On World Password Day eat your greens, exercise more, and ditch the password!

Stolen or compromised credentials, notably passwords, remain the single-largest source of data breaches. In a recent Entrust Pulse survey of 1,000 people in the U.S. and UK, over 15% reported having their personal information exposed in a data breach within the past year, with another 13.6% reporting that they were not even aware if their personal data had been leaked. So, thinking about World Password Day tomorrow, it looks like the vicious cycle of stolen passwords and data breaches is poised to continue – or is it?

China’s PLA Unit 61419 Purchasing Foreign Antivirus Products, Likely for Exploitation

May 5, 2021 • Insikt Group®

China

Recorded Future’s Insikt Group has discovered six procurement documents from official People’s Liberation Army (PLA) military websites and other sources that show the Strategic Support Force (SSF) branch of the PLA, specifically Unit 61419, has sought to purchase antivirus software from several major American, European, and Russian security companies. The PLA’s Unit 61419 sought to purchase English-language versions of the security software listed below (Table 1). The focus on English versions of these products is notable because Chinese-language versions would be the more logical choice if the software was intended for legitimate use or to test the potential exposure of private and commercial end-users in China to vulnerabilities in foreign antivirus software. 

Doctors Investigate Mystery Brain Disease in Canada

Doctors in Canada have been coming across patients showing symptoms similar to that of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare fatal condition that attacks the brain. From a report on BBC, shared by several readers: But when they took a closer look, what they found left them stumped. Almost two years ago, Roger Ellis collapsed at home with a seizure on his 40th wedding anniversary. In his early 60s, Mr Ellis, who was born and raised around New Brunswick’s bucolic Acadian peninsula, had been healthy until that June, and was enjoying his retirement after decades working as an industrial mechanic. His son, Steve Ellis, says after that fateful day his father’s health rapidly declined. “He had delusions, hallucinations, weight loss, aggression, repetitive speech,” he says. “At one point he couldn’t even walk. So in the span of three months we were being brought to a hospital to tell us they believed he was dying – but no one knew why.”

Roger Ellis’ doctors first suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease [CJD]. CJD is a human prion disease, a fatal and rare degenerative brain disorder that sees patients present with symptoms like failing memory, behavioural changes and difficulties with co-ordination. One widely known category is Variant CJD, which is linked to eating contaminated meat infected with mad cow disease. CJD also belongs to a wider category of brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS, in which protein in the nervous system become misfolded and aggregated. But Mr Ellis’ CJD test came back negative, as did the barrage of other tests his doctors put him through as they tried to pinpoint the cause of his illness. His son says the medical team did their best to alleviate his father’s varying symptoms but were still left with a mystery: what was behind Mr Ellis’s decline? In March of this year, the younger Mr Ellis came across a possible — if partial — answer.