Daily Cuppa: hacks, back doors and data breaches

The weekend is sadly over. While you get ready for another Monday, here's what you might have missed from the weekend.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

The weekend, tech news was filled with espionage, data breaches and even more hacks. Here's the news to get you ready for the week.

The biggest news by far was from Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst in the US Office of the Secretary of Defense, who alleged that, through network vendors like ZTE and Huawei, China has backdoor access to roughly 80 per cent of the world's communications networks. Maloof said that any information travelling over an Huawei-equipped network isn't safe, unless it is encrypted to a military-standard.

If this is the line coming from a former Pentagon official, maybe this is the sort of information that led the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) torecommend to the Australian Government that Huawei not be allowed to bid on National Broadband Network (NBN) tenders? I don't expect that we'll get confirmation on that any time soon.

Yahoo confirmed over the weekend that it had fixed the flaw that led to the leaking of 450,000 plain-text passwords, last week. Apparently it was just one two-year-old file that had lots of old log-in credentials, but only 5 per cent had valid passwords. So that's that, then. Toothpaste back in the tube, and all that.

Nvidia had its own data breach, with hashed and salted passwords stolen from its developer forum. The company confirmed that it "did not store any passwords in clear text", but admitted that public information, like birthday, gender and location, might have been grabbed.

A Russian developer has found a way to circumvent having to pay for in-app purchases in iOS. This means that, instead of having to pay for all that extra content (or, sometimes, any of it) in an app, the developer found a way to get it for free. Apple said that it is investigating the issue.

Keeping one step ahead of the game, Oracle is pushing out 88 critical fixes this week to avoid any major problems.

Oracle also made news on the weekend for failing to secure a re-trial in the Google-Oracle patent battle. Oracle wanted a new trial, because the 12-person jury couldn't reach a unanimous verdict. It looks like the judgement will probably be appealed, instead.

And, finally, things seem to go from bad to worse for Research In Motion (RIM), with a new survey putting developer interest in BlackBerry OS at an all-time low.

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