Episode 532 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes


BBC Worldwide and Skype to launch Doctor Who Bot

In a world first, users get the thrilling opportunity to be the Doctor’s companion as the bot immerses them in a specially-written six-part Doctor Who adventure. Players will experience the Doctor communicating with them directly and setting them challenges that can only be solved by the best companions.

a new Chapter will be released every Sunday at 6 PM (BST), shortly after episodes of Doctor Who series 10 air on BBC One

The bot will feature exclusive voice-over from Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi,

To add the Doctor Who Bot manually, users need to search for “Doctor Who Bot” in the Skype Bot Directory, read the bot’s profile and terms, and then click “Add to Contacts”. To see new updates as they begin to roll out, users need to be on the latest Skype app for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, or Web.

Click here to add the Doctor Who bot to Skype and start saving the universe! Visit the Skype blog for more information on the bot and click here for a step-to-step guide on how to use the bot.Image result for doctor who skype bot

Facebook hires 3,000 to review content

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said it had been “heartbreaking” to see people “hurting themselves and others” in videos streamed live on Facebook.

He added he would make reporting problematic videos easier.

The move follows cases of murder and suicide being broadcast live on the social network.

the additional staff, joining the 4,500 existing people on the community operations team, would help the company respond more quickly when content was reported.

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Facebook nears two billion monthly users

The number of people using Facebook each month increased to 1.94 billion, of which nearly 1.3 billion use it daily, the company said.

A quarter of the world’s population now uses Facebook every month, with most of the new users coming from outside of Europe and North America.


Hacker steals and shares unreleased TV shows

The episodes are believed to have been uploaded to file-sharing sites across the net after US media firm Netflix refused to pay a ransom.

The shows were due to be released officially from 9 June onwards.

The hacker who stole the episodes said they had also managed to steal series from other broadcasters including ABC, Fox and National Geographic.

Netflix told Entertainment Weekly that it was “aware of the situation” and added: “A production vendor used by several major TV studios had its security compromised and the appropriate law enforcement authorities are involved.”

The FBI is also believed to be looking into the theft which is believed to have taken place in late 2016.

The hacker behind the theft uses the alias The Dark Overlord and before now has largely targeted hospitals and other healthcare institutions.

It is not clear how much money the hacker wanted for keeping the stolen TV shows offline.

Stolen shows include XXX: Return of Xander Cage, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Season 1 of Bill Nye Saves the World

“There is some evidence that pre-release piracy is the most damaging piracy to studios,” he said.

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Massive Google Docs phishing attack hits Gmail users

The message sent to Gmail users includes an invitation to view a shared Google Docs document.

Users are asked to log into their Google accounts by the malware, which doesn’t ask for a password and appears to bypass two-factor authentication and signing in alerts.

After logging in, the fake Google Docs app then requests access to the user’s Google accounts.

If users allow access, the worm will read all their contacts and attempt to send itself out to them. The malware appears to access users’ emails as well, which may contain sensitive data like password reset messages for other services.

Google has confirmed the worm attack and is warning users not to click on the phishing email.

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Microsoft debuts locked-down Windows 10 S

Microsoft has released a restricted version of its flagship client operating system that prevents users from running apps from untrusted sources.

Windows 10 S will only allow users to run applications from the Windows Store, compared to from any source as with past versions of the operating system.

If users try to install an app from outside the Windows Store, they will be directed to the same app in the Windows Store, or if one isn’t available, an equivalent program will be suggested.

The company has also made its Edge web browser the default in Windows 10 S, and does not allow this to be changed.

These apps are checked for security and run in a secure container. This ensures that applications can’t mess with your registry, leave files behind, or cause problems with the rest of your PC

The new operating system variant is based on Windows 10 Pro and offers most of its features

If users want the full, non-restricted Windows 10 Pro experience, they can upgrade for $50US

Microsoft said the switch from Windows 10 S to Pro is one-way only; users cannot revert back to Windows 10 S.

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‘Can you hear me?’ phone scam reaches Australia

A phone scam that tricks an individual into saying “yes” in order to record their voice to authorise financial charges has made its way to Australia.

The “can you hear me?” scam appears to have first originated in the United States late last year, and grown in frequency throughout that country as well as the UK in 2017.

there are no documented cases of people having lost money after responding ‘yes’ to the call.

Police in Mackay in Queensland say they have received recent reports of the scammers operating in Australia.

The force said it believed the scam to be “hitting many areas” across the state and advised Queenslanders to spread the word and hang up immediately if they receive a suspect phone call.

The police agency also urged anyone who has fallen victim to the scam to contact the national identity and cyber support service IDcare.

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Apple plans to create a US$1 billion fund to invest in US companies that perform advanced manufacturing, the iPhone maker’s latest effort to show how it is creating US jobs.

He said Apple also plans to fund programs that could include teaching people how to write computer code to create apps.

The announcements were the latest in a series of disclosures to highlight how Apple, the world’s largest company by market valuation, contributes to job creation in the United States. Apple came under fire from President Donald Trump during his campaign because it makes most of its products in China.

Apple is highlighting its US presence at the same time lawmakers consider a major tax proposal by Trump that would let Apple, along with other large companies, bring back accumulated profits from overseas at potentially lower tax rates. Ninety-three percent of Apple’s US$256.8 billion cash is held overseas.

