As a recent breach of 5,500 accounts with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has shown, personal hygiene isn’t the only thing Canadians need to worry about during this pandemic.
According to Ritesh Kotak, a digital technology expert, it’s important to keep up with your “cyber hygiene” as well to ensure you don’t become a victim of digital fraud.
The CRA temporarily suspended its online services on the weekend in response to the cyberattack. The agency, which has been used by thousands of Canadians during the pandemic to apply for the $2,000-per-month Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for COVID-19, said the attack was a “credential stuffing” scheme.
One victim told the Canadian Press that someone who had hacked into her account applied for CERB in her name and received funds by using her information.
But what is “credential stuffing”? And how can Canadians stay safe?
“A credential is a username and password, and stuffing is when, essentially you have these usernames and passwords and you test them against very popular sites,” Kotak told CTV News.
Hackers who have acquired hundreds of usernames and passwords will turn to bots to see if the account details allow them access to anything.
“This bot will actually go out, and it will try to input your username and password into popular sites, and if there’s a match, then the fraudster gets notified,” Kotak said.
“So the big question is, how do these hackers even get your username and password? And the most common way is through other breaches.”
If financial institutions, hotels, airlines or any place you have given your information, get hacked, that personal information, such as a username, an email address and a password, can now be accessed and shared, Kotak explained.
“And if you’re re-using your username and password, you now become vulnerable to these types of attacks.”
If the login you’ve used to book a hotel that suffers a breach is the same as your login for your bank account, or another account that contains banking details on it, these hackers can gain access to an extraordinary amount of data.
“Once you get access to somebody’s account, it is whatever information is available on that account, you now have access to it,” Kotak said. “So it could be your personal information, your financial information, your previous returns, essentially anything. And once you’re in, you can also change up information, such as your mailing address or email address to make it even more difficult for the rightful owner to gain access back to their account.”
With this recent breach on the CRA, Kotak said it seems that the hackers were purely “after the money.”
“It seems that the motivation behind these breaches is strictly financial. It is to get as much money in a short amount of time as possible, without getting detected.”
‘BASIC CYBER HYGIENE’
Much like with guarding against COVID-19, the strategies you can use to avoid becoming the victim of a “credential stuffing” plot are as simple as putting on a mask or washing your hands.
Just use different passwords and usernames, Kotak says.
“It is convenient for us to use the same username and password,” he admitted. “We have maybe a hundred different accounts online, we have our email, we have data storage, we might have our food delivery apps, so we have a lot of different apps that all require usernames and passwords. And as a result, a lot of us kind of get a little bit lazy.
“Let this be a lesson on why it is important to have different usernames and passwords for different sites, so if a breach does occur, you will not be affected.”
Kotak calls it “basic cyber hygiene to have different usernames and passwords.” He emphasized that creating “strong passwords” which mix upper and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, and avoid using “dictionary words” is also important.
However, he said the blame is not on just one person for these types of breaches.
There are other parties involved, such as the CRA, and other financial institutions, which are responsible for putting in fraud detection mechanisms to catch these schemes early on.
“This is joint responsibility,” he said. “As users, use different usernames and passwords. As the CRA, or any government entity, ensure that you put proper security measures in place, and you use some sort of anomaly detection, and same thing with these financial institutions. If we all take these steps, then these types of breaches are preventable.”
Other Battery Makers Filled With Uncertainty After Tesla Battery Day – InsideEVs
After yesterday’s Tesla Battery Day, third-party lithium-ion battery manufacturer might be quite surprised and uncertain about the future.
Tesla clearly continues on its path of vertical integration, hinting at significant improvements on the technological level and advancing also on the in-house battery production front.
The pilot plant for 4680 cells is expected to reach a production output of 10 GWh annually at some point in 2021, which alone is a huge level. The target of 100 GWh in 2022 is also very ambitious.
Tesla’s Elon Musk said that the automaker will continue to purchase cells from existing (and maybe new) suppliers, because it will not be able to produce enough of its own batteries anyway, but still the share price of the biggest EV battery manufacturers declined.
Investors are clearly aware that Tesla is pushing hard to reduce costs and increase energy density. It’s a challenging race, which requires tons of R&D investments to keep up with the leaders.
Will the ordinary battery makers from electronics and chemical industries be able to offer a competitive solution for a company like Tesla, which has an advantage of vertical integration? They would have to closely partner with other carmakers to jointly develop battery systems deeply integrated with the vehicles.
Shopify fires 2 employees for stealing customer data from up to 200 merchants – CBC.ca
Shopify says it has terminated two “rogue” employees who were involved in a scheme to steal customer information from some of the company’s merchants.
The Ottawa-based technology company says fewer than 200 merchants were included in the breach, but that an unknown number of customers of those merchants may have had their information stolen.
The information stolen includes basic things such as names and email addresses, as well as data about what products they purchased, but did not include financial information such as credit card or banking details.
