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Tech

Meta bans seven surveillance companies from its platforms

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Meta is honing down on their security, banning several surveillance companies from its platforms.

The social media organisation says seven companies targeted Meta users by creating fake accounts, befriending targets and using other deceitful methods.

50,000 users are expected to be notified about the malicious activities.

Human rights activists, government critics, celebrities, journalists and ordinary people were among the unsuspected targets across over 100 countries.

1,500 accounts on Instagram and Facebook were linked to these “surveillance-for-hire” companies that were gathering information on people.

Meta’s head of security policy Nathaniel Gleicher says “each of these actors rely on networks of fake accounts on our platforms that are used to deceive users and mislead them”.

WhatsApp was also used by some firms to install spyware and other malware.

“The goal is to spy on people or snoop on them without them knowing about it,” Mr Gleicher says.

Natasha is an Associate Producer at ticker NEWS with a Bachelor of arts from Monash University. She has previously worked at Sky News Australia and Monash University as an Online Content Producer.

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News

Ford’s all-electric plan for Europe proves too challenging to achieve by 2030

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Ford has revised its plan to go fully electric in Europe by 2030, admitting it was too ambitious.

Originally aiming to transition entirely to electric vehicles, the automaker now plans to continue producing some internal combustion engine vehicles alongside electric ones.

Mike Costello from Cox Automotive joins for the latest. #featured

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News

Major Microsoft outage shuts down airlines, news and cloud servers worldwide

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A widespread Microsoft outage is affecting Australia’s supermarkets, banks and telecommunications companies.

A widespread Microsoft outage is affecting Australia’s supermarkets, banks, telecommunications companies.

There are also reports of outages in Japan and the United States.

The ongoing widespread outage is reportedly related to US-based cybersecurity provider CrowdStrike. Its ‘Falcon sensor’ is installed on many business computers to gather security data.

In a statement to Ticker News, StickmanCyber said:

“Multiple StickmanCyber security engineering and our 24×7/365 security operations teams across the country support reports that this outage is related to a CrowdStrike update. 
 
“It is our understanding that any business running versions 7.15 and 7.16 are affected by the outage, but 7.17 seems to be ok. We are waiting on official advisory from CrowdStrike on these findings but doing our best to help affected customers. It’s a lesson to always update your software, but obviously this is an extreme example. IT security tools are all designed to ensure that companies can continue to operate in the worst-case scenario of a data breach, so to be the root cause of a global IT outage is an unmitigated disaster.
 
“Crowdstrike support is offering a workaround to customers. It claims users may be able to fix the issue by booting windows in safe mode or in the Windows Recovery Environment and deleting a file named “C-00000291*.sys”.   

“CrowdStrike is aware of reports of crashes on Windows hosts related to the Falcon sensor,” the company said in a statement on its website.

“Symptoms include hosts experiencing a bugcheck\blue screen error related to the Falcon sensor. Our engineering teams are actively working to resolve this issue and there is no need to open a support ticket.

“Status updates will be posted below [on the Microsoft websit€0 as we have more information to share, including when the issue is resolved.”

Laptops down

Thousands of users across the world reported problems with Microsoft services to Downdector.com, a website that tracks service disruptions.

Microsoft laptops suddenly restarted across Australia on Friday afternoon.

Outage website Downdetector shows issues across companies including NAB, Bendigo Bank, Telstra, CBA, Google.

Microsoft response

As users take to social media to complain, Microsoft reported a service outage for its Microsoft 365 apps and services, affecting businesses and users across the world.

“We’re investigating an issue impacting users ability to access various Microsoft 365 apps and services,” Microsoft 365 Status said on X early Friday.

Microsoft didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment.

Frontier airlines

 

The outage forced low-cost airline Frontier to cancel some flights. “Our systems are currently impacted by a Microsoft outage, which is also affecting other companies,” Frontier said in a statement. “We appreciate your patience.” The carrier said it would offer refunds to affected passengers.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Frontier asked it to pause the airline’s departures across the U.S. Thursday night. The ground stop was later lifted. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It said it is “observing a positive trend in service availability” as it continues to mitigate the problem.

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Money

Netflix expands use of ads despite slow subscriber growth

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Netflix is intensifying its efforts to introduce an ad-supported tier amidst a plateau in subscriber growth.

The streaming giant hopes to attract new users and boost revenue by offering a cheaper alternative that includes advertisements.

This move marks a significant shift from its traditional ad-free model, reflecting Netflix’s response to competitive pressures and evolving consumer preferences.

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