In This Issue


Twitter confirms belief an employee was “socially engineered” into giving hackers access to internal systems

Twitter has made a statement regarding what the hell went on yesterday with popular accounts sending Bitcoin scam tweets. It's spread out over a series of tweets (at least they're eating their own dogfood) but basically says they reckon it was a "coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools" and that there's "no evidence that attackers accessed passwords". Brian Krebs has shined a bit more light on who might be responsible - SIM swappers who took their game up a level to bribing Twitter staff instead of telco staff for access to admin interfaces. The FBI is apparently looking into what went on as well.

EU-US data transfer law killed off & EU to investigate domestic internet of things anti-trust allegations

Moving data between the EU and US is now an official no-no, with the law that permitted such activities (Privacy Shield) scrapped by Europe's highest court because the EU basically doesn't trust the US to not fuck up the handling of its citizens data. This has legal implications for many cloud-based or SaaS services that store the data generated by EU citizens on US services, but I'm not sure how things will change in practice. The EU also opened a new investigation to "make sure market players did not use their control of such data to hurt competition or thwart rivals" in regards to consumer Internet of Things devices like Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. Kinda weird to have the EU regulating US tech companies way harder than the US is, but considering the state of the US right now this isn't a surprise.

ISPs will either start to charge more or drop speeds when NBN removes COVID-19 bonus bandwidth

It's almost time up for the 40% bonus bandwidth NBN gave to ISPs to handle the massive increase in internet usage due to COVID-19 and the ISPs are worried what happens next, because usage hasn't dropped to pre-rona levels. Aussie Broadband boss Phil Britt reckons ISPs "will either need to raise retail prices to keep the service levels the same in peak time speeds, or lower peak time speeds to maintain at least some level of margin - which is almost non-existent as is" unless NBN does something before the freebie bandwidth offer ends July 31st. His preferred approach is just to scrap CVC (the bandwidth ISPs buy from NBN to get data from customer premises to the ISP's network) fees entirely and for NBN to just charge a flat rate based on the speed tier the customer chooses. That would make too much sense for NBN to do, so NBN won't do it.

Not News

NBN Technology Choice upgrade pricing seems to have dropped significantly

On the subject of NBN, it appears that prices for their Technology Choice program have suddenly and quietly dropped. If you didn't know, Technology Choice is where you can pay NBN to upgrade your old school FTTN/FTTC/HFC connection to FTTP. You stump up a non-refundable $330 then NBN give you a proper quote for what it would cost to do the upgrade. Whirlpool users desperate for fast internet connections have been collating the various quotes into a spreadsheet so others can get an idea of the rough costs for an upgrade. Lately they've noticed users on FTTC receiving fresh quotes that are substantially less - what was around $6,000-8,000 is now $2,500-$3,500. Something to think about if you're on FTTC and want speeds above 100/40.


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