Wednesday Newsbytes: Hackers Bribing Verizon & T-Mobile Employees; FCC Restores Net Neutrality; Google Issues Critical Chrome Update; Windows 10 Gets Smaller Updates… and more

By | May 1, 2024
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Wednesday Newsbytes: Hackers Bribing Verizon & T-Mobile Employees; FCC Restores Net Neutrality; Google Issues Critical Chrome Update; Windows 10 Gets Smaller Updates… and more

Every day we scan the tech world for interesting news in the world of technology and sometimes from outside the world of technology. Every Wednesday, we feature news articles that grabbed our attention over the past week. We hope you find this week’s  ‘Wednesday Newsbytes’ informative and interesting!

Criminals are now texting T-Mobile and Verizon employees on their personal and work phones, trying to tempt them with cash to perform SIM swaps

The targeted employees have shared screenshots of messages offering $300 to those willing to aid the senders in their criminal endeavors.

According to many reports, this is part of a campaign targeted at current and former mobile carrier workers who could have access to the systems required to perform a SIM swap.

“Myself and a group of former employees all got the same message, all from different numbers and with different verbiage,” one of the targeted people said.

The attackers’ messages claim the source of the contact information is an employee directory, as first spotted by The Mobile Report.

“I got your number from the T-Mo employee directory. I’m looking to pay someone up to $300 per sim swap done, if you’re interested, reply and we can talk,” the criminals say in the messages…

Read more at Bleeping Computer.

Net neutrality restored as FCC votes to regulate internet providers

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday voted to restore “net neutrality” rules that prevent broadband internet providers such as Comcast and Verizon from favoring some sites and apps over others.

The move effectively reinstates a net neutrality order the commission first issued in 2015 during the Obama administration. In 2017, under then-President Donald Trump, the FCC repealed those rules.

The measure passed Thursday on a 3-2 vote split along party lines, with Democratic commissioners in favor and Republicans opposed.

Net neutrality effectively requires providers of internet service to treat all traffic equally, eliminating any incentive they might face to favor business partners or to hobble competitors. The public interest group Public Knowledge describes net neutrality as “the principle that the company that connects you to the internet does not get to control what you do on the internet.”

The rules, for instance, ban practices that throttle or block certain sites or apps, or that reserve higher speeds for the services or customers willing to pay more for them…

Read more at AP News.

Google issues ‘critical’ update to all Chrome browser users on Windows PCs

If you’re a Windows user who relies on Google Chrome — you need to take action to ensure you’re not in the crosshairs of hackers. Google has issued a new security update for its immensely popular web browser that includes a fix to the underlying graphics engine, which has been categorised as “critical” by the US firm.

If you’ve been putting off closing your Google Chrome app and restarting the browser to apply the latest update — don’t delay a second longer. Although Google downloads the latest version of its Chrome browser in the background, it cannot apply the update to your PC unless you close the software.

Unfortunately, that means you could lose some unsaved work in your browser — although that’s a price worth paying given that Google has listed one of the vulnerabilities patched in the update as a “critical” threat…

Read more at GB News.

Microsoft Cuts Down Windows 10 Update Size for Quicker Installs

In a significant move aimed at enhancing the user experience, Microsoft has introduced a groundbreaking update to Windows 10, mirroring successful features previously available only in Windows 11. This update marks a pivotal shift towards more efficient computing by significantly reducing the size of monthly updates—making them quicker to download and less cumbersome to install.

Leap Towards Efficiency

Windows 10, a stalwart of the Microsoft operating system lineup, is set to receive updates that are not only smaller in size but also faster to integrate, thanks to techniques first implemented in Windows 11. Starting from the April 2024 update, the size of Windows 10 updates has been noticeably reduced. For instance, the update released on April 23, 2024, was streamlined to approximately 630 MB, down from the previous 830 MB. This reduction is part of Microsoft’s ongoing effort to optimize…

Read more at Gadget Insiders.

Microsoft takes on OpenAI’s Sora with a cutting-edge AI tool capable of turning a static image into a ‘Talking Tom’

Microsoft’s new AI-powered tool transforms static images into clips amid the rising concern about deepfakes and misinformation.

Microsoft recently unveiled VASA — a new framework that generates “lifelike talking faces of virtual characters with appealing visual affective skills (VAS), given a single static image and a speech audio clip.”

VASA-1 can transform a static image into a short clip by producing lip movements that perfectly synchronize with a speech audio clip. Interestingly, the sophisticated cutting-edge technology makes the AI-generated creation lifelike by “capturing a large spectrum of facial nuances and natural head motions that contribute to the perception of authenticity and liveliness.”

Will Microsoft’s VASA fuel widespread deepfakes?

With the emergence of AI, there’s been an increase in deepfakes emerging across social media platforms and widespread AI-generated misinformation about elections. And now, with a sophisticated tool such as VASA-1 capable of delivering high video quality with lifelike facial and head dynamics from static images, a major concern might be how this will impact factual and credible news or information from the internet.

The tool supports 512×512 videos at up to 40 FPS…

Read more at Windows Central.

Thanks for reading this week’s Wednesday Newbytes. We hope these articles were informative, interesting, fun, and helpful. Darcy & TC

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