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TalkTalk hack: perhaps we’ll finally take cybersecurity seriously



Many people are quite upset that telecoms firm TalkTalk recently fell victim to a hacker who relieved it of hundreds of thousands of customers’ personal details. However I am, in a way, quite pleased. I’ve nothing against TalkTalk, for whom the whole episode has been highly unfortunate, and I have sympathy for those customers affected. But how events panned our afterwards actually provide crumbs of comfort.

The incredible media coverage the attack received is welcome. There can be few people in Britain who are unaware that TalkTalk had a problem. This is extraordinary, because TalkTalk is just the latest to fall victim to something that is going on all the time. In fact, just days later Vodafone admitted it had suffered a breach of its own.

The attack on TalkTalk was initially thought to have affected up to 1.2m customers, but this was later revised down to 150,000 – even if quarterly results show it cost the firm £35m. Compare this to the attack on the Sony Playstation Network in 2011 that affected 70m user accounts, or the attack on Sony Pictures in 2014, which saw the contents of the entire corporate network dredged out in public for the world to see, or indeed any of the many other examples of organisations’ failure to secure themselves.

As governments, businesses and organisations of all sizes have computerised their information, such occurrences have become all too common. So it’s great that TalkTalk has been much talked about – we should have been talking about this problem a lot sooner.

I was also pleased that TalkTalk was so open about the attack. CEO Dido Harding appeared on television and radio where she admitted the company’s errors and was astonishingly frank. I desperately want to commend this honesty, but the sad thing is that I’m not convinced it worked in her company’s favour. While she certainly gave the impression that TalkTalk cared and was apologetic, she appeared to have no better an idea of exactly what had happened or how, which did little to assure customers the company knew what it was doing. Where were TalkTalk’s cyber-security experts? We were left wondering if they had any. Contrast this with the lower key, albeit less significant, Vodafone incident a few days later: less fuss, less reporting.

Perhaps the most useful aspect is how the event really resonated with the general public, and TalkTalk were forced to temporarily suspend some of their services. As a result ordinary customers, whether or not they were affected, became aware of what had happened.

That ‘oh no’ moment is too late. ttc_press, CC BY-SA

No use waiting until the horse has bolted

TalkTalk is not the first and certainly won’t be the last organisation to suffer in this way. Nevertheless it seems to me that some just don’t get the message that they should take the security of their company information and that of their customers seriously, not until it’s too late.

Take for example the British government. In 2007, the revenues and customs department sent two CDs containing the unencrypted records of 25m child benefit claimants through the post, and they were lost. It’s never been clear whether this data fell into the wrong hands, but it was a loss of such magnitude that many credit it in part for motivating the subsequent UK National Cyber Security Strategy.

But within just a few years it was one of many other losses of data from public sector organisations, either from hacks or the sort of failure of basic information security that led to putting unencrypted data in the post, or dropped on USB memory sticks. Yet figures from the Information Commissioner’s Office this year shows things are little better. Let’s hope that TalkTalk is sufficiently embarrassed by its 15 minutes of infamy that they put their house in order.

Experts were repeatedly asked by journalists: “What can we all do to make sure that our data is not exposed?” There is much general advice out there about basic good practices such as strong passwords, backing up critical data, and being wary of scams arriving in unusual emails. It’s absolutely the case that we all need to grow a bit more savvy about cyber-security ourselves, but these answers miss the point – it’s companies that have to take security seriously.

The correct answer to the question about what customers can do is “almost nothing”. Once we submit important information to a third party, whether that’s personal details or bank account and credit card numbers, we are relatively powerless about what happens to that information. We have to trust them to guard our data, or else take our business elsewhere.

It is often said that the mainstream media simply reflects what the public wants to hear. If this is true then the extended discussion that has followed TalkTalk’s embarrassment is a positive thing. It has sent a resounding message to all organisations in whose care we have put our personal data that they will, inevitably, one day suffer a cyber-attack, and that when the dust settles we will hold them to account for their failures to defend what is ours. In the age of data, privacy and security matters.

