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Biden nominates Air Force general to lead NSA, Cyber Command

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Biden nominates Air Force general to lead NSA, Cyber Command

U.S. President Joe Biden has nominated Air Force Lieutenant General Timothy Haugh to head both the National Security Agency (NSA) and U.S. Cyber Command, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

The official confirmed a Politico report that cited an Air Force notice sent out Monday.

Haugh is now the deputy commander of the military’s U.S. Cyber Command, reporting to the current NSA and Cyber Command chief, Paul Nakasone.

The NSA is America’s electronic spy agency; Cyber Command is charged with protecting U.S. military networks from digital threats as well as hacking America’s enemies.

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Haugh has served in many intelligence and cybersecurity roles, including as director of intelligence at Cyber Command and Deputy Commander of Joint Task Force Ares, the U.S. effort to hack Islamic State militants in the Middle East, according to his Air Force biography.

More recently, Haugh served as commander of the Cyber National Mission Force – sometimes described as a kind of digital special operations force. The Senate Armed Services Committee confirmed him in his current position last year.

Haugh has three master’s degrees, in telecommunications, joint information operations and national resource strategy. He was an ROTC program graduate at Pennsylvania’s Lehigh University, where he majored in Russian Studies.

The NSA, Cyber Command and the White House did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment. 

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Scammers can crack almost half of the passwords in less than a minute

Scammers can crack almost half of the passwords in less than a minute

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Scammers can crack almost half of the passwords in less than a minute

In June 2024, Kaspersky experts conducted a large-scale study on the resistance of 193M English passwords, compromised by infostealers and available on the darknet, to brute force and smart guessing attacks. According to the research results, 45% of all analyzed passwords which is almost 87M could be guessed by scammers within a minute. Only 23% (44M) of combinations turned out to be resistant enough and cracking them would take more than a year.

Kaspersky telemetry indicates more than 32 million attempts to attack users with password stealers in 2023. These numbers show the importance of digital hygiene and timely password policies. The results of the Kaspersky study demonstrate that the majority of the reviewed passwords were not strong enough and could be easily compromised by using smart guessing algorithms.
Besides, the majority of the examined passwords (57%) contain a word from the dictionary, which significantly reduces the passwords’ strength. Among the most popular vocabulary sequences, several groups can be distinguished. Popular names include “ahmed”, “nguyen”, “kumar”, “kevin”, “daniel”. While popular words in passwords are “forever”, “love”, “google”, “hacker” and “gamer”. Standard passwords are “password”, “qwerty12345”, “admin”, “12345” and “team”.

The analysis showed that only 19% of all passwords contain signs of a strong combination – a non-dictionary word, lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as numbers and symbols. At the same time, the study revealed that 39% of such passwords could also be guessed using smart algorithms in less than an hour.
”Unconsciously, human beings create ‘human’ passwords – containing the words from dictionary in their native languages, featuring names and numbers. Even seemingly strong combinations are rarely completely random, so they can be guessed by algorithms. Given that, the most dependable solution is to generate a completely random password using modern and reliable password managers. Such apps as Kaspersky Password Manager can securely store large volumes of data, providing comprehensive and robust protection for user information,” Commented Yuliya Novikova, Head of Digital Footprint Intelligence at Kaspersky.

In order to strengthen passwords, users should use a different password for each service. That way, even if one of your accounts is stolen, the rest won’t go with it. It’s better not to use passwords that can be easily guessed from your personal information, such as birthdays, names of family members, pets, or your own name. These are often the first guesses an attacker will try.It’s nearly impossible to memorize long and unique passwords for all the services you use, but with a special solution, such as Kaspersky password manager, you can memorize just one master password.
Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). Using a reliable security solution such as Kaspersky Premium will enhance your protection. It monitors the internet and Dark Web and warns if your passwords need to be changed.

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Additional information can be found in the research material on Securelist and Kaspersky Daily post. 

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Spotify launches new basic streaming plan in US

Spotify launches new basic streaming plan in US

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Spotify launches new basic streaming plan in US

Spotify introduced a new streaming plan for users in the United States on Friday, after raising prices for its premium plans earlier this month.

The new basic plan will start at $10.99 per month for eligible users. It will have the streaming benefits of a premium plan, but no monthly audiobook listening time.

Premium plans allow users to listen to offline ad-free music and 15 hours of audiobook listening time per month.

Spotify raised the prices for premium plans earlier in June, the latest step by the Swedish music-streaming service in its push to increase margins.

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The company raised the prices of its plan to $11.99 from $10.99 per month, the duo plan to $16.99 from $14.99, and its family plan to $19.99 from $16.99 in the United States, its largest market by revenue.

Spotify has been trying to boost its margins in recent months by lowering marketing spending and through layoffs, after relying on promotions and hefty investments to drive user growth.

The audio-streaming giant is looking to introduce a new expensive plan for its most ardent users later this year, Bloomberg News reported last week, with the plan likely to cost $5 more per month for access to better audio and fresh tools for creating playlists and managing song libraries.

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OpenAI acquires database analytics firm Rockset

OpenAI acquires database analytics firm Rockset

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OpenAI acquires database analytics firm Rockset

Microsoft-backed OpenAI has acquired search and database analytics firm Rockset for an undisclosed sum, the ChatGPT maker said on Friday.

A technology Rockset offers called vector search has benefited from increased adoption as more applications use artificial intelligence to power recommendation engines, voice assistants, and chatbots and detect anomalies.

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

Rockset said it will become a part of OpenAI and power the retrieval infrastructure of the ChatGPT maker’s products.

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This means Rockset’s expertise in real-time data processing and vector search will enhance OpenAI’s ability to quickly access and analyze vast amounts of information, likely leading to faster and more accurate responses from AI models.

CONTEXT

OpenAI is looking to stay ahead of the curve by integrating new functionalities in ChatGPT and developing new AI models to fend off competition from the likes of Alphabet’s Google and Anthropic, among others.

Reuters reported last month that OpenAI has been developing a search engine product to potentially compete with Google and AI search startup Perplexity.

Rockset, which counts Greylock, Sequoia and Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s venture capital arm among its investors, said in August last year it had raised $105 million in total capital.

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