BlackBerry Cylance VP Tom Pace talks ransomware with 60 Minutes

Ransomware attacks are on the rise and last night, 60 Minutes took a deeper look into it all highlighting several companies and organizations that have been affected by the hacks. As part of the discussion surrounding how ransomware works and what preventative steps can be taken, 60 Minutes spoke with BlackBerry Cylance VP Tom Pace.

Although the above video is just a portion of the full discussion, which you can view in full here, Pace walked CBS' Scott Pelley through just how easy it is to purchase ransomware via the dark web and what it can do to a network and files by having it lockdown and encrypt his own files.

Late last year, BlackBerry introduced their own ransomware recovery feature that allows organizations to quickly limit and contain ransomware attacks through account freezing, rollback features and more!

Beyond data loss, opportunity costs, and reputational risks, downtime resulting from ransomware attacks can inflict real harm on customers in any industry, including healthcare or public safety, where the consequences of any delay can be catastrophic," said Billy Ho, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Products, BlackBerry. "Organizations need to have a strong culture of security to minimize the risk of an attack – something that our Cybersecurity Consulting team has been supporting for the last several years. And in a worst-case scenario, it's critical that organizations also have a layered defense model in place and an enterprise technology stack that is designed with the inevitable breach in mind."

As the report highlights, critical public networks are increasingly being attacked daily costing billions of dollars annually and seeing BlackBerry front and center in the conversation was great to see. If you haven't checked it out yet, be sure to give it a look! You can also check out the BlackBerry Cylance InSecurity Podcast featuring Tom.

BlackBerry Hub+ Services beta update fixes incorrect Twitter icons

If you're part of the beta program for BlackBerry Hub+ Services, there's a small update now ready for you to download and when I say small, I mean it. it's just a quick bug fix release that addresses incorrect Twitter icons showing in the Hub. It's live right now, so go ahead and get it downloaded. Small, but annoying bugs, squashed!

Marvel and Nimbix opposing BlackBerry Jarvis trademark registration

During last year's North American International Automotive Show, BlackBerry CEO John Chen unveiled BlackBerry Jarvis, which serves as their application security testing platform for automakers and other embedded developers. Now, in a somewhat predictable move, Marvel has taken issue with the trademark registration and Nimbix hopped in as well.

We've got new CrackBerry swag — order your tees, hoodies and mugs now!

For years now, we've been giving away CrackBerry t-shirts to our various contest winners, but folks have always asked us for the ability to purchase CrackBerry gear easily. While we've offered limited edition runs of t-shirts, hoodies, and mugs in the past, we've decided to go ahead and launch something more permanent for everyone this time around!

Google adds option to auto-delete your location history and web activity

The amount of data Google collects daily can be huge if you let them. Everything from your location, web searches and app activity is captured through your Google account, and while it all helps provide you with better services from Google and helps Google stay in business, not everyone is comfortable with handing over that data.

To their credit, Google has been slowly revamping the ways users can control their data and today; they announced another step towards that by adding controls to auto-delete users location history and web activity.

Rather than only having the option to delete or pause those settings manually, Google will now allow you to set a time for history and activities to be removed ranging from 3 months to 18 months. Google notes the controls are coming to Location History and Web & App Activity first and will roll out in the coming weeks.

Does Google sell your personal data?


AT&T releases ABU380 software update for the BlackBerry KEYone

Keeping in line with their recent update pattern, AT&T has now gone ahead and released their latest update for BlackBerry KEYone owners who purchased their device directly from AT&T. Although it's not listed on the AT&T software update page yet, this release comes in as ABU380 and notes it contains all the April 5th Android security updates.

Productivity Tab, Power Center, Notable and Device Search are heading to End of Life status

It looks as though BBM is not the only BlackBerry app seeing some changes. A quick look at the BlackBerry software support lifecycle page shows several BlackBerry Android apps are now slated to reach End of Life status on June 30, 2019, including Productivity Tab, Power Center, Notable and Device Search.


BlackBerry KEYone and Motion now receiving ABT975 software update

Although the rollout began around the middle of April to some variants, most unlocked and carrier versions of the BlackBerry KEYone and BlackBerry Motion have now started receiving the April Android security update noted as ABT975 including Bell, Rogers, Telus, and Koodo.

BBM Enterprise for iOS updated to allow consumer subscriptions

Following Emtek announcing they would be shutting down consumer BBM on May 31, BlackBerry stepped in to announce they would be allowing consumers to sign up for BBM Enterprise for personal use. The Android app was quickly updated to allow for signups but the iOS app needed to be approved by Apple first, and now that updated version has arrived.


BlackBerry Keyboard app update brings improved word predictions and more!

A new BlackBerry Keyboard beta app update is now appearing on the Google Play Store with an arguably larger than normal change log associated with it. For this release, it seems there are several improvements but also; notably, several functions removed as well.


BlackBerry Hub+ Inbox and Hub+ Services beta releases updated

After a little bit of a break in beta releases, BlackBerry has decided today was going to be the day to push out new releases for BlackBerry Hub+ Inbox and BlackBerry Hub+ Services. While the Hub+ Services update pretty much breaks down to bug fixes, the Hub+ Inbox changes are a little more interesting.

How to subscribe to BBM Enterprise on Android

If you're not quite ready to give up BBM on May 31 and are looking to take BlackBerry up on their offer to move to BBM Enterprise for free for a year, you'll have to know how to get started. Luckily, it's all a fairly simple process but having gone through the process myself, I figured I would do up a guide to cover some of the minor issues I ran into and make it easier for you!

