Episode 499 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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Researcher infects scammer with ransomware for conning his mother

when French malware analyst Ivan Kwiatkowski’s parents informed him that their computer was infected with what appeared to be Zues malware Kwiatkowski contacted the scammers and, after playing dumb while the scammer made several prompts and requests, pretended to purchase the supposed security software to clear the alleged infection and prevent future attacks.

When it came time to pay for the software, Kwiatkowski provided fake billing information and when the scammer grew frustrated that the information didn’t go through, the analyst sent the con man what was claimed to be an image of his credit card, but was actually the ransomware.


Telstra has the most Australian users on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has revealed statistics on Australia’s usage of the social media website to celebrate 100 million users in the Asia-Pacific.

India has the biggest user base in the region with 37 million members, followed by China with 23 million. Asia-Pacific represents 22 percent of LinkedIn’s user base of over 450 million globally.

Telstra topped the list of companies with the most LinkedIn users, followed by the Commonwealth Bank and National Bank Australia. Chief executive Andrew Penn was also named as one of LinkedIn’s most prominent thought leaders, with over 18,000 followers.

the most common professions listed for Australian users were “salesperson”, “business owner” and “construction/maintenance tradesperson.”

The most commonly listed skills were “process and project management”, “customer service” and “business development and relationship management”.

In April, the social media giant revealed a $77 million Singapore data centre to serve Australia, the first that it has built outside the USA.

Microsoft announced in June it would acquire LinkedIn for US$26.2 billion in its biggest deal ever.


NBN hits million-user milestone

The NBN has passed one million active premises on its network, boasting Tuesday of more than doubling active users, connected premises and revenue for the 2016 financial year.

NBN Co’s revenue reached $421 million for the 2016 financial year, compared to $164 million last year.

t is looking to replicate that growth for its next fiscal year, targeting 2.3 million active and 5.4 million connected premises, and revenue of $900 million, at the end of the next 12 months.

NBN Co is claiming a current weekly run rate of 40,000 connections, which would need to be slightly improved to reach its connection goal.

Most of its current active end users (822,652) are on the fibre-to-the-premise network. Just under 120,000 active end users are on the fibre-to-the-node network that went live at the end of last year, and just 10 were on the budding hybrid-fibre coaxial network as at 30 June.

Around 117,000 end users are on the fixed wireless network, and the satellite network is servicing just under 39,000 users.

The most popular speed tier on the fixed-line NBN is 25Mbps down/10 Mbps up, which accounts for about half of active services. The 12/1Mbps tier comes in second with 32 percent of users, while the highest tier – 100/40Mbps – services around 14 percent of end users.


Google launches FaceTime, Skype rival Duo

all you need is a phone number to start a video call with any contact who uses an Android- or iOS-based smartphone.

Google Duo, pitting it directly against Apple’s FaceTime, which allows video calls only between Apple devices.

Duo will also compete with Microsoft’s video-calling app Skype, Facebook’s Messenger and even its own Hangout app.

Duo comes with a unique feature called “knock knock”, which lets a person to see live video of a caller before answering.

video calls would work even on slower networks by “gracefully” reducing the resolution to keep the call going smoothly.

“For video calls on the go, Duo will switch between wi-fi and cellular data automatically without dropping your call,”

Alphabet, said the app would be live worldwide in the next few days.


Revolution IT: Census fail was not our fault

In the lead-up to the Census, Revolution IT was awarded multiple contracts worth a total of $496,000 to load test the website and simulate expected traffic. The company has also secured other contracts with the ABS since December 2015, with a total value of more than $1 million.

Revolution IT director Hamish Leighton told CRN that simulating a DDoS attack was outside the scope of the work Revolution IT was asked to do.

Revolution IT was responsible for the performance testing of the website that included simulating expected load and allowing for sufficient peak head room as specified by the ABS. The modelled peak load on Census night was expected at 250  submissions per second and allowed for an average sustained peak of up to 350 submissions per second (with a peak of 400 users per second) to ensure that there was sufficient capacity.

Why did the website fail after having been tested for large numbers of users?

This question should be directed to ABS, but according to ABS the website did not fail. It was taken offline due to security concerns. The understanding and difference between security testing and performance testing is important here. DDoS attempts were not part of the performance testing and would have been a security testing consideration which was not part of Revolution IT’s mandate.


Box to get local hosting in Australia via AWS

File storage provider Box has announced that local hosting with Box Zones will be available in Australia in spring.

Box Zones was launched in April and allows customers to choose where corporate data is stored. Box Zones will support local storage through Amazon Web Services.

Box services currently available in Australia store data in the company’s own data centre located in the US.


Sesame Street Fighter is today’s best

Time waster

This glorious time-killing mashup is the creation of Flavour Machine, which has a penchant for mashing various bits of pop culture into your browser. They’ve previously created the Psychotic Writer, which creates entire novels using only the phrase “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, a Breaking Bad spin-off of Cooking Mama, and a 8-bit version of Fruit Ninja that uses the arrow keys.

the game is actually a functional tool for learning. The fighting plays out like Typing of the Dead: to attack, simply type out the word presented above your character. The difficulty of the words depends on the character you choose. If you go for E.Honda Cookie Monster, you’ll be typing about animals. Pick Elmo, however, and you’ll be frantically mashing out the names of German scientists.

Knock yourself out, and Elmo several times, here.  http://flavourmachine.com/sesamefighter/


A Ton of Classic Macs Are Going Up for Auction

Tekserve, known as the “original Apple Store” and a technology icon in NYC for 29 years, sadly closed up shop this week

The 35-piece collection was part of Tekserve’s Mac Museum. To beannoyingly technical, they’re not all Macs. One black sheep (literally, it’s black) is the NeXTcube, the machine Jobs dreamed up after being let go from Apple. There’s also a Macintosh 128k signed by Wozniak himself.

The auction will kick off a little less than sixdays from now, but bids are already up to $29,000.


 

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