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AM Prep-Cyber Corner

December 28, 2018

IN THE NEWS: INTERNET OUTAGE

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Many CenturyLink customers across the U.S. were without internet Thursday amid a lengthy outage that stretched from New York to California.

The outage began early in the day and continued into the evening. CenturyLink’s network was “still experiencing a disruption,” but the telecommunications company says it was working to restore services.

The statement provided no other details, including the cause of the problem and how many customers were affected.

Jessica Rosenworcel, a member of the Federal Communications Commission, said via Twitter it was a nationwide outage and her agency needed to investigate.

The outage knocked out 911 emergency call services in parts of western Washington state. Other areas of the country also experiencing 911 outages included parts of Missouri, Idaho and Arizona.

The outage also reportedly caused service problems with phones and ATMs in areas of the West.

IN THE NEWS: BEVMO HACKED

CONCORD, Calif. (AP) — BevMo is warning that a data breach may have allowed a hacker to steal credit card numbers and other information from more than 14,000 customers who used the alcohol-seller’s website.

The Concord, Calif.-based company has notified the California attorney general’s office that someone was able to plant malicious computer code on its checkout page.

BevMo says the code was designed to capture information from orders placed between Aug. 2 and Sept. 26. The company says the hacker potentially could have captured customer names, phone numbers and addresses along with credit and debit card numbers and security codes.

BevMo said the code was removed and an investigation is under way.

IN THE NEWS: BINARY OPTIONS SCAMS

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — Beware of promises of large financial gains through so-called binary options. The market largely operates outside the U.S. through unregulated websites. Its victims span the globe. In court papers, prosecutors said the payout on a binary option is usually linked to “whether the price of a particular assets such as a stock or a commodity would rise above or fall below a specified amount.”

In 2011, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received only four complaints from victims of binary options fraud. In 2016, however, the center received hundreds of these complaints with millions of dollars in reported losses.

In Maryland, four women face charges in connection with a multimillion-dollar investment fraud scheme linked to Yukom Communications, an Israel-based company. According to the FBI, victims were promised returns of up to 40 percent.

ON THE WEB: LIGHTER LAUNDRY DETERGENT

Amazon’s rise is forcing laundry detergents to shrink. Soap makers Tide and Seventh Generation have introduced redesigned laundry detergents that are several pounds lighter by cutting down on plastic in their packaging and using less water in their formulas. They’re making the changes to please Amazon and other online stores: Lighter packaging means retailers will pay less to ship the detergent to shopper’s doorsteps, making each sale more profitable.

For consumers, the new packaging has been designed to better survive shipping without leaking. The challenge, however, is getting online shoppers to buy detergent that looks nothing like the heavy bottles they are used to.

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