Week Ending: 17th April - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

Back to Blog

We hope you had a relaxing Easter weekend enjoying the sunshine and filled with chocolate, of course. Another week has come to a close and with the lockdown extended, we are here to keep you occupied and in-the-know with the latest news from the I.T. and tech world. From 500,000 Zoom accounts being sold on the dark web, criticism over tech giants Google and Apple’s attempt to fight Coronavirus, to a Raspberry Pi computer-powered ventilator, catch up now.

Over half a million Zoom accounts sold on the dark web

The past couple of weeks have seen horror stories surface on the web regarding the video conferencing platform, Zoom. This week, it has been reported that over 500,000 accounts are being sold by hackers on the dark web for less than a penny, and some are even being given away for free. Log-in details were acquired by stuffing attacks, where threat actors attempted to login to leaked Zoom accounts from older data breaches. The successful logins were compiled into lists and sold to other hackers.

The accounts that are being given away for free on hacker forums are being used by hackers in “zoom-bombing” pranks and malicious activities. Zoom accounts that are being released on hacker-forums can also be used to gain an “increased reputation” among hacking communities.

The accounts are shared via text sharing sites where the threat actors are posting lists of email addresses and password combinations, and some accounts even include those from major corporations such as Citibank.

We recommend that you change your Zoom password and ensure that it is not the same password used for other accounts, each account you have should have its own unique password.

Learn more here.

Concerns over Apple and Google’s contact-tracing tech

Apple and Google have devised a technology that would, in theory, work by letting you know if you had been in contact with someone recently diagnosed with Covid-19. It works by using Bluetooth signals on users’ phones in a bid to stop transmission, as scientists believe people are at their most contagious before symptoms show.

The collaboration between Google and Apple is a rare one, and between them, they run 99% of the world’s smartphone operating systems. Experts are raising concerns about how the contact-tracing technology will work and are questioning if it will help reduce the spread of infection. Both companies say their system will use Bluetooth to send out a signal to other smartphones which are nearby, the smartphones will then create a register of the other devices they come near to. The log will supposedly protect the identities of said smartphone users, who will share their data with health authorities who can then alert the user if their device has been in close proximity with someone’s device who has been diagnosed with Covid-19.

The app comes with numerous security concerns including, trolling, the fact that diagnoses would need validating, people trying to contract the virus on purpose with malicious intent, and the fact the app is not compulsory. So how effective could it be?

Read more about it here.

Introducing the Raspberry Pi-powered ventilator

A team based in Columbia is to test a ventilator that is made with a Raspberry Pi computer and easy-to-source parts. Robotics Engineer, Marco Mascorro, based in California, who has no prior experience of manufacturing medical equipment, posted the design and computer code online in March.

The Raspberry Pi plays a key role in the ventilator. It is a small, low-cost computer board which was originally created to help teach computer coding. Having a computer control the ventilator is critical as it sets the air pressure, opens and closes the valves, and can regulate whether a patient needs full or partial breathing assistance. Marco has made the code open source, meaning that anyone can use it or modify it without charge.

Mascorro claims he built the ventilator because he knew the machines were in high demand to treat Covid-19, and his first online prototype received lots of feedback from healthcare professionals, which he used to improve the design. The Colombian team said the design was important for the South American country because parts for traditional models could be hard to obtain. His design uses easily sourced parts, so much so, the valves that it uses can be found at local car and plumbing supply shops.

The ventilator is set to be put through a fast-tracked round of tests at two institutions in Bogota, the University Hospital of the Pontifical Xavierian University and Los Andes University.

Discover more about the invention.

Those were some of this week’s top stories but if you want more content, follow us across our four social media channels: