U.S. Sanctions Turn up Heat but Huawei Serving European 5G Clients, Executive Says | Top News

ZURICH (Reuters) – Chinese telecom giant Huawei is finding it harder to counter U.S. sanctions designed to choke off its access to semiconductors but can continue to serve European 5G network clients, a senior European executive told an Austrian newspaper.

The world’s biggest maker of mobile telecommunications equipment and smartphones was still “looking for a solution” to help millions of Huawei phone users after Google

was banned from providing technical support for new Huawei phone models using mobile operating system Android.

“Since the U.S. sanctions last year, U.S. manufacturers of semiconductors are no longer allowed to supply us so our previous U.S. partners can no longer work with us. Since August it has become even more difficult,” Abraham Liu, Huwaei’s vice-president for Europe, told the Kurier paper.

He said Washington was “blackmailing” chipmakers into shunning ties with Huawei, which denies U.S. allegations that Huawei equipment could be used by Beijing for spying.

“Nevertheless, we are confident that we can continue to serve our European customers in the 5G sector because of many preparations and upfront investments with the most advanced technology,” Liu was quoted as saying without elaborating.

“As for private customers, cell phone owners, we see great difficulties. There are 90 million European Huawei users. Google is no longer allowed to work with Huawei, so Google will no longer publish updates for Huawei smartphones with the Android operating system,” he said. “We are still looking for a solution.”

Amid U.S. pressure to exclude the Chinese firm from supplying key telecoms equipment, Orange

and Proximus last week picked Nokia

to help build 5G networks in Belgium.

EU members have been stepping up scrutiny of so-called high-risk vendors. This subjects Huawei’s governance and technology to critical examination and is likely to lead other European operators to strip it from their networks,

Google might turn YouTube into a shopping website

YouTube already makes money through advertisements, YouTube Premium (to get rid of said advertisements), and memberships to specific channels. It looks like the company might be preparing to add general shopping functionality to the list, according to a new report.

Bloomberg reports that YouTube is asking creators to tag and track products featured in their videos, which will be linked to analytics and shopping tools from Google. The end goal is for Google to sell items directly through YouTube, instead of only advertising items from other sites. A YouTube spokesperson confirmed the company is testing the functionality with a handful of channels, but declined to share more details.

The most likely implementation of this feature would be based on Google Shopping, which is already tightly integrated with Search. Google Shopping is a unified storefront for thousands of retail shops large and small, including Best Buy, Target, Costco, and Overstock. However, it hasn’t quite reached full dominance — Walmart pulled out in 2019, and a few other large stores are missing from the list. Deep integration with YouTube (and the sales that could come along with that) might encourage more stores to sign up, though.


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Bank rules force staff to turn off NHS COVID-19 tracing app at work

By Iain Withers and Sinead Cruise

LONDON (Reuters) – Branch staff at some of Britain’s biggest banks say rules that require them to store phones in lockers while at work are putting them at undue risk of COVID-19 from colleagues and customers, as they cannot use the country’s tracing app.

Lloyds Banking Group <LLOY.L>, along with rival TSB, are among those advising employees to deactivate the NHS Track & Trace app during office hours, when they are not allowed to keep phones on their person.

Some banks ask staff and cashiers to store phones away to prevent leaks of sensitive customer data, although this is not formally required by regulator the Financial Conduct Authority.

Under current government guidelines, users of the NHS app are advised to disable bluetooth or pause the app when away from their phones to avoid false notifications.

Other companies have told staff to pause the app at work, including pharmaceuticals firm GSK <GSK.L>, which said its other safety measures were sufficient, the Guardian newspaper reported.

The BTU union, which represents staff working for Lloyds but is not recognised by the bank, said it had been contacted by dozens of staff unable to use the app, which has been downloaded by more than 14 million people.

One unnamed Lloyds employee who contacted the BTU said: “I live and work in a high-risk area so I am very concerned at being told that while I’m at work I have to suspend the NHS test and trace app… This defeats the object of track and trace.” 

