News

The Friday Tech Takeaway - 23.02.18

DIGITAL SOCIETY

US Customs slaps eyeglass taxes on optical networking gear
ADC Telecommunications, which is part of North Carolina-based CommScope, has urged a US federal appeals court to issue a summary judgment that will officially change the classification of fibre networking kit. The problem is that the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is taking the "optical" in optical networking a little too far. Because the hardware pipes data as pulses of light through glass strands, the CBP treats ADC's value-added module line of networking gear as optics equipment, a designation normally given to things like eyeglasses or telescope lenses, rather than considering it regular computer network equipment. https://regmedia.co.uk/2018/02/22/adccustomsbrief.pdf

SpaceX's internet satellites to beam down 'Hello world' from orbit
The first two internet-relaying satellites in SpaceX's Starlink constellation have been launched into Earth's orbit – and will begin broadcasting to the world this week. "Don’t tell anyone, but the Wi-Fi password is 'martians,'" SpaceX boss Elon Musk joked on Twitter. https://apps.fcc.gov/els/GetAtt.html?id=185534&x

O2 UK leaps into 5G test bed with Greenwich trial
O2 UK is the latest operator to jump on the "5G test bed" bandwagon, with plans to trial the tech at the iconic former Millennium Dome in North Greenwich later this year. Installation of the network will begin in March, with demos scheduled of 5G-enabled virtual reality, augmented reality and live streaming in select areas of the location in 2018. https://news.o2.co.uk/press-release/o2-launch-5g-test-bed-o2/

SECURITY

Global Cybercrime costs top $600 Billion
More than 50% of attacks result in damages of over $500K, two reports show.

In cybersecurity it can sometimes be hard to see the forest for the trees. Constant reports about new attacks, breaches, exploits and threats can make it hard for stakeholders to get a picture of the full impact of cybercrime.

https://www.mcafee.com/us/resources/reports/restricted/economic-impact-cybercrime.pdf

https://blogs.cisco.com/security/cisco-2018-annual-cybersecurity-report

FedEx customer data exposed on unsecured S3 Server
Data belonging to thousands of global FedEx customers was exposed on an unsecured Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) server configured for public access, Kromtech security analysts discovered earlier this month. The exposed bucket belonged to Bongo International LLC, a company created to help North American companies market to customers around the world. FedEx acquired Bongo in 2014. Two years later, it relaunched it as FedEx Cross-Border International, which shut down in 2017. https://mackeepersecurity.com/post/fedex-customer-records-exposed

"EternalGlue": A rebuilt NotPetya gets its first execution outside of the lab
In NCCGroup’s version instead of the data destruction payload, they asked for telemetry and safeguards. Why? Because they wanted to measure what the impact of NotPetya would have been. https://goo.gl/Vrre7f

Hackers can hijack over 52,000 baby monitor video feeds
The vulnerabilities affect Mi-Cam, a generic WiFi video monitoring system manufactured by MiSafes, which is heavily advertised as a baby monitor but can also be used to keep an eye on pets, a room, an entire home, or any other objects in a remote location.

Flight Sim maker embeds password-stealing tool in game mod
Gamers are accusing a company that makes mods for Microsoft's Flight Simulator X game of putting a password stealer inside one of its add-ons. The company defended its decision by saying the tool works as part of a Digital Rights Management (DRM) platform and only activates when users are using a pirated copy of their mod. https://www.fidusinfosec.com/fslabs-flight-simulation-labs-dropping-malware-to-combat-piracy/

Encrypted attacks continue to dog perimeter defences
This week, a study from ZScaler showed that SSL-encrypted attacks increased by 30% in the last six months. The firm says that it now blocks an average of 800,000 SSL-encrypted traffic transactions per day containing advanced threats, compared to 600,000 per day in the first half of 2017. https://goo.gl/hmcQzM

INDUSTRY

Facebook aims to make Security more social
Facebook's user base of 2.13 billion poses both a challenge and an opportunity for the social media giant to secure a massive number of accounts while also educating users on best security practices. Other social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, also have the chance to enforce and foster strong security among users. But are they capitalizing on that opportunity? https://goo.gl/cL3Mex

Juniper sharpens knife for the carrier network and boxes white boxes
The aim, according to Juniper, is to let operators build just one network architecture (based on the MX Router with APIs to other vendors), and “slice” it (that is, create networks to serve particular requirements) with a single click. Network SlicingBot can grab nodes in an MX Router with Junos Node Slicing, across the network, while maintaining control and user plane separation (CUPS). Analytics let the bot validate the business requirements in real time, using Juniper's “intent-driven software architecture”. https://goo.gl/qx8EHV

FUTURES

Smartphone charged through laser beam
Engineers at the University of Washington have developed a method of safely charging a smartphone wirelessly using a laser. The team mounted a thin PV cell to the back of a smartphone, illuminated by an infrared laser. To make the system safe, the team designed features such as flat plate heatsink on the smartphone to dissipate excess heat from the laser, as well as a reflector-based mechanism to shut off the laser if a person tries to move in the charging beam's path. http://www.washington.edu/

Skin electronics combine biomedical sensors with stretchable display
The prototype, described in a presentation titled "Continuous health-monitoring with ultraflexible on-skin sensors" consists of gold nanomesh-based breathable skin sensors and an elastic display that fits snugly on the skin, so recorded data (such as an electrocardiogram or temperature) can be made readily visible for the patient. Combined with a wireless communication module, this integrated biomedical sensor system could transmit biometric data to the cloud for physicians to monitor. https://goo.gl/JsrRQV

February 16 2018

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