Unsupervised Learning Newsletter No. 289

News & Analysis

STANDARD EDITION | Ep. 289 | Tuesday: July 12, 2021 


CISA has released analysis of its RVA (Risk and Vulnerablity Assessment) programs for fiscal year 2020. It looks at the top findings in the assessments its done and maps them to MITRE's ATT&CK framework. Really cool stuff here. More Report

Biden asked Putin on Saturday to disrupt the ransomware groups operating out of Russia, and said that the US will take "any necessary action" to defend itself. That's strong language, but I don't think it'll be heard unless it's accompanied by supporting action. More

The FBI says attackers are using technical support fraud, SIM swapping, and crypto exchange credential attacks to go after peoples' crypto wallets. More

Microsoft has released out-of-band updates for PrintNightmare. More

A new piece of malware called BIOPASS is a RAT that side-loads OBS to record victims' screens. More

Zencity is an Israeli data analysis firm that provides anonymized and sanitized trend information on social media, especially as it relates to misinformation. They already serve 200 agencies in the US and market themselves as providing trend data without revealing sensitive PII related to specific people. More

Microsoft paid $13.6 million in bug bounties in the past year. If this was ten times higher it wouldn't seem too high. More

The Pentagon has canceled Microsoft's JEDI contract, and is restarting the bidding process. More

We continue to see fallout from the Accellion hacks, with Morgan Stanley announcing a breach as a result of the attacks. Same with Blackbaud, and Solarwinds, and lots of other supply chain attacks. It'll take years before we know how broad and deep they actually went. More

Amass (OWASP) has a new feature collaboration with SecurityTrails where you can share the subdomains you've found for a domain with the community.You add your SecurityTrails API key to Amass and use the -share flag to publish what you found to the API. Very cool! More

Palo Alto's Unit 42 has analyzed REvil's tactics and found them to be depressingly basic. Phishing, credential-stuffing RDP servers, etc. Depressing, yes, but why do something more advanced when the simple stuff keeps working? More

Recorded Future has detected Chinese APT group TAG-22 going after Nepal, the Philippines, and Taiwan using Winnti and other tools. More

China's cyberspace regulator just said any company with more than 1 million users needs to go through a security review before offering shares overseas. The goal is to prevent the foreign listings from allowing an avenue for foreign government influence into the companies, and therefore into China. More

Jack Cable of the Krebs Stamos Group has launched a new tool that tracks ransomware payments, called Ransomwhere. More Tool


  • CISA has released a security advisory for Phillips Hue PAC products. More

  • Cisco has released updates to its Web Security Appliance and Business Process Automation products. More

  • Western Digital users need to worry about another RCE. More


  • Insurer CNA reports a data breach after its ransomware incident. More


  • NanoLock Security raised $11 million to continue protecting OT devices. More

  • ZeroFox acquires dark web threat intelligence company, Vigilante. More


A number of startups are using AI to create realistic voice and video for digital assistants, video game characters, corporate videos, and advertising. More Sample

Facebook is building a new city near its headquarters called Willow Park. It'll be a self-contained city with 1,729 apartments, a hotel, and supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, parks, and a pharmacy. It'll allow the company to employ 3,400 more employees at that location. More

Tesla has started rolling out its long-delayed Full Self Driving software update. Or at least it's closer to fully autonomous driving. It enables numerous multiple features that get us closer, such as lane changes and turns off the highway. Turns out this whole thing was harder than Musk thought it would be. More

Visa said it's partnering with 50 crypto companies to allow customers to use digital currencies. More

Amazon is selling COVID test kits for $39.99 in the US. More

TikTok is inviting users to send video resumes to participating companies, including Target, Chipotle, Shopify, and others. Whether we like it or not, a lot of jobs come down to charisma and likeability, especially in customer service. Plus we know legacy hiring is horrendous. So I can see this being really successful. More

Amazon has been instructing managers not to tell employees whether they're on a performance plan unless they ask. More


59% of Americans thought they were "thriving" in June, which is the highest percentage in over 13 years of measurement. The previous lows were at the worst parts of the 2008 financial crisis and the pandemic, both of which were at 46%. More Graphic

A Yale study has shown that psilocybin repairs brain cells in mice that have been damaged by depression. More

Cubans are protesting for freedom in some of the largest pro-change gatherings in decades. I'm sure China will be watching this closely. More

Death Valley hit 130 degrees recently, matching Earth's highest recorded temperature in 90 years. More

New research in the journal Cell claims that neurons don't just encode information in the rate of their firings, but also in their timing. It's believed that this could explain how humans learn so quickly. More

The President of Haiti was assassinated in his home, and there are Americans among the suspects. More

A UC study found that there actually wasn't a massive migration out of California. They said there was a migration out of San Francisco, but that 2/3 of those people stayed in the Bay Area and 80% stayed in California. More


Getting Good — A quick thought on how to get really good at something. More


I finished our book club book in like two days after we selected it, and I've read two others since then. Getting the reading in! I'm currently re-reading a bunch of Mark Manson stuff.

I'm looking at installing a reverse osmosis system at my main sink. If anyone knows the best brand/options/tips, please pass them along. I am not sure I'm going to do a water softener for the whole house. Seems rather drastic, and I'm worried about it affecting other plumbing. But the water filter—yeah, that's a must. Can't have good coffee without good water. Any tips appreciated.


[ Sponsored Discovery ] INKY INKY uses machine learning and computer vision to identify and block zero-day phishing emails that get through legacy email systems. Using the most advanced detection techniques INKY blocks malicious phishing attacks on Microsoft O365, Exchange, and Google Workspace. I know and have worked with the team over there, and I use this service myself. It's fantastic and if you're in the market for email security you need to add them to your list. Get a Demo

Security Scorecards — Automated analysis and ratings of open source project secure using a scorecard system. More

It Was All a Dream — A Python-based PrintNightmare vulnerability scanner that lets you test entire subnets for the issue and get the output as a CSV. More

Hakrawler —A Go-based web crawler for gathering URLs and JavaScript paths. More

Codingo shares his recon approach using SecurityTrails, FDNS, WHoxy, and other tools More

Geneology of Nassim Taleb's Incerto More

A FASCINATING interview about how products are less differentiated by features these days, and are increasingly standing out due to their story and messaging. Must read. More


If you have a NAS, make sure it's not connected to the internet. If you look at all these QNAP and Western Digital RCEs, and you consider what most people have on their NAS, it's probably not worth it to have it online. These companies tend not to be staffed with the security expertise to host your most sensitive data online.

  1. Go into your interface

  2. Make sure the system is up to date

  3. Make sure you have a strong, non-default password

  4. Take it off the internet

  5. Help your less-tech-savvy loved ones do the same


“You are the artist of your own life. Don't hand the brush to anyone else.”

~ Iva Ursano