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Black Friday Spotlight: Best Buy Kicks Off a Month of Apple Deals and More – MacRumors

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We’ve begun tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we’re highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

This year we’re starting with Best Buy, which announced its Black Friday sales earlier in the week while simultaneously kicking off a notable early sale on a huge variety of products, including Apple devices.

Every Best Buy location in the United States will be closed on Thanksgiving in 2020, so the focus on November 26 will be online deals. Best Buy’s full schedule for the week of Black Friday can be seen below, and you can check out the Best Buy Black Friday newspaper ad right here.

  • Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 26) – Closed
  • Black Friday (Nov. 27) – 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time
  • Saturday, Nov. 28 – 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time
  • Sunday, Nov. 29 – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time

Of course, these dates won’t be the only times to snag deals at Best Buy in November, with a total of four extra discount events planned by the retailer next month. We don’t know specifics of the early November sales yet, but the important sale here is on November 16, when My Best Buy Members will be able to shop thousands of deals from the Black Friday ad one week early.

  • Nov. 5 to 8 – The Wish List Sale
  • Nov. 11 – The Treat Yourself Sale
  • Nov. 12 to 15 – Our Coolest Deals Sale
  • Nov. 16 to 17 – My Best Buy Member Early Access Sale
  • Nov. 22 – Black Friday Starts Now! Sale

Covid-19 Safety Efforts: Best Buy is requiring all employees and customers to wear face coverings if they plan to shop in stores on Black Friday (and in general). There will be a limit to the number of people within each location, and social distancing efforts will be in effect.

For anyone who doesn’t want to shop inside a Best Buy store during the holidays, contactless curbside pickup is available at all Best Buy stores. Orders are ready within an hour, and an employee can safely bring it out and place it inside your car. Next-day and same-day delivery options are also expanding to include more items on Best Buy’s website.

Of course, there’s also the Early Black Friday event running right now, which you can read about in more detail in the next section.

Early Black Friday – Oct. 28 through Nov. 1

There are quite a few categories covered in the early Black Friday sale, including video games, TVs, Apple products, headphones, small kitchen appliances, printers, vacuums, and much more. Head to Best Buy’s landing page for the sale to shop the entire sale.


Below we’ve gathered some of the more notable items being marked down in Best Buy’s early Black Friday sale. In regards to Apple, this mainly includes deals on Apple Watch SE and Series 6.

Headphones

Bluetooth Speakers

Apple Watch

Miscellaneous

Best Buy Black Friday – Weeklong Savings Begin Nov. 22

Like most retailers, Best Buy’s Black Friday is really a week-long event that starts the Sunday before Thanksgiving: November 22. This will stretch through to Thanksgiving day with an online-only set of deals, and then end on Black Friday, November 27, with the expected selection of doorbusters.

Similar to years past, you’ll find a lot of markdowns on quality TV sets, Blu-Rays, smartphones, Dyson vacuums, smart speakers, video games, and much more. Many of the sales listed below are available thanks to Best Buy’s early Black Friday event that runs through November 1, but after that ends you won’t be able to get the discounts again until November 22 (or November 16 if you’re a My Best Buy member).

Laptops

Tablets

Streaming Devices

Computer Accessories

Storage

Gift Cards

Video Games
This year will see the launch of a new generation of video game consoles. While the PS5 and Xbox Series X won’t have any deals, you’ll definitely be able to save with solid markdowns on previous generation consoles and a wide assortment of video game software.


We don’t know much about hardware deals yet, but Best Buy is showcasing a deal on the Nintendo Switch bundle with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and three months of Nintendo Switch Online for $299.99.

To keep track of these Black Friday sales and more, head to our full Black Friday Roundup as well as our separate Deals Roundup.

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Cyberattack exposes lack of required defenses on U.S. pipelines

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The shutdown of the biggest U.S. fuel pipeline by a ransomware attack highlights a systemic vulnerability: Pipeline operators have no requirement to implement cyber defenses.

The U.S. government has had robust, compulsory cybersecurity protocols for most of the power grid for about 10 years to prevent debilitating hacks by criminals or state actors.

But the country’s 2.7 million miles (4.3 million km) of oil, natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines have only voluntary measures, which leaves security up to the individual operators, experts said.

