Weekly Tech News Roundup 31/10/2016

No time to get into Halloween with Australia’s largest data leak, game changing cyber security tech and a quick glance at the Apple and Microsoft announcements.

Red Cross Blood Australia has had Australia’s largest personal data leak ever with an unencrypted database backup containing extensive data of around 550,000 donors.

redcrossbloodlogoThe .sql file containing the data was left by a contractor on a public facing website supposedly as a convenient place to hold a backup during development with incorrect permissions set on the website allowing people to browse the file structure of the website and take copies of the database backup. The database containing names, contact details, email addresses and questions relating to sexual activity that may put donors at risk was copied by an anonymous person who then handed the find to Troy Hunt a world renowned cyber security expert who then contacted the relevant authorities.

This course of action led to a fast and well executed response from AusCERT and Red Cross Blood Australia to take steps to address the leak.

It is understood that the copies of the database used to report the leak have been deleted and people that may have been included in the leak have been advised directly by Red Cross Blood Australia of the breach and the steps the organisation will take to investigate the failure and ensure this does not happen again.

For more on Troy’s report click here.

For the Red Cross response, click here.

Ever wondered how hackers stay safe from other hackers?

I was very fortunate to stumble upon a Perth based business that has developed a cybersecurity tool that employs techniques used by cybersecurity experts and hackers alike to avoid viruses, malware and other hackers. This technology now puts these advanced techniques in the hands of everyday people giving anyone peace of mind when accessing any sensitive online service.

To find out about BankVault go to Bankvaultonline.com or look at the video below.

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Apple and Microsoft announce some updates to Surface and Macbook Pro product lines.

The Microsoft announcement featured updates to the existing Surface Book and also an amazing new desktop product called the Surface Studio. A pretty amazing all in one desktop PC aimed squarely at the creative end of the market. Try telling me you don’t want one after looking at the video below.

Apple also had a bit of a song and dance about their newly announced MacBook Pro lineup with the very interesting replacement of the function keys with the touchbar.

Again, words are hard to describe what is in store for the iFaithful so take a look at the video below.

It seems to me that something interesting is going here in regards to the direction of both companies. Apple is playing the safe game to the existing consumer base while Microsoft is taking a very different direction and pushing the Surface product (which is really getting some solid reviews) towards the creative end of the market. This is the opposite to what the Apple vs PC scene looked like some years ago.

Very interesting times indeed.