Hashtag Trending – Nortel’s 2004 breach in retrospect; Cineplex is back; Canada’s high-speed hyperloop

A lengthy story about Nortel’s giant breach in 2004 makes its rounds, Cineplex is back, and Canada is getting its first high-speed travel pod.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Wednesday, August 26, and I’m your host Baneet Braich.

In 2004 Nortel had a serious breach in its giant network. Back then, Nortel’s fibre optics equipment was top notch amongst the world with 70 per cent of all internet traffic running on Canadian technology. A story from Global News is putting the spotlight on the incident once again, and painting China as the culprit. According to Global News’ interview with lead investigator Brian Shields, in 2004, Shanghai had hacked the email account of a Nortel executive in Ottawa. They stole passwords from the executive and downloaded more than 450 documents from “Live Link” — a Nortel server that stores intellectual property. Shields found out that Nortel had downloaded nearly 1,490 documents and China was the source of all extractions that he was aware of. After years of looking into breach, Shields says China’s government got complete control of Nortel’s internal systems. Intruders could see everything and could send encrypted packages of stolen Nortel data to Shanghai and Beijing. This was done by sending Internet commands to a “backdoor” in a Nortel computer. Shields also says it is no coincidence that Huawei suddenly replaced Nortel as the world’s top internet technology provider. (Twitter thread)

Despite the popularity of streaming during the pandemic, the CEO of Cineplex says he isn’t worried. Even with Disney+ streaming Mulan, Ellis Jacob tells BBC that guests are looking to get back to some form of normality, saying “We are the engine that drives the train” that leads to sequels, games and theme parks.” He also says that big-budget films rely on the cinema model to justify their blockbuster price tags. Safety protocols, he adds, such as reduced theatre capacity, and increased cleaning protocols for Cineplex’s network of 164 theatres and 1,687 screens, are in place today. (LinkedIn thread)

And lastly, Canada is hitting up the fast lane as a 1,000-km/hour high-speed travel ‘pod’ is coming to Alberta. Yes, Albertans may be the first Canadians to travel in high-speed pods between Edmonton and Calgary. The government of Alberta signed an agreement with Canadian transportation tech company TransPod to develop the high-speed hyperloop. It would take half an hour to go from Calgary to Edmonton. The full construction will begin in 2025 after research and test track construction is complete. (Twitter thread)

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 Baneet Braich, thanks for listening.

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