Photo by Jingyi Wang on Unsplash

Google breaks Japan’s internet, DDoS botnets keep growing & central banks get interested in cryptocurrencies — Issue #24

Google breaks Japan’s internet, DDoS botnets keep growing and central banks get interested in cryptocurrencies.


🌍 Around the web

Google made a tiny error and it broke half the internet in Japan

It’s not been a good week for Google.

Last Friday, half the internet in the country suddenly shut down after the Big G accidentally botched a Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) around noon local time. The origin of the blunder was a number of falsely announced peer prefixes sent to Verizon.
Shortly after the faulty rerouting request went through, numerous users of internet providers NTT Communications and KDDI Corp. were unable to connect to the web — or experienced significantly slower surfing speeds.

Besides that big blunder, Google finally decided to comply with EU search demands to avoid more fines around their shopping search service.

The tech giant is also is coming after critics in academia and journalism and people are not happy.

Facebook says Pages that regularly share false news won’t be able to buy ads

Facebook’s latest move against fake / false news.

The company is announcing today, involves stopping Pages that regularly share these stories from buying any Facebook ads at all, regardless of whether or not the ad includes a disputed link.
Facebook was criticized last year for its role in helping to spread of fake/false news. (The company is using the term “false news” for now — “fake news” has become heavily politicized and almost meaningless.) Product Director Rob Leathern said the company has been trying to fight back in three ways — ending the economic incentive to post false news stories, slowing the spread of those stories and helping people make more informed decisions when they see a false story.

China doubles down on real-name registration laws, forbidding anonymous online posts

China’s censorship strikes again, now you won’t be able to leave anonymous comments, you’ll have to use your real name.

According to the new regulations, Internet companies and service providers are responsible for requesting and verifying real names from users when they register and must immediately report illegal content to the authorities. (…)
Furthermore, a new cybersecurity law that went into effect at the beginning of June requires tech companies to store important data on servers within China. While this is supposedly meant to protect sensitive information, it can also make it easier for the government to track and persecute Internet users.

🤖 Technology / AI / Blockchain

Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index

Interesting aspect of the bitcoin industry: check out the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index.

Ever since its inception Bitcoin’s trust-minimizing consensus has been enabled by its proof-of-work algorithm. The machines performing the “work” are consuming huge amounts of energy while doing so. The Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index was created to provide insight into this amount, and raise awareness on the unsustainability of the proof-of-work algorithm.

Central Banks Can’t Ignore the Cryptocurrency Boom

Cryptocurrencies success is becoming too big for central banks to ignore.

Until recently, officials at major central banks were happy to watch as pioneers in the field progressed by trial and error, safe in the knowledge that it was dwarfed by roughly $5 trillion circulating daily in conventional currency markets. But now as officials turn an eye toward the increasingly pervasive technology, the risk is that they’re reacting too late to both the pitfalls and the opportunities presented by digital coinage.
“Central banks cannot afford to treat cyber currencies as toys to play with in a sand box,” said Andrew Sheng, chief adviser to the China Banking Regulatory Commission and Distinguished Fellow of the Asia Global Institute, University of Hong Kong. “It is time to realize that they are the real barbarians at the gate.”

WireX DDoS Botnet: An Army of Thousands of Hacked Android SmartPhones

After armies of IoT devices, it’s Android phones’ turn to spread chaos around the internet.

Dubbed WireX, detected as “Android Clicker,” the botnet network primarily includes infected Android devices running one of the hundreds of malicious apps installed from Google Play Store and is designed to conduct massive application layer DDoS attacks.
The “WireX” botnet had already infected over 120,000 Android smartphones at its peak earlier this month, and on 17th August, researchers noticed a massive DDoS attack (primarily HTTP GET requests) originated from more than 70,000 infected mobile devices from over 100 countries.

News on the IoT front are not better: a list of more than 1,700 valid passwords to access devices just leaked.

Security researchers have unearthed a sprawling list of login credentials that allows anyone on the Internet to take over home routers and more than 1,700 “Internet of things” devices and make them part of a destructive botnet.(…) It contains user names and passwords for 8,233 unique IP addresses, 2,174 of which were still running open telnet servers as of Friday morning.

⚙️ Development / Design / DIY projects

Rapid release at massive scale at Facebook

See how development and deployment processes scale at Facebook.

Over time, the software industry has come up with several ways to deliver code faster, safer, and with better quality. Many of these efforts center on ideas such as continuous integration, continuous delivery, agile development, DevOps, and test-driven development. All these methodologies have one common goal: to enable developers to get their code out quickly and correctly to the people who use it, in safe, small, incremental steps.

Getting started with Puppeteer and Chrome Headless for Web Scraping

Puppeteer is getting some traction, so here’s a tutorial to get started with it.

In this guide we will scrape GitHub, login to it, extract and save emails of users using Chrome Headless, Puppeteer, Node and MongoDB.

How Uploadcare Built a Stack That Handles 350M File API

See how Uploadcare has built an infinitely scalable infrastructure by leveraging AWS.

Building on top of AWS allows us to process 350M daily requests for file uploads, manipulations, and deliveries. When we started in 2011 the only cloud alternative to AWS was Google App Engine which was a no-go for a rather complex solution we wanted to build. We also didn’t want to buy any hardware or use co-locations.