Coffee Briefings are timely deliveries of the latest ITWC headlines, interviews, and podcasts. Today’s Coffee Briefing is delivered by IT World Canada reporter Pragya Sehgal, with files from the rest of the editorial team!
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What’s new this week
15 Ontario Staples stores are getting wireless services for back to school and back to business
Working and learning company Staples Canada has introduced wireless services at 15 stores in Southern Ontario. Staples Wireless partners with mobile carriers, providing customers with access to contract rate plans that are customized to suit their unique needs and to help them stay connected, as they go back to school and back to the office. Customers will have access to the latest devices and accessories from brands, as well as group and individual plans from various network providers that include Rogers, Telus, Fido, Koodo, Chatr Mobile and Public Mobile. [Find more about it here]
Thousands of Facebook accounts fall victim to FlyTrap Android malware
A new Android trojan, FlyTrap, has compromised Facebook accounts of more than 10,000 users in at least 140 countries since March 2021. Advanced mobile security firm Zimperium noted that their mobile threat research teams have found that this previously undetected malware is part of a family of Trojans that employ social engineering tricks to compromise Facebook accounts, pointing to malicious parties out of Vietnam who, Zimperium says, have been running this session hijacking campaign since March 2021.
VPN by Google One is coming to Canada
Google One yesterday announced the availability of its VPN to Google One members with the 2 TB plan in Canada and in Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
The company first launched its VPN in the U.S. late last year. Since its launch in October, 2020, Google One has announced several updates to its VPN, including the Safe Disconnect feature which allows members to set up their phone to only use the internet when the VPN is on while if the VPN is disconnected, internet access is blocked until the VPN reconnects; the App bypass feature so members can still allow traffic from some mobile apps to route over their regular internet connection instead of the VPN’s encrypted tunnel when the VPN is connected; the Snooze button which lets member temporarily turn off the VPN; and the Internet of Secure Things Alliance (ioXt) certification which makes it one of the first apps to receive the organization’s stamp of approval. [Here’s more about VPN by Google One]
Ryerson Venture Zone to incubate 50 high-potential tech ventures in Brampton over the next five years
Ryerson University has announced that it aims to work with more than 250 entrepreneurs over the next five years to help them build and grow their business at an early stage. As part of the initiative, the joint partnership between the City of Brampton and Ryerson University, Ryerson Venture Zone (RVZ) in Brampton, will incubate and graduate 50 high-potential tech ventures with a goal to create more than 100 jobs in the Brampton community. RVZ has released the schedule for the inaugural, free to attend Brampton Venture Expo happening virtually Tuesday, August 17th and Wednesday, August 18th. Through this expo, Ryerson noted it aims to bring together startup founders, burgeoning entrepreneurs, early-stage investors, corporate executives, and local job-seekers to highlight the opportunities within the Brampton Innovation District. [Click here for more information]
Student IDs on iPhone and Apple Watch to expand to Canada this coming school year
Apple last week announced that this coming school year, it is extending its Student IDs capability to college students in Canada and the U.S., which will allow them to use mobile student IDs in the Apple Wallet app to access campus buildings and make purchases. Mobile student IDs for participating institutions can be added to the Wallet app in Canada, starting with the University of New Brunswick and Sheridan College this year.
Cyber alert! A cybercriminal can take over your Kindle with an e-book
Check Point researcher Slava Makkaveev posted findings of his research this past Friday, demonstrating how an e-book can function as malware. As the malware code is executed with root user rights, just opening such a book can make users lose control of their e-readers. The attacker can delete e-books, potentially gain full access to the user’s Amazon account, can convert their Kindle to a bot, attack other devices in their local network, and more.
Software company Check Point says that in February, it disclosed a security flaw in Amazon’s Kindle e-reader which made it vulnerable to malicious eBooks, which could have led to irreparable damage for the users. The bug was fixed in April, when Amazon released patched firmware to be automatically installed on every Kindle connected to the internet. [Here’s more on it]
More to explore
The Government of Canada has launched a call for applications from youth employment providers for the second stream of the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP), Boost Your Business Technology, which aims to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) develop effective digital adoption plans and provide opportunities for student placements.
BlackBerry released a new flood risk and clean water monitoring solution on Aug 3 to provide autonomous early warnings before an impending flood strikes.
Artificial intelligence (AI) holds great potential for cybersecurity processes and management, yet it is also a tool used successfully by cyber criminals. Swinging the balance in favour of good was the focus of a panel discussion during the August 5th session of ITWC’s MapleSec Satellite series.
According to KAYAK data, following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s border announcement on July 19. 2021, the number of searches for trips from Canada to the U.S. increased by 322 per cent compared to the previous week. Similarly, searches for trips from the U.S. to Canada surged 194 per cent.
Interac, with the support of 13 Canadian financial institutions, has launched Interac e-Transfer for Business, a solution that builds on the technology of the Interac e-Transfer service, enabling real-time digital payments for businesses.
Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.
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