Snap! Trickbot Returns, USCellular, UAE Hope, Galaxies, Air Charging

Snap! Trickbot Returns, USCellular, UAE Hope, Galaxies, Air Charging

Your daily dose of tech news, in brief.

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Trickbot is back again – with fresh phishing and malware attacks

Just when you thought Trickbot was gone… you can’t keep a good malware down, after all, as someone has seemed to have gone ahead and revived the infamous botnet.

According to ZDNet:

In October last year, a takedown led by Microsoft disrupted the infrastructure behind the Trickbot malware botnet, but now it appears to be coming back to life as researchers at Menlo Security have identified an ongoing malware campaign which has the hallmarks of previous Trickbot activity.

These attacks appear to be exclusively targeting legal and insurance companies in North America, with phishing emails encouraging potential victims to click on a link which will redirect them to a server which downloads a malicious payload.

Many of these emails are claiming that the user has been involved in a traffic infringement and points them towards a download of the ‘proof’ of their misdemeanor – a social engineering trick which can catch people off guard and panic them into downloading. In this case the download is a zip archive which contains a malicious Javascript file – a typical technique deployed by Trickbot campaigns – which connects to a server to download the final malware payload.

USCellular hit by a data breach after hackers access CRM software

USCellular found themselves in a tight spot after some employees clicked on what they shouldn’t have and allowed hackers access to the company’s CRM system.

According to BleepingComputer:

This software allowed an attacker to access the computer remotely, and as the employee was logged into the customer relationship management (CRM), they gained access to that as well. USCellular believes the attack occurred on January 4th, 2021.

It is not clear from the notification how many customers were affected and whether the employees were scammed via a phishing email or another method.

While viewing a customers’ account in the CRM, the threat actor would have been able to see their name, address, PIN, cell phone numbers, service plan, and billing/usage statements.

After learning of the attack, USCellular isolated the infected computer and reset the employee’s passwords.

But there’s more going on in the world than that.

The UAE’s Hope mission is nearly to Mars, and scientists can’t wait

There isn’t much that gets scientists excited more than a mission to Mars. The UAE’s Hope mission has many of them counting the hours until the orbiter reaches the planet on February 9th..

According to Space.com:

Hope is an orbiter designed to study the atmosphere of Mars around the planet and from surface to space. The mission will conduct its Mars orbit insertion maneuver on Feb. 9 beginning at about 10:30 a.m. EST.

Fewer than half of Mars missions attempted to date have succeeded. In advance of the risky maneuver, which will involve Hope firing its thrusters for nearly half an hour to slow down enough to slip into orbit around Mars, the spacecraft is in excellent condition, mission personnel said.

If all goes smoothly on Feb. 9, the UAE will notch a major accomplishment, becoming just the fifth entity to successfully reach Mars, after NASA, the Soviet Union, the European Space Agency and India.

Hope is meant to spend one Martian year, or nearly two Earth years, studying the Red Planet; that timeline will begin in May. During the mission, the spacecraft will orbit high over the planet’s equator to study the weather at the surface and how the layers of the planet’s atmosphere interact.

Rare images show role of collisions in galactic evolution

New images taken by the Hubble telescope are showing us more details of what happens when galaxies bash into each other.

According to New Scientist:

Taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, the six images capture what happens as galaxies collide and merge. As a result, clusters of stars form within them that can be millions of times the mass of the sun. Galaxy merging is thought to be one of the main driving forces of cosmic evolution.

These are unusual images since collisions, which drastically alter the appearance and composition of galaxies, are rare. The changes accelerate the birth of new stars during the merger as molecular clouds fall to the centre of each galaxy, where they collide with other molecular clouds, causing them to condense into new stars.

Be sure to click the link to check out the images!

Xiaomi says its ‘Air Charge’ technology works over several meters

Wireless charging is the dream we all want to see, and I don’t mean putting your device down on a little pad that’s plugged in. I mean over the air charging.

According to The Verge:

Xiaomi says the technology will also work with smartwatches and fitness bracelets. Another goal is to make “living rooms truly wireless,” with speakers, lamps, and smart home devices all being powered by the same remote system. A Xiaomi representative confirms to The Verge, however, that no commercial products will include the technology this year, and declined to provide a timeframe for release.

The core technology of Xiaomi’s remote charging lies in space positioning and energy transmission. Xiaomi’s self-developed isolated charging pile has five phase interference antennas built in, which can accurately detect the location of the smartphone. A phase control array composed of 144 antennas transmits millimeter-wide waves directly to the phone through beamforming.

Maybe this will be it, finally!





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