Snap! Hard-coded AWS credentials, Exchange Online basic auth, USB4 v2.0, & more!

Snap! Hard-coded AWS credentials, Exchange Online basic auth, USB4 v2.0, & more!

Your daily dose of tech news, in brief.

First released on September 2, 1993, W3 Catalog was one of the world’s first (primitive) search engines. I actually did not know much about it (don’t believe I ever used it), but there is an interesting write-up on the W3 Catalog History on the Software Composition Group website.

While it is not until tomorrow, International Bacon Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated on the first Saturday in September each year. And while bacon lovers may dispute what day and month Bacon Day really is, I just find that as more opportunities to have bacon!

You need to hear this.

Over 1,800 Android and iOS Apps Found Leaking Hard-Coded AWS Credentials

Symantec’s Threat Hunter team is raising the alarm about mobile app developers relying on insecure practices that expose Amazon Web Services (AWS) credentials because they contain valid AWS access tokens that allow access to private AWS cloud services.

According to The Hacker News:

Researchers have identified 1,859 apps across Android and iOS containing hard-coded Amazon Web Services (AWS) credentials, posing a major security risk.

“Over three-quarters (77%) of the apps contained valid AWS access tokens allowing access to private AWS cloud services,” Symantec’s Threat Hunter team, a part of Broadcom Software, said in a report shared with The Hacker News.

Interestingly, a little more than 50% of the apps were found using the same AWS tokens found in other apps maintained by other developers and companies, highlighting a supply chain issue with serious implications.

Microsoft will disable Exchange Online basic auth next month

A good reminder as we’re coming to the final countdown for Exchange Online basic authentication.

According to BleepingComputer:

The company again asked customers to toggle off basic auth in September 2021 and May 2022 after seeing that many of them were yet to move their clients and apps to Modern Authentication.

“Since our first announcement nearly three years ago, we’ve seen millions of users move away from basic auth, and we’ve disabled it in millions of tenants to proactively protect them. We’re not done yet though, and unfortunately usage isn’t yet at zero. Despite that, we will start to turn off basic auth for several protocols for tenants not previously disabled,” the Exchange Team said today.

“Starting October 1st, we will start to randomly select tenants and disable basic authentication access for MAPI, RPC, Offline Address Book (OAB), Exchange Web Services (EWS), POP, IMAP, Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), and Remote PowerShell.”

USB-C to hit 80Gbps under updated USB4 v. 2.0 spec

The naming conventions for USB have caused some confusion in the past, especially with USB-C. Now there is another one to add to the list; USB4 Version 2.0. The upside is it boasts up to 80Gbps, doubling the speeds of the current USB4 specification.

According to The Register:

80Gbps is plenty of capacity, but the spec isn’t designed to devote it all to a single connection. Instead the plan is to share out the 80Gbps among different devices connected to a hub or dock. Which is a worthy outcome, given that system builders are increasingly offering PCs with just a couple of USB-C connectors that are suggested as the way to handle video and external storage, a decision that all-but-necessitates the acquisition of a dock or hub.

Further work on the spec will see protocol updates developed to enable higher performance USB 3.2, DisplayPort and PCI Express data tunnelling to best use the higher available bandwidth.

It may be some time before USB4 v2.0 lands in a device you can fondle: the Promoter Group says the spec and activity around its debut is intended for developers.

But there’s more going on in the world universe than that.

Mysterious rings in new James Webb Space Telescope image puzzle astronomers

WR 140, a Wolf-Rayet star that is around 5,600 light-years away, is surrounded by what appear to be concentric rings of light radiating outward and look like something taken straight out of a sci-fi movie.

According to

The image, taken in July, was released on Twitter by citizen scientist Judy Schmidt, prompting a torrent of comments and head-scratching. It shows a star known as WR140 surrounded by regular ripple-like circles that gradually fade away. The circles, however, are not perfectly round, but have a somewhat square-like feel to them, prompting speculations about possible alien origins.

“I think it’s just nature doing something that is simple, but when we look at it from only one viewpoint it seems impossible, at first, to understand that it is a natural phenomenon,” Schmidt told in an email. “Why is it shaped the way it is? Why is it so regular?”

Good questions! You’ll have to read the article to learn more about it.

And here is another story based on images from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) as it has captured its first direct image of a planet located outside of our solar system of the exoplanet known as HIP 65426 b.

According to Space Daily:

For the first time, astronomers have used the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope to take a direct image of an exoplanet. The exoplanet is a gas giant, meaning it has no rocky surface and could not be habitable. The image, as seen through four different light filters, shows how Webb’s powerful infrared gaze can easily capture worlds beyond our Solar System, pointing the way to future observations that will reveal more information than ever before about exoplanets.

The exoplanet in Webb’s image, called HIP 65426 b, is about six to eight times the mass of Jupiter. It is young as planets go – about 15 to 20 million years old, compared to our 4.5-billion-year-old Earth.

And you can’t not know this.

What to Stream This Weekend

It is not just the weekend, but the long weekend for some. While the weather is getting a bit more bearable here, I do anticipate doing some streaming and gaming. And PCMag has you covered if you’re looking for something new to watch.

According to PCMag:

This weekend big-screen movies like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars get new small-screen series, two love stories vie for your affections, and Elvis shows up.

I will probably give The Rings of Power a try. What about you?

What was the most interesting story today? Vote in our poll below. Also, check out previous editions of Snap! to stay in the know on important and entertaining tech and science news.

This content was originally published here.