How consumers can avoid fraud amid big sales week for Amazon, Walmart

  • With e-commerce surging during the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Day and the 2020 holiday season may be the perfect hunting ground for online fraudsters.
  • Business Insider spoke with Amazon’s former Director of Corporate Development Aaron Barfoot, who now serves as the chief financial officer of online security firm Forter. 
  • “Good online hygiene means paying attention and being alert,” Barfoot said. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It’s a potential nightmare for anyone who’s ever shopped online: checking your bank account or credit card statement to find that a cybercriminal has stolen your identity and run up a huge bill.

During Amazon’s two-day Prime Day sales event and the upcoming 2020 holiday season, that’s a scenario that could become reality for more shoppers than ever before. Former Amazon Director of Corporate Development Aaron Barfoot — who now serves as chief financial officer for online fraud prevention firm Forter — said that

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Researchers watch ants use tools to avoid drowning

Oct. 8 (UPI) — Scientists have observed ants using sand to draw liquid food out of containers. In addition to helping ants avoid drowning, the strategy allowed them to more efficiently collect sugar water.

Researchers described the first-of-its-kind observation in a new paper, published Thursday in the journal Functional Ecology.

When scientists first presented black imported fire ants with containers of sugar water, the ants were able to float and feed on the surface without drowning. When researchers added a surfactant, the reduced surface tensions forced the ants to adapt.

Faced with the threat of drowning, the ants collected and deposited sand grains inside the containers.

“We found the ants used sand to build a structure that could effectively draw sugar water out of the container to then to be collected,” lead study author Aiming Zhou said in a news release.

“This exceptional tool making skill not only reduced the

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Ants adapt tool use to avoid drowning

Ants adapt tool use to avoid drowning
Researchers have observed black imported fire ants using sand to draw liquid food out of containers, when faced with the risk of drowning. This is the first time this sophisticated tool use has been reported in animals. These findings are published in the British Ecological Society journal Functional Ecology. Credit: Dr Aiming Zhou and Dr Jian Chen

Researchers have observed black imported fire ants using sand to draw liquid food out of containers, when faced with the risk of drowning. This is the first time this sophisticated tool use has been reported in animals. These findings are published in the British Ecological Society journal Functional Ecology.


A laboratory experiment has shown for the first time that a species of ant has the remarkable ability to adapt its tool use. When provided with small containers of sugar water, black imported fire ants were able to float and feed on

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Exide’s latest bid to avoid additional liability for poisoning L.A. County communities

For decades, the negligent operators of Exide Technologies, a battery recycling facility, emitted lead, arsenic and other toxic contaminants into people’s homes, communities and the environment.



a close up of clouds in the sky: In 2015, Exide Technologies agreed to close this Vernon recycling plant permanently. But cleanup goes on. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)


© (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
In 2015, Exide Technologies agreed to close this Vernon recycling plant permanently. But cleanup goes on. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Hundreds of millions of dollars, much of it fronted by taxpayers, has been spent on cleanup so far, and the extent of the toxic devastation caused by the company still isn’t fully known. Yet Exide is asking for — and may well receive — permission to walk away from all future liability.

Ever since the contamination was discovered, Exide has worked to evade its full responsibility to Californians. The company failed to comply with environmental regulations, then largely escaped liability for its actions by hiding behind a 2015 non-prosecution agreement

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Planaria flatworms can be alternative screening tool to avoid rabbit skin testing — ScienceDaily

Tests for skin treatments could be screened using flatworms rather than other animals such as rabbits, according to new research.

A team at the University of Reading and Newcastle University have found that planaria, a type of flatworm, can be used as a reliable alternative for testing topical skin products used to treat human tissues such as the eyes, nose or vagina to ensure that they are not harmful.

The paper, published in Toxicology in Vitro, shows how the use of a fluorescent dye mixed with a potential skin product is absorbed through the outer layers of skin in the planaria.

