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Guide to Black Friday 2020: best deals to hit Apple devices – AppleInsider

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With Black Friday 2020 around the corner, the AppleInsider team is working around the clock to bring you the best deals on not only new M1 Mac hardware, but fan favorites like AirPods Pro and Apple Watch styles. These are the best leaked deals we know will hit Apple products during the holiday weekend — and some of the lowest prices are available right now.

Exclusive M1 Mac deals

Our Deals team has been hard at work securing the best Apple prices for readers on brand-new M1 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini hardware.

Save up to $118 on the new products at Expercom and Adorama right now with exclusive promo code offers. The full collection of deals can be found in our Mac Price Guide, with quick-access links to the new product lines below. Hint: AppleCare is also marked down on the new products at Expercom and on 13-inch MacBook Pro models at Adorama with coupon.

Quick access to bonus M1 Mac savings

AirPods Pro

Start time: 7 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 25

While not available just yet, AirPods Pro make the list of highly anticipated Black Friday deals. The must-have $169 bargain is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 25 at Walmart.com, but Amazon shoppers will want to check back as the e-commerce giant has historically matched Walmart’s prices.

According to AppleInsider’s own AirPods price tracker, this deal will deliver the lowest AirPods Pro price on record.

Apple Watch

Price: $119 for Series 3 (GPS)

Start time: 7 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 25

Walmart is also taking the lead on the lowest Apple Watch price advertised for the Black Friday weekend, with the 38mm GPS Apple Watch Series 3 dropping to a record low $119. Like the AirPods Pro promotion highlighted above, the Black Friday Apple Watch Series 3 deal is scheduled to start on Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. Eastern.

What to expect: Amazon is likely to price match Walmart’s $119 price.

iPads

A hot gift for the holiday season, families looking to pick up an iPad for Hanukkah or Christmas can save up to $70 on the 10.2-inch iPad. Black Friday iPad prices are expected to dip to $249, with iPad Air and iPad Pro models up to $100 and $150 off respectively.

On the verge of selling out: B&H has already issued an early Black Friday discount that’s available only at AppleInsider. Save $630 on this closeout 12.9-inch iPad Pro and grab a free pair of earphones. Quantities are limited at the $649 price.

Apple gift cards

Stay tuned to AppleInsider for even more Black Friday Apple deals

AppleInsider will be highlighting the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday Apple deals throughout the holiday week. Be sure to download our app and follow us on social media for the latest news and best prices on your favorite Apple gear and accessories.

Additional Apple deals

Lowest Apple prices

AppleInsider and Apple authorized resellers are also running additional exclusive discounts on hardware that will not only deliver the lowest prices on many of the items, but also throw in bonus deals on AppleCare, software and more. Here are some of the offers:

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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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