Yesterday was my birthday, and I won’t be celebrating until tomorrow. I’m also back from my vacation working in Florida. I saw the Saturn V at Kennedy Space Center and I’ve come back inspired. I’m on with Mark Starling, Seth, John, and the First News 570 crew. This week’s news: everyone has finally caught wind of Pegasus, and Taco Bell wants you to run for the touchless border. You can listen to Mark and I point and laugh while talking about the wild and crazy technology world every Thursday morning, LIVE at 6:43am Eastern.
When Mark Starling sends me a news story on my birthday about millions of iPhone users being exposed to an exploit, I click the link. TechCrunch has done an extensive story about how NSO Group, an Israeli security company, has released software that can be used to exploit users iPhones. The software is called Pegasus, and is a zero-click exploit, meaning that the user doesn’t have to click on content in order to start the attack. Zero-click attacks work because the Apple iPhone attempts to load and display hyperlinks in its iMessage app. iPhone users intuitively know this by being preview webpages, Instagram, and Facebook pages shared in iMessage. Pegasus is an actual application purchased and used by nation states to spy on activists, human rights supporters, and enemies of the state. The software has also been known to have enabled the kidnapping of one Dubai princess. The software has also evaded privacy protections Apple has written in their software. Let’s not get it twisted, this software isn’t useful technology even if it’s been bought for spying on enemies of the state. It’s just another attack vector to exploit people.
Don’t click on weird or foreign links. There are a number of AT&T and Verizon scams going around right now saying that you’ve over paid on your last bill. The links look weird AF. Don’t click them.
If you’re really nervous, you can turn off iMessage previews by going to Settings > Notifications > Notification Style > Messages and switch off ‘Show Previews’.
Running for the border in Summer 2022, Minneapolis/St. Paul will get the first, touchless Taco Bell Defy. Taco Bell Defy is Taco Bell, but without face-to-face human contact. The restaurant features a drive thru layout that’s more akin to a bank branch than the traditional drive thru lane. Food will be delivered to drivers via proprietary lift system from an elevated kitchen, and mobile pick up orders can be retrieved by having a QR code scanned. You won’t see a human being, but you can talk them in realtime via a two way radio if you need to. We all know, there will be bots working in there. It’s only a matter of time.