24 – 28 July 2017
Featuring news stories on the Amazon Echo hack, Apple removing VPN apps, Putin signing a new law and HBO being breached by a cyber attack. Read Cognosec’s round up of relevant news and happenings within the industry this week.
In the news this week…
Amazon Echo Hacked
According to reports, the Amazon made Echo speaker system has been hacked to allow continuous eavesdropping. By accessing the internal systems, researcher Mark Barnes was able to watch the device boot up procedure. Through the use of software, Barnes created, he was able to send all of the sound data to an external server, allowing him to listen to anything happening around the device. Amazon said in a statement, "Customer trust is very important to us,” adding "To help ensure the latest safeguards are in place, as a general rule, we recommend customers purchase Amazon devices from Amazon or a trusted retailer and that they keep their software up-to-date."
Apple removes VPN apps from Chinese App Store
As China cracks down on the use of virtual private networks, Apple has remove all major VPN apps from the China app store. Express VPN said in a blog post on Sunday, “We’re disappointed in this development, as it represents the most drastic measure the Chinese government has taken to block the use of VPNs to date, and we are troubled to see Apple aiding China’s censorship efforts.”
This news comes as Putin signs a new law banning all VPNs and anonymisers to prevent access to prohibited websites. The new Russian law comes into force on the 1st of November.
HBO has confirmed that a “Cyber Incident” has compromised some of their closely guarded intellectual property. Fans of the fantasy TV show ‘Game of Thrones’ are familiar with fears that the ice wall in the North of Westeros could be breached however hackers have instead been targeting the very real fire-walls of HBO. Claiming to have obtained more than 1.5gb of data the Hackers have stolen scripts for the show as well as episodes of Ballers and Room 104.
In an internal email, HBO chief executive Richard Plepler said, "We immediately began investigating the incident and are working with law enforcement and outside cybersecurity firms," adding that "Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold."