Hashtag Trending – new Apple services; hackers breach Asus updater; Nokia phone leaked data to China

Apple announces new services; hackers use Asus software update to distribute malware; Nokia 7 phones leaked information to China.

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It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Tuesday, March 26th, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Trending on Google, Apple introduced a slew of new products at its March 25th event. New services include Apple TV Plus, Apple’s first original content subscription service; Apple Arcade, the Apple-branded game streaming service with 100 titles upon launch; and the Apple credit card, which has no annual fees, late fees, international fees, and can earn up to 3 per cent cash back credit. Lastly, Apple released Apple News Plus, a news service that features magazines from 300 publications.

Few things can ruin a week faster than malware. Trending on Reddit, Taiwanese computer hardware manufacturer Asus has fallen victim to a huge breach. According to Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, hackers were able to compromise Asus’ software update system and distribute malware to about 1 million Windows PCs. It’s unclear what the hackers are after, but the Verge reports that the attack seems to carry special instructions for 600 systems identified using hardware MAC addresses. Kaspersky Labs told Motherboard that it estimates hundreds of thousands of PCs have installed the payload. Asus has yet to issue a response to the breach, only saying that it will make an announcement today.

Trending on Reddit, HMD admitted that its Nokia 7 phones were sending personal data to Chinese servers. The flaw was first discovered when a user told NRKBeta that his device was sending location info, SIM card number, and serial number to a Chinese server. The data exchange appear to occur every time his screen turned on, and did so in plaintext without encryption. HMD says that the information was sent in error, and was part of the activation process for users in China. It also assures that the data hasn’t been processed, and has since then disabled the service through a patch.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. I’m Tom Li, thanks for listening.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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