Coffee Briefing July 12, 2022 – Beware of Amazon Prime Day scams; first regional EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards announced; one third of social media crypto frauds conducted on Instagram; and more

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What’s new this week

Beware of Amazon Prime Day scams

This week’s Amazon Prime Days are also prime days for scammers, say researchers at security firm Avanan. It has published a brief describing the most common tricks used to separate victims from their personal information – and ultimately their money.

The company says, “Hackers are taking advantage of Amazon’s popularity to send phishing and credential harvesting emails. With the Prime Day holiday coming up, these scams will proliferate significantly. Check Point Research (CPR) has found a 37 per cent increase in daily Amazon-related phishing attacks compared to the daily average from June.

“For last year’s Prime Day, CPR witnessed an 86 per cent increase in phishing emails related to the sale, and a 16 per cent increase in phishing URLs.

Further, in June 2022, there were almost 1,900 new domains related to the word “amazon”–and 9.5 per cent of those were malicious or suspicious.”


Volkswagen’s CARIAD selects BlackBerry QNX for its new platform

Image credit: Cariad

Blackberry Ltd. announced last week that CARIAD, the Volkswagen Group’s software company, has selected the Waterloo, Ont.-based company’s QNX technology as one component of its software platform VW.OS.

CARIAD is developing a unified software platform that consists of VW.OS, the Volkswagen Cloud VW.AC and a scalable, unified end-to-end electronic architecture. The platform will be available for Volkswagen Group brands from 2025 on.

“BlackBerry will license its BlackBerry QNX technology to CARIAD, including its QNX OS for Safety 2.2,” the company said in the release. “It will be integrated in CARIAD’s software platform VW.OS, specifically in the stack for advanced driver assistance systems and automated driving functions (ADAS/AD). Within this ADAS/AD stack of VW.OS, QNX OS for Safety 2.2 will serve as a reliable, safe and secure foundation.”

As part of the agreement, BlackBerry QNX will also provide professional engineering and consulting services for system-level integration, performance optimization, and solution validation.

Based on BlackBerry’s QNX Neutrino real-time operating system (RTOS), QNX OS for Safety is a POSIX compliant, open standards-based operating system that embedded developers can use to build safety-critical systems and has been certified to ISO 26262 ASIL D, the automotive industry’s highest functional safety standard, Blackberry said.

Seven Ontario entrepreneurs receive top EY award

Yesterday EY announced the first of its regional winners of Canada’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 program. Now in its 28th year in Canada, the Entrepreneur of the Year program supports, connects and enables entrepreneurs across Canada as they turn ideas into businesses that deliver national and global impact. The program works in tandem with EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women and Entrepreneurs Access Network to help businesses grow, scale and overcome ever-evolving challenges, while building an equitable and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem for all.

The seven Ontario winners are:

  • Martin Basiri, Meti Basiri and Massi Basiri of ApplyBoard, a company helping students fulfill their international education dreams.
  • Donato Ardellini of Environmental 360 Solutions, a company reimagining how we handle waste for good.
  • Kyle Braatz of Fullscript, a customizable online dispensary that’s simplifying wellness.
  • Scott Hunter of Gateway, a company giving families the best in pet aftercare.
  • Joanna Griffiths of Knix, a company that’s redefining intimate apparel.
  • Hussein Fazal and Henry Shi of Snapcommerce, a commerce platform helping customers find the right products at the right prices.
  • Connie Lo and Laura Burget of Three Ships, a company offering purpose-driven, plant-based skincare.

The regional winners will advance to compete against their peers from other regions at the national awards in November 2022, where 10 national winners will be named, including Canada’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year, who will go on to compete for the global title of EY World Entrepreneur of the Year in June 2023.


AI robot Miko 3 seeks to redefine learning and entertainment for kids

Miko 3, an AI robot developed by international AI robotics and technology company Miko, seeks to bring fun and learning for children to a new level.

It offers a personalized and constantly-evolving experience by adapting its features to the child’s skills, abilities and interests, while also being a confidante, study friend and playmate to the child. Designed to be a companion in both the classroom and the home, the robot speaks eight different languages and features an integrated learning platform that encompasses a range of academic topics. Additionally, the platform offers access to live classes from educators around the world.

Miko 3 includes an easy-to-use app that allows parents to have complete control, change security and other settings and track their child’s progress. All data is end-to-end encrypted and Miko does not store user data on the company’s server or cloud. However it does not appear to allow them to turn off the camera or microphone when desired.

Miko 3 is priced at CA$400, including renewable 3-month access to several interactive experiences and content. Colour options include Martian Red and Pixie Blue.


32 per cent of all social media cryptocurrency frauds are committed on Instagram

Fraud And Scammers Concept. Cartoon Scammers In Masks Use All Kinds Of Sneaky Approaches To Steal Your Personal Details To Use Your Credit Card Or Open A Bank Account. Flat Style Vector Illustration.
Credit: Getty images

Instagram accounts for 32 per cent of crypto fraud cases on all social media, followed by Facebook and WhatsApp, with 26 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively, according to, a UK-based online education platform for traders.

