Weekly Tech News Roundup 30/1/2017

A tough lesson on web reviews, developments in Ransomware, Hyperloop “races” find winning design.

Dentist delivers pain for online reviewer.

When your mother said “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” rings loud and clear in this story.
Well known Melbourne Dentist Dr Pajouhesh has served a writ against Carlton resident Mark Robert Bradbury whom Dr Pajouhesh has claimed “…injured in (his) reputation and occupation, has been brought into public scandal, and ridiculed, and (he) has thereby suffered loss and damage.” as a result of a Google review published to a daily readership of 701.

Dr Pajouhesh is also seeking damages against Mr Bradbury for a separate review on the Word of Mouth website in which Mr Bradbury claimed he was “once fleeced” by Dr Pajouhesh.

This is a timely reminder to everyone that social media operates under the same rules as any media where defamation, libel and slander is still actionable.

Read more about this story here.

Ransomware locks hotel guests out and destroys police evidence in separate attacks.

The ugly spectre of ransomware has risen again in the news with one case infecting a hotel IT system effectively rendering guest pass keys invalid and bringing the key management system down leaving the hotel with no way to reprogram new keys until cybercriminals were paid 1,500 EUR (Approx AUD$2100) in bitcoin.

This is the third time the Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt in Austria has been held to ransom and has gone public to warn others against the threat and are in the process of replacing the smart door locks with good old lock and key technology from when the hotel opened 111 years ago. The full story is here.

Another story has left the Cockrell Hill Police Department in Texas red-faced as an email attachment delivered a notorious Locky ransomware variant which spread to the department backups destroying 8 years of evidence on open investigations.

The ransom demand was for USD$4000 but after consulting with the FBI, the department decided to wipe the server and restore from an old backup.

The infection took hold after an officer opened an email imitating a department issued email address. The infection did not spread to other workstations because the server was taken offline as soon as the ransomware was discovered. More from BleepingComputer.com here.

Hyperloop contest pits students in race to innovate.

If you are familiar with Elon Musk then you will know that he is the man behind private space company SpaceX, new automotive and energy innovator Tesla and the ambitious Hyperloop project where pods are shuttled back and forth in tubes under a near vacuum at up to 1200km/h (just under the speed of sound). The pods were the focus of this competition as universities from around the world competed with half-scale prototypes of their designs which included novel stabilistaion, braking systems and sleek carbon fiber construction.

The Hyperloop system is expected to function as passenger transport similar to high speed rail with further speculation that general freight will be meeting the bulk of the operations costs.

For more, see this article from Digital Trends.