The Sizzle

Issue 108 - Thursday, 17th March 2016 - Fake


Ads on popular websites serving up cryptolockers
Sites like the New York Times, the BBC, and dozens of others were serving up malware infested ads for a few hours earlier this week. The ads took advantage of known vulnerabilities in Flash and Silverlight to lead to dodgy websites running the Angler exploit kit that installs a trojan and a cryptolocker.What's also shit is that the ad network allowed these ads to run, as the attackers are one step ahead of the adtech industry when it comes to this stuff. Malwarebytes has a more technical rundown of what went on.

Fresh piece of malware hits iOS, is called AceDeceiver
In other malware news, Palo Alto Networks has revealed details on AceDeceiver, a way for malware to hit an iPhone without requiring an enterprise certificate. Malicious App Store submissions were disguised as wallpaper apps, evading Apple's app review process multiple times. These apps were really 3rd party app stores where pirate apps could be installed if you downloaded a companion app on your PC. This app then acts as a man in the middle and exploits Apple's FairPlay DRM, allowing the free apps customers asked for, but also snarfing unsuspecting people's Apple ID's.

AlphaGo vs. Lee Sedol ends 4-1. Computer wins
The fascinating series of Go games between the deep learning artificial intelligence, AlphaGo and Korean Go grandmaster, Lee Sedol has come to an end. AlphaGo won 4 of the 5 games, with Lee Sedol winning a single game. He managed to win that game by confusing AlphaGo by playing a move humans generally don't play. It seems like Lee Sedol used the AI's tactics against itself and tripped it up enough to win. Also interesting is that unlike a human who will generally attempt to thrash an opponent if its already winning, AlphaGo remains conservative and is content to win by a single point rather than take a risk and lose.

NBN announces wider trials of FttDP
How convenient, that after the leaks and the public embarrassment Bill Morrow and the NBN suffered regarding FttDP trials that were ignored by government, there will now be a newer, bigger trial of the technology. The trial will start in April and use NBN staff members as the guinea pigs in capital cities around the country. There'll now be satellite, fixed wireless, FTTN (fancy ADSL), HFC (Operation Clusterfuck), FttDP (fancier ADSL) and FTTH (21st century Internet) as connectivity options on the NBN.

Optus finally unveils what it's gonna do with the EPL rights it paid shitloads for
Optus surprised everyone back in November last year by coughing up around $150m to be the exclusive rights holder for the English Premier League, nicking them off Foxtel. Today they've announced they'll broadcast every EPL game on FetchTV and via a dedicated website, smartphone & tablet app. SBS will get sloppy seconds and broadcast one game a week. This deal also includes the 2018 World Cup, which Optus will have the sole Australian rights for, with SBS just getting one game a day. It'd be nice if Optus made an Apple TV app that didn't suck and god help you if you're an EPL fan with shit Internet.


DIY orthodontics with a 3D printer and some dental textbooks
The Invisalign teeth straightening system costs a lot of money. Tens of thousands of dollars for what is essentially a piece of plastic that goes on your teeth to straighten them out. Amos Dudley is a smart engineer with access to some very high end 3D capture and printing equipment, so he made his own Invisalign aligners after a bit of orthodontic research. I love the de-mystifying process applied to dentistry here. It may all seem fancy and high end, but it's really just a series of steps that if carried out, result in an outcome (whether that outcome is good or bad depends on how well you understood the steps!).

We live in an age where a satellite can tell us if there's a leaking pipe underground
I saw the headline "Victoria trials satellite scans to detect water leaks from space" and instantly thought how the fuck is this even possible? How do you detect water, leaking underground, from gooddamn space?! An Israeli company called Utilis hooks up with the Japanese run Alos-2 satellite to use "electromagnetic signals with a wavelength that can penetrate the ground" to "detect a spectral signature that matches drinking water." - that's some Star Trek shit right there.

The lack of women involved in tech isn't gonna improve any time soon
Whatever you think of Bernard Keane, his thinkpiece about the current and future issue of the tech industry in Australia being severely void of women, is enlightening, but also disappointing. In the entire ICT industry, only 25-30% of participants are women and at companies likes Atlassian and Envato, it's much, much worse. Keane also explains why a lack of women in ICT an issue, countering the evergreen moaning from stupid men when they say "why do we even need chicks here?".

Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!