An AI Virus Warning System, Mac Malware, and More News

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An AI epidemiologist sent the first warnings of the Wuhan virus

On January 9, the World Health Organization notified the public of a flu-like outbreak in Wuhan, China, that led to city lockdowns affecting tens of millions of people. But a Canadian health monitoring platform sent news of the outbreak to its customers more than a week earlier, on December 31. The platform, called BlueDot, uses an AI-driven algorithm that scours foreign-language news reports, animal and plant disease networks, and official proclamations to give its clients advance warning to avoid danger zones like Wuhan if possible.

The sneaky simple malware that hits millions of Macs

This week, a report from antivirus company Kaspersky revealed that the most common threat to Mac computers is the Shlayer Trojan, which has hit 10 percent of all of the Macs Kaspersky monitors and accounted for nearly a third of detections overall. It’s had the top spot since it first emerged in February 2018, and is deceptively simple: Users download the software either as phony Adobe Flash downloads or masked links on popular internet pages. Because users are downloading the software themselves, it’s nearly impossible for Apple to defend against it. But you can by following this advice: Never click suspicious links, especially not in surprise popup windows.


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