Episode 540 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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Unpatched systems caught in latest ransomware attack, two Aussie companies affected

The latest global ransomware attack sweeping the world on Tuesday, just over a month after WannaCry, it would seem businesses are still unprepared for cyber attacks.

Experts believe this new ransomware to be similar to GoldenEye, a variant of the Petya virus first reported in early 2016, according to MailGuard,

 

this week’s outbreak was another case where unpatched Windows systems appeared to be the entry point.

 

it propagates within a local network using legitimate remote admin tools and password crackers to infect local computers,

 

Different from other ransomware, Petya does not just encrypt files; rather, it reboots the victim’s computer and encrypts the hard drive

 

there is no easy-to-deploy kill-switch, Vizza believes Petya could surpass WannaCry in damages

 

Users are advised not to pay the ransom because the email address used by the criminals to communicate with victims after getting the ransom to send the decryption keys has been suspended by its German email provider,

 

Google will stop scanning Gmail to create targeted ads

Google says it will stop scanning Gmail content for creating personalised ads from later this year

 

Google’s practice of analysing incoming and outgoing emails of its free consumer Gmail users has been criticized on privacy concerns.

 

Gmail has more than 1.2 billion users worldwide

 

US woman shoots boyfriend in YouTube stunt

 

The couple’s three-year-old child and nearly 30 onlookers watched as she fired the fatal bullet into his chest.

Ruiz’s aunt said they did it to increase their social media following.

Claudia Ruiz told WDAY-TV that her nephew had told her he wanted to do the stunt “because we want more viewers, we want to get famous”.

 

County Attorney James Brue described the book as a hardcover encyclopaedia, and said the weapon used was a .50-calibre Desert Eagle handgun.

Police have seized two cameras, which are said to have recorded Monday’s incident.

The single gunshot was fired from about one foot (30cm) away as neighbours gathered to watch outside their Minnesota home.

 

The couple had started a YouTube channel in March, aiming to show the “the real life of a young couple who happen to be teen parents”.

Their most recently uploaded video, on the day that Ruiz died, was titled: “Doing scary stunts at the fair”.

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYqSxhPHNYCLnt6pgUq-pJA

 

Apple releases first public beta of iOS 11

iOS 11 brings with it substantial changes including an interface redesign for key apps, removal of support for 32-bit programs, augmented/virtual reality support, and many under-the-hood improvements such as the new Apple file system (APFS).

 

“Don’t install the public beta software on any systems you don’t directly control or that you share with others,” Apple said in its frequently asked questions for the beta program.

“Don’t blog, post screen shots, tweet, or publicly post information about the public beta software, and don’t discuss the public beta software with or demonstrate it to others who are not in the Apple beta software program.”

The final releases of both iOS 11 and High Sierra are expected to arrive around September 20 this year.

 

iPhone Anniversary Edition gives analysts pre-party jitters

Maintaining its usual secrecy about product plans, Apple is widely expected later this year to announce three iPhones instead of the usual two—updated versions of the current iPhone 7 and 7 Plus as well as a 10th-anniversary iPhone with a different display and new features like wireless charging and facial-recognition technology.

 

Foxtel seeks to block changing pirate sites

appeared before the court in Sydney today, seeking to amend the orders previously handed down that forced major ISPs to block a handful of piracy linked sites.

Foxtel and Village Roadshow were the first Australian companies to make use of laws that allow copyright holders to seek court injunctions compelling ISPs to block their customers’ access to particular pirate sites.

The original application for injunction by Foxtel sought to have The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, TorrentHound and IsoHunt blocked by Telstra, TPG and Optus. The injunction was granted in December.

Today’s application targeted mirror sites for The Pirate Bay and Torrentz

But changing the DNS servers get yo in. not a big hassle and no vpn

 

Virus halts speed, red light fines in Vic

A virus has caused chaos in Victoria’s entire speed camera network with all fines for fixed red light and speed cameras on hold until a full investigation is conducted.

