Weekly Technology Round-Up #4


Security Shield Security

Windows Advanced Threat Protection adds Sandbox Capability

Microsoft have released their Advanced Threat Protection evaluation lab, which is designed to take the pain out of simulating end-to-end attacks whilst carrying out product evaluations.  The lab guides you through the process of setting up a simulation environment, with the latest versions of Microsoft Windows and Office pre-installed and comes with a number of pre-configures scenarios you can run through, as well as allowing you to create your own.

The whole process of setting up an evaluation lab can be completed in less than an hour and provides a number of metrics you can measure the test outcomes against.

a complete guide to setting up a lab and running test scenarios can be found on the Microsoft Security website here.

Tools Engineering

Georgia Institute Develop Technology to Drive Wheelchairs with your Brain

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of technology have developed an interface that could allow wearers to control devices with the power fo their mind.  The technology uses nanomembrane electrodes and flexible electronics, combined with deep learning capabilities.  This in turn removes the need for bulky electrode caps and a mass of wires, to create a fully portable brain-machine interface.

In it’s simplest terms, the deep learning technology is used to classify pictures of common objects by analysing the EEG signals triggered when these pictures are displayed.  From these results scientists were able to determine which areas of the brain are best suited for the brain-machine interface to focus on.

Through the deep learning algorithm, along with real-time data classification, scientists we able to use the bran-machine interface to control a wheelchair, a small robotic vehicle and a computer.  In the long run this technology may help give some freedom back to persons with physical impairments.

This was first reported in Nature Machine Intelligence magazine.

Social Social Media

Facebook Suspends Tens of Thousands of Apps

Facebook has confirmed it has suspended tens of thousands of applications from it’s developer platform as part of the ongoing response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal that engulfed the company back in early 2018. Surprisingly, these banned applications were created by just over 400 separate developers, mostly due them no longer complying with Facebooks own privacy policies.

Facebook has also confirmed that it is investigating over a million more applications, and has also filed legal action against other companies that have either refused to assist with their investigation or were found to have deliberately infected users phones with malware to scrape data form the Facebook app.

Whilst it’s a step in the right direction after the crisis, Facebook is still under the threat of being broken up as several anti-trust and anti-privacy investigations are launched against them.

Security Shield Ransomware

GandCrab Gang Return

SecureWorks have confirmed that the REvil ransomware, first identified back in April of this year, is likely associated to the same threat group that were behind the GandCrab ransomware attack.  REvil, also known as Sodinokibi is distributed via malicious spam e-mails and RDP attacks, as well as other attack vectors.  Once on an infected machine, it follows a similar execution pattern as other ransomware attacks, by obtaining account privileges, terminating running processed, deleting shadow copies and then encrypting the files on the machine, before then changing the desktop to demand payment of a random to decrypt the files.

Question And something a bit different…

Robot Dog Goes on Sale

Boston Dynamics have confirmed that their robot dog, Spot is now on sale.  The initial sale is described as an ‘early adopter’ sale, and it is believed the cost of the dog may be as much as the price of a luxury car.

The ‘early-adopter’ sale is specifically targeted at companies who can put ‘Spot’ into a number of real-world scenarios to test the capabilities of the robot dog outside of the laboratory.  Spot is capable of a number of manoeuvres, being able to walk, trot and climb stairs, whilst being packed with hi-tech sensors and equipment.

Should you wish to purchase your own ‘Spot’ or find out more, you can visit the Boston Dynamics store here.


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