Technology and Telecommunications

Firmware Vulnerabilities Found in Big Brand Android Models

Firmware Vulnerabilities Found in Big Brand Android Models

Security researchers revealed at DefCon last week around 47 vulnerabilities in the firmware and apps of 25 Android smartphone models, some even belonging to big brands including ZTE, Sony, Nokia, LG, Asus, and Alcatel. Some of the flaws can permit the attacker to access or send text messages from the user’s phone, take screenshots, record videos of the device’s screen, access the user’s contacts list, force installation of third-party arbitrary apps without the user’s knowledge or consent, and even wipe user data. Angelos Stavrou, CEO of Kryptowire, said that the sheer number of phone models and firmware makes it very […]

All-in-one Printers, Fax Machines Can be Used to Hack Company Networks, Researchers Warn

All-in-one Printers, Fax Machines Can be Used to Hack Company Networks, Researchers Warn

Check Point Software researchers warned this week that hackers can now take over company networks by exploiting a bug in fax machines and all-in-one printers. The researchers said that it is possible to steal company secrets just by faxing over lines of malicious code disguised as an image file. The file is then decoded and stored in the fax’s memory which the attacker can use to take over the machine. While HP said that they had already addressed the vulnerability, the researchers added that the new attack vector can still be used on faxes from other brands. Source: CNBC

Facebook Drops Content on 3D Printing of Guns

Facebook Drops Content on 3D Printing of Guns

Facebook said this week that it has removed content related to the 3D printing of firearms on its platform. The move comes as the debate on gun control intensifies in the US. A spokesperson said that instructions on how to manufacture guns using 3D printers go against the social network’s Community Standards, but it was not clarified if only posts would be removed and not pages.   The company however assured that it will be sharing an updated policy on the restricted product shortly. Source: Reuters

PCC to Set Rules on Grab to Ensure Fairness

PCC to Set Rules on Grab to Ensure Fairness

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said this week that it will be strictly monitoring Grab to make sure that it follows rules to ensure fairness to consumers given its “virtual monopoly” on the local ride-sharing market. PCC chairman Arsenio Balisacan says that they will hold Grab to the commitments it has previously made, which include the improvement of fare transparency, higher acceptance rates for bookings and faster response time to complaints, and re-evaluation of drivers incentives. The watchdog said that Grab can face fines up to two million pesos per offense, and serious non-compliance can lead to the invalidation of […]

China Renames National Technology and Education Leadership Group

China Renames National Technology and Education Leadership Group

A circular published on China’s government website this week revealed that the country’s National Technology and Education leadership Group will be revamped to shift focus on technology. Premier Li Keqiang will be leading the renamed body with vice premier Liu He as deputy. It is said that the revamp of the national leadership group signals potential policy shifts as the country’s technological ambitions triggered backlash abroad. Other top officials from various ministries and key central government bodies such as central bank head Yi Gang and State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission director Xiao Yaqing, is set to join the group. […]

New Test Reveals How Fast Hackers Can Hack Critical Infrastructures

New Test Reveals How Fast Hackers Can Hack Critical Infrastructures

Researchers at Cybereason recently revealed how fast hackers can hack critical infrastructure by setting up a test involving a fake electricity substation network. The researchers set up a honeypot made to look like an information and operational technology (OT) environments of an industrial control system with an interface protected by a firewall. They found that it took hackers only two days to find and install malicious tools on the fake network. It was noted that while attacks critical infrastructure are often the work of nation-state attackers, the honeypot was discovered by a standard cyber-crime group that did not necessarily have […]

EU to Study the Need for Universal Mobile Phone Charger

EU to Study the Need for Universal Mobile Phone Charger

EU’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager said this week that they are studying if regulators a need to push for a common mobile phone charger which the European Commission had been suggesting for more than a decade. It was long pointed out that having different chargers for various phone models contributed to more than 51,000 tons of electronic waste each year, aside from being a big inconvenience to consumers. While 14 companies including Nokia, Apple, Samsung, and Huawei had already signed a memorandum of understanding in 2011 wherein they agreed to harmonize chargers for their newer models, the EU executive said […]

US Falling Behind China in 5G Race

US Falling Behind China in 5G Race

Consultants at Deloitte remarked this week that the US is being outspent by China in the development of 5G and is likely to lose out on the potential economic benefits of the next-gen wireless network. According to the consultancy’s recent report, China now has ten times more sites that support 5G than the United States. Chinese cellphone tower companies and carriers have also added more sites in three months of 2017 that the US had in the past three years. However, it was noted that it is also around 35% cheaper to install 5G equipment in China as compared to […]

Startup Uses Ride-Sharing Technology for Trash Collection

Startup Uses Ride-Sharing Technology for Trash Collection

New York-based startup Recycle Track Systems was reported to have closed a series A financing round with Volition Capital worth $11.7 million last June. The company focuses on environment-friendly waste removal and recycling which uses ride-sharing technology to connect businesses with haulers and to track the route of garbage cargo from pickup to drop-off. At present, RTS’s local sanitation partners in New York, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore and Chicago that have the rideshare tech installed in their trucks receive multiple notifications on where their waste is going via RTS’s proprietary app.   CEO Greg Lettieri says that his company wants […]

FCC Lays Down Rules for 5G Spectrum Auction

FCC Lays Down Rules for 5G Spectrum Auction

The Federal Communications Commission last Thursday announced the rules for bidding on the 5G spectrum. The bidding will start with the 28 GHz band on November 14, with the 24 GHz to follow shortly after. The high-band spectrum is expected to significantly reduce delivery times to less than one-thousandth of a second from one one-hundredth of a second in 4G networks. It was revealed that service providers have already spent billions in testing, development, and buying of the spectrum. Source: Reuters

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