News

The Friday Tech Takeaway - 16.03.18

DIGITAL SOCIETY

UK invests £67m in gigabit broadband
The UK government has unveiled its £67m broadband voucher scheme, flinging £3,000 at SMEs to set up gigabit connections and handing £500 vouchers to regular folk. After that users have to stump up the rest in ongoing rental fees. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/67-million-boost-for-a-full-fibre-future

Turkish ISP swapped downloads of popular software with spyware-infected apps
Türk Telekom, a Turkish Internet Service Provider (ISP), has deployed special hardware to intercept and alter Internet traffic, swapping legitimate software downloads with similar applications which are infected with spyware. A Citizen Lab report claims that Türk Telekom has deployed Sandvine PacketLogic middleboxes in five regions across the country. These devices are powerful traffic interception machines that can allow the ISP to spy on unencrypted traffic, and even alter its content by injecting additional code. https://goo.gl/hkCLPN

SECURITY

Warning – three popular VPN services leaking your IP address
Researchers have found critical vulnerabilities in three popular VPN services that could leak users' real IP addresses and other sensitive data. https://www.vpnmentor.com/blog/vpn-leaks-found-3-major-vpns-3-tested/

GrayKey unlocks iPhones
A secretive unlocking tool offered to cops and government agents has some computer security bods worried over its privacy implications. Known as GrayKey, the box is reportedly being marketed as a way to unlock iPhones without needing the key code. The hardware is reportedly offered in two forms: an internet-connected model that costs $15,000 with a 300 use limit, and an offline model costing $30,000 with no unlock limit. https://graykey.grayshift.com/

SAP CRM vulnerabilities cause massive damage
A pair of recently patched security vulnerabilities in SAP NetWeaver Application Server Java could have been combined to hack customer relationship management (CRM) systems. When exploited together, the directory traversal and log injection flaws lead to information disclosure, privilege escalation and full SAP CRM system compromise. Both bugs were resolved by updates last month. https://erpscan.com/research/hacking-sap-crm/

UK data watchdog raids companies suspected of 11 million nuisance texts
The perpetrators are understood to have sent the text messages to UK mobile numbers between January 2017 and January 2018. As a result the ICO received 3,297 separate complaints. https://goo.gl/WE2fg6

400K malware outbreak caused by backdoored Russian torrenting client
A massive malware outbreak that attempted to infect over 400,000 users during a 12-hour period was caused by a backdoored Russian-based BitTorrent client named MediaGet. https://goo.gl/2JLTyQ

PSA: Beware Windows PowerShell credential request prompts
A new PowerShell script was posted on Github recently that prompts a victim to enter their login credentials, checks if they are correct, and then sends the credentials to a remote server. This allows an attacker to distribute the script and harvest domain login credentials from their victims. http://www.powershellempire.com/

INDUSTRY

Currys PC World says sorry for Know How scam
Currys PC World has apologised for forcing customers to pay an extra £40 for pre-configuration on their laptops that they didn't request – a dodgy practice brought to light by consumer charity Which? Since 2015 more than a hundred customers have complained to Which? about the aggressive sales tactic. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43418774

Airbus CIO: Replaces MS Office with G-Suite
Airbus has given Microsoft’s old-world Office app bundle the heave-ho and is migrating 130,000 staff – the entire workforce – to Google’s G Suite. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/14/airbus_ditches_microsoft_for_google/

Openreach hiring thousands more engineers
BT's Openreach is to hire 3,500 trainee engineers in a bid to support its 'full-fibre' proposals for Britain. The former state-owned telco monopoly claimed its "largest recruitment drive" comes off the back of its plan to connect three million premises to full fibre by 2020, up 50 per cent on its previous goal. http://home.bt.com/tech-gadgets/tech-news/xxx-11364258123904

Ethernet sales growing, but routing's been routed by software
The switching and routing markets are broadly following the same long-term trends IDC identified last year: big data centres are buying faster ports, 40 Gbps Ethernet is an orphan technology, challengers are white-anting Cisco's dominance, and software is eating into routing revenue. https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS43603718

Cisco to trial direct online sales
Cisco's yesterday told the Cisco Live! event in Melbourne that it's currently possible to buy his company's kit online from the company, but that finding out how to do it is not easy. Cisco's online direct sales presence is obscure because it sells mostly through  the channel, but Boal said some customers, especially smaller outfits, want to buy from Cisco online. The company will therefore soon meet their desires.

Google bans cryptocurrency-related ads
Google has decided to follow in Facebook's footsteps and ban cryptocurrency-related advertising. The ban will enter into effect starting June 2018, the company said today in a help page.

In June 2018, Google will update the Financial services policy to restrict the advertisement of Contracts for Difference, rolling spot forex, and financial spread betting. In addition, ads for the following will no longer be allowed to serve:

  • Binary options and synonymous products

  • Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice)

https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/7648803?hl=en&ref_topic=29265

FUTURES

Google sees quantum processor 'supremacy' at reach
Called "Bristlecone," the new gate-based superconducting system is designed to provide a testbed for research into system error rates and scalability of the company's qubit technology, as well as applications in quantum simulation, optimisation, and machine learning. The ultimate goal, say Google researchers, is to build a quantum computer that can be used to solve real-world problems. https://research.google.com/pubs/QuantumAI.html

Lattice launches 12Gbps wireless connector
Typical applications include mobile accessories, tablets, notebooks, action and surveillance cameras. The development is similar to that of startup Keyssa, although Keyssa wireless connectors operate at up to 6Gbps, according to an August 2017 press release on the company's website. http://www.eenewsanalog.com/news/keyssa-launches-60ghz-contactless-connector

March 16 2018

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