Tech Digest daily round up: Apple AirTag tracker hacked days after release

Apple, News

Apple’s newly released tracker device has already been hacked by an IT security researcher, just days after its release. German security researcher Stack Smashing tweeted on May 8, just one week after the device went on sale, that they managed to ‘break into the microcontroller of the AirTag.’ The IT researcher added that he was able to ‘dump the firmware and some important areas,’ essentially modifying the device’s tracking software. And while the standard AirTag opens Apple’s Find My website, the hacked one diverted users to a non-related URL. It opens the risk that hacked AirTags could be used for phishing scams, 9to5Mac reports. Daily Mail 

Users yet to accept new terms and conditions for the messaging platform WhatsApp will start to get “persistent” reminders after the 15 May deadline. The changes relate primarily to the way businesses interact with customers. Since they were announced, in January, there has been concern about the prospect of increased data sharing with WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook, but this will not be changing. Most of the app’s two billion users had already accepted, the company said. Those who do not will start to lose functionality – beginning with being unable to see chat lists and ending with not receiving video calls and messages – but no accounts will be deleted. BBC News 

Bitcoin fell below $50,000 on Thursday as Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey warned that anyone investing in the digital currency should be prepared for massive losses. The cryptocurrency slipped under $47,000 following an announcement by Elon Musk that his electric car company Tesla would no longer accept it for payment due to concerns about the amount of energy it uses. Meanwhile, Mr Bailey issued a fresh warning to punters thinking about a bet. Speaking at a Bank of England citizens’ panel event, he said: “You’ve probably seen all the stories about the price of bitcoin, share prices in the U.S. suddenly rocketing up for companies that nobody quite knows what they do. That’s a warning sign. People are looking for investment opportunities. Buy it if you want but it has no intrinsic value.” Telegraph 

Ireland’s health service has closed down its computer systems after what it described as a “significant ransomware attack”. The Republic’s Health Service Executive (HSE) said it had shut down its entire IT network as a “precaution”. It said COVID-19 vaccination appointments were not affected by the cyberattack and were going ahead as planned. “There is a significant ransomware attack on the HSE IT systems,” the HSE said on Twitter. “We have taken the precaution of shutting down all our IT systems in order to protect them from this attack and to allow us fully assess the situation with our own security partners.” Sky News 

Russia said Thursday it would send an actress and a director into space to make the first feature film in the cosmos and also deliver an eccentric Japanese billionaire to the International Space Station. Moscow is seeking to boost its embattled space programme, which has stagnated since the collapse of the Soviet Union and been overtaken by US tech billionaire Elon Musk’s company SpaceX. The Russian space agency announced the film project after NASA confirmed last year it was teaming up with US action star Tom Cruise to make a movie on the ISS. The Russian “space drama”, whose working title is “Challenge,” will feature popular Russian actress Yulia Peresild, 36, and Klim Shipenko, a 37-year-old US-educated director and actor, Roscosmos said. France 24


Chris Price
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