FixMeStick’s Weekly Cybersecurity Round-Up: Feb 17th – 23rd

Hello FixMeFans and StartMeStars! It’s time for this week’s edition of the Cybersecurity Round-Up. This week we’ve been receiving news regarding Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome, 2 Factor Authentication (2FA), and a Russian cyber attack on Georgia’s government.

Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome continue their feud for the role as number one web browser. Recently Google has begun urging Edge users to switch to Chrome, because using Edge allegedly puts individuals at risk. 

Google has been warning Microsoft Edge users that visit the Chrome web store that they’ll be much safer if they opted to use Chrome instead. The reason for this being that Microsoft Edge does not incorporate the same Safe Browsing protections Google uses to remove threats. Essentially, if a browser extension presents a risk, Google cannot act in the same way to protect users. 

You can read more about the situation here, and if you’re curious about the pros and cons of different web browsers, we suggest checking out this link.

If you’ve been keeping up with our past weekly roundups, you’ll be aware that Google is going to start requiring 2FA for their Nest product. Nowadays, it seems like that is an indication of things to come, as now Amazon’s Ring video doorbells are starting to require users to use 2FA to access their accounts also.

It seems as though the change will take effect immediately, and will be mandatory for all users. However, this change is without a doubt only for your own benefit, as this will prevent hackers from accessing your account, even if they have your username and password. 

You can read more about the change in a blog post here, and regardless of what technology you’re using, it’s always good to read up about 2FA, and how it can benefit your security.

Although it sounds like a conspiracy theory, both the US and UK governments have recently called out Russian hackers for their involvement in an attack against the Georgian government back in 2019.

The announcement alleges that Sandworm (a Russian hacking group linked to numerous cyber attacks such as the Ukranian power outages and NotPeyta), is responsible for the attack, and might have even been involved in the 2016 attack on US election infrastructure. Sandworm is apparently linked to General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (GRU).

Though initially it may have seemed like a bit of propaganda, the claims by America have also been backed by the UK government, stating that they are very certain the GRU were responsible for the cyberattacks against web hosting companies in Georgia.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the claims here.

That’s it for this week of cyber security news, folks! Some of the bigger takeaways from this week are to check in your password privacy (2FA might be a good thing to look into), and consider switching to Google Chrome if you’re thinking about changing web browsers.

We’d also like to pay our respects to Larry Tesler (the creator of the copy-and-paste function so commonly used), who has passed away recently at the age of 74. Larry Tesler was truly innovative in his field, and his work will rest as the backbone of the digital age.