Tech Digest daily roundup: Apple Pay Visa ‘hack’ revealed


Large unauthorised contactless payments can be made on locked iPhones by exploiting how an Apple Pay feature designed to help commuters pay quickly at ticket barriers works with Visa. In a video, researchers demonstrated making a contactless Visa payment of £1,000 from a locked iPhone. Apple said the matter was “a concern with a Visa system”. Visa said payments were secure and attacks of this type were impractical outside of a lab. The problem, researchers say, applies to Visa cards set up in ‘Express Transit‘ mode in an iPhone’s wallet. “Express Transit” is an Apple Pay feature which enables commuters to make quick contactless payments without unlocking their phone, for example touching-in and touching-out at a London Underground ticket barrier. BBC 

Amazon’s £1,000 home robot has been labelled a “privacy nightmare” by one of its own developers as the tech giant pushes the limits on what technology consumers will welcome into their homes. The US technology giant revealed Astro, a robot assistant that is able to patrol a user’s home, alert its owners to the presence of strangers, and act as a roving security camera. Amazon’s David Limp said he was “thrilled to introduce a new kind of household robot”. The three-wheeled bot will be able to “proactively patrol your home and investigate activity”. The robot features a version of the tech giant’s Alexa, its voice assistant, which will allow it to play music or host video calls through a front-mounted screen. But some developers of the robot are concerned about its potentially invasive nature, Vice reported. Telegraph 

Subaru has showed the first video of its first EV, the 4×4 Solterra crossover, essentially confirming that it’s a slightly reworked version of Toyota’s upcoming bZ4X EV, according to Autoblog. Both electric cars are the fruit of Toyota and Subaru’s collaboration on the e-TNGA platform designed for multiple EVs, first announced in 2019.  Design cues visible in the teaser video, particularly the odd dual roof spoiler, are similar to those on Toyota’s upcoming bZ4X (the “bZ” stands for “beyond zero”). The side profile in a longer shot also looks nigh-on identical, making us wonder why Subaru doesn’t just reveal it in full and be done with it. Engadget 

Nintendo has issued a denial on a new 4K Nintendo Switch report. Last night, Bloomberg (paywall) reported at least 11 companies, including Zynga, have “tools” from Nintendo to make 4K Switch games. The report goes on to say these companies have a 4K development kit for the Switch, and that this so far unannounced 4K Switch won’t come out until late next year at the earliest. Could a next-gen Switch really deliver 4K DLSS? It wasn’t long after the report went live that Nintendo issued a statement denying it. Eurogamer 

Facing outrage over its handling of internal research on harm to teens from Instagram, a Facebook executive is telling Congress that the company is working to protect young people on its platforms. And she disputes the way a recent newspaper story describes what the research shows. “We have put in place multiple protections to create safe and age-appropriate experiences for people between the ages of 13 and 17,” Antigone Davis, Facebook’s head of global safety, said in written testimony Thursday for a Senate Commerce subcommittee. Facebook has removed more than 600,000 accounts on Instagram from June to August this year that didn’t meet the minimum age requirement of 13, Davis said. AP News 

YouTube has updated its policies around vaccine misinformation and provoked the ire of the Russian communications regulator after deleting the German-language channel for RT. A week-long suspension of RT followed warnings over videos which were considered to be in breach of the platform’s COVID-19 misinformation guidelines, but it was deleted after RT registered a second channel to subvert the suspension. In response, Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor accused YouTube of censorship and demanded that the state-funded channels were restored, while the Kremlin called for “zero tolerance” towards YouTube and called for the regulator to block the site. Sky News 

Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to