Matter is a new standard for smart home device communication that is supported by Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung, and other manufacturers. The goal of this new standard is to allow seamless communication between IoT (Internet of Things) devices such as lighting, sensors, and TVs.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced the standup of the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC). This will be a cyber defense collaboration with major technology companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, etc. More information is available at www.cisa.gov/jcdc.
Amazon Sidewalk is Amazon’s new neighborhood IoT network that will be enabled by default on all compatible devices starting June 8, 2021. These devices include Echo home assistants, Ring cameras, etc. Sidewalk uses a small portion of wireless bandwidth and can be deactivated from the Alexa app in order to not share Wi-Fi connections with other Amazon devices in the neighborhood.
SpaceX has launched numerous satellites related to the new Starlink internet service which is now available to a limited set of customers in the US, UK, and other countries. Starlink will add more customers as it continues to expand its operations. A Starlink app is also available at the Apple iOS and Google Play app stores.
Downdetector shows outage information and status for widely used websites and services such as mobile and internet service providers, social media sites, banking and financial services, etc. This includes:
- Most recent outages
- List of all companies tracked
- Facebook, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp
- Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat
- Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint
- AT&T, Comcast / Xfinity, Spectrum, CenturyLink, Frontier and Cox
- Google, Gmail, Google Cloud, and Google Hangouts
- Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox and Box
- Apple Maps, iCloud, iMessage, and iWork
- Office 365, Outlook, Sharepoint, Skype and Skype for Business
- Visual Studio, Microsoft Teams, Azure, and Exchange
- Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cloudflare, and Zoom
PowerOutage.us is a different website that tracks electricity power outage data from utilities all over the United States.
Ring, the video doorbell and security camera maker that was recently acquired by Amazon, announced a new Ring Neighbors app that is intended to act as a neighborhood watch social network. The app is free and available for iPhone and Android smartphones. More details are available at https://ring.com/neighbors.
Two recently detected security flaws currently named “Meltdown” and “Spectre” are causing Apple, Microsoft, Google, Intel, and others to release security updates to fix any potential problem. The flaws potentially affect all recent computers, smartphones, and tablets that use a CPU performance feature called speculative execution. There is no evidence that the flaws have been exploited at this time. The general recommendation is to download updates for all devices.
Current Apple products may have the security flaws with the exception of the Apple Watch. Apple is continuing to work on updates and released a statement at https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208394.
Microsoft issued guidance for Windows users, SQL Server, Windows Server, and has updated most of its Azure infrastructure and will continue to do so. Security update KB4056890 also updates Internet Explorer and Edge browsers. Microsoft also issued update KB4056892 for various Windows versions but notes that some AMD processor machines to stop working after installing it.
Google recommended that Chrome users should turn on site isolation. Google also responded with these blog posts:
Intel released a statement as well and is releasing updates. It also reported some systems rebooted more frequently after the updates. AMD also released a statement on their CPUs and speculative execution.
Oracle issued updates for MySQL, Java, PeopleSoft and other products that it maintains.
eWeek reported that Linux 4.15 was released with Meltdown and Spectre patches and that further patches would be made for this issue.
More information can be found at https://spectreattack.com.
Amazon.com has issued an urgent system update for some of its Kindle devices made in 2012 and prior years. The update should be made by March 22, 2016. Otherwise, these devices will lose their ability to access the internet.
More information is at http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201994710