“Simply encouraging pipelines to voluntarily adopt best practices is an inadequate response to the ever-increasing number and sophistication of malevolent cyber actors,” Richard Glick, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), said.

Protections could include requirements for encryption, multifactor authentication, backup systems, personnel training and segmenting networks so access to the most sensitive elements can be restricted.

FERC’s authority to impose cyber standards on the electric grid came from a 2005 law but it does not extend to pipelines.

Colonial Pipeline, the largest U.S. oil products pipeline and source of nearly half the supply on the East Coast, has been shut since Friday after a ransomware attack the FBI attributed to DarkSide, a group cyber experts believe is based in Russia or Eastern Europe.

The outage has led to higher gasoline prices in the U.S. South and worries about wider shortages and potential price gouging ahead of the Memorial Day holiday.

Colonial did not immediately respond to a query about whether cybersecurity standards should be mandatory.

The American Petroleum Institute lobbying group said it was talking with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Energy Department and others to understand the threat and mitigate risk.

THIN STAFFING

Cyber oversight of pipelines falls to the TSA, an office of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which has provided voluntary security guidelines to pipeline companies.

The General Accountability Office, the congressional watchdog, said in a 2019 report that the TSA only had six full-time employees in its pipeline security branch through 2018, which limited the office’s reviews of cybersecurity practices.

The TSA said it has since expanded staff to 34 positions on pipeline and cybersecurity. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it supports mandatory protections.

When asked by reporters whether the Biden administration would put in place rules, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said it was discussing administrative and legislative options to “raise the cyber hygiene across the country.”

President Joe Biden is hoping Congress will pass a $2.3 billion infrastructure package, and pipeline requirements could be put into that legislation. But experts said there was no quick fix.

“The hard part is who do you tell what to do and what do you tell them to do,” Christi Tezak, an analyst at ClearView Energy Partners, said.

U.S. Representatives Fred Upton, a Republican, and Bobby Rush, a Democrat, said on Wednesday they have reintroduced legislation requiring the Department of Energy to ensure the security of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines. Such legislation could get folded into a wider bill.

The power grid is regulated by FERC, and mostly organized into nonprofit regional organizations. That made it relatively easy for legislators to put forward the 2005 law that allows FERC to approve mandatory cyber measures.

A range of public and private companies own pipelines. They mostly operate independently and lack a robust federal regulator.

Their oversight falls under different laws depending on what they carry. Products include crude oil, fuels, water, hazardous liquids and – potentially – carbon dioxide for burial underground to control climate change. This diversity could make it harder for legislators to impose a unified requirement.

Tristan Abbey, a former aide to Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski who worked at the White House national security council under former President Donald Trump, said Congress is both the best and worst way to tackle the problem.

“Legislation may be necessary when jurisdiction is ambiguous and agencies lack resources,” said Abbey, now president of Comarus Analytics LLC.

But a bill should not be seen as a magic wand, he said.

“Standards may be part of the answer, but federal regulations need to mesh with state requirements without stifling innovation.”

 

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Marguerita Choy)

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U.S. senator asks firms about sales of hard disk drives to Huawei

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A senior Republican U.S. senator on Tuesday asked the chief executives of Toshiba America Electronic Components, Seagate Technology, and Western Digital Corp if the companies are improperly supplying Huawei with foreign-produced hard disk drives.

Senator Roger Wicker, the ranking member of the Commerce Committee, said a 2020 U.S. Commerce Department regulation sought to “tighten Huawei’s ability to procure items that are the direct product of specified U.S. technology or software, such as hard disk drives.”

He said he was engaged “in a fact-finding process… about whether leading global suppliers of hard disk drives are complying” with the regulation.

(Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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Colonial Pipeline hackers stole data on Thursday

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The hackers who caused Colonial Pipeline to shut down on Friday began their cyberattack against the top U.S. fuel pipeline operator a day earlier and stole a large amount of data, Bloomberg News reported citing people familiar with the matter.

The attackers are part of a cybercrime group called DarkSide and took nearly 100 gigabytes of data out of Colonial’s network in just two hours on Thursday, Bloomberg reported late Saturday, citing two people involved in the company’s investigation.

Colonial did not immediately reply to an email from Reuters seeking comment outside usual U.S. business hours.

Colonial Pipeline shut its entire network, the source of nearly half of the U.S. East Coast’s fuel supply, after a cyber attack that involved ransomware.

 

(Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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