On Friday, police said 55 speed and red-light cameras across Victoria were found to have been infected with a cyber virus – but on Saturday the government quarantined the entire system statewide.

The cameras were compromised on June 6 when a maintenance worker inadvertently uploaded a ransomware virus onto the network using a USB stick that was being used for a system update.

 

JASON

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Google faces record EU antitrust fine of more than $1.4 billion

European antitrust regulators are set to impose a record fine on Google over its shopping service concluding one of three cases against the company.

The European Commission’s case was triggered by scores of complaints from both U.S. and European rivals, leading to a seven-year-long investigation into the world’s most popular internet search engine.

The EU competition authority charged Google in April 2015 with distorting internet search results to favour its shopping service, harming both rivals and consumers and are expected to hand down the fine on Tuesday.

 

Companies found guilty of infringing EU antitrust rules can be fined as much as 10 per cent of their global turnover, which in Google’s case could be about $9 billion of its 2016 turnover but it is not expected to reach this level.

 

 

Nintendo announces mini Super Nintendo console with stellar line-up of classic games

Nintendo has announced the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System, a tiny console designed to look like the incredibly popular SNES that was first released in Australia in 1992.

Following up on the well received but impossible to get NES version from last year, the diminutive Super Nintendo is powered by USB and connects to your TV via HDMI. It comes packaged with two controllers and is loaded with 21 of the system’s greatest games. That’s not hyperbole either, there is seriously not a mediocre game on the list.

The 16-bit versions of Nintendo’s own franchises are of course included, with Super Mario World, Super Metroid, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Mario Kart, Donkey Kong Country, Kirby Super Star, Yoshi’s Island and more.

But there’s a diverse handful of fan favourite games from publishers other than Nintendo too, including Mega Man X, Street Fighter II and Super Castlevania IV. True to the console’s legacy, there is also four of the greatest role-playing games of all time from Nintendo and publisher Square Enix: Earthbound, Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy III(released as Final Fantasy VI in Japan) and Super Mario RPG.

In a surprising move Nintendo is also including Star Fox 2, a game that’s gained almost mythical status as it was known to be completed by was never released for sale.

The system will launch in Australia and New Zealand on September 30 at a price of $119.95. This is a little pricier than last year’s model, but then Super Nintendo games are significantly more complex than the older NES games. As last time there will be no USB power adapter in the box, but if you don’t have plenty of those laying around Nintendo will sell you one for $20.

 

Opal card implanted in skin: Sydney transport bosses threaten to deactivate card

A SYDNEY biohacker who had his travel smartcard implanted beneath his skin may find his extreme method of making his commute more convenient was all for nowt.

Transport bosses are threatening to deactivate his Opal card that currently resides in a biocompatible plastic sleeve somewhere in his hand.

Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, for that is his legal name, cut down the Opal chip, had it encased in plastic and implanted just under the skin on his left hand by a piercing expert.

That means rather than rummaging through his wallet or bag and tapping the travel card against the machine, he waves his hand over the scanner.

Mr Meow-Meow had the 10mm by 6mm chip inserted under the skin of his hand and said it meant he always had the card on him.

“It gives me an ability that not everyone else has, so if someone stole my wallet I could still get home,” he said.

He said he can even top up his “card” using his smartphone.

But Transport for NSW, who administer the Opal card system, have said it “does not support the tampering or damaging of Opal cards which would be a breach of the terms of use”.

“Changing the physical attributes of the card may impact the reliability of the Opal card,” it added.

On Facebook, Mr Meow-Meow said instead of pointing out what someone is doing wrong, Transport for NSW should fix the “tonnes” of transport problems. He suggested the Opal Card’s sensitivity be increased like overhead toll readers on roads.

“Passengers could easily just walk straight through and decrease the quantity of time needed to go and walk up to a scanner and stand in queue,” he said. “This is one of thousands of reasons people don’t use public transport.”

