Unsupervised Learning No. 240

News & Analysis

MEMBER EDITION | EP. 240 | August 3, 2020

FBI Twitter Suspects, Recorded Future China Vatican, TikTok Microsoft Sep 15th, Amazon and Shopify Thriving, Forrester Ad Spending, Samsung Out of China, Technology News, Human News, Ideas Trends & Analysis, Discovery, Recommendations, and the Weekly Aphorism…


The FBI quickly found the three kids who broke into Twitter. They did so through a combination of solid police work and bad OPSEC on the part of the attackers, for example reusing email addresses, linking accounts, using their home network connection, and validating their accounts on various services using their actual driver's licenses. More

Recorded Future says Chinese hackers have penetrated Vatican computer networks, starting in May before the talks between the Vatican and the Chinese government. More

The US government says TikTok will shut down in the US unless a US company buys its American operations, and it appears Microsoft is quite interested in doing that. The President also said the US Treasury should get a major share of the deal because it allowed the deal to happen. More

Garmin had a major outage recently, and it appears to have been the work of the Russian group called Evil Corp. According to Sky News, Garmin paid a multi-million dollar ransom to get back online. Ransomware really is everything right now. More


  • There's a critical bug in GRUB that allows one to gain a foothold on a Linux or Windows system, assuming they have physical access. More

  • High-severity flaws in Cisco Data Center Network Manager More

  • Code execution flaws in Magento. More


  • QSnatch is data-stealing malware that's infected over 62,000 QNAP NAS devices. More

  • Walgreens has declared customer data breaches affecting 180 stores. More


Amazon is absolutely crushing it during the pandemic since people need more than ever to have stuff shipped to them. Their net income increased to $5.2 billion in Q2, compared to $2.6 billion in the same quarter of 2019. More

Forrester says ad spending in the US will fall by 25% in 2020, and won't likely recover until 2023. They also said the industry will lose 52,000 jobs, and that half of those will not return because automation can do many of the administrative tasks. More

Shopify is absolutely thriving because it allows brick-and-mortar businesses to become accessible online. More

Amazon has been given the go-ahead by the FCC to launch 3,286 low-earth satellites that will provide internet access around the world. More

Samsung is halting production in its last Chinese factory, and it appears that my prediction about China making a strategic mistake may be coming true. It seems like many big companies are moving their operations out of China, with many heading to India. More

Australia is considering a law that would require Facebook and Google to subsidize printed newspapers. More

Many large tech companies, including Google and Facebook, are saying people can continue to work from home through 2020 and into 2021. More

Google's getting into home security with a $450 million dollar investment in ADT. More

New Relic is going to start making a lot of its agents and instrumentation available for free as they switch to a new business model around the platform rather than the technologies. More


Over 10 million households could be evicted over the next 4 months. I think the attendance and tone of protests could be quite different when they're filled with people who just lost their jobs and had their families put on the street. More

There's still significant confusion around whether and how COVID is transmitted through the air. The experts not only don't agree on the details; they also disagree on the terminology. And that's significantly harming our ability to create consistent and credible policy. More

High percentages of sledding athletes are taking their own lives after developing brain injuries. The theory is that the vibrations, crashes, and high G-forces are playing a part in the symptoms. More


The Rise of the Creator Economy More

The Economic Impact of COVID on the US [DataViz] More

US GDP dropped by a third last quarter. More


I finished my slides for my talk at the RedTeam Village @DEFCON this past weekend, and I believe my session will be on Saturday the 8th. It's called Mechanizing the Methodology, and it's all about automating recon and testing methodologies.


What I Learned From Doing 60 Technical Interviews in 30 Days More

Being beautiful or ugly can significantly affect how you get sentenced by a judge, with studies finding up to a 300% difference in outcomes. More

Pose Animator — Animate yourself as a cartoon in realtime. More

Snowcrash — A Polyglot Payload Generator More


Think about changing someone's mind less like an act of logical convincing force, and more like an act of growing a friendship. Closeness convinces more than arguments. (via James Clear)


“We rarely confide in those who are better than we are.”

~ Albert Camus

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