BlackBerry KEY2 Red Edition now available from Amazon and Best Buy in the US

Updated on April 25th - Looks as though Amazon has gone through all of their current inventory. Best Buy is still currently showing stock available.

Following the announcement of the BlackBerry KEY2 Red Edition at Mobile World Congress, BlackBerry Mobile launched the device in Europe and China, and now folks in the US can get in on the love as well as the KEY2 Red Edition has arrived and is available from Amazon and Best Buy.

We've received a lot of feedback from customers who have asked for an exclusive device variant of the BlackBerry KEY2, and we're happy to respond by delivering the BlackBerry KEY2 Red Edition to customers in the United States, said Eric Anderson, General Manager for TCL Communication, North America.

In addition to the vibrant red color, the BlackBerry KEY2 Red Edition also features 6GB of RAM as well as 128GB of internal storage, and in the box, you'll be getting a special edition set of BlackBerry-branded headphones that match the KEY2. Pricing for the KEY2 Red Edition in the US is set at $699.99.

See at Amazon See at Best Buy

Facebook says it exposed millions of Instagram user passwords

Affected users are being contacted now.

Back in late March, Facebook came under fire for storing its users' passwords in a readable format — exposing around 600 million passwords to its employees. As if that wasn't bad enough, Facebook's now quietly announced that something similar also happened to Instagram accounts.

Added as a text update to an article on the Facebook Newsroom published four weeks ago, Facebook says the following:

Update on April 18, 2019 at 7AM PT: Since this post was published, we discovered additional logs of Instagram passwords being stored in a readable format. We now estimate that this issue impacted millions of Instagram users. We will be notifying these users as we did the others. Our investigation has determined that these stored passwords were not internally abused or improperly accessed

Yep. It happened again.

While Facebook reassures that the passwords weren't compromised or abused, it's remarkable the company didn't catch this sooner following the SNAFU that occurred last month. Even more damning is the fact that this news was quietly released as a discrete update in an existing press release.

Try as it might to regain people's trust, it's hard imagining Facebook making any progress on that front when stuff like this regularly happens.

Facebook exposed up to 600 million user passwords to its employees

BlackBerry Cylance named a Strong Performer in 2019 Forrester Wave

BlackBerry Cylance has named as a strong performer in the 2019 Forrester Wave report by achieving the highest possible scores for incident response, supporting products and services, average hours per response, and industrial control systems.

Emtek announces they will be closing BBM consumer services on May 31

Consumer BBM users encouraged to switch to BBM Enterprise

Back in 2016, BlackBerry announced a new partnership with Indonesia-based Emtek to help expand the consumer BBM business. As part of the partnership, Emtek expanded the capabilities of BBM for consumers with new features and enhancements while BlackBerry maintained control over their BBM Enterprise solution. Now, in a bit of surprising news, Emtek has announced their decision to end service of BBM for consumers on May 31, 2019.


Rogers and TELUS schedule KEY2 and KEY2 LE updates for April 16

If you're not down with using autoloaders but are still waiting for Rogers and Telus to push out their April security updates for the BlackBerry KEY2 and BlackBerry KEY2 LE, you won't have to wait much longer. Both of the Candian carriers are now showing, through their software update pages, that updates will start rolling out on April 16.

Facebook Messenger dark mode now rolling out globally

If you're still among the many who haven't cut off Facebook and still use Messenger, you might be pleased to know that Facebook has started rolling out its dark mode option to the app globally after making it an Easter egg in the app previously.

After a month-long Easter Egg activation with countless crescent moon emojis, we are excited to announce that everyone around the world will be able to activate dark mode in Messenger with a simple toggle switch from settings. The toggle is rolling out globally today.

In order to activate dark mode in Messenger, all you have to do is tap on your profile picture, access the settings menu and toggle on dark mode from there. Your view will be then changed from super white to super dark. If you use Messenger, let me know what you think in the comments! Personally, I think it's one of the better looking dark mode apps out there.

Download: Messenger (free)

Your Android phone can now be used as a two-step verification key

Available in beta for Google and Google Cloud accounts.

Two-step authentication (also referred to as 2SV or 2FA) is one of the best tools you can use to add an extra layer of protection to your online accounts. Getting 2SV codes via a text message or an authenticator app is great, but if you want to go an extra step further, you can use physical keys in order to access your data.

As of April 10, 2019, you can now use your Android device (running Android 7.0 or later) as a physical 2SV key for your Google and Google Cloud accounts.

Once enabled, you'll get a prompt on your chosen Android device to approve your login any time you try to sign into your Google account. When you see this prompt, you can approve the login by holding the volume down button or tapping "No, it's not me" on your display if it's not you logging into your account.

You'll need Bluetooth turned on on your phone in order for this to work, and just in case something goes wrong, it's also recommended that you have another security key as a backup.

This feature is currently in beta, and in addition to requiring an Android phone, you'll also need a Bluetooth-enabled Chrome OS, macOS X, or Windows 10 machine running Google Chrome.

To use it, all you need to do is enroll your Google account is 2SV, go to the 2SV settings on your computer, click "Add security key", and choose your Android phone from the list of devices.

Two-factor authentication: Everything you need to know

Spotify giving Premium subscribers in Canada a free Google Home Mini

Available for both new and existing subscribers.

Late last year, Spotify announced a new partnership with Google and began handing out free Google Home Mini devices to Premium family plan subscribers in the US, now Spotify has extended a similar to Premium new and existing subscribers in Canada for a limited time.