“We immediately terminated these individuals’ access to our Shopify network and referred the incident to law enforcement,” the company said.
“We are currently working with the FBI and other international agencies in their investigation of these criminal acts. While we do not have evidence of the data being utilized, we are in the early stages of the investigation and will be updating affected merchants as relevant.”
The company stressed that the breach was not the result of some sort of technical vulnerability, and that the vast majority of the company’s one million merchants and the customers who shop from them online were not affected. Any affected merchants have been notified.
“We don’t take these events lightly at Shopify,” the company said. “We have zero tolerance for platform abuse and will take action to preserve the confidence of our community and the integrity of our product.”
Shares in the company fell 1.6 per cent on Tuesday in extended trading on a down day for markets overall.
The company’s shares have more than doubled in value this year, as the company is one of numerous tech names whose business has boomed during the pandemic because of higher demand for online services.
Huawei Has Sufficient Inventory of Communications Equipment – Yahoo Finance
In the investing game, it’s not only about what you buy; it’s about when you buy it. One of the most common pieces of advice thrown around the Street, “buy low” is touted as a tried-and-true tactic.Sure, the strategy seems simple. Stock prices naturally fluctuate on the basis of several factors like earnings results and the macro environment, amongst others, with investors trying to time the market and determine when stocks have hit a bottom. In practice, however, executing on this strategy is no easy task.On top of this, given the volatility that has ruled the markets over the last few weeks, how are investors supposed to gauge when a name is flirting with a bottom? That’s where the Wall Street pros come in.These expert stock pickers have identified three compelling tickers whose current share prices land close to their 52-week lows. Noting that each is set to take back off on an upward trajectory, the analysts see an attractive entry point. Using TipRanks’ database, we found out that the analyst consensus has rated all three a Strong Buy, with major upside potential also on tap.Progenity (PROG)Offering clear and actionable genetic results, Progenity specializes in providing testing services. The company started trading on Nasdaq in June and saw its shares tumbling 44% since then. With shares changing hands for $8.11, several members of the Street recommend pulling the trigger before it heats up.Piper Sandler analyst Steven Mah points out that even against the backdrop of COVID-19, PROG managed to deliver with its Q2 2020 performance. “We are encouraged by the recovery in late Q2 2020 with 75,000 accessioned tests (~79,000 in Q1 2020), driven by noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) and carrier screening,” the analyst noted. Expounding on this, Mah stated, “Progenity did not provide guidance, but June test volumes of ~28,000 were strong (Q1 2020 monthly average was ~26,000) which we believe showcases the durability of its reproductive tests and the success that Progenity has in co-marketing and attaching carrier screening to the more essential NIPT. Of note, despite the pandemic disruptions, Progenity was able to maintain its leading pre-COVID test turnaround times.”Additionally, health insurer Aetna is temporarily extending coverage of average-risk NIPT until year-end as a result of the pandemic, with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) also expected to endorse average-risk in the future given its clinical utility, in Mah’s opinion.Reflecting another positive, the fourth generation NIPT (single-molecule counting assay) test was able to measure fetal fraction, a key milestone according to Mah, and will continue to be developed into 2021. As the technology could potentially be applied to DNA, RNA, epigenetic markers and proteins for additional clinical applications such as oncology, the analyst is looking forward to the completion of the preeclampsia verification in Q4 2020 and a possible 2H21 launch. “We believe preeclampsia (~2.3 billion serviceable market) is a major differentiator for Progenity, allowing them to cross-sell across the full-continuum of reproductive testing,” the analyst added.If that wasn’t enough, PROG signed its first GI Precision Medicine partnership agreement with a top-20 Pharma company in August. The Oral Biotherapeutic Delivery System (OBDS), an ingestible drug and device combination designed to precisely deliver biologics systemically through a needle-free liquid jet injection into the submucosal tissues of the small intestine, is set to be utilized as part of the collaboration. Mah commented, “We believe Progenity can sign additional Pharma deals and look forward to the newsflow coming out on this front.”To sum it all up, Mah said, “We believe Progenity shares are undervalued given the robust recovery in the core testing business and multiple upcoming growth catalysts.”To this end, Mah rates PROG an Overweight (i.e. Buy) along with a $17 price target. Should his thesis play out, a twelve-month gain of 105% could potentially be in the cards. (To watch Mah’s track record, click here)Are other analysts in agreement? They are. Only Buy ratings, 4, in fact, have been issued in the last three months. Therefore, the message is clear: PROG is a Strong Buy. Given the $13.33 average price target, shares could climb 60% higher in the next year. (See PROG stock analysis on TipRanks)Tactile Systems Technology (TCMD)Developing at-home therapy devices, Tactile Systems Technology wants to provide new treatments for lymphedema, which occurs when the lymphatic system is impaired, disrupting normal transport of fluid within the body, and chronic venous insufficiency. Down 52% year-to-date, its $32.67 share price lands close to its $29.47 52-week low. Thus, with business trends improving, the Street is pounding the table.Writing for Canaccord, analyst Cecilia Furlong acknowledges that the pandemic has hampered the company, with COVID-19 weighing on both volumes and sales. In the second half of March, volumes were down 50% compared to the first half of the month, and TCMD’s patient volumes in April and May remained challenged. That being said, trends started to improve at the end of May.