Wednesday Newsbytes: How Windows 11 Collects Your Data; 600K Medicare Recipients Had Data Stolen; Google to Start Deleting Accounts in December; Amazon Clinic Expands Nationwide: Chinese Zoo Say Bears are Real – Not Humans… and more!

By | August 2, 2023
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Wednesday Newsbytes: How Windows 11 Collects Your Data; 600K Medicare Recipients Had Data Stolen; Google to Start Deleting Accounts in December; Amazon Clinic Expands Nationwide: Chinese Zoo Say Bears are Real – Not Humans… 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!

5 Ways Windows 11 Collects Your Data

Windows 11 collects users’ data to offer a better overall experience. But how exactly Windows 11 does it is something you should know to become more aware of what is at stake when you willingly or unwillingly share data with Microsoft.

In this article, we’re listing the different ways Windows 11 collects your personal and non-personal data.

1. Windows 11 Sends Telemetry Data to Microsoft

Turning Off the Toggle for Tailored Experiences by Expanding the Menu after Turning Off the Toggle Next to Send Optional Diagnostic Data in Diagnostic and Feedback Settings in Windows Settings App

Telemetry data is what your Windows 11 devices send to Microsoft in order to improve the quality of Windows and other Microsoft services. While we all love to see quality improvements on our Windows devices, one can’t disregard the potential privacy concerns over tech companies collecting our data.

Telemetry data can include information about your device, preferences, usage pattern, and software. Windows 11 sends all this information to Microsoft for a more personalized experience. But with the benefits comes the risk of those data getting into the wrong hands, and some people prefer not to share any of those Telemetry data with Microsoft…

Read more at MakeUseOf.

600K Medicare beneficiaries’ data accessed in breach

The personal information of 612,000 Medicare beneficiaries were accessed in a sweeping data breach that affected what could be hundreds of organizations, including the government contractor, Maximus Federal Services.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in a press release Friday that it is notifying people affected by the data breach, which could have affected information including beneficiaries, names, Social Security numbers, medical histories, diagnoses and other personal details.

No CMS or Health and Human Services systems have been affected, according to the CMS.

CMS and Maximus, a CMS contractor that assists in the Medicare appeals process, are sending letters to those “potentially affected” and are offering recipients two years of free credit monitoring services.

The letter also provides information on steps to take to receive a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier number, for the people for whom that is relevant.

The data breach targeted a security vulnerability in the MOVEit software, a third-party application Maximus uses to facilitate the transfer of files during the appeals process.

Maximus determined that at least 8 million to 11 million people were affected by the data breach, including the 612,000 Medicare beneficiaries notified.

The attack took place approximately from May 27-31, according to the most up-to-date information in the CMS ongoing investigation…

Read more at The Hill.

Google warns again it will start deleting inactive accounts in December

In emails sent over the weekend, Google warned customers again that it would start deleting inactive accounts on December 1st, 2023.

The company will only enforce this rule for accounts that haven’t been used or signed into within two years but will first notify the users their accounts are eligible for deletion.

“If your account is considered inactive, we will send several reminder emails to both you and your recovery emails (if any have been provided) before we take any action or delete any account content. These reminder emails will go out at least 8 months before any action is taken on your account,” Google’s email reads.

Once a Google Account is deleted, the associated Gmail address will become ineligible for use in creating a new Google Account.

The easiest way to keep a Google Account active is to log in at least once every two years. As long as you have accessed your Google Account within the past two years, it will be considered active and will not be subject to deletion…

Read more at Bleeping Computer.

Amazon Clinic expands telemedicine services nationwide

The Amazon virtual healthcare service is now available in all 50 states and Washington, DC.

One of the few good things to come out of the pandemic was the normalization and popularization of telehealth and food delivery services. Like a true e-commerce behemoth, Amazon is banking on both. Today, the company announced the nationwide expansion of its Amazon Clinic to give users 24/7 access to third-party healthcare providers across 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Providing virtual urgent care for minor ailments, Amazon Clinic aims to give its customers affordable access to medical providers from the comfort of home.

The Amazon Clinic can treat patients for more than 30 common ailments, including urinary tract infections, GERD, and sinus infections. It also gives customers access to help with quitting smoking and prescription renewals for EpiPens and high blood pressure medicine, to name a few.

Customers who want to access a provider through the Amazon Clinic can now do so through 24/7 video visits nationwide or through text messaging with a provider, which is available in 34 states. The upfront costs range from $30-$40 for messaging and $70-$100 for video visits, although copays are FSA and HSA-eligible…

Read more at ZDNet.

Cybercriminals train AI chatbots for phishing, malware attacks

In the wake of WormGPT, a ChatGPT clone trained on malware-focused data, a new generative artificial intelligence hacking tool called FraudGPT has emerged, and at least another one is under development that is allegedly based on Google’s AI experiment, Bard.

Both AI-powered bots are the work of the same individual, who appears to be deep in the game of providing chatbots trained specifically for malicious purposes ranging from phishing and social engineering, to exploiting vulnerabilities and creating malware.

FraudGPT came out on July 25 and has been advertised on various hacker forums by someone with the username CanadianKingpin12, who says the tool is intended for fraudsters, hackers, and spammers.

Next-gen cybercrime chatbots

An investigation from researchers at cybersecurity company SlashNext, reveals that CanadianKingpin12 is actively training new chatbots using unrestricted data sets sourced from the dark web or basing them on sophisticated large language models developed for fighting cybercrime.

In private conversations, CanadianKingpin12 said that they were working on DarkBART – a “dark version” of Google’s conversational generative artificial intelligence chatbot…

Read more at Bleeping Computer.

Zoo in China Says Their Bears Are Real, Not ‘Humans In Disguise’ Despite Rumors

A Chinese zoo has been forced to clarify that the Malaysian sun bears that inhabit their zoo are in fact real, despite rumors spreading that they’re merely “humans in disguise.”

Per AP, the rumors began on Monday after a photo posted by the Hangzhou Zoo in Eastern China showed a Malaysian sun bear standing on its thin hind legs.

“Some people think I stand like a person,” said the posting, written from the bear’s point of view. “It seems you don’t understand me very well.”

Viewers flocked to the comments to raise concerns that the bears weren’t real, and the zoo responded by arranging visits for reporters to prove the bears were, in fact, bears.

“Because of the way they stand, some people online question whether they are ‘humans in disguise,’” the newspaper Hangzhou Daily said…

Read more at Complex.

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

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