Back in April, Microsoft researchers noticed that some of its enterprise customer’s internet-of-things (IoT) devices were communicating with servers in Russia. Further investigation found that several VOIP phones, printers, and video decoders were passing data to a hacking group called “Strontium.”
Better known as Fancy Bear or APT28, the group has been identified by the FBI to work for the Russian government. Last year, the hackers were found to have infected more than 500,000 routers with malware. Now, the group was using the IoT devices to gain access to enterprise networks.
Microsoft has already alerted the companies that manufacture the targeted devices. It also published the IP addresses and scripts used by the hackers so that other organizations can monitor for bad actors attempting to hijack its devices. [Ars Technica]
In Other News
- Apple Card Is Now Available for Some U.S. Customers: Apple announced back in March that it was partnering with Goldman Sachs to release a credit card. What made the Apple Card standout was the company’s mobile-first focus. Applicants would still receive a physical credit card made out of titanium, but the company focused on making the mobile payment and app experience better than anything else on the market. The initial rollout is limited to those who applied to be first in line, but all iPhone customers in the U.S. should have access by the end of August. [The Verge]
- Samsung’s New SSDs Are 10 Percent Faster and Consume 15 Percent Less Power: Just 13 months after the release of Samsung’s previous generation of SSD technology, the South Korean company is the first to mass-produce drives with 100 layers of NAND cells. The leap from 90 layers allows Samsung’s sixth-gen 256GB three-bit vertical NAND memory to reach a writing speed of 450 microseconds and a reading response time of 45 microseconds. [Samsung]
- Some Google Pixel 3 Cameras Are on the Fritz: The Google Pixel 3 features one of the best smartphone cameras on the market, but a growing number of customers are reporting shaky and vibrating sensors. As seen in this video, the built-in OIS appears to be violently moving the camera around, making it impossible to take a clear picture. Unfortunately, Google has yet to address the growing issue. For now, camera hardware replacement appears to be the only solution for fixing the problem. [Android Police]
Seven years ago today, on August 6, 2012, Nasa landed the Curiosity rover on Mars. Although the rover was only meant to be in service for two years, its mission was extended indefinitely.
During its life on the Martian planet, Curiosity has collected photos, soil samples, and other pieces of data while traveling over 13 miles across the Gale Crater. To date, the rover has taught us that there might be liquid water on Mars, sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and carbon can be identified in the soil, pointing to the possibility of the planet sustaining life, and much more. [Science Alert]