Weekly Tech News Roundup

Spotify could be killing your device, Sausage sizzle could cost up to $9000 with one simple mistake, Lightbulbs hacked? Really?

Spotify burning up customer hard drives.

spotify_logoA recent discovery has shown that a bug in Spotify’s code for all platforms is writing hundreds of Gigabytes of data daily to storage devices even when the app is idle.
This kind of issue can dramatically shorten the life of a hard drive especially if it is a SSD hard drive commonly found on laptops, tablets and phones.

Users are outraged and liken it to Castrol selling an oil that causes excessive wear on engines and have expressed disappointment in the company vowing to never use the app again.

Spotify has responded by releasing a new update to the app with a fix that stops the problem where the database engine in the app performs a compression function on the system rewriting the database to the hard drive over and over again.

Right now, EZiWireless advises all users of Spotify to shutdown and uninstall the app until they are able to download version 1.0.42.

For the original story from ArsTechnical click here.

A AUD$9000 lesson served up on bread.

Ah! The Aussie larrikin, dreaming up ways to be be clever and have fun and the modern larrikin is no exception. Now with the technology at our disposal the opportunity for harmless fun is now as wide as our imagination.

Now this story includes a few mates, a spa, a drone, a local hardware store, a video sharing platform and of course some annoyed authorities.

eftm_bunnings_noteThe prank seemed harmless enough. Pop $10 with a note in a bag, hang the bag from a drone, fly the drone to the nearby Bunnings sausage sizzle and get someone to take the $10, buy a sausage sizzle and drop it in bag which is then carried by the drone to a jokester chilling in a spa.

All good fun and posted on the internet but of course all the fun ends when CASA (Australian for FAA or other national airspace regualtor) gets wind of the stunt and threatens to fine the guys behind the operation up to $9000 for breaching a number of regulations including.

  • Flying a drone without direct line of site of the craft.
  • Operating a drone within 30m of people.
  • Operating a drone over a populous area.

Hopefully, this will serve as a reminder of the responsibilities of owning and operating a drone especially when you decide to post video of your exploits.

Original EFTM.com.au story can be found here.

For more on this story from The Age click here.

Warnings over IoT security continue as lightbulbs get hacked.

A couple of weeks ago we saw large parts of the internet knocked offline as tens of thousands of routers, security cameras and other internet connected devices bombarded DYN the internet telephone directory for a significant chunk of cyberspace.

Following up on this recent wake up call, security researchers demonstrated how easy it is to use a Zigbee transmitter to hack and infect the Phillips Hue smart lightbulb. Zigbee is the protocol or language used to control a wide range of IoT devices and has a range of up to 400m so it is no big deal to infect one lightbulb and have it spread the infection to other devices within a 400m range.

 

IoT devices are different to our computers, phones and tablets that have at the very least the ability to install security updates and run scans for malicious code.

Anyone using a smart or connected device is advised to check with the manufacturer for firmware updates. If there are no updates since October, it is advisable to at least disconnect the device from your local network and get in touch with the manufacturer for information on security updates.

Have a read of the original story over at ScienceAlert.