Nokia’s revamped 3310 was just the start of a new push from the company to attract customers

 

THE battery life and durability of the Nokia 3310 made the handset arguably the most iconic phone the world had ever seen.

When the HMD Global — the company that has bought the rights to make phones under the Nokia name — announced it was resurrecting the indestructible Nokia 3310 earlier this year, excitement was at a high.

The revamped 3310 included a 2.4-inch colour screen, microSD slot, two megapixel camera and the highly-popular game Snake.

And just like its famous predecessor, the phone boasts amazing battery life with 22 hours of talk time and an incredible one month standby time, per charge.

HMD Global chief executive Arto Nummela said the 3310 had been made purely for fans of the Nokia brand.

“We were constantly being contacted from a huge number of people around the world asking for old Nokia models to return and the 3310 was at the top of their list,” he told news.com.au.

Unfortunately, Nokia confirmed the revamped 3310 will only run on 2G network, which means it will be effectively useless in Australia as we are currently phasing out the dated technology.

It’s not all bad news for Aussie customers, with Mr Nummela pointing out the company has three affordable, mid range Android smartphones available on the local market from late July.

Mr Nummela said the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 devices — all under $400 — combine superior craftsmanship, distinctive design and powerful entertainment features rarely seen on mid-range smartphones.

“The devices have a premium look and unique Nokia design — which believes less is more,” he said.

“We also have what we believe to be the best Android experience on the market, with the promise of monthly security updates so buyers don’t have to worry about getting a virus.

“The phones also include the latest Nougat operating system and will continue to get new updates as Google releases them. This is unheard of for phones at this price point.”

 

London Metropolitan Police’s 18,000 Windows XP PCs Is a Disaster Waiting To Happen

 

https://tech.slashdot.org/story/17/06/28/220208/london-metropolitan-polices-18000-windows-xp-pcs-is-a-disaster-waiting-to-happen

 

According to MSPoweruser, the London Metropolitan Police are still using around 18,000 PCs powered by Windows XP, an operating system Microsoft stopped supporting in 2014. What’s more is that the police force is upgrading its PCs from Windows XP to Windows 8.1, instead of Windows 10. Only 8 PCs at the police force are reportedly powered by the “most secure version of Windows right now.” From the report:From the looks of things, the London Metropolitan Police will continue to upgrade their systems to Windows 8.1 at the moment. Windows 8.1 is still being supported by Microsoft, although the mainstream support for the OS is set to end on the 9 January 2018. Microsoft will offer extended support for the OS until 2023, which means Windows 8.1 is still a much more secure alternative for the Metropolitan Police than Windows XP. Windows 10 still would have been the best option in terms of security, however. Microsoft is releasing security updates for the OS every month, and the new advanced security features like Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection makes PCs running Windows a whole lot more secure.The spokesman of the Conservative London Assembly said in a statement: “The Met is working towards upgrading its software, but in its current state it’s like a fish swimming in a pool of sharks. It is vital the Met is given the resources to step up its upgrade timeline before we see another cyber-attack with nationwide security implications.”

 

Researchers Create New Probiotic Beer That Boosts Immunity

https://science.slashdot.org/story/17/06/28/2012226/researchers-create-new-probiotic-beer-that-boosts-immunity

A new patent has been filed for a innovative brewing technique that incorporates a live strain of good bacteria into the brewing process. Researchers at the National University of Singapore have created a probiotic sour beer that may boost immunity and improve gut health. The bacteria Lactobacillus paracasei L26 is capable of neutralizing toxins and viruses and regulating the immune system. Chan Mei Zhi Alcine, of the Food Science and Technology Program at NUS said, “While good bacteria are often present in food that have been fermented, there are currently no beers in the market that contain probiotics. Developing sufficient counts of live probiotics in beer is a challenging feat as beers contain hop acids that prevent the growth and survival of probiotics. As a believer of achieving a healthy diet through consuming probiotics, this is a natural choice for me when I picked a topic for my final-year project.”

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