ITP.net’s tech 2017 round-up: August
More hacks, Apple leaks its own firmware, Avaya shows progress and Saudi Arabia app becomes a hit
Another hack took place at the start of August and this time it was HBO. The attacks compromised HBO's computer systems stealing 1.5 terabytes of data, including Game of Thrones material along with upcoming episodes from Ballers and Room 104. The cybercriminals emailed several journalists informing them of the leak but also promising more leaks will emerge soon. Soon after the cybercriminals demanded $6m to prevent any more leaks.
Apple blundered into August by accidentally unveiling the firmware for its HomePod smart speaker which contained code for its iPhones, which resulted in developers taking a closer look. From the code, there was reference to ‘BKFaceDetect' which was assumed to be linked to a Biometric Kit, along with links to facial recognition software and an infrared camera. This turned out to be Apple's Face ID feature.
Seven months after Avaya Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US, the vendor had revealed that it had entered into a Plan Support Agreement (PSA) with holders of over 50% of its first lien debt, including certain members of the Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Creditors. Avaya also stated that it had filed an amended plan of reorganisation and disclosure statement reflecting the terms of these agreements.
VAT, VAT, VAT became a hot topic as rules and regulations has been released by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA). Khalid Ali Al Bustani, director-general of the FTA revealed that organisations would be able to register from mid-September onwards, in time for January 2018.
Towards the end of the month, the FTA launched a website to help businesses prepare for the VAT introduction. The new website featured information on VAT and other tax legislation, as well as advice and guidance for businesses.
Saudi Arabian developer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq created Sarahah, an app designed to let users share their deepest thoughts, with a key feature that it is all anonymous. The app soon became a craze and reached #1 in over 30 countries. However the app received divided attention, as some called the platform a place for cyberbullying, but Tawfiq insisted Sarahah was to improve relationships without having to expose an identity.