Oh Boy! Has Switzerland Quantum Leaped Into The Future?

Don’t worry in this episode there isn’t a Doctor Samuel Beckett, an Al Calavicci or a Ziggy. And no-one is being teleported to a distant past or future. However, though not quite as exciting as one of the 97 episodes of Quantum Leap, a significant breakthrough in quantum computing or specifically encryption technology has been achieved by a Swiss start-up. Now that’s certainly one way to make a statement when starting out.

The company Terra Quantum discovered a new method of sending encrypted data securely through fibre optics over a distance of almost 25,000 miles using quantum mechanics, in so doing making it impossible for hackers to hijack the data.

The method called quantum key distribution has many benefits for financial institutes, governments and businesses alike in the war against cybercrime.

Starlink High Speed Internet Is No Faster Than Dial Up Internet

After the incredible launch of SpaceX seeing rockets re-land perfectly after having successfully deployed satellites into space, we thought well other than a few odd Tweets, and podcast appearances like Joe Rogan where he was seen sharing a marijuana joint with the show’s host, one thought other than that, Elon couldn’t put a foot (too) wrong. So with the final announcement last year and after 5 years in the making, Starlink was launched.

For those of you who recognise the name but cannot remember what Starlink is, it is Mr Musk’s new means of supplying super fast, uninterrupted internet across the globe, initially trialling out and providing the service to those with low to extremely poor access and to those who cannot get internet in their location at all. Though an extremely ingenious concept it does leave some concern in the back of my mind as to what will eventually become of the tens of thousands of additional satellites orbiting our planet. 

Now other than costing 500,000 people $99 per month plus $499 for a satellite dish as of October 2020, the speed and latency of the internet provided so far for most has been a little underwhelming to say the least, it’s definitely a hefty cost for something that’s been providing about the same quality of internet as achieved through a 1990s dialup modem.

According to data provided by Ookla’s Speedtest Intelligence on Wednesday 6th May 2021 due to the latency, the time in which the data is sent and received via satellite, inevitably taking in consideration where the satellites may be in orbit, meant that on occasion the internet speed was superior than the average broadband connection in an area, but was also far slower as often as it was fast.

It was believed that satellite positioning was to blame for the interference, however just like with GPS other interference like clouds play a big role.

How Secure Do You Feel In Your Car?

Nowadays when we see an article discussing car security in the technology section of a news website or blog, subject to the title we assume that article will talk about electric vehicles security and the threat from hackers as opposed to installing a better car alarm or immobiliser. However what we don’t ever consider is something a large proportion of us use day in and day out which could and may likely pose a grave security threat to you. Any ideas? No? Well what if I told you that your infotainment system, yes your fun music, travel and smart technological buddy that makes your journey that bit brighter and more enjoyable is recording pretty much everything you do, in much the same way your smartphone does!

At the beginning of this month the US Customs and Border Protection agency purchased a very helpful piece of kit that basically allows them to connect to a car’s infotainment system and allows them to extract every single bit of data. Obviously not a problem if you have been behaving yourselves as you have nothing to worry about, for now at least as the technology has yet to reach the hands of criminals which unfortunately as we know is only a matter of time.

The only means to protect your data via your infotainment system is to simply never connect your smartphone to it. Too late I guess!

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Disqus Tracking Without Consent

Something we don’t generally think about when leaving a comment on a news website or blog other than if the site is tracking us for marketing purposes, is the comment section tracking us? Well if the website is using Disqus comment software to manage its comments then it turns out that even if you do not consent to the website’s tracking, Disqus will track you anyway.

Following an investigation into Disqus carried out by Norway’s national press in 2019, the local data protection agency stepped in, they discovered hidden deep within the software a default setting that opted sites into sharing user data and it seems tens of millions of peoples data has already been shared, used and possibly sold on.

Norway has slapped Disqus with a €2.5 Million fine for failures to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) on accountability, lawfulness and transparency. 

First Thursday In May – World Password Day

This month (6th May 2021) saw the 8th World Password Day event take place, well many of you at least heard about it and hopefully took heed in its message! Not so much a big celebratory event but more of a reminder.

Though just as easy a day to forget just like a new long password using several characters, letters, numbers and the like, it is an excellent idea which I feel the tabloids should make more of a fuss about due to the sheer nature of its benefits. That said if you are reading this and still haven’t changed your passwords for a little then I suggest you do so! Inevitably ensuring that no two passwords are the same.

World Password Day was first discussed as an idea by security researcher Mark Burnett in his book Perfect Passwords in 2005 which I highly suggest you take a look at. It wasn’t until May 2013 when Intel Security pushed the initiative and it became a world event.

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Cybersecurity Defence Attack Simulator Earns Start-up $45 Million

Newly founded cybersecurity company Cymulate has come up with a novel solution to an age old problem, how to discover flaws, doorways in… to software so that every possible exploit is patched and therefore protected from any threat.

The software which works by creating machine-based simulated attacks to determine vulnerabilities which it then evaluates and provides the guidance to fix the issues, has acquired $45 million in funding. The company that has headquarters in Israel and New York is already looking to expand, investing in platforms and operations that should double its capacity and revenues in months to come.

According to Cybersecurity Ventures cybercrime will cost the world roughly $6 trillion by the end of 2021, that’s a rise of $3 trillion compared to 2015. The news from Cymulate couldn’t come at a better time for many industries. 


Apple Takes A Big Bite Out Of Gaming

Those of you into gaming may recollect a legal battle that ensued last year between Epic Games and Apple. If not Epic Games launched a lawsuit against Apple under anti-competition laws after breaking Apple’s rules by adding its own payment processing system in the iPhone version of Fortnite, which meant Epic bypassed Apple’s 30% transaction fees.

However, though as exciting as that may all sound, what it did shed light on was the kryptonite of App Store data that would likely never otherwise see the light of day. According to this data Apple estimates that it accounts for 23% to 38% of all global gaming transactions, basically one third of all sales. Interestingly, though no other game-maker has attempted to pull the wool over Apple’s eyes in recent years, Apple only accounts for 7% of Fortnite sales.

It would certainly be interesting to delve deeper into the data that has been provided publicly due to this lawsuit.

Photo by Jamie Haughton on Unsplash