Technology and Telecommunications

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

Web Server Bug Affects Thousands of IoT Devices

Web Server Bug Affects Thousands of IoT Devices

A tiny web server called GoAhead which is used in thousands of IoT devices has recently been found to have a vulnerability that may enable malicious code to be executed remotely. The bug, discovered by Australian company Elttam, is estimated to have affected around 500,000 to 700,000 devices. The web server is embedded even in products from big industry names such as Comcast, Oracle, D-Link, ZTE, HP, Siemens, and Canon. Elttam had already reported the flaw to Embedthis, who immediately released a patch. However, hardware vendors will still have incorporate the said patch in an update for their affected products. […]

1.1 Million Customers Possibly Affected by Nissan Canada Data Breach

1.1 Million Customers Possibly Affected by Nissan Canada Data Breach

Last Thursday, Nissan Canada’s finance business said that sensitive information of 1.13 million of its customers may have been compromised. Nissan said that details of Nissan Canada Finance (NCF) and INFINITI Financial Services Canada, such as the customer’s name, address, vehicle make and model, vehicle identification number (VIN), credit score, loan amount and monthly payment may have been leaked. The authorities, as well as privacy regulators and data security experts have been involved in the investigate into the incident. The NCF added that customers outside of Canada may not have been affected. Source: Infosecurity Magazine

Philippines to Boost Cybersecurity in Preparation for Chinese Telecom Player

Philippines to Boost Cybersecurity in Preparation for Chinese Telecom Player

In a news briefing last Thursday, presidential spokesman Harry Roque revealed that the Philippine government is bolstering the country’s cybersecurity to prepare for the entry of state-run China Telecom, which is expected to challenge the duopoly of PLDT and Globe. Several lawmakers had initially challenged the idea of having the Chinese firm build and manage a country-wide internet and telecommunications network, given Beijing’s reputation. However, Roque assured that they need not worry because “the government is already worried”. Meanwhile, PLDT recently announced that it will be allotting at least $997 million for capital expenses in preparation for the competitor.     […]

Tech Industry to Accelerate Deployment of New 5G Standards

Tech Industry to Accelerate Deployment of New 5G Standards

At the 78th Radio Access Network (RAN) meeting last Thursday, chairman Balazs Bertenyi announced that the NSA 5G NR specs has already been approved and credited the 3GPP working groups for an “impressive achievement in a remarkably short time”. In a joint media release, a number of global telecommunications and hardware companies have also announced the full-scale development of 5G NR, including large-scale trials and commercial deployment. 5G standards is expected to get final approval during a vote in 3GPP’s meeting which will be held in Australia in September 2018. Source: ZDNet

EU Court Classifies Uber as Transport Service

EU Court Classifies Uber as Transport Service

Last Wednesday, the European Court of Justice made a landmark ruling which classified Uber as a transport service which will be subject to regulation like taxi operators. The decision is expected to affect other online businesses across Europe. Uber had previously argued that it was just an app which served as an intermediary between drivers and riders and should therefore be subject only to EU’s rules for online businesses. However, the ECJ has decided that the ride-hailing services provided by the company falls under services the field of transport.   An Uber spokesperson said that the ruling will not change […]

New “Loapi” Android Malware Capable of Destroying Phone Hardware

New “Loapi” Android Malware Capable of Destroying Phone Hardware

Researchers from Kaspersky Labs recently identified a new malware strain called Loapi which is capable of damaging the hardware of mobile phones. Derived from Podec, an older malware strain discovered in 2015, Loapi downloads a Monero miner onto the mobile device which overworks and overheats its components. Loapi is embedded by a number of “antivirus” or security apps, and adult-themed apps on third party apps stores and infects phones by bombarding users with popups. Once the user clicks on a popup, it will give Loapi admin permission on the device and disable the Settings window so that the user cannot […]

China Accused of Using Mass Surveillance Apparatus Against Uighur Dissidents

China Accused of Using Mass Surveillance Apparatus Against Uighur Dissidents

It was recently reported that Chinese authorities have been using their new digital surveillance systems to hunt down Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority group in in China. Chen Quanguo, a Chinese Communist Party official, is leading a campaign tagging Uighurs to be a terror threat in the northwestern province of Xinjiang. Chen, who was recently promoted to Xinjiang party boss in 2016, blamed separatists for attacks that have killed hundreds and vowed to “bury the terrorists” and make them tremble. It is said that China is using the province as a test-bed for its predictive policing and is currently regarded […]

Researchers Identify Smartphone Using Only a Single Photo Taken by Device

Researchers Identify Smartphone Using Only a Single Photo Taken by Device

Researchers from the University at Buffalo revealed that they can now identify a smartphone just by analyzing a single photo that it has taken. The researchers studied a flaw in digital imaging called photo-response non-uniformity (PRNU). The study’s lead author Kui Ren, explained that no two smartphones are the same, and every device can be identified by looking at the pattern of microscopic imaging flaws present in the images it takes, similar to the process of ballistic fingerprinting. The researchers say that they were able to achieve 99.5% accuracy using 16,000 images and 30 different iPhone 6s and 10 Samsung […]

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