Weekly News Roundup 2/5/2016

Extortionists made $100,000 without lifing a finger, Quickflix pulls the plug and goes into administration and researchers develop a tiny computer that pulls power out of thin air.

Special : A series of free cyber security workshops from Edith Cowan University and the City of Joondalup are coming on 7/5 and 11/5. For more information go to http://www.joondalup.wa.gov.au/Welcome/Business/CyberCheckMe.aspx

$100,000 for doing nothing.

DDos graphic from Cloudflare
DDos graphic from Cloudflare

Cybercriminals have been sending out threats of cyber attack to businesses that rely on their websites to keep operations running and have banked over $100,000 in less than two months. All without doing a single thing.

The crims going by the name Armada Collective actually could be the cyber gang or could be posing as the gang have been sending threatening messages to targets threatening to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that would effectively boot the websites off the internet if a ransom is not paid.

So far, there are no records of the attacks have been reported so far proving that this kind of extortion has been paying off for very little effort. I am waiting for the day that someone refuses to pay and then we will see the severity of the threat and if in fact these guys actually have the muscle to follow through.

For more on this story, go to TheHackerNews.com

Australia’s online streaming market claims its first scalp.

maxresdefaultThe rough and tumble of online streaming has a lot of posturing as lots of providers battle for subscribers and the first player in the business is closing its doors.

Quickflix, Australia’s first streaming provider and market leader before Netflix came down under has gone into voluntary administration after key investor and rival Stan gave Quickflix two options. Pay $4M or pay $1.25M and hand over all subscribers.

This has forced Quickflix into the situation where the only way out is to go into voluntary administration and wind up operations.

Existing subscribers for now can continue with business as usual until everything is squared away.

For more on this, see the story over at techly.com.au.

And now for some good news. A tiny computer that needs no power supply.

WISP-RFID1-640x353Those that are familiar with the Internet of Things (the vaguest title ever) would know that we can expect to see all kinds of everyday objects and yet to be invented gizmos will be swarming with tiny computers that will be used to collect and transmit data to services that will power the Internet of Things.

Trouble is that these tiny computers have needed some kind of power source. Either a power supply, battery or some other method of getting power to the computer.

Researchers from the University of Washington however have managed to design a tiny computer that harvest radio waves to generate enough power to run the device. The bonus with this is that the device also communicates using the same radio waves keeping the design as simple as possible. This means that there is absolutely no need for wires at all.

Applications would include making all sorts of dumb objects smart as well as a way to allow smart phones for example the ability to send an emergency message when the main battery dies.

At the moment all we have to go on is how cool the technology is. No word on how much or when we will be able to get our hands on it.

More on this at TheHackerNews.com.