Is Bluesky Social the Twitter Killer? (plus iPhone on Windows!) | May 2nd, 2023

Today In Tech News:

  1. Bluesky Social Media
  2. Open AI Funding
  3. Windows iOS Phone Link
  4. Citrix AresLoader


Bluesky, a new Twitter competitor funded by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, has exploded in popularity over the past few weeks.

The social media app has been downloaded over 375,000 times worldwide, which is impressive considering the platform is currently in an invite-only closed beta that started in February for iOS devices. 

The biggest day of growth came last Thursday as the user base doubled in a 24-hour period. 

While currently feeling extremely similar to Twitter, CEO Jay Graber blogged about how the company plans to be a decentralized system that would allow users to build their own apps and communities using the Bluesky backbone. 

This approach seems similar to how Fortnite recently opened up its Unreal Engine 5 Editor for players to create their own games and game modes using Fortnite as the starting ground.

As stated, Bluesky is currently in an invite-only closed beta, access can only be gained through an invite from a user already on the platform.


Open AI Funding

OpenAI has acquired a new round of funding by selling a new round of shares.

The total shares are worth a combined $300 million and come in for a total company valuation of $27-29 billion.

This does not include the investment from Microsoft earlier this year that came in at a whopping $10 billion.

The venture capitalist groups involved in this round include Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive, K2 Global, and Founders Fund.

Groups investing in OpenAI for the first time include Founders Fund, K2 Global, and Thrive.

The funding will be used to continue research and development on AI as well as ML models.

After this funding round, outside organizations and individuals will now own more than 30% of OpenAI.


Windows iOS Phone Link

In Microsoft news, Windows 11 will soon connect with iPhones through its Phone Link software.

Windows previously had minimal iOS support for photo sharing and filesystem management, but the new Phone Link update will allow users to stay connected even when their phone is out of reach.

The new features include making and taking calls, reading and creating texts, receiving notifications, reviewing call history, and finally searching and editing contacts.

In order to use the new features, users will need a Bluetooth connection, a pc running Windows 11, an iPhone running iOS 14 or higher, and the newest version of the Phone Link app from the Microsoft store.

This update only works with iOS devices so iPads and Macs are not supported.

The rollout of the new update has started and will continue through mid-May as the update will be available in 85 nations across 39 languages.


Citrix AresLoader

Cybersecurity researchers at Cyble Research and Intelligence Labs, or CRIL, have recently observed a new malware loader called AresLoader. 

Loaders are malicious programs or scripts that install and run malware on a target system. 

The AresLoader is currently being sold in a Malware as a Service model. 

It is being used to target Citrix users as it was discovered in a Citrix GitLab repository called the citrixproject.

The team behind the loader is believed to be the same group behind the AiD Locker ransomware.

AresLoader is currently being used to distribute the following malware packages including IcedID and Lumma Stealer, which are both malware for stealing credentials.

To mitigate your risk of loaders, make sure you

  • Avoid downloading files from unknown websites
  • Use a reputable antivirus like Bitdefender (not sponsored)
  • Refrain from opening links and attachments in emails
  • If you’re responsible for others’ IT, Invest in organization-wide data loss prevention (DLP) solutions


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