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4 Important Tips for Having a Vacation Abroad



4 Important Tips for Having a Vacation Abroad

Are you planning to go abroad but still don’t know what to prepare? People dream of going abroad, especially to countries like America and Europe. If this is your first time going abroad, you should check the following tips!

Prepare All Important Documents

The first thing you need to do is prepare important documents. For example, passports, ID cards, visas, and international driving licenses if you are going to drive abroad. Make sure you know whether the country you are going to visit is visa-free or not. For Southeast Asian countries, the Maldives and Turkey are visa-free, so you only have to have a passport. But a visa is still needed if you want to go to South Korea, Europe, or America. Make sure to scan your document and save it in the cloud like Google Drive or iCloud. Oh, yes, remember to check your vaccination status. Because every country needs your health information.

Make Itineraries

Itinerary is important for those who want to travel abroad. The reason is holidays abroad cost a lot of money, so when you can, take advantage of it with a well-planned schedule. Research in detail the tourist destinations you want to visit. For example, what is unique in it, ticket prices, transportation to get there, to the distance from the inn you’re staying. Remember to include places to eat that you want to try. Make sure the place to eat is according to your preferences, such as halal or free of certain food allergies.

Book Tickets in Advance

When you know how long you will be on vacation with the itinerary that has been prepared, it’s time to book plane tickets and lodging. Find cheap tickets by:

  1. Using promos and discounts on travel agent applications.
  2. Comparing which price is lower and what kind of facilities you will get.
  3. Choosing accommodation that fits your budget but is still comfortable.

Oh yes, also remember to check how the pandemic situation is in the country you are going to visit. Do you have to quarantine or not? Because it will affect your itinerary and accommodation. Due to the pandemic conditions that have not fully recovered, check whether there is still Indonesia quarantine after returning from vacation.

Exchange Money and Check Your ATM Cards

Exchange your currency into the destination country’s currency, for example, yen, euros, dollars, won, and others. But remember, don’t carry too much cash because it’s also prone to theft, besides being wasteful. For the rest, you can do cashless transactions. Check your bank’s ATM card to see if it has Visa, MasterCard, or Cirrus logos. This row of stamps indicates that your bank is working with banks abroad. Or you can also use a credit card to make your transaction easier.

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Down 43%, Is This Tech Stock Worth Buying Right Now?



Down 43%, Is This Tech Stock Worth Buying Right Now?

Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ: SWKS) announced its fiscal 2022 fourth-quarter results (for the three months ended September 30) on November 3, and the supplier Apple’s stock price has risen 11% since then.

Skyworks beat expectations and showed solid growth at a time when smartphone sales were declining, but forecasts show the chipmaker is about to hit a bump. With that said, let’s take a closer look at the latest results from the chipmaker. Let’s take a closer look at whether the stock can sustain new momentum after losing 43% of its value in 2022.

Skyworks solutions deliver reliable results for non-mobile businesses
Skyworks’ fourth-quarter revenue increased 7% year-over-year to a record $1.4 billion. The company also reported non-GAAP (adjusted) earnings of $3.02 per share, up 15% year-over-year. Skyworks easily justified analyst estimates of $2.91 per share. For the year, the company’s revenue increased 7% to $5.5 billion and earnings rose similarly to $11.24 per share.

The strong growth of chipmakers in the fourth quarter was the result of successful diversification into new markets such as Internet of Things (IoT) and automotive, as well as relationships with major smartphone original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Yes, it helped make up for it. Weakness in the smartphone market. space. However, it was the non-mobile business that put a lot of effort into Skyworks last quarter.
As CFO Chris Sennesael noted in the report, the company generated $500 million in revenue from broad market segments (counting chip sales for non-mobile applications like IoT), up 30% from the previous year. Last earnings conference call. Broad market companies contributed 36% of Skyworks’ revenue last quarter, up from 29% in the same period last year.

It’s also worth noting that Skyworks earned $2 billion in revenue from this segment for the entire fiscal year. That’s almost 43% more than the $1.4 billion in revenue last fiscal year. The good news is that the company’s business in a wide range of markets can maintain its momentum. This is because, as Skyworks showed in its earnings report, it is attracting new customers in high-growth niches like IoT.

