Scammers stole millions last Christmas. These six tips could keep you safe online this time around

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is urging people to be careful when shopping online in the run up to Christmas as cyber criminals step up campaigns to steal money, credit card information and more during the busiest time of year for retailers.

Last year’s Christmas shopping period, from November 2019 to January 2020, saw cyber criminals make off with a total of £13.5 million as a result of online shopping fraud – averaging out at £775 per incident across 17,405 cases reported by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

And with even more people expected to be doing their Christmas shopping online this year because of ongoing coronavirus restrictions, the NCSC, alongside the Home Office, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), has launched a ‘Cyber Aware’ campaign.

SEE: A winning strategy for cybersecurity (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF

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New Australian telescope maps millions of galaxies at record speed

Australian scientists have used a powerful new telescope to map about 3 million galaxies at record-breaking speed — creating what they say is a “Google Map of the universe.”

a group of clouds in the sky: The ASKAP telescope is a collection of dishes across the remote Western Australia desert.

The ASKAP telescope is a collection of dishes across the remote Western Australia desert.

The Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), a radio telescope located in outback Western Australia, mapped the galaxies in just 300 hours, or 12.5 days. This is a significant increase from previous surveys, which have taken years.


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The result is a new atlas of the universe, according to Australian science agency CSIRO, which developed and operates the telescope.

“ASKAP is applying the very latest in science and technology to age-old questions about the mysteries of the universe and equipping astronomers around the world with new breakthroughs to solve their challenges,” said CSIRO CEO Larry Marshall in a statement on Tuesday.

It marks

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Go SMS Pro security vulnerability exposes private files of millions of users

A photo of a text messaging app
  • The Go SMS Pro app exposes private photos, videos, and other files of millions of users.
  • Security researchers found the flaw back in August.
  • The app maker has not yet responded to the findings or taken any steps to fix it.

When it comes to third-party messaging apps for Android, Go SMS Pro is one of the most popular ones out there. It has over 100 million installs as per its Google Play Store listing and markets itself as the number one platform to replace Android’s stock messaging app. Unfortunately for its users, security researchers have discovered a major security flaw in the app.

TechCrunch has published a report based on research conducted by Trustwave, revealing that millions of Go SMS Pro users are vulnerable to file theft.

The app allows users to share photos, videos, and other files in the form of a web address so that those who

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Airbnb’s IPO will likely net millions for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

  • Jeff Bezos is about to get a payday thanks to Airbnb’s initial public offering.
  • The Amazon CEO was an early Airbnb investor, participating in Airbnb’s Series A and Series B rounds in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
  • It’s not clear how much Bezos invested in the company at the time or whether he still owns all of his shares.
  • A spokesperson for Bezos Expeditions did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on its Airbnb investment.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Jeff Bezos may soon see a multimillion-dollar payday thanks to Airbnb’s initial public offering. 

Airbnb publicly revealed the documents for its IPO on Monday, providing a glimpse into the company’s financials. The home-sharing startup hopes to raise $3 billion with its IPO, which would give it a valuation of about $30 billion, according to a Reuters report from earlier this month. 

Read more: Airbnb’s Brian Chesky

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Ex-Microsoft employee convicted of stealing millions in store credit

  • A former Microsoft employee was sentenced to nine years in prison Monday for stealing $10 million from the tech company.
  • During his time as a software engineer at Microsoft, Volodymyr Kvashuk worked on testing the company’s platform for online retail sales.
  • Kvashuk used that access to steal millions in gift cards and store credit, which he sold for bitcoin. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A former Microsoft software engineer was sentenced to nine years in prison for stealing over $10 million in store credit and selling it for bitcoin, the IRS announced on Monday.

The case is a landmark for the IRS, since it’s “the nation’s first bitcoin case that has a tax component to it,” Ryan Korner, the IRS Criminal Investigation special agent in charge, said.

Volodymyr Kvashuk worked on testing Microsoft’s online retail platform between 2016 and 2018, according to the IRS. At first, he stole

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Fact checking the outlandish claim that millions of Trump votes were deleted

A human error that briefly led to incorrect election results in a Michigan county has spiraled into a sprawling, baseless conspiracy theory suggesting that glitches in widely-used voting software led to millions of miscast ballots.

