Silicon Valley Tech News Roundup – August 6th

2023 State of Ransomware report reveals global ransomware attacks at an all-time high – 8/3

A new report published by Malwarebytes reveals global ransomware attacks are at an all-time high. The 2023 State of Ransomware report shows a surge of ransomware attacks between July 2022 and June 2023.

The report states: “A new report from the Malwarebytes Threat Intelligence team shows 1,900 total ransomware attacks within just four countries – the US, Germany, France, and the UK – in one year… the report shows that the US shouldered a hefty 43 percent of all global attacks and that ransomware attacks in France nearly doubled in the last five months… Malwarebytes found that a total of 48 separate ransomware groups attacked the US in the observed period. To boot, there was a 75 percent increase in the average number of monthly attacks in the US between the first and second half of the last 12 months.”

In the United States, ransomware groups attacked governmental institutions, companies, and consumers. Likewise, the attacks disproportionally impacted educational and healthcare organizations.

The biggest threat is the ransomware gang CLOP which uses zero-day software vulnerabilities to its advantage. It allows them to launch attacks on a massive scale in a short period of time.

The 2023 State of Ransomware report only accounts for reported attacks, which means the number of those impacted is probably much higher.

Google tries to entice workers back to the office with a special offer at the on-campus hotel – 8/4

A report by CNBC reveals Google is trying to entice its workers back to the office with special rates at its on-campus hotel in Mountain View.

Full-time employees can book a room at the hotel for $99 per night. The company is calling it a “Summer Special.” Google will not reimburse employees for their stays, so they have to pay for the hotel with personal credit cards. The offer is valid until September 30th, and the company claims it hopes it will “make it easier for Googlers to transition to the hybrid workplace.”

The city of Mountain View, like much of the San Francisco Bay Area, is short on housing since it has large areas of corporate offices (the majority of which Google owns or leases). Likewise, real estate costs are high because of housing shortage, elevated demand, and zoning restrictions.

In June, Google started implementing a stricter enforcement to get workers back to the office. New measures include tracking badge data and including office attendance in performance reviews.

Tesla subject of a class action lawsuit because of false EV range claims – 8/3

On Wednesday, three Tesla owners filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuit alleges the company falsely advertised the driving range of its electric vehicles. It also cites the Reuters report published earlier this month about the secret “Diversion Team” in Las Vegas tasked to deal with the driving range complaints. According to Reuters, Elon Musk issued the directive to inflate the range estimates.

The lawsuit claims Tesla engaged in fraud and unfair competition practices. Likewise, it alleges the company breached vehicle warranties.

Adam A. Edwards (the plaintiffs’ attorney) stated: “Put simply, Tesla has a duty to deliver a product that performs as advertised… Had Tesla honestly advertised its electric vehicle ranges, consumers either would not have purchased Tesla model vehicles, or else would have paid substantially less for them.” The complaint wants the class action suit to represent “all persons in California who purchased a new Tesla Model 3, Model S, Model Y, and Model X vehicle.”

Tesla and Elon Musk did not reply to a request for comment.

Mark Zuckerberg announces web version and search function for Threads – 8/5

This week Mark Zuckerberg announced Threads is getting a web version accessible on a desktop and a search function in the next few weeks. Currently, the app’s search function is limited. Meanwhile, users can view Threads posts on a desktop. However, interaction is limited. When you click to post, reply, or like, it brings up a QR code linking to the app. The company added the “Following” feed last week.

Zuckerberg posted: “A good week for Threads. The community here is on the trajectory I expect to build a vibrant long term app. Lots of work ahead but excited about the team’s pace of shipping. Search and web coming in the next few weeks.”

Meta launched the barebones Threads app in July, and it attracted over 100 million users in less than a week. It remains one of the fastest-debuting consumer apps ever. However, Threads did not retain users as engagement plummeted after the initial launch. More than half of the users abandoned the app.


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