Enterprise

Apple sues partner for reselling gadgets that were supposed to be recycled

The partner did technically “re-use” them…

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Apple is suing former partner GEEP Canada for reselling 103,845 iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches, instead of recycling them. Yup, they were supposed to destroy those devices but ended up reselling them. This means the company not only violated its partner agreement with Apple but also stole from it.

GEEP Canada is now a part of Quantum Lifecycle Partners and admitted that 11,766 lbs (5336 kg) of devices left its facility without being destroyed. According to The Logic’s report, the recycling company denies any wrongdoing but accepted that there was a case of theft. It has filed a separate suit claiming three employees stole the devices on the company’s behalf.

Apple seeks a full recovery of the profits earned via the theft, along with an additional CD$ 31 million (US$ 22.7 million). The Cupertino giant also doesn’t believe GEEP Canada’s claim about the stolen phones because it says the three employees were part of the senior management.

It has been mentioned that Apple sent GEEP Canada some half a million 500,000 iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches between January 2015 and December 2017. And, around 18 percent or 103,845 of all those devices were discovered by Apple to be active with functional wireless coverage.

This proved that the phones hadn’t been destroyed and were being used actively. The only way these phones, that were destined for recycling, ended up in a consumer’s hands is via internal theft.

Apple has always been very serious about its carbon footprint, in-line with many other tech companies like Google. The smartphone maker encourages users to submit their phones for recycling and not dump them in a waste bin. Phones contain a lot of precious metals and semiconductors that are potentially harmful to the environment and can be reused in a newer phone.

Read Also: Introducing: Daisy, Apple’s newest recycling robot

Enterprise

Huawei praises American technology, reevaluates own lineup

In rare public letter

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Mate 40 Pro

For a while now, Huawei has stayed silent following the recent slew of American bans. However, amid the silence, the Chinese company has suffered endless misery in the hands of the Trump administration. Now, under a new president, Huawei might finally get a well-deserved reprieve. In a rare public address, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei praises American technology and is reevaluating his own product lineup.

In the public letter, written sometime in June last year and reported by Reuters, Ren called out the Trump administration’s actions for creating “a great mismatch between [Huawei’s] strategy and [their] abilities.” The heavily restrictive policies have, in turn, forced Huawei to reevaluate their lineup, including cutting some products and some staff.

Since the letter was penned last year, Huawei’s cost-cutting might have already come to pass after selling Honor away. The company hasn’t eradicated much of its product lineup, though. Huawei is still planning to launch its tentpole series soon.

Despite criticizing Trump’s actions, Ren also praised the caliber of American technology as a “beacon of technology” and something to be emulated. The public praise makes the timing a bit conspicuous. There is a possibility that Huawei is trying to court the Biden administration into laxer policies going forward. Before the Trump administration ended, the ex-president landed a farewell blow, reportedly revoking some already accepted applications for operating licenses. With a new administration, Huawei is enjoying some renewed hope.

SEE ALSO: Huawei buys 90 patents from BlackBerry

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Enterprise

OnePlus and OPPO are merging research departments

A new era for R&D

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OnePlus Nord N10 5G

Everyone knows about the relationship between OPPO and OnePlus. Last year, renowned OnePlus CEO Pete Lau controversially switched sides over to OPPO, despite retaining some form of responsibility with his former company. Both companies have evolved side-by-side for a while. Today, they are taking a step further. Now confirmed by both companies, both companies have merged research departments.

Some rumors about the merge have emerged late last year. However, at the time, the rumors were just that — rumors. Now, it’s 100 percent confirmed.

In a statement sent to Android Authority, a OnePlus spokesperson has confirmed that both companies are integrating their research efforts into OPLUS, an overseeing holding company now led by Lau. Now, both companies are in a joint research partnership with one another.

However, the OnePlus statement also assures users that all involved parties will continue to operate independently despite the partnership. However, given that they are now working together, all companies under the BKK flag can now share new innovations and features with one another.

At the very least, the partnership cements a fact that was formerly known anyway: that OPPO and OnePlus share a strong relationship between themselves. At the moment, no one knows what the partnership will create, but it’s a good sight, at least.

