Meanwhile... On The Internet...
If we're being honest, we were expecting to revisit the subject of the Mirai botnet on this page... and here we are, covering the news that customers of Hull's KCOM ( tinyurl.com/MMnet43a), UK ISPs Talk Talk and The Post Office, Germany's Deutsche Telecom ( tinyurl.com/MMnet43b) and Ireland's Eir all fell foul of the the loT powered blighter last week ( tinyurl.com/MMnet43c) in attacks that appear to target specific models of router that they use, mainly models by ZyXEL and D-Link, it would appear.
These more recent problems, however, appear to revolve around the worm, or a derivative of it spawned from the code that leaked recently ( tinyurl.com/ MMnet43d), trying to recruit said router hardware to join the thousands of internet-connected devices it can utilise in its DDoS attacks ( tinyurl.com/MMnet43e). This was seemingly confirmed in a Motherboard feature, which features text from an online 'chat' with one of the people claiming to be responsible for the problems ( tinyurl.com/MMnet43f). Indeed, the very civilsounding hacker (who operates under the name of 'BestBuy') 'apologised' (or rather apolo-gloated – you can have that) for having knocked thousands of Post Office customers offline, before going on to claim that they weren't targeted "intentionally", and that the ISP should give its customers better kit, as "too many requests freeze the sh***y routers" (the stars are ours).
However, like most idiots that try to sound civil while royally screwing people over, the person behind the renamed 'Annie' botnet (which, they claim, now has 4.8m devices within it, a figure that can't be confirmed as yet), is actually just engaging in textbook victim blaming ( tinyurl.com/MMnet43g). So thanks for that, BestBuy.
Afew issues back we turned our attention to the advice given by the US town Bangor, Maine ( tinyurl.com/MMnet41h) on how it's residents should react to being approached online by strange members of the opposite sex, and how they should avoid being scammed into 'performing' for said people in a way that could leave them open to blackmail.
At the time, we reported on the matter in much the same dry and humorous (we hoped) way that the cops' advice was given, while still hoping to make a point. However, recent news regarding the increase in the number of suicides apparently related to such 'Sextortion' cases has made us regret that tone more than a little ( tinyurl.com/MMnet43i).
As such, we would not only like to highlight that cases such as this have more than doubled, and been linked to four suicides in the UK, over the last year. We'd also make you all aware of the new advice the National Crime Agency has on the matter (paraphrased as 'Don't Panic, Don't Communicate, Don't Pay, Preserve Evidence': tinyurl.com/MMnet43j), and that – like our good friends at Den Of Geek pointed out last week ( tinyurl.com/ MMnet43k) – there are wonderful, nonjudgemental, people like the Police, the Revenge Porn helpline (www. revenge porn help line. org.uk ), Papyrus ( www.papyrus-uk.org), and of course the Samaritans ( tinyurl.com/MMnet43l) who are waiting to listen to you and help you deal with what may seem like a unresolvable situation.
Please, if you find yourself in a situation like this, or feel blighted by any issue that is pushing you towards considering suicide: talk to someone, and don't rush into anything. You really do matter. Be excellent to yourself.
If you pay any kind of attention to the world of tech news, you'll probably be aware of the ongoing code war between ad blocking software ( tinyurl.com/MMnet43m) and web-media companies that are reliant on advertising for their income, Facebook among them ( tinyurl.com/ MMnet43n). You'll also probably have worked out that its one of those tit-for-tat ( tinyurl.com/ MMnet43o) battles that nobody's ever really going to 'win' ( tinyurl.com/MMnet43p) until a detente is reached.
While it's been a subject of discussion here and in America, in Germany – to paraphrase The Who once more – it's been a 'legal matter, baby' ( tinyurl.com/MMnet43q). Specifically, Eyoe, the company behind the most popular example of such software, AdBlock Plus ( adblockplus.org), in court defending its product against attacks from some of its home-country's biggest media brands. So far, however, in the six cases it has faced, Eyeo has a 100% victory record ( tinyurl.com/MMnet43r), save for a partial win by publisher Axel Springer ( tinyurl.com/MMnet43s), which may force it to cease the operation of its controversial 'White Listing' scheme ( tinyurl.com/MMnet43t), which demands large media companies with more than 10m ad views per-month pay to the have their ads allowed through by the software – though, even then, only if they conform to AdBlock's strict 'Acceptable Ads' standards ( tinyurl.com/MMnet43u) and the users has selected that they are happy to see such ads.
While some see the scheme as a "protection racket" ( tinyurl. com/MMnet43v), Eyeo defends the scheme by saying that the money allows it to fight legal battles, like the one it's just won over Der Spiegel ( tinyurl.com/MMnet43w), that benefit all examples of such software, not just its own. Judging by the fact that several of the cases it has 'won' are, of course, going to appeal in higher courts, it's going to need that revenue going forward, one would suspect. As to whether there's a solution to the Ad Blocker issue in the long run, your guess is as good as ours to be fair.