An election worker handles ballots as vote counting in the general election continues at State Farm Arena on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Atlanta.

© Brynn Anderson/AP
An election worker handles ballots as vote counting in the general election continues at State Farm Arena on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Atlanta.

Conservative media figures, social media users, and President Donald Trump have spread rumors about problems with Dominion Voting Systems, an election technology company that supplies software to many local governments. They’ve claimed that isolated reports about Election Night glitches raise concerns about election results in states around the country.


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“DOMINION DELETED 2.7 MILLION TRUMP VOTES NATIONWIDE,” Trump tweeted on Thursday, citing a report from the right-wing One America News Network. Without showing any evidence, he claimed that states using the company’s technology had “SWITCHED 435,000 VOTES

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Netflix Just Made a Quiet Change to Its Pricing. Millions of Customers Never Noticed

Do you have a Netflix subscription? Think back to when you signed up. Did you get a free trial? 

I ask because last month, Netflix reportedly did away with free 30-day trials. This is a clear cut, quantitative decision made by a big public company that can offer a learning opportunity for people running any size business.

Netflix didn’t make an announcement about ending free trials, but eagle-eyed customers and journalists noticed its disappearance, and Netflix ultimately confirmed the change.

“Free trials are not available,” the Netflix website now says, “but you can still sign up and take advantage of all Netflix has to offer. There are no contracts, no cancellation fees, and no commitments. You have the freedom to change your plan or cancel online at any time if you decide Netflix isn’t for you.”

Now, I already have a Netflix account, so I don’t have a dog in

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Green Deal: Good for a climate-neutral Europe – bad for the planet: Import of millions of tons of cereal and meat every year undermines EU agricultural standards – damage to the environment is outsourced –

Europe is to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 — this goal of the “Green Deal” was announced by the EU in late 2019. Carbon emissions shall be reduced, while forestation, agriculture, environmentally friendly transport, recycling, and renewable energies shall be pushed. In Nature, scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) now show that this “Green Deal” might be a bad deal for the planet, as the EU will outsource environmental damage by high imports of agricultural products. The researchers recommend actions for the deal to push global sustainability.

The “Green Deal” adopted by the European Commission is to change European agriculture significantly in the next years and to contribute to making Europe the first climate-neutral continent. By 2030, about a quarter of all agricultural areas shall be farmed organically. Use of fertilizers and pesticides shall be reduced by 20 and 50 percent, respectively. In addition, the EU

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Millions spent on efforts to curb illegal activity not effective — ScienceDaily

Cities across the country have sought ways to improve neighborhood safety and in recent years have pointed to demolishing abandoned housing as a way to achieve the goal. While millions of dollars have been spent on the efforts, a recent University of Kansas study found a program demolishing more than 500 abandoned residential properties in Kansas City, Missouri, did not significantly reduce nearby violent or property crime.

Since the housing foreclosure crisis of 2007-08, the number of abandoned homes across the country has rapidly increased, drawing attention to dilapidated and abandoned residential properties and their effect on neighborhoods, including elevated crime rates. Hye-Sung Han, assistant professor of public affairs & administration at KU, conducted a study in which she examined 559 abandoned properties in Kansas City, Missouri, and nearby crime rates in the surrounding area. She found the demolition did not lead to a reduction in nearby crime and that

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Radical diagnostic could save millions of people at risk of dying from blood loss — ScienceDaily

Engineers at Monash University in Australia have developed a fast, portable and cheap diagnostic that can help deliver urgent treatment to people at risk of dying from rapid blood loss.

In a world-first outcome that could save more than two million lives globally each year, researchers have developed a diagnostic using a glass slide, Teflon film and a piece of paper that can test for levels of fibrinogen concentration in blood in less than four minutes.

Fibrinogen is a protein found in blood that is needed for clotting. When a patient experiences traumatic injury, such as a serious car accident, or major surgery and childbirth complications, fibrinogen is required in their blood to prevent major haemorrhaging and death from blood loss.

Typically, heavily bleeding patients must be transported to a hospital or emergency centre where they undergo diagnostic tests before being treated. These tests are time consuming and costly as

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