News

The Friday Tech Takeaway - 19.01.18

DIGITAL SOCIETY

Skype finally adds end-to-end encryption for private conversations
Microsoft is collaborating with popular encryption communication company Signal to bring end-to-end encryption support to Skype messenger. End-to-end encryption assured its users that no one, not even the company or server that transmits the data, can decrypt their messages. https://signal.org/blog/skype-partnership/

UK.gov slammed for NHS data-sharing deal with Home Office
The UK health service's NHS Digital has been accused of operating to a "lower standard of confidentiality" than rest of NHS, in a heated hearing about a deal that requires patient info to be handed over for immigration enforcement.

The agreement means that patient record-keeper NHS Digital could be required to hand over non-clinical information, such as data of birth or last known address, to the Home Office for suspected immigration offences. https://goo.gl/MWMMzk

China uses facial recognition to monitor ethnic minorities
China is adding facial recognition to its overarching surveillance systems in Xinjiang, a Muslim-dominated region in the country's far west that critics claim is under abusive security controls. The geo-fencing tools alert authorities when targets venture beyond a designated 300-meter safe zone, according to an anonymous source who spoke to Bloomberg. https://goo.gl/utuY2t

SECURITY

macOS High Sierra preferences can be unlocked without a password
A new password bug has been discovered in the latest version of macOS High Sierra that allows anyone with access to your Mac to unlock App Store menu in System Preferences with any random password or no password at all. https://openradar.appspot.com/36350507

macOS malware creator charged with spying on thousands of PCs over 13 years
According to the indictment, 28-year-old Phillip R. Durachinsky is the alleged author of the FruitFly malware that was found targeting Apple Mac users earlier last year worldwide, primarily in the United States. Interestingly, Durachinsky was just 14 years old when he programmed the first version of FruitFly, and this full-fledged backdoor trojan went largely undetected for several years, despite using unsophisticated and antiquated code. https://goo.gl/yqrbAj

Mirai Okiru botnet targets ARC-based IoT devices
In August 2016 the researcher @unixfreaxjp from @MalwareMustDie team first spotted the dreaded Mirai botnet, now the same researcher is announcing a new big earthquake in the malware community. http://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/67742/malware/mirai-okiru-botnet.html

chaiOS "Text Bomb" crashes iMessage app on macOS and iOS
All users have to do is send a link to a web page hosting a piece of JavaScript code that attempts to send an SMS message. This sounds pretty benign, but Apple's iMessage application somehow fails miserably when handling this code that the app crashes and sometimes enters a reboot loop. https://yalujailbreak.net/chaios/

INDUSTRY

The 10 most overlooked security tasks
Security pros are under siege. Just in the last weeks we discovered major vulnerabilities in basic hardware chips, dubbed Meltdown and Spectre. And now, even the basics can go wrong as was displayed last week when the power went out at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. https://goo.gl/sGpchD

Google’s cloud spreads through new undersea cables
According to Google, its Cloud service delivers up to 25 percent of total Internet traffic. These investments are designed to help improve connectivity around the world, and will help Google expand its reach and the availability of its cloud services. Google has direct investment in a total of 11 cables, including these upcoming projects. The five new Cloud Platform regions will be added to the 13 existing regions. https://goo.gl/1RC5xd

Because Ransomware: OneDrive for business to get "Files Restore" option
Microsoft will add a new feature to OneDrive for Business that will let users create backup points and restore to previous versions of their entire OneDrive account. The new feature is codenamed Files Restore and Microsoft says it will allow users to recover files "from disastrous events such as mass deletes, corruption, and other data loss scenarios." https://goo.gl/iunyWQ

FUTURES

Minority report no more accurate than you or me
Software that predicts how likely a criminal will reoffend – and is used by the courts to mete out punishments – is about as smart as a layperson off the street. That's according to a paper published in Science Advances on Wednesday. The research highlights the potential dangers of relying on black-box algorithms, particularly when a person's freedom is at stake. http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/1/eaao5580.full

Intel's new cameras add human-like 3D vision to any machine
Intel has released two ready-to-use RealSense depth cameras, the D415 and the D435, that can add 3D capabilities to any device or machine. They both come in a USB-powered form factor and are capable of processing depth in real time, thanks to the chipmaker's new RealSense vision processor D4. The models work indoors and outdoors in any lighting environment, so they can be used for almost any machine that needs a depth camera. Those include drones meant to soar the skies and robots with AR/VR features.

Microsoft wants to patent mind control
Microsoft has applied to patent a brain control interface, so you'll be able to "think" your way around a computer device, hands free. Last year, Facebook claimed to have 60 engineers engaged in BCI [brain computer interface] but Microsoft isn't going to take this sitting down. It's erm, sitting down and thinking really hard. https://goo.gl/Z3F1mb

January 19 2018

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