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Ecuador Data Breach: Records of Over 20 Million Users Exposed

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Ecuador Data Breach: Records of Over 20 Million Users Exposed

Following the outbreak of a number of cybersecurity mishaps in recent times. Ecuador as at Monday, 16th September, experienced a major data breach baring the personal information of almost all the population of Ecuador to unlicensed third-party agents. The leaked 18Gigabyte-sized data contained research documents and statistics on over 20 million individuals.

The leaked data encompasses such information as names, addresses, employment status, phone numbers, and national identity numbers. Derived from about 7.5 million personage financial and banking records, 2.5 million car ownership logs as well as detailed information on infant demography in the region, to the tune of 6.7 million children data.

According to the report released by ZDNet, this data infringement is believed to be as a result of carelessness on the part of the administrators of the IT consulting firm who allowed entry to the Elasticsearch server unchecked and without a password. Otherwise granting access to these records to anyone on the Internet.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society on Monday. The Minister of telecommunications – Andrés Michelena Ayala announced that Novaestrat – the data analytics and IT consulting firm directly involved with the leaked data, and its employees are been placed under investigation upon the charges of privacy violation and distribution of private information to the general public without due authorization.

Subsequently, the Ecuadorian authorities swooped down on Williams Roberto G. – Director of Novaestrat. As the management at Novaestrat is been slapped with the allegations of accumulating these data illegally. Although a government-endorsed data analytics firm, since Novaestrat boasts of a number of contracts been awarded by the Ecuadorian government between 2015 to 2017. What is not actually known is whether the employees at Novaestrat intentionally broadcasted this data or perhaps it was a glitch on the company’s server-side handling. 

However, one certainty stands to be that these data are originally not supposed to be in the possession of the company who might have come across such data while working extensively with the government in the past. Inclined by the gravity of the data breach, the Ecuadorian government is set to take a giant leap towards implementing a stricter data privacy law with plans to pass this new law to the parliament within the next three days.

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Samsung Raises the Game with The New Galaxy Note 20 to Rival iPhone 12 and Pixel 5

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Samsung Raises the Game with The New Galaxy Note 20 to Rival iPhone 12 and Pixel 5

While other notable phone manufacturers are trimming prices amidst the pandemic, Samsung seems to be raising the bar even higher. In February alone, the Korean electronics company debuted three high-flying flagship phones each of which fell within the price range of $999 to $1,399. This is actually quite unexpected since other major competitors in the tech industry are cutting down prices on gadgets; such as Apple’s 5G iPhone 12 possibly maintaining the same price tag of $849 as its 4G predecessor – iPhone 11

In the same light, Google is deemed to be producing its latest version of the Pixel flagship – Pixel 5, with even cheaper processors to effect a price reduction lower than $700. Microsoft on the other hand is expected to slash a whopping 25% off of the Surface Earbuds, same as Apple’s AirPods prices and Pixel 4 getting a $50 price reduction. Evidently, these are only a handful of the ripple effects that the COVID-19 outbreak brings to the tech space, subsequently, the global economy.

In spite of the economic downturn that has forced most tech companies to rethink their launch price – and possibly postpone the launch dates, Samsung seems to be taking even bolder steps. How the Asian gadget-making company is responding to the current market slide is actually mind-boggling. Considering that the company is set to launch its Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Galaxy Note 20 Plus at a very exorbitant price compared to what other competitors in the market are selling for. 

This is hardly surprising since Samsung has taken greater steps to upscale, which is evident in the new features present in the Galaxy Note 20 series – such as a backplane LTPO OLED display tech and the rumored 4300mAh battery size, while others are running short on manufacturing supplies and production deliveries. Based on historical data and given the current situation, we should expect the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series to be priced well above $1000. However, the big question here is; will consumers be willing to part ways with such amount of cash for a phone that promises an extensive battery life in juxtaposition to much cheaper rivals, with less durable battery life?

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX Project Successfully Debuts NASA’s Launch into Space

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX Project Successfully Debuts NASA’s Launch into Space
Photo Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX– Elon Musk’s aerospace company, just launched two NASA astronauts into space. SpaceX is a privately owned American aeronautic manufacturing and space exploration technologies corporation, founded sometime in 2002 with the primary intention of revolutionizing space technology and promoting the emigration to mars through reduced space transportation cost. SpaceX group, an enterprise spearheaded by one of the most innovative minds of our times, has introduced a new age of human spaceflight in the United States. The project codenamed ‘Crew Dragon Mission’ was the second attempt by the company to launch spacemen into the orbit, over the last two decades – as the first attempt from three days ago was canceled a few minutes before take-off due to stormy weather.

This most recent development is part of NASA’s Artemis program. It comes as a relish to NASA and SpaceX since the automated spacecraft manufacturer was sanctioned by NASA barely two weeks ago to develop a lunar optimized Starship that would transport its crew between the lunar orbit and the surface of the moon. The two astronauts involved in this record-breaking venture are; Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley – both of whom are NASA veteran space travelers.

NASA astronauts Doug and Bob lifted off circa 15:22 UTC on Saturday, 30 May 2020, from Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida – which happens to be the same launch pad used to send the Apollo astronauts to the moon fifty years ago. Notably, the launch of the SpaceX aero flights – Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon crew capsule, from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station (ISS) marks the first time in 9 years since a spacecraft has been launched from American soil and also the first time a private company has done it.

The NASA astronauts have successfully arrived at the International Space Station. In attendance to witness the event in Florida was President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and the SLOTUS – Karen Pence of the United States of America.

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