The tests are cheaper and more ethical than existing animal tests, because planaria are readily available and easily cultured in a laboratory — and don’t experience suffering. While other tests are carried out on human skin cells in a petri dish, the new screening method would provide a

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European stock picks to buy, avoid in COVID recovery: Morgan Stanley

  • Morgan Stanley research teams, in a research note, outline the activity-based stocks that are still discounted for a post-COVID recovery across five different sectors.
  • Morgan Stanley recommends investors think about individual stocks instead of sectors.
  • “The bifurcation between winners and losers within sectors is arguably best exemplified within Retail – in aggregate, the sector has been a strong outperformer this year, but this largely reflects single-stock stories,” Morgan Stanley’s equity analyst, Jamie Rollo, said in a note.
  • Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter Investing Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Morgan Stanley brought together five separate equity research teams to understand which European activity-based stocks damaged by the pandemic were still discounted for a post-COVID recovery, in a new research note released this week.

The investment bank is thinking ahead to recovery based on its biotech team expecting phase three vaccine results by November and

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QNAP tells NAS users to update firmware to avoid new type of ransomware

qnap.jpg

Image: QNAP

Taiwanese hardware vendor QNAP urged customers last week to update the firmware and apps installed on their network-attached storage (NAS) devices to avoid infections with a new strain of ransomware named AgeLocker.

The ransomware has been active since June this year when it first began making victims.

It was named AgeLocker for its use of the Actually Good Encryption (AGE) algorithm to encrypt files. The AGE encryption algorithm is considered cryptographically secure, which means encrypted files can’t be recovered without paying the ransom demand.

Techniques like brute-forcing the encryption key or identifying weaknesses in the encryption scheme are not reliable against AGE.

The impossibility of recovering encrypted files without paying the ransom demand is why users should take care to secure QNAP NAS devices.

Last week, QNAP said it identified two sources of how AgeLocker gains access to QNAP devices. The first is the QNAP device firmware

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Can Media and Tech Giants Avoid Becoming Russian Tools in 2020?

With the election just 39 days away, major tech and media organizations are wrestling with how to avoid a repeat of 2016. From mass bans targeting the Kremlin’s social media-bot networks on sites like Facebook, to news outlets like the Washington Post preparing its reporters to stay vigilant when receiving purportedly leaked information, there appears to be an attempt this time around to not become “a de facto instrument of Russian intelligence,” as the New York Times once put it.

Facebook announced this week that it had discovered and shut down two separate disinformation networks run by Russian “military intelligence services.” The social media giant also took out a third network that had ties to the same internet troll farm that was involved in the 2016 election-tampering operations. “We removed 214 Facebook users, 35 Pages, 18 Groups and 34 Instagram accounts for violating our policy against foreign or government interference

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ISS Moves To Avoid Space Debris

Astronauts on the International Space Station carried out an “avoidance maneuver” Tuesday to ensure they would not be hit by a piece of debris, said US space agency NASA, urging better management of objects in Earth’s orbit.

Russian and US flight controllers worked together during a two-and-a-half-minute operation to adjust the station’s orbit and move further away, avoiding collision.

The debris passed within about 1.4 kilometers (nearly one mile) of the ISS, NASA said.

The International Space Station -- seen here on August 26, 2020 -- is performing a maneuver to ensure it gets out of the way of a piece of space debris The International Space Station — seen here on August 26, 2020 — is performing a maneuver to ensure it gets out of the way of a piece of space debris Photo: NASA / Handout

The three crew members — two Russians and an American — relocated to be near their Soyuz spacecraft as the maneuver began so they could evacuate if necessary, NASA said, adding that the precaution was taken “out of an abundance of caution.”

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China’s ByteDance gets Trump nod to avoid TikTok shutdown

By David Shepardson, Alexandra Alper and Echo Wang

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he supported a deal in principle that would allow TikTok to continue to operate in the United States, even as it appeared to conflict with his earlier order for China’s ByteDance to divest the video app.

ByteDance was racing to avoid a crackdown on TikTok after the U.S. Commerce Department said on Friday it would block new downloads and updates to the app come Sunday. U.S. officials had expressed concern that the personal data of as many as 100 million Americans that use the app was being passed on to China’s Communist Party government.

Trump signed an executive order on Aug. 14 giving ByteDance 90 days to sell TikTok. The deal announced on Saturday, however, is structured as a partnership rather than a divestment.

TikTok will be owned by a new

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