride towards enhancing transparency, increasing accountability, and fostering trust among users and the general…

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From the dawn of the digital age, hackers have relentlessly explored and exploited technology to uncover new vulnerabilities, driven by diverse motivations spanning political ideologies to personal beliefs. However, the trend in cyberattacks is evolving, with threat actors increasingly targeting large-scale industrial environments, demonstrating an ambition that is reshaping the cybersecurity landscape. The GhostSec hacktivist collective garnered attention in the spring when they breached Israeli industrial infrastructure, disabling and wiping data from 11 Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) devices. This marked a significant uptick in the scale and complexity of their operations, displaying a tenacity that’s reshaping the cybersecurity landscape.…

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A recent advancement in the application of pretrained language models (PLMs) has pushed the boundaries of their performance in downstream natural language processing (NLP) tasks, thanks to the process of finetuning. The paradigm of task-specific finetuning is highly resource-intensive, requiring large computational capacity due to hundreds of millions of parameters involved. To circumvent this, researchers have been focusing on devising “parameter-efficient” methods for tuning models. Prompt tuning (PT), a strategy for efficient parameter transfer with PLMs, has shown promise. It incorporates adjustable continuous prompt vectors before initiating training, maintaining the base PLM configurations. The process learns only a limited number…

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Apple Inc. is reportedly ready to halt its iMessage and FaceTime services in the United Kingdom as a defiant response to the governmental push to increase the powers of state intelligence agencies in digital surveillance. The proposed expansion is part of the updates to the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) of 2016. First brought to light by BBC News, Apple has become the latest significant voice in the mounting opposition against these proposed legislative changes. Detractors argue that the alterations would effectively neutralize the protective capabilities of encryption. The debated Online Safety Bill necessitates the installation of technology to scan encrypted…

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The malware scanning service, VirusTotal, has formally apologized for an inadvertent data exposure that impacted over 5,600 of its premium customers. The incident occurred last month when an employee unintentionally uploaded a CSV file to the platform that contained sensitive customer information. According to Emiliano Martines, Head of Product Management at VirusTotal, the uploaded file held the names and corporate email addresses of premium account holders. However, Martines assured affected customers that the incident was purely an oversight and was not related to a cyber-attack or any existing vulnerability within VirusTotal’s systems. Moreover, the compromised file was only accessible to…

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It seems like there’s no limit to how much trouble generative artificial intelligence (AI) can cause when it falls into the wrong hands. Case in point, a newly discovered AI tool called WormGPT has been making waves in the underbelly of the internet, and let me tell you, it’s not good news. SlashNext is the one to thank for this alarming find. WormGPT is being peddled around in hush-hush online circles, promising its users an easy way to execute top-notch phishing and business email compromise (BEC) attacks. Gives me the creeps just thinking about it. Here’s how Daniel Kelley, a…

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