Tech Digest daily round up: Home electric car chargers hacked

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Project EV charger
Security researchers have discovered failings in two home electric car chargers. The researchers were able to make the chargers switch on or off, remove the owner’s access, and show how a hacker could get into a user’s home network. Most of the faults have now been fixed, but owners are being told to update their apps and chargers, to be safe. It comes as proposed new legislation on cyber-security for appliances – including chargers – is published. Two home chargers, Wallbox and Project EV – both approved for sale in the UK by the Department for Transport – were found to be lacking adequate security when used with an accompanying app for smartphones. BBC 

The federal government Friday rejected an appeal by billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin to get in on NASA’s plans to return astronauts to the moon by using rival Elon Musk’s SpaceX. NASA in April awarded the $2.9 billion contract for a lunar lander to the more established SpaceX, which also offered a cheaper price than the bids from Blue Origin and Dynetics Inc., a subsidiary of Leidos. The two losing companies appealed the contract to the Government Accountability Office on the grounds that there should have been multiple contracts and that the proposals weren’t evaluated correctly, but the agency rejected their request. The decision will allow “NASA and SpaceX to establish a timeline for the first crewed landing on the moon in more than 50 years,” NASA said in a statement Friday, calling a moon landing a priority of the Biden administration. Independent 

The Russian hackers behind the massive SolarWinds cyberespionage campaign broke into the email accounts some of the most prominent federal prosecutors’ offices around the country last year, the Justice Department said. The department said 80% of Microsoft email accounts used by employees in the four U.S. attorney offices in New York were breached. All told, the Justice Department said 27 U.S. Attorney offices had at least one employee’s email account compromised during the hacking campaign. The Justice Department said in a statement Friday that it believes the accounts were compromised from May 7 to Dec. 27, 2020. Such a timeframe is notable because the SolarWinds campaign, which infiltrated dozens of private-sector companies and think tanks as well as at least nine U.S. government agencies, was first discovered and publicized in mid-December. AP News

A crowdfunded legal case attempting to stop the rollout of 5G has been blocked by a judge. But the group behind it, which has raised more than £160,000, has said it will continue its battle to try to obtain a judicial review. The lawyers behind the case, including human rights barrister Michael Mansfield QC, have been involved together in other crowdfunded cases, so far without successful outcomes for their clients. The case raises questions about the nature of crowdfunded legal action as well as the debate over 5G, which mainstream scientists believe poses no greater risk to health than other wireless technologies. BBC 

Amazon has been fined 746m euros (£636m) by Luxembourg’s privacy watchdog for breaching GDPR, the highest penalty ever imposed under the law. The American shopping giant disclosed in a financial filing on Friday that it had been rapped by the National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) on July 16 for illegally processing personal data, and told to change some of its business practice. While neither Amazon nor the CNPD gave a reason for the fine, a French campaign group took credit for the win, heralding it as proof that Amazon’s targeted advertising “is carried out without our free consent”. The Paris-based Quadrature du Net said it had filed complaints against Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft in 2018, taking aim at Amazon’s use of information such as orders, search queries, device fingerprinting and mouse movements to target shoppers with adverts. Telegraph 

 

 

Chris Price
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