March 12 2021
Welcome to Friday’s news overview – this is a place where we keep you up to date on the latest technology updates, cybersecurity news, and more. Here’s what’s going on in the tech world today:
Netflix is considering a crackdown on password sharing
Say it isn’t so; streaming giant Netflix is currently trialling a crackdown on password sharing. In 2020, Netflix gained a whopping 37 million additional subscribers, taking their total to over 200 million worldwide. Despite this – and despite statements in previous years about the streaming service simply learning to live with password sharing – a crackdown on this practice could be imminent.
After logging in to their (or their partner’s, their friend’s, their uncle’s, or their brother’s best friend’s girlfriend’s dad’s) account, some users have been seeing an updated screen. Instead of their usual favourite shows, the first thing they see is this statement: “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.” From there, users must verify they’re allowed to access the account by inputting a code that will be sent to the official account owner via text or email. It’s enough to make the blood of any streaming scrounger run cold. Read more here.
Clare County is the latest council to fall victim to a cyber-attack
Clare County council is the latest public sector organisation to reveal it was affected by the Hafnium hack of Microsoft Exchange. The attack affected over 60,000 organisations across the globe, and according to Microsoft, was the work of Chinese nation-state hackers. Vulnerabilities in the popular Microsoft Exchange’s server were exploited and this resulted in widespread damage.
The council’s IT team was quick to identify they had this vulnerability and all employees were forced to shut down their email accounts while a thorough investigation takes place. Two other local authorities have been affected by this same issue, and have taken similar precautions.
A council spokesperson released this statement: “We believe there has been a cyber-attack. The cyber-attack was on a recently identified vulnerability in Microsoft Exchange. We have shut down our email to conduct a thorough investigation. We are engaging with our cybersecurity insurance providers and technical experts to evaluate the impact of this vulnerability on Clare County Council email infrastructure.” Read more on the Microsoft Email hack here.
Uber and Lyft agree to share data on banned drivers
Popular taxi app Uber and their sworn enemies Lyft have joined forces in order to improve their passengers’ safety. The two apps have agreed to share the names of banned drivers who are removed from service due to serious safety concerns, such as sexual harassment and assault.
In a combination more iconic than when Goku and Vegeta fused to create Gogeta, the two firms are putting safety before competition and have encouraged other firms to participate too. The programme is the latest proactive action for passenger safety by these apps, which has previously included in-app emergency buttons and background checks. The whole thing will be managed independently by a background check company and is so far only available in the US. Read more here.
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