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Black Hat Conference, Wiper Malware, & Code Leaks Round out this Week's Headlines

"It would be hard to miss the rise of ransomware attacks given how visible some have been this year. With multiple state and local governments set back on their heels by ransomware—including the RobbinHood ransomware attack in May that the City of Baltimore is still recovering from, to the tune of $10 million in recovery costs and $8 million in lost revenue—ransomware attacks have become an almost daily part of the news. But these attacks against municipal and state governments are only the most high-profile part of a much larger trend, according to a report issued by IBM's X-Force Incident Response and Intelligence Services (IRIS) today."

"One of the largest gatherings of hackers is rolling into Las Vegas this week, with Black Hat and Defcon taking place back to back. The cybersecurity conferences are often referred to as 'Hacker Summer Camp,' which raises questions about keeping yourself safe when you're surrounded by hackers."

"Marriott International Inc. said Monday it booked a $126 million charge in the latest quarter tied to a massive data breach disclosed last year and lowered financial projections for the year. Second-quarter profit dropped 65% to $232 million, or 69 cents a share. Excluding the non-cash accrual and other items, profit fell to $1.56 a share from $1.73 a share a year earlier."

"Suspected Iranian hackers infiltrated critical infrastructure and government computers in the Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain within the last month, raising fears among leaders in the region that Tehran is stepping up its cyberattacks amid growing tensions. The intrusions, according to people familiar with them, rose above the normal level of Iranian cyber activity in the region."

"Late one night last September, security researcher Ruben Santamarta sat in his home office in Madrid and partook in some creative googling, searching for technical documents related to his years-long obsession: the cybersecurity of airplanes. He was surprised to discover a fully unprotected server on Boeing's network, seemingly full of code designed to run on the company's giant 737 and 787 passenger jets, left publicly accessible and open to anyone who found it. So he downloaded everything he could see."

With the launch of its consumer credit card Apple Card now only days away, Apple has activated an application website for the offering, including a short video explaining how the signup process works on iPhones. As recently suggested, the site indicates that users will be able to apply for the Apple Card using an iPad.

North Korea has generated an estimated $2 billion for its weapons of mass destruction programs using “widespread and increasingly sophisticated” cyberattacks to steal from banks and cryptocurrency exchanges, according to a confidential U.N. report seen by Reuters on Monday.

AT&T employees took bribes to unlock millions of smartphones, and to install malware and unauthorized hardware on the company's network, the Department of Justice said yesterday. These details come from a DOJ case opened against Muhammad Fahd, a 34-year-old man from Pakistan, and his co-conspirator, Ghulam Jiwani, believed to be deceased.

The Air Force ran a standard security check after it started moving its apps to a new cloud server, and at the time, everything seemed fine. Security auditors looked through its standard checklist of security compliance, and the new cloud server, called Cloud One, had a clean bill of health. Then from March 18 to June 21, hackers taking part in a bug bounty program gave it a second look and found 54 vulnerabilities with the cloud server. The most critical vulnerability had a $20,000 payout, which the Department of Defense declined to provide specific details on. 

Every year, the Greater Houston Partnership — the city's economic development arm — gathers up data and reports to paint a full picture of the Bayou City. In the past few editions, innovation has been a key component.

The GHP's innovation coverage spans three pages under the top industry and sectors category. From tech startup growth to money raised, here's what you need to know from the 2019 Houston Facts.


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