5 Top Tech Stories of the last week – Bite-sized!

Quite difficult this time as there was so much to choose from but I have focused on the major stories.

Uber Cool!

There is little doubt that the biggest story of the month was Uber. If you have not heard about them you will! They are a car ride sharing service that is taking on Taxis across the world! Much to the annoyance of these Taxi Firms that have until now held all the aces! Uber are though to be worth more than Twitter and United Airlines, yet are only a start-up! By the time they go public Bloomberg Business Weekly reckon it will be worth $40 billion or even more! They of course use technology and apps to function and that is why it is a big tech story!
Bloomberg show the following companies and their worth to demonstrate just how incredible this maybe!

“If Uber completes the financing, that could put it above:

— Tesla Motors Inc., with a market value of $31 billion

— Netflix Inc., at $21 billion

— Alcoa Inc., at $20 billion

— Charles Schwab Corp., wealth manager worth $37 billion

— Delta Air Lines Inc. and American Airlines Group Inc., with market caps of $37 billion and $32 billion, respectively

— Software maker Adobe Systems Inc., valued at $36 billion

— Kraft Foods Group Inc. at $35 billion, and General Mills Inc., $31 billion

Tobacco companies Reynolds American Inc. at $35 billion, and Lorillard Inc., $23 billion

— Health insurers WellPoint Inc., worth $34 billion, Aetna Inc., $30 billion, and Cigna Corp., $27 billion

— Yum! Brands Inc., with a market cap of $33 billion, and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., $20 billion

— Viacom Inc., valued at $31 billion

— Retailers Macy’s Inc., worth $23 billion, and Gap Inc., $17 billion

— Marriott International Inc. and Wynn Resorts Ltd., hotel operators with market caps of $22 billion and $18 billion, respectively.”


You can rate you driver and even become one 😉


Regin Malware

(Image Source Symantec)

The Big news was the newly revealed super sophisticated cyber espionage attack aimed at Saudi, Ireland, Iran and Russia (mainly) named Regin (ree-jin). It seems to be a telecommunications spyware. The way it was designed meant each layer could only open and be decrypted only when the previous layer was injected and deleted, meaning the original ‘dropper’ Trojan is still unavailable for assessment, The only reason there is knowledge of this malware is because some drives were offline when the self destruct commands were sent by the originator. So a very stealthfull product. This is not a bank account sniffer like most malware we know about, this was looking for people, where people were traveling, hotel reservations. Excitedly hailed by leading security analysts as a, “different level of cyber warfare and a human intelligence tool. Be afraid be very afraid!” When you think this was a 15 year old coding weapon what on earth have they got out there now! See Symantec Site Regin for more. This tool was originally released in around the mid noughties but was wiped for sometime before being recently re-released. If you look at the diagram above from Symantec it shows just how brilliant this is. It contains its own operating system for goodness sake, and hides as an undetectable rootkit once the dropper is deleted! The level of sophistication means it could only have been made by a team with extensive resources and knowledge and it has been suggested it must be a nation state created attack. As it was coded in English and the targets above suggest it originated in the USA or UK.

UK Post office and Amazon team up!

The Guardian and BBC reported this week that Amazon shoppers will be able to avoid missed deliveries in the run up to Christmas by collecting packages from their local post office.

The online retailer has signed up to Royal Mail’s Local Collect service, which lets shoppers opt for goods to be delivered to 10,500 post offices around the country. “Royal Mail is a key partner for online retailers and by teaming up with Post Office to offer the UK’s largest click and collect service, we are enabling Amazon’s customers to have greater control over the delivery of their items,” said Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels.

Local Collect is one of several initiatives Royal Mail has launched as it faces intense competition from rivals keen to cash in on the growth of online shopping. It is piloting Sunday deliveries to addresses within the M25.

The deal with Amazon comes despite last week’s warning from Royal Mail that the retailer’s decision to launch its own delivery operation would hit profits. Amazon is the newly privatised postal service’s biggest customer – accounting for 6% of all parcels it carries – but last month it launched a same-day service of its own. Moya Greene, Royal Mail’s chief executive, said: “When an online retailer of the size and scale of Amazon decides to build its own delivery network, that changes the market for everybody.”

 Twitter start tracking you!

Twitter are going to start tracking your apps on your smart phones to better target you with ads. They say it is a ‘more personalised twitter experience‘ as if they know what apps you use they can suggest who you should follow. And a ‘social graph’ will be created for advertisers. Twitter need to make revenue so this is not a surprise. Tech site Gizmodo reported that,”Twitter is starting a new program called App Graph that tracks all of the other apps people have on their phones. You might be wondering why Twitter cares if you’re a Candy Crush fiend or if you also use Instagram. It’s because Twitter follows the ABT school of sales: Always Be Targetin’. Tracking the other apps on your phone helps Twitter build a profile on you, which helps it figure out what kind of products you’re most likely to impulse purchase after seeing a mobile ad. Twitter didn’t have to update its permissions to do this, but it is making a concession to privacy worries by showing people a prompt that lets them know this new feature is running. It’s opt-out, so if you’re not down with Twitter peeking at your other apps, you have to manually change your settings:” In the end if you are a twitter user you have no choice but to agree or give up and use ‘Ello.co’ instead! 😉

 Somebody’s Watching You! IN BED!

(Image Source: Networkworld)

Peeping into 73000 unsecured security cameras. Thanks to default passwords! Networkworld reports, “a site indexing 73,011 locations with unsecured security cameras in 256 countries …unsecured as in “secured” with default usernames and passwords. The site, with an IP address from Russia, is further broken down into insecure security cameras by the manufacturers Foscam, Linksys, Panasonic, some listed only as “IP cameras,” as well as AvTech and Hikvision DVRs. 11,046 of the links were to U.S. locations, more than any other country; one link could have up to 8 or 16 channels, meaning that’s how many different security camera views were displayed on one page.
(Image Source: Networkworld)
Scary! If you have security cameras make sure your passwords are not default passwords, as in the password that came with the device, which is either NO password or the password is ‘password’, or ‘admin’, make certain to use a complex password, and not monkey1, or passwordx, or pass100, or a simple dictionary word like ‘bracelet’ or ‘bracelet1’ etc and so on! here is what you should be using and to demonstrate why a randomly generated password is best. The types I use I use look like this! “!El$8jS5x%ZkmG%wq6%E” Use Lastpass if you struggle to remember them it is by far the best service around and free for desktops – try it!
To see more images taken from these cameras and just how invasive and intrusive they are click here! It is very shocking!