The Sizzle - Issue 1045

Thursday 23rd January, 2020

In This Issue

  • Saudi’s hacked Jeff Bezos phone via WhatsApp, successfully finding compromising info it leaked

  • Long term Sonos customers upset that their gear is being made obsolete in May

  • Another day, another massive database left wide open for hackers to copy and use against us

  • Easy ways to opt-out of data sharing or delete an internet account

  • Cheap VentraIP webhosting & domain name, Kogan 75" 4K TV, 5c photo prints, Sims 4 expansions, UniFi Dream Machine, 128GB 7th-gen iPad


News

Saudi’s hacked Jeff Bezos phone via WhatsApp, successfully finding compromising info it leaked

An investigation into the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has found that Jeff Bezos had his phone hacked by Saudi Arabian spies prior to Khashoggi's murder. Back in April 2018, Bezos and Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, swapped phone numbers at a dinner. A month later, Bezos received a WhatsApp message from the Crown Prince's number containing an encrypted video file that had malware attached and infected his phone. I'm sure it's not a coincidence that not long after his phone was hacked, text messages were published in the National Enquirier between him and his girlfriend, that lead to his divorce. Why would Saudi Arabia target Bezos? Kompromat to use against him and the Washington Post.

Long term Sonos customers upset that their gear is being made obsolete in May

Sonos sent out an email to customers saying support for "legacy" products will end soon, which isn't that bad in and of itself - some of this stuff is over a decade old - what people have a beef with is the passive aggressive threat that if you keep these older units going alongside more modern Sonos gear, the newer Sonos stuff will also not receive updates. Sonos claims the older products have been "stretched to their technical limits in terms of memory and processing power", which is why they can't get updates - but couldn't they just reduce the feature set or something to keep them working? It seems wasteful to have to stop using a perfectly nice sounding speaker just because they can't take on new features the owners never had in the first place.

Another day, another massive database left wide open for hackers to copy and use against us

A database containing 250 million Microsoft customer service and support records was left hanging out in the open, its dick in the wind, totally nude, between the 5th and 31st of December 2019. The records contained "case numbers and logs of conversations between Microsoft support agents and customers worldwide, from 2005 to December last year". Microsoft reckons there's no personally identifiable information in there and that this happened due to a misconfiguration of security settings, as usual. It says a lot that Microsoft, one of the world's largest tech companies, couldn't even get the settings right. Here’s Microsoft’s official statement on the issue.


Not News

Easy ways to opt-out of data sharing or delete an internet account

Want to delete some internet account you are no longer using but can't be fucked wading through support documents and settings to find out how to actually delete the bastard (not pause, not archive, delete)? Just Delete Me is what you're after. Type in the name of a service (or use the Chrome extension) and it'll tell you how to make it look like you were never there in the first place. On a smaller scale, there's Simple Opt Out - a list of ways to opt out of data sharing with 3rd parties with various internet services. It shouldn't be this hard to protect some privacy, but here we are.


Bargains


🎶 Reptilia - The Strokes

😁 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.

The Sizzle is created on Wathaurong land and acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay my respect to them and their cultures and to elders both past and present.​