Weekly Axis Of Easy #13
In this issue:
- LeatherLocker Ransomware spills the beans on your browsing history
- China successfully “teleports” a photon into outer space
- .IO TLD traffic partially hijacked by well aimed domain registration
- Mt Gox head denies stealing $500 million in bitcoin as trial starts
The security firm McAfee reported their discovery last week of a new ransomware variant that attacks Android phones. Instead of encrypting your files and demanding a ransom to provide the decryption key, this malware may be worse: it threatens to share your browser history with all your contacts. *gulp* The malware is spreading via hostile apps downloaded through the Google Play store.
The news last week that China had successfully “teleported” a photon into outer space brought with it numerous references to “Beam me up, Scotty” and other sci-fi marvels. Not so fast however.
While the Chinese team has set the record for teleporting photons across the greatest distances, it is important to understand what was actually teleported. They did not teleport any actual object or particle into space, but rather its quantum state. This is an important distinction as its ramifications point more toward a breakthrough in data transmission speeds and computing power rather than beaming Scotty all over the place.
The .IO top-level-domain is a favourite among tech and crypto start-ups. Much to everyone’s chagrin a security researcher discovered that a domain name which contained some of the TLD name servers for the .IO TLD had completely expired and was available for re-registration. He almost didn’t believe it until he actually registered the old domain and found himself on the receiving end of a large portion of .IO’s traffic. Oops!
Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles pleaded not guilty to stealing $500 million in bitcoin (850,000 BTC, worth $1.7B USD in today’s value) as his trial opened in Japan. The collapse of Mt. Gox in 2014 was supposed be the death knell for Bitcoin, only it wasn’t. I went on record then to argue that in the absence of government to regulation of bitcoin, Gox would simply burn and Bitcoin would survive and thrive; which is exactly what did happen (and exactly what should have happened to all those banks we bailed out in 2009).