Cook, who met with lawmakers in Washington earlier this year to discuss tax policy and technology issues, said Apple would have to borrow the cash for its US manufacturing investment fund and said he was hopeful Trump administration would address the repatriation issue.

Cook stopped short of saying Apple would bring some of its cash back into the United States if Trump’s tax proposal was enacted.


NSW police have charged three men with compromising 45 bank accounts through the card emulation function used for mobile payments to make $1.5 million in fraudulent purchases across Sydney.

For the last year the force has been investigating how host-based card emulation (HCE), which is a fundamental component of mobile tap-and-go payment applications, is being exploited by criminals.

HCE allows NFC payments to emulate a credit or debit card and talk directly to an NFC reader. It was introduced in Android 4.4 and is a core element of the various mobile payment applications running on that platform.

NSW Police identified a “sophisticated organised group” that it claims have been porting mobile phones and compromising bank accounts through mobile payment applications.

This enables them to use the HCE function to buy electronic and luxury goods, which they then sell on, police allege.


Hackers are changing their modus operandi and spending a little bit more time and effort to make sure they get the holy grail of admin access into a target’s systems.

Raymond Schippers is an IT security engineer with Check Point Software, and has been seeing more and more instances of attackers specifically targeting IT administrators with highest-level access.

While it requires a little more time spent scouring LinkedIn and effort to craft a cleverly disguised phishing email, the payoff of successfully compromising an IT administrator is worth it.

“Rather than having to escalate privileges, you know exactly that [your target] has privileges,” he told iTnews.

He will present one particular case study at theWahckon information security conference in Perth next week.

Schippers recently helped a financial regulator in Europe work out how attackers managed to infiltrate and completely destroy its IT infrastructure.

The regulator only realised it had been hacked after coming in one morning and finding that all its computers and servers no longer worked.

Working backwards, Schippers and team were able to identify the point of entry – a compromised web server running WordPress – that served as the launch pad for a specially-crafted phishing email containing a malicious Excel file sent to the regulator’s IT admins.

The admins trusted the email because it came from the regulator’s own infrastructure. From there the writing was on the wall.

“They got in and exfiltrated as much data as they could. We were lucky that some of the logs survived and gave us the information to work out where the bad guys moved through, and the data they were after. And when they were finished, they destroyed everything in their tracks,” Schippers said.

It took the regulator six weeks to fully restore its operations from tape backup.


CSIRO is developing technology to export Australia’s supply of gas and renewable energy in a form that can power next generation hydrogen fuel cell transport.

Australia’s prime research body says it is developing tech that will solve the problem of transporting hydrogen to bowsers that will refuel cars. The technology will also make it commercially viable to export hydrogen overseas as ammonia (NH3) for use in fuel cells.

Chair of Renewable Hydrogen, Brett Cooper says CSIRO’s new membrane technology can enable a new, and potentially carbon-free, export industry for Australia that could match the scale of the current LNG (liquefied natural gas) industry.

“With this technology, we can now deliver our renewable energy to Japan, Korea and across the Asia-Pacific region in liquid form, as renewable ammonia, and efficiently convert it back to pure hydrogen for cars, buses, power generation and industrial processes,” Mr Cooper says.

“This market didn’t exist 10 years ago — now Australia is positioned to be the number one renewable fuel provider in the world’s fastest growing region.”

Cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells are already on sale in Europe and prototypes have been on the road for some time in Australia. These are cars that convert compressed hydrogen to electricity to power their motors.

Hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles can offer a better range than conventional electric cars and faster refuelling, around 5-10 minutes. These fuel cells can power a variety of commercial vehicles such as forklifts and even public transport buses. They already power buses in Foshan, China.


Bungling under the National Broadband Network has left some remote users in the Kimberly — including a vital emergency servic­es aviation operator — with no internet after a working satellite was turned off without new services having been installed.

Michael McConachy, the managing director of aviation group HeliSpirit, based in Kunu­nurra in northern Western Australia, said his experience with the NBN was “bringing me to my knees” as he faced the prospect of being forced to lay off some of his 90 staff as his business foundered.

“We’ve been sold an absolute pup as far as the whole NBN ­system is concerned, with remote and regional Australia being left behind the rest of the country,” Mr McConachy said yesterday. “We are either not connected at all, or when we do get connections it is intermittent and nowhere near the speeds we were promised.”

Two of HeliSpirit’s bases, at Purnululu National Park and the Mitchell Plateau in the Kimberly, have been left without internet connections, despite the company requesting NBN connections mid-last year, eight months before the former satellite was turned off and replaced with the NBN Sky Muster satellite.

The company called its service provider, Ipstar, weekly, “sometimes twice a day”, stating its connection needed to be installed before the end of October, when the wet season began and locations were not accessible by road.

Despite HeliSpirit being repeatedly ­assured the connection would be completed on time, NBN technician Skybridge failed to ­attend the properties before the wet season, later citing a lack of access because of the weather.

“I had to laugh — we’d been telling them for months and months there was no road access in the wet season,” said HeliSpirit employee Amy Petty.

The company was now negotiating with NBN and Ipstar, offering­ to share the costs of having a helicopter fly in a technician and satellite dish, but NBN had rejected its first approach.


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