“The most vulnerable sites for scamming are Meta-owned” said Edith Muthoni, contributor to “This raises questions about Meta’s capacity to protect its users’ personal information and privacy.”

Crypto frauds appear with clear signs, she noted. Scammers will ask victims to pay them in bitcoin before purchasing or securing their money and they promise large profits with little to no risk, taking advantage of the fact that victims often have little understanding of how cryptocurrency works.

Successful crypto scams on social media avoid getting flagged, as they mostly originate as investment frauds and do not involve banks. According to TradingPlatforms’ analysis, such investment frauds resulted in the loss of crypto worth CA$575 million, which, it said, is a significantly higher amount than other types of fraud.

“To avoid instances of fraud, one must be on the lookout for suspicious behavior. Don’t ignore any red flags,” Muthoni said.


Seven Quebec entrepreneurs receive top EY award

Today, EY announced the second group of its regional winners of Canada’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 program.

The seven Québec winners are:

  • Isabelle Côté of Coffrages Synergy Formwork, a company setting itself apart in the formworks industry with quality construction projects and collaborations across Eastern Canada.
  • Todd Coleman of eStruxture Data Centers, the largest Canadian data centre company with solutions for running modern and demanding enterprise applications.
  • René-Pierre Roussel and Hugo Leclair of Groupe Canva, a dynamic and fast-growing holding company in the field of industrial and commercial printing.
  • Gabriel Tremblay of Groupe TAQ, a non-profit organization led by social entrepreneurs who are furthering workplace inclusivity by helping people with functional limitations find permanent, stable and quality jobs.
  • Julie Roy of Les Services Ménagers Roy Ltée, a company committed to professional and high-quality commercial cleaning.
  • Jarred Knecht of Promark Electronics, a company that’s developing and manufacturing versatile, high-voltage cable and custom assemblies for electric and hybrid vehicles at scale.
  • Jean-François Côté of Sharethrough, a company bringing human-centric technology to programmatic advertising.

In addition to the seven regional winners, the Québec region is also recognizing a Special Citation.

Emerging Entrepreneur: Sam Finn and Kimberley Pontbriand of ergonofis, a company that’s making work a better place by creating well-designed, durable office products that improve health and productivity.

Winners for the Pacific, Prairies, and Atlantic regions will be announced in the coming days.


Telus to invest C$23 billion in Ontario over the next four years

Telus will be spending C$23 billion to enhance its business in Ontario over the next four years. With this massive investment, the telecommunications giant wants to create 9,500 jobs in Ontario, build out its 5G network to remote communities, and deploy its 5G core network later this year. Additionally, the fund will grow its integrated data management service for the Telus Agriculture business, and support digitizing the economy with its multi-access edge computing capabilities in healthcare, energy and manufacturing sectors


More to explore


Class action filed in Quebec against Rogers following last Friday’s outage

Montreal law firm LPC Avocat has requested authorization to file a class action against telecommunications giant Rogers Communications following the outage of its network last Friday, which left many Canadians with no service for at least 15 hours.

Rogers CEO admits outage caused by maintenance operation

In the wake of the major outage of its cellular, TV, and Internet services that began early Friday morning, Rogers Communications president and chief executive officer Tony Staffieri has issued another message explaining what the company believes was the cause.

NIST names first four quantum-resistant encryption tools

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has chosen the first group of encryption tools it believes will withstand the assault of a future quantum computer, a decision welcomed by the Canadian government’s cyber agency.

Microsoft Canada recognizes Canadian partners with 2022 Impact awards

Microsoft Canada has announced the winners of its 2022 Impact awards. Partners across Canada were selected by judges in 30 award categories for outstanding service delivery.

PC shipments to decline by 9.5% in 2022 – Gartner

PC shipments are predicted to decline 9.5 per cent world-wide in 2022, according to a forecast from Gartner, Inc. If this prediction is accurate, the PC market would face the steepest decline of all device segments in the current year.

Worried about your firm’s internet and telecom resiliency? Ask these questions

The cross-Canada internet and wireless outages caused by last week’s incident at Rogers Communications should make corporate telecom and IT decision-makers think carefully about telecom resiliency in the services they buy.

IT leaders admit having blind spots in attack surface visibility: Report

Despite investing money into cybersecurity, many Canadian organizations — and their global peers — admit they still have visibility problems into their IT systems, which complicates their ability to secure vital data.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

NASA releases the first coloured image taken by the James Webb space telescope, Amazon is developing cancer vaccines, and Meta creates new citation AI for Wikipedia.

Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

This episode reports on mandatory two-factor authentication coming for critical projects in the PyPI registry, fake Google software updates spreading and another hack blamed on the use of ‘password’ as a password.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances (Hosted by Direction Informatique)

If you live in Quebec, or prefer to consume the latest technology news in French, our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered. Follow them on Twitter as well.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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