“In IoT, we continue to win new customers and expand our content. We have partnered with Vodafone to launch the UK’s first WiFi 6E platform. We have launched a solution for Fi 6 hotspots.”

Skyworks also enables the deployment of O-RAN (Open Radio Access Network) and delivers record quarterly results in the high-growth automotive business niche. For example, the O-RAN market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 42% until 2030. Meanwhile, according to Mordor Intelligence, the demand for connected cars will grow by 19% per year until 2027.

These catalysts explain why Skyworks expects its broad commercial segment of the market “to be a major driver in FY23 and beyond.”

The mobile business was not in its best last quarter
Skyworks’ mobile business generated approximately $907 million in revenue last quarter (this is total revenue minus $500 million from the broader market business). By comparison, 71% of Skyworks’ $1.31 billion in revenue last year came from its mobile business, worth nearly $931 million.

Thus, the company’s mobile business, which generates most of its revenue, declined year-over-year in the most recent quarter. This is not surprising given that smartphone sales have been declining for the past five quarters. Skyworks considers Apple its biggest client, with the smartphone giant generating 58% of its revenue last year.

Last quarter, Apple shipped 48.5 million smartphones, 6.4% more than last year. However, the overall smartphone market was down 9% year-over-year. And now things could get even worse for Skyworks.

All of this explains why Skyworks management is targeting a sharp drop in sales and profits. The chipmaker expects revenue of $1.3 billion to $1.35 billion and adjusted earnings of $2.59 per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2023. These numbers show double-digit declines in both revenue and earnings compared to the last year.

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Tech Shares May Weigh On Taiwan Stock Market



Tech Shares May Weigh On Taiwan Stock Market

(RTTNews) – The Taiwanese stock market fell nearly 230 points (1.7%) on Tuesday after falling for two days. The Taiwan Stock Exchange is currently just above the 14,700 plateau, but selling pressure is likely to resume on Wednesday.

The global outlook for Asian markets is mixed, with little change ahead of major economic events that could affect the interest rate outlook. European and US markets were mixed and flat, followed by Asian equities.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange closed sharply higher on Tuesday after gains in financial, technology and cement stocks.

The index closed at 14,709.64, up 152.77 points (1.05%) after trading between 14,449.05 and 14,716.58.
Among assets, Cathay Financial was up 3.45%, Mega Financial was up 1.78%, CTBC Financial was up 2.93%, Fubon Financial was up 2.94%, First Financial was up 1.35%, E Sun Financial rose 1.66%, Taiwanese semiconductor company rose 1.35% and United Microelectronics rose 1.35%. Corporation and Catcher Technology rose 0.56%, Largan Precision shed 0.22%, MediaTek rose 1.42%, Delta Electronics rose 1.71%, Novatek Microelectronics rose 0.51%, China Steel rose 0.51%. 2.87%, Formosa Plastics shed 0.22%, Nan Ya Plastics rose 0.92%, Asia cement rose 1.48%, Taiwanese cement rose 1.67%, and Hon Hai Precision remained unchanged.

Wall Street’s lead indicates a slight negative bias as the leading average rose, then fell in the middle of the session, but then rose to end the mix almost unchanged.

The Dow rose 3.07 points (0.01%) to close at 33,852.53, while the NASDAQ fell 65.72 points (0.59%) to close at 10,983.78, and The S&P 500 fell 6.31 points (0.16%) to 3957.63.

Volatile trading on Wall Street comes amid continued uncertainty about the situation in China following widespread outcry over the country’s Covid restrictions.

Traders may also have been reluctant to make any significant moves ahead of comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell today that could provide further clues about the rate outlook. Unemployment data continues to be released on Friday.

In terms of economic news, the Conference Board released a report showing a moderate decline in US consumer confidence in November.

Crude oil futures ended higher on Tuesday, extending gains from the previous session on hopes that OPEC could cut production to support prices later this week. West Texas intermediate oil futures rose $0.96, or 1.2%, to $78.20 a barrel in January.

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