“Going forward, given the vast majority of TCMD’s clinician customers practice in outpatient or office-based settings, we remain positive on TCMD’s ability to demonstrate better insulation against COVID impacts and likely experience a greater bounce-back relative to overall med-tech volume trends, with TCMD further benefitting from its expanding using of technology to remotely engage with clinicians and support patients,” Furlong explained.The analyst added, “Furthermore, recent trends among some providers to prescribe Flexitouch (an advanced intermittent pneumatic compression device to self-manage lymphedema and nonhealing venous leg ulcers) earlier along the therapy process, as a means to reduce in-person contact, could provide upside near term, as well as potentially transition to a longer-term tailwind.”On top of this, Furlong is also optimistic about new CEO Dan Reuvers and the reprioritization of the company’s investment and market development efforts. TCMD will shift focus away from its acquired Airwear product line, with it redirecting investments toward its Flexitouch and Entre (a pneumatic compression device used to assist in the home management of chronic swelling and venous ulcers associated with lymphedema and chronic venous insufficiency) products.“Given significant under-penetration in the lymphedema/phlebolymphedema market targeted by Flexitouch alongside the large patient population with limited treatment options today targeted by the firm’s Head & Neck platform, we view the combination of education and clinical data as key to further developing and penetrating these markets… Going forward, we expect management to continue to compile a broad base of clinical data to support reimbursement and drive broad adoption,” Furlong commented.All of this prompted Furlong to keep a Buy rating and $62 price target on the stock. This target conveys her confidence in TCMD’s ability to soar 90% in the next year. (To watch Furlong’s track record, click here)In general, other analysts are on the same page. With 3 Buy ratings and 1 Hold, the word on the Street is that TCMD is a Strong Buy. The $62.33 average price target brings the upside potential to 91%. (See TCMD stock analysis on TipRanks)uniQure N.V. (QURE)Last but not least we have uniQure, which delivers curative gene therapies that could potentially transform the lives of patients. Even though shares have fallen 44% year-to-date to $40, not much higher than its 52-week low of $36.20, multiple analysts still have high hopes.Representing SVB Leerink, 5-star analyst Joseph Schwartz acknowledges that shares struggled after news broke of its collaboration and licensing agreement with CSL Behring for AMT-061, QURE’s gene therapy for Hemophilia B, he argues the “shareholder base turnover is likely now complete as investors and QURE shift focus to next-in-line AMT-130, its AAV5 gene therapy for Huntington’s Disease (HD).”Schwartz further added, “With the M&A premium now out of the stock, we see the QURE’s current level as an attractive buying opportunity for those investors interested in the company’s up and coming CNS gene therapies, internal manufacturing, and robust intellectual property and knowhow.”Looking more closely at the agreement with CSL Behring, QURE will be tasked with the completion of the pivotal Phase 3 HOPE-B trial as well as the manufacturing process validation and manufacturing supply of AMT-061.According to management, 26-week Factor IX (FIX) data from all 54 patients enrolled in the trial remains on track, and topline data from the pivotal trial is still slated to read out by YE20. It should be mentioned that in a Phase 2b dose-confirmation study, QURE reported 41% FIX activity out to one year. Additionally, Schwartz points out that with HOPE-B progressing as planned, QURE has continued its manufacturing process validation work ahead of the anticipated BLA/MAA submissions in the U.S. and EU in 2021.On top of this, as part of the deal, QURE is eligible to receive more than $2 billion including a $450 million upfront cash payment, $1.6 billion in regulatory and commercial milestones and double-digit royalties ranging up to the low-twenties percentage of net product sales.“With a strengthened cash position, QURE is well funded to rapidly advance CNS assets including AMT-130 (AAV5 gene therapy for Huntington’s Disease (HD)) and AMT-150 (AAV gene therapy for Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3/SCA3)…We continue to believe that as QURE’s CNS pipeline assets mature, the company could once again be an attractive partner to larger biopharma companies that have recently acquired many publicly traded gene therapy platforms with substantial manufacturing capabilities,” Schwartz noted.Everything that QURE has going for it convinced Schwartz to reiterate an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating. Along with the call, he attached a $67 price target, suggesting 68% upside potential from current levels. (To watch Schwartz’s track record, click here)What does the rest of the Street have to say? 9 Buys and 3 Holds have been issued in the last three months, so the consensus rating is a Strong Buy. In addition, the $69.89 average price target indicates 75% upside potential. (See QURE stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for beaten-down stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
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