Crypto-cash investors duped in funding scam

BitcoinImage copyright Getty Images Image caption The popularity of Bitcoin kicked off a rush to mint novel e-currencies

Cyber-thieves are believed to have stolen about $500,000 (£390,000) in the Ethereum crypto-currency, with an investment scam.

The thieves hijacked the website of finance security start-up Enigma and posted messages saying it was about to launch its own currency.

Many people keen to cash in transferred ethereum to the thieves' account.

In response, Enigma shut down its website and adopted stronger security policies to keep hackers out.

In a statement posted to its Twitter account[1], Enigma said the thieves had carried out the scam after taking over the company's web domain, mailing lists and Slack messaging service account.

By posting a message on the Enigma website and sending notices out via Slack and email, the malicious hackers convinced many people the security company was seeking early investors.

The attackers played on the fact that early next month Enigma plans to run a crypto-cash-based fundraising exercise to bankroll its expansion.

The criminal hackers asked for investments to be paid in ethereum and are believed to have amassed about $500,000 worth before the scam was spotted and shut down.

Enigma said none of its infrastructure had been used for the scam and none of its funds had been stolen by the attackers.

It said it had now regained control of its compromised accounts.

It has also adopted stronger security measures internally to prevent hijacks.

Enigma has also stopped using Slack and moved to the secure messaging program Telegram.

"We've moved up a number of critical security steps and taken additional measures to protect the community going forward," Tor Bair, a spokesman for Enigma, told Wired[2].

"We're now very well aware of the potential threats and are taking no chances."

Enigma added it was helping to investigate the scam and who was behind it with the help of other crypto-cash and security companies....

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Samsung's Bixby rolled out in 200 countries

Samsung S8 phonesImage copyright Getty Images

Samsung's voice-controlled digital assistant Bixby is being rolled out in 200 countries from today.

It is Samsung's equivalent of Apple's Siri and Google's Assistant - which is pre-installed already in Samsung phones as they run the Android operating system.

Bixby will initially be available in only two languages - US English and South Korean.

The launch had been delayed since April.

Samsung did not give a reason at the time but early testers of a limited demo model - including the BBC - had reported that it failed to understand commands.

The firm's latest device, the Galaxy Note 8, is due to be launched on 23 August.

What makes Bixby different from other voice assistants is that it is deeply integrated with functionalities unique to Samsung devices, said Ian Fogg, analyst at IHS Markit.

"Samsung always differentiates its phones by adding a lot of its own features to Android," he said.

These include tailored support for its own hardware such as the curved edge screen, stylus, VR support and camera.

Mr Fogg added that over time Bixby could also be included in other Samsung products which do not run on the Android operating system.

"A lot of people believe one voice agent will become the sole agent everyone will use," he said of the rivalry among the tech giants over digital assistants.

"But in life we don't have one single expert that we trust for everything.It might be they are good at different things.

"For the user it's just as easy to say Alexa, or Cortana, or Siri - there is no barrier to choosing an alternative voice agent."

However, he added that the technology will only be successful if it is dependable.

"To make it work you have to be able to understand speech reliably.If you don't do that nothing else happens.That should be a given"....

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China relaunches world's fastest train

A high-speed train runs past the accident site of the earlier collision of two trains on July 24, 2011 in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province of ChinaImage copyright Getty Images Image caption A high-speed train crash led to an investigation which found widespread corruption in the railway ministry

China's fleet of high-speed trains is set once again to become the world's fastest.

The top speed of the Fuxing or "rejuvenation" bullet trains was capped at 300km/h (186mph) in 2011 following two crashes that killed 40 people.

From next week, some of the trains will once again be allowed to run at a higher speed of about 350 km/h.

The higher maximum speed should cut about an hour off the journey time between Beijing and Shanghai.

By 21 September, seven of China's bullet trains will be permitted to travel at the increased maximum speed.

To mark the return of the higher-speed service, the trains have been named "Fuxing" - Chinese for rejuvenation - in line with a national government slogan and development plan.

All the trains have been fitted with an improved monitoring system that will slow and stop the trains automatically in the event of an emergency.

The nation's rail operator is believed to be looking in to ways to upgrade track to let the engines run even faster - perhaps at speeds approaching 400km/h.China is believed to have about 19,960km (12,400 miles) of high-speed rail tracks.

The 2011 crashes of the high-speed trains led to a state investigation into the railways ministry which uncovered widespread corruption.

The probe meant many officials were charged with corruption and abuse of power.Two senior officials were given suspended death sentences....

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DJI drone owners told to update or be grounded

DJI Spark droneImage copyright DJI Image caption The smaller Spark drone is popular with consumers

DJI Spark drones will not fly after 1 September unless owners apply a mandatory software update, the device's maker has warned.

DJI said the update to the small drone's core software fixes some flight control issues suffered by the gadget.

The drone maker said it had warned owners about the deadline so they could avoid having their craft grounded.

But the mandatory update has caused some owners to question the control DJI retains over their devices.

In a statement, DJI said[1] the update would improve how the Spark manages power.It also helps it work with smart spectacles that give owners an immersive view of what the drone films.

It added:"If the firmware of either the aircraft or the battery is not updated by September 1, Spark will not be able to take off."

The update is now available via the Go 4 management app used to configure and fly the craft as well as DJI's Assistant 2 desktop software.

A spokesman said it issued the warning so it could be sure Spark owners took the chance to update their drone before the deadline so craft are not grounded.

Gary Mortimer, writing on drone news site SUAS News[2], said DJI's demand that people apply the software had caused "consternation".

He said performance fixes bestowed by the software were welcome but DJI's ability to throw a kill switch to stop the device working was more "questionable".

Earlier this month, the US Army ban serving soldiers from using DJI drones saying their use posed[3] "operational risks".In response, DJI drones were given a privacy mode that restricted who saw the video they shot....

References

  1. ^ In a statement, DJI said (www.mynewsdesk.com)
  2. ^ writing on drone news site SUAS News (www.suasnews.com)
  3. ^ saying their use posed (www.bbc.co.uk)

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