Weekly Axis Of Easy #9
In this issue:
- Failure to renew a domain put millions at risk: security researchers
- Man receives death sentence for blaspheming on Facebook
- CRTC bans unlocking fees, orders all cellphones be sold unlocked
- Ethereum founder meets with Putin to discuss Russian crypto-currency plans
- “CanadaCreep” twitter account shut down after Calgary women secretly photographed
According to security researchers, Samsung put millions of its smartphone users at risk by neglecting to renew the domain ssuggest[dot]com, which its now defunct S Suggest app used to phone home for updates.
The researchers claim by allowing the domain to lapse, and because S Suggest is still installed on millions of phones, hackers could have re-registered the domain and used it’s conduit into the pre-existing installed base of apps to compromise those phones. Samsung denied the domain could have been used in this manner, but remember Bismarck’s famous maxim: “Never believe anything until it’s been officially denied three times”. The researchers have re-registered the domain and sinkholed it to prevent hackers from gaining control over it.
A Pakistani military court has handed down a death sentence for a man charged with committing blasphemy via social media, namely Facebook.
30 year-old Taimor Raza drew the death penalty amidst a widespread government crackdown. Blasphemy in Pakistan is a capital crime and “dozens” of people are reportedly on death row there for “Insulting the prophet”. They must love reddit and 4chan there.
I have mixed feelings about this one: the Canadian telecom regulator has banned carriers from charging unlocking fees on phones and ordered all cellphones to be sold unlocked after December 1st. Why mixed feelings? Yes it’s good to protect the consumer. But shouldn’t that happen via increased competition? Shouldn’t some enterprising, aggressive challenger compete against the large sleepy incumbents through disruption and greater alignment with consumers? I dunno.. Like getting companies like Ting into Canada perhaps? The other thing is the CRTC has just “chosen winners and losers” and killed the entire “cell unlock” industry in Canada. A lot of small businesses, many run by immigrants and mom-and-pop shops have just had their business-model disrupted out of existence via decree. Something I’m never fond of seeing.
I am betting on ethereum. When Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan formed the Ethereum Alliance a few months ago I surmised that this meant blockchain technology had officially exited the fringe and that ethereum specifically would emerge as one of “the winners” amid a field of innumerable “alt-coins”. My theory was bolstered this week with the news that Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin had an informal meeting with none other that Vladimir Putin at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum.
I’m planning a longer blog post about Ethereum and it’s fledging DNS system ENS. Watch the blog and reply to this email if you want separate updates on Ethereum and blockchain tech. I may do a separate newsletter around that.
Twitter shut down the “CanadaCreep” account after numerous Calgary women were secretly photographed and posted via the social media service. Turns out “candid photos” and “creep sites” are a thing. I find this perplexing, considering that the internet features huge chunks of real estate depicting people doing all sorts of things in front of a camera on purpose, why skulk around invading people’s privacy with candid pics? Maybe the furtiveness is the attraction, who knows. We’re pondering an explicit ban on “creeper sites” here at easyDNS. That and bestiality sites (wtf is the matter with some people?) Stay tuned.
Previously on #AxisOfEasy
If you missed the previous issues, they can be read online here:
- Jun 12, 2017: Does easyDNS Know Your Passwords?
- Jun 5, 2017: Discover Your Odds Of Being Replaced By A Robot
- May 29, 2017: Google Now Tracks Your Offline Credit Card Purchases, Linking Them To Your Online Profile
- May 22, 2017: The world’s most important resource is: your data
- May 15, 2017: What you need to know about the WannaCry Worm