Reliving Some of the Top Tech Stories of 2019

On Episode 472 of the Waves of Tech, we continue with sharing some of our top tech stories from the year including the Equifax settlement terms, failed IPOs in the tech space, Amazon’s flops of the year, and FTC’s fine levied on Facebook. In other tech news, a new phishing email scheme is stealing your payment information from gas station systems. Ring’s Neighbors app was found to be leaking the precise location of each camera and allowed Gizmodo reporters to map out thousands of cameras across specific regions.

Reliving Some of the Top Tech Stories of 2019

Following suit from last week, we are highlighting another four tech stories that made major headlines in 2019. Much of what we talk about in recap news is often a bit unpleasant and frustrating because we find that tech companies are not being forthcoming with customers, deliberately hiding information, or not progressing with good company values.

  • Equifax data breach ended with a $700M settlement and victims receive no money
  • Uber & WeWork IPOs failed this year, perhaps signaling the end of high valued IPOs
  • Amazon’s HQ2 flops in New York & made headlines for warehouse working conditions
  • FTC fined Facebook $5 billion, yet no tangible change has taken place to date

Even Pumping Gas is Subject to Hacking

Most of us are familiar with gas pump skimmers – illegal card readers attached to payment terminals. This is a simple method for hackers to steal your debit and credit card information. Hackers are now stealing payment information by sending phishing emails to employees of gas stations and accessing the point-of-sale system directly. It never ends, does it?

  • Most gas stations have not upgraded to EMV systems due to high replacement costs
  • Visa and Mastercard have issues report to station owners on precautions to take
  • Emails containing malicious links install a Remote Access Trojan on the merchant’s network
  • Customers are faced with making choices of using debit and credit at their own risk

Ring’s Neighbors App is Causing Quite the Commotion

When you install a security system in your home, you want the piece of mind of protection and comfort. But when you find out that your video feeds and location are frequently shared with law enforcement agencies and that reporters can easily access your home addresses, the sense of security goes out the proverbial window.

  • Ring was hit hard when users heard about the cozy relationship with police agencies
  • A large surveillance system is now in place and owned by Amazon, Ring’s parent
  • Posts were seen with latitude and longitude up to six decimal points of precision
  • Questions continue to rise over privacy trade-offs and customer-driven demands

Resources & Links

Gas Station Point of Sale Hacking
Ring’s Hidden Data & Amazon’s Sprawl

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