Another said they were at risk as they had to conduct face-to-face meetings and due to the “blatant transgression of the social distancing rules by many customers”.

“Customers and staff have a right to know if they have come into contact with someone

Security firm: WarezTheRemote flaw could turn a Comcast remote into a listening device

Could your cable TV device spy on you? Vulnerability found and patched in Comcast TV remote.


Security researchers at Guardicore reverse-engineered the firmware update process for a popular Comcast remote to turn the device into a spying tool.

Image: Guardicore

Security firm Guardicore reverse-engineered the firmware update process for Comcast’s XR11 remote to take control of the device. Researchers interrupted the process to turn the voice-control element of the remote into a listening device.

Once the malicious firmware update was in place, researchers used a 16dBi antenna and were able to listen to conversations inside a house from about 65 feet away.

The WarezTheRemote attack could have affected the 18 million remotes in use around the US. After Guardicore disclosed the vulnerability to Comcast, the company developed a fix that was deployed to all units by the end of September. 

SEE: Social engineering: A cheat sheet for business professionals (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The XR11 has a microphone button to allow users to operate the set-top box with voice commands. The remote communicates with the set-top box over a radio frequency (RF) as opposed to an infra-red connection. As the researchers wrote in the research paper on the vulnerability, “RF enables contact with the remote from afar, which makes for a larger attack surface than a remote control would otherwise have, and the recording capability makes it a high-value target.”

Guardicore described the vulnerability in a new paper published Wednesday, “WarezTheRemote: Turning remotes into listening devices.” Guardicore used a man-in-the-middle attack to exploit remote’s RF communication with the set-top box and over-the-air firmware upgrades. By pushing a malicious firmware image back through the remote, attackers could have used the remote to continuously record audio without requiring any user interaction.

Guardicore researchers put the security threat in context:

“… with so many

This Best-Selling Gadget Will Help You Turn A Hot Coffee Into Iced Coffee In Literal Seconds

Despite what some haters may say, iced coffee is a viable drink of choice all year long. When you’re not in the mood for a hot beverage, iced coffee is a bit more refreshing, but it can be hard to make at home when you have to wait for your warm cup to cool down. Thankfully, other people seem to have this problem too, and that’s why the genius HyperChiller exists.

a cup of coffee on a table: The HyperChiller, a top-rated item on Amazon, cools down any drink in seconds using water technology which makes it dishwasher safe as well.

© Amazon
The HyperChiller, a top-rated item on Amazon, cools down any drink in seconds using water technology which makes it dishwasher safe as well.

HyperChiller by Maxi-Matic HC2 Patented instant Coffee/Beverage Cooler, Ready in One Minute, Reusable for Iced Tea, Wine, Spirits, Alcohol, Juice, 12.5 OZ, Black

© amazon.com
HyperChiller by Maxi-Matic HC2 Patented instant Coffee/Beverage Cooler, Ready in One Minute, Reusable for Iced Tea, Wine, Spirits, Alcohol, Juice, 12.5 OZ, Black


Shop Now

As the name so cleverly suggests, the HyperChiller can cool down any drink in seconds, meaning you can get a fully hot cup of coffee from your Nespresso or Keurig and put it in the HyperChiller for it to become cold. The whole process takes 60 seconds at most, so for those who don’t have the time or patience in the morning to wait for their coffee to cool down, it’s an ideal purchase.

The HyperChiller uses water to cool down drinks, so all you have to do is fill it with water and place it in your freezer before use. This also means the product is totally dishwasher safe, unlike other similar products that might use artificial gels as a cooling method.

Arguably the best part, though, is that while the HyperChiller prides itself on just how quickly it can turn coffee from hot to iced, it works on any other drink too. If you forgot to chill a bottle of wine before happy hour or prefer your juice cold, you can use the HyperChiller