Technology and Telecommunications

Google Announces Patent Cross-Licensing with Tencent

Google Announces Patent Cross-Licensing with Tencent

Earlier this week, Google announced that it will be entering into a patent cross-licensing agreement with Chinese tech giant Tencent which is estimated to be valued at $500 billion. The terms of the tie-in were not disclosed, but Google’s Head of Patents Mike Lee says that it is a long-term partnership where the two companies will be working on innovation for a broad range of products and technologies. Even though Google’s search service is still blocked in China, the company has recently increased its efforts in pursuing a number of projects in the country, including the creation of an AI […]

“Text Bomb” Security Flaw Causes iPhones to Crash

“Text Bomb” Security Flaw Causes iPhones to Crash

A security flaw affecting Apple Macs and iPhones was recently discovered by software developer Abraham Masri who posted it on GitHub last Tuesday. The bug, called “chaiOS” causes devices to crash or restart. The chaiOS “text bomb” can be activated simply by sending a link to the device, even without having the user click on it. The bug can also crash the Safari browser and cause slowdowns on a Mac. However, renowned security expert Graham Cluley said that chaiOS is not a major security threat, but rather more of an annoyance to Apple users. Cluley added that it was not […]

Android Researcher Wins $112,500 for Pixel Smartphone Bug

Android Researcher Wins $112,500 for Pixel Smartphone Bug

It was revealed earlier this week that Google had awarded $112,500 Qihoo 360 Alpha Team researcher Guang Gong for submitting two Pixel smartphone security bugs through the Android Security Rewards (ASR) program. This is the first working remote exploit ever to be submitted to the program. The two exploit chains, CVE-2017-5116 and CVE-2017-14904, were submitted last August 2017. The two bugs can be used by attackers to remotely inject code into Android’s system_server process when a user opens a malicious URL via Chrome. A patch for the vulnerability, along with 42 others, had already been included in Google’s December security […]

House Minority: China Telco May be Trojan Horse

House Minority: China Telco May be Trojan Horse

Last Wednesday, opposition members of the Philippine Congress expressed their concerns regarding the entrance of China Telecom Corp Ltd. in the Philippine’s telco sector. The state-run Chinese telco is slated to be named as the third telecoms provider in the first quarter of this year, breaking the duopoly held by PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. President Rodrigo Duterte, known to have warm relations with Beijing, encouraged the Chinese entities to operate in the country. However, the deal has to contend with a history of mistrust due to China’s maritime assertiveness and repeated challenges to Philippine sovereignty. The House Minority […]

Belgian Abduction Victim Rescued Using Phone Location  

Belgian Abduction Victim Rescued Using Phone Location  

In a recently reported rape and abduction case, a Belgian woman shared how she was saved using the locator feature on her smartphone. The 19-year old victim said that she was kidnapped from a Brussels nightclub by five men and was taken to a flat in Charleroi. There she was kept and drugged for three days. The victim said that her phone was taken away from her, but she managed to send her location to her brother after recovering it. The authorities, who had been alerted by the brother, found two suspects in the flat during the rescue.      […]

Apple Health Data Used in German Murder Trial

Apple Health Data Used in German Murder Trial

It was reported that data from Apple’s Health App had provided crucial evidence in a recent trial involving a refugee accused of rape and murder. The police suggested that the steps recorded by the Health App in the suspect’s phone may help confirm his activity. Hussein K, the accused, is said to have dragged his victim down the River Dresiam and climbed back up. The refugee admitted to only some of the details in the rape and murder of 19-year old medical student Maria Ladenburger which happened in October 2016.      Source: BBC

Microsoft Halts Updates for AMD PCs After Boot Issues Surface

Microsoft Halts Updates for AMD PCs After Boot Issues Surface

Microsoft recently stopped sending security updates to some PCs using AMD processors after receiving reports that the Spectre and Meltdown patches had rendered some systems unbootable. Microsoft said that it has temporarily suspended nine updates to systems running particular AMD processors. According to the company, it was found that some AMD chipsets did not conform to the documentation previously provided for the development of Windows OS mitigations against Meltdown and Spectre. Microsoft assured that it is still working with AMD to resolve the issue and updates will be resumed “as soon as possible”. The also provided troubleshooting links for Windows […]

WPA3 to Replace Decades Old WPA2 WiFi Protocol

WPA3 to Replace Decades Old WPA2 WiFi Protocol

Last Monday, the Wi-Fi Alliance announced that its next-generation wireless security protocol WPA3, is ready to replace its decades-old predecessor WPA2. The Alliance, which includes Apple, Microsoft, and Qualcomm as its members, revealed that WPA3 will use individualized data encryption. This is expected to solve a common security problem with open Wi-Fi networks by scrambling the connection between a device and the router. WPA3 will also be able to protect against brute-force dictionary attacks and will block attackers after a number of failed password attempts. It is said that the new protocol could not have come soon enough, since a […]

Xinhua News: China Shut Down 128,000 Websites in 2017

Xinhua News: China Shut Down 128,000 Websites in 2017

According to state news agency Xinhua, the Chinese government had shuttered as many as 128,000 websites in a crackdown last year for hosting obscene and “harmful” information. Citing government data, Xinhua also reported that last 2017, around 30.9 million illegal publications had been confiscated, while 1,900 people were subject to criminal penalties. As part of its efforts to maintain “social stability”, the Chinese government had also fined and reprimanded tech giants Tencent, Baidu and Weibo for not properly censoring content during the lead-up to last year’s Chinese Communist Party conference. Authorities reportedly even forced overseas journals to block access to […]

Apple Apologizes for Phone Slowdown Issue, Offers Battery Replacement Discount

Apple Apologizes for Phone Slowdown Issue, Offers Battery Replacement Discount

Apple recently issued an official apology for deliberately reducing the performance of older iPhones. The company says that it will be offering their customers a discount on replacement batteries, as well as a battery monitoring software in 2018.   The phone maker posted the details of the price reduction on their website which owners of iPhone 6 or later may avail of. Apple previously admitted to making changes to the operating system to compensate for the diminishing performance and lifespan of ageing lithium-ion batteries.   Source: BBC

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