Last month today: May 2019 in review

Intel vulnerabilities and WhatsApp bugs

Security researchers from Graz University of Technology and Catholic University of Leuven discovered a new class of Microarchitectural Data Sampling vulnerabilities called ZombieLoad in Intel processors, which, if exploited, can be used to steal sensitive information directly from the processor. Almost every computer with an Intel chip dating back to 2011 is affected by these vulnerabilities.

WhatsApp confirmed a major security bug in the app that let hackers remotely install surveillance software on its users’ devices. 1.5 billion users are urged to update WhatsApp as a precaution. The technology used in the cyberattack appears to have originated from a technology company operating from Israel.

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Uber made its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, starting by selling stocks at $42 and closing at $41.60. Uber’s market cap dropped from $80 billion to approximately $72 billion.

Whole Foods Market announces it will eliminate disposable plastic straws in July from its stores in the United States, Canada and the UK.

United States and China in trade war

Chinese stocks were falling more than 5 percent in the beginning of May, following U.S. President Donald Trump´s threat to raise tariffs against Chinese-made goods.

Google pulled Android update support for Huawei phones, as well as the Google Play Store and Gmail apps, after the Chinese technology company was blacklisted by the United States Commerce Departement.

Huawei files for a summary judgment, seeking to expedite its lawsuit against the U.S. Government, challenging the constitutionality of Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act that bans U.S. executive government agencies from procuring Huawei and ZTE telecommunications equipment based on national security.

Trump announces import tariff for Mexico

President Trump announced a 5 % import tariff on all products from Mexico, effective June 10 and rising in steps to 25 % by October, “until the illegal immigration problem is remedied”.

Theresa May´s exit

UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she will detail the timetable for her resignation after the Brexit vote in June. Andrea Leadsom resigned as the United Kingdom´s Leader of the House of Commons with immediate effect in response to Prime Minister May´s handling of Brexit. Several other cabinet ministers were also threatening to resign. Prime Minister May announced her resignation as leader of the Conservative Party, effective June 7. She will remain Prime Minister until a successor is elected.

Voting month for Europeans

European citizens voted in the 2019 European Parliament elections.  In addition to the European Parliament and regional elections, voters in Belgium headed to the polls to vote for the members of the Chamber of Representatives. Lithuanian citizens elected their future president in the second round of the presidential election.

Follow-up: Arrestment of Julian Assange

The United States Department of Justice charges WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act, including provisions that prohibit a conspiracy to obtain, receive and disclose national defense information, attempting to crack computer passwords, and unlawful receipt of sensitive information such as State Department communications and Defense  Department logs.

Photo: Pixabay

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