SEE ALSO: OnePlus CEO Pete Lau will allegedly move to OPPO, rumor says

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Computers

Cybersecurity threats to lookout for in 2021 and beyond

Threats to intelligent edge computing and 5G-enabled devices will increase

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Illustration/Sketchify via Canva

Researchers from Fortinet have identified several cybersecurity threats for 2021 that will greatly impact both the consumer and enterprise sector. By 2021, cybersecurity threats on intelligent edge computing and 5G-enabled devices will double as most companies continue to implement remote working schemes.

A new wave of cybersecurity threats will also arise due to advances in computing. These threats have the potential to disrupt a large number of businesses and consumers in the future. Thus, preparation and eventual mitigation are key to stemming the potential disruption by these threats.

Threats on the intelligent edge are on the rise

Intelligent edge computing is more popular than ever thanks to remote work with most employees making use of personal and interconnected devices to access the company network. However, intelligent edge computing presents new threats as cybercriminals exploit these “edges” (i.e. connected IoTs, personal devices) thanks to a decentralized approach by companies.

These threats can run the gamut from ransomware to malware. As intelligent edge computing booms, cybercriminals can specifically target edge devices with malware that could disrupt corporate networks. They can design malware that could understand usage patterns, adapt accordingly, and attack networks with little to no risk of suspicion. Moreover, sophisticated malware may spread through networks to propagate additional attack commands or disrupt more networks and devices.

Ransomware on the rise

This 2021, consumers and businesses should be more concerned with social engineering-based attacks and ransomware. One of the most common forms of social engineering-based attacks is phishing. In phishing, cybercriminals send fake emails supposedly from legitimate entities coercing users into sending their personal information. For example, a user may receive a fake bank email notice warning of impending account closure but contains malicious links instead.

Illustration/Sketchify via Canva

These attacks may even lock users from their personal data, holding them hostage until they pay a hefty amount of cash. Ransomware attacks do just that, affecting not only consumers but also the enterprise sector. As more businesses rely on edge devices for critical operations, the potential for a future ransomware attack rises significantly posing more risks than ever before.

Human lives are also at stake with ransomware attacks that blow out of control. An example of this happened last year when several hospitals across the US were hit by a variant of the Ryuk ransomware. As a result, several hospitals have to transfer their patients to other facilities since their systems cannot perform patient monitoring and other critical operations.

Advances in crypto mining and attacks on satellite-based networks

Bringing artificial intelligence and machine learning could also open up advances in crypto mining. While not inherently bad, cybercriminals can infect consumer devices more easily and gain access to system resources. When abused, crypto mining could potentially impact any device and affect users’ experience.

Meanwhile, network operators should prepare for more advanced attacks as they become reliant on satellite-based systems. Cybercriminals could infect a satellite base station and propagate malware to connected devices. Satellite-based networks could become a conduit for distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks in this way.

As an example, a cybercriminal could hijack a base station and inject scripts into other devices. In turn, infected devices could run malicious commands that could disrupt the connection of other networks.

Quantum computing, preparing for present and future threats

Quantum computers are the next big thing in computing, relying on qubits instead of the traditional binary bit present in all devices today. Research in quantum computing has made significant progress over the years, with working quantum computers not too far on the horizon.

Quantum computers, however, could also pose a new problem in the future. In the future, these can break traditional encryption algorithms rendering encryption moot. Fortinet advises businesses to adapt accordingly by using the principles of crypto agility.

Illustration/Sketchify via Canva

In the meantime, businesses can readily adapt to these threats through a careful combination of technology, people, training, and partnerships. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are also key technologies for preparing against and mitigating future cybersecurity threats. Businesses can train AI to spot attack patterns and identify threats even before they become a reality.

Partnerships are also vital in stemming the tide against cybercriminals. The enterprise sector, for example, could partner with law enforcement agencies for information sharing and dismantling of malicious networks.

Cybersecurity threats are here to stay

Connected devices have transformed society by enabling instant communication and richer user experiences. However, it also opens up new threats from cybercriminals willing to exploit and gather sensitive data.

There’s an old adage that says that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The same adage applies all the more in cybersecurity. Threats are here to stay, so consumers and businesses should prepare and mitigate potential impacts as much as possible. Thankfully, it is easy to stay safe and protected by following best practices.

SEE ALSO: 6 tips to make your phone more secure and private

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