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Brislen on Tech

Paul Brislen, Editor. 13 October 2017, 11:43 am

Domino's rolls the dice on personal data protection (scores critical miss)

My history with pizza has been a rocky one. I worked for many years at a well-known pizza restaurant chain which I decline to name for legal reasons but which we should refer to as "Pizza Shack" and while the job was fine, it did tend to consume my every waking moment making study and exams rather difficult.

But I do enjoy eating good pizza, although my local pizza place is now a dumpling shop and my other local doesn't open on Sundays so I'm stuck with the team at Domino's for those bulk purchase "can't be bothered cooking, let's just order in" evenings.

To be fair, the app is quite fine and after Googling "Domino's voucher codes" I've found many a code to reduce the retail price to ridiculously low proportions and now I've taken to getting it delivered just so we can watch the GPS tracker in real time, just like an AT bus only actually in real time.

Sadly, however, I got an email the other day from "Sarah" asking if I was from Sandringham, and I knew I'd been caught up in the Domino's hack.

Oh you hadn't heard? Domino's database of email addresses has been stolen and the scoundrels behind the attack have been sending out emails presumably to test whether the accounts are still live.

Former Aucklander Luc Chandler was alerted to the breach when he got an email addressed to "professor" (his user name on the app) from the aforementioned Sarah asking if he was in Mountmanganui (sic).

He rang Domino's and was told yes, there's been a breach and yes, "our IT and Information Security teams are now hard at work resolving this issue".

Hard at work they might be but they're not notifying customers of the breach and the 0800 number they've set up for people to call if they have any concerns is just the 0800 number the company always has for customers to ring through to if they have any concerns.

This is How Not To Handle a Data Breach 101 and comes hot on the heels of Yahoo's realisation that all of its email addresses have been hacked, revelations that Kaspersky's anti-virus software has been hacked by Israeli spies, credit check agency Equifax's records have been compromised, Disqus appears to have been hacked and Pornhub's customers might have been caught in a compromising position as well.

The whole thing stinks worse than a seafood pizza left out overnight and frankly doesn't show any signs of improving any time soon. So it's important that when a company collects our data it stores it stores it appropriately and plans for the day when that data will be breached because frankly it looks like a "when not if" scenario.

And when that data is breached, reporting of the breach should be mandatory, so here's hoping the Privacy Commissioner's recommendations are adopted before it's all too late.

Newshub - Domino's customers fear spammers have hacked their data

Stuff - Spammers grab slice of Domino's customers' personal information

Techblog - Another reason to never read the comments

The Register - 'Israel hacked Kaspersky and caught Russian spies using AV tool to harvest NSA exploits'

The Register - Equifax: About those 400,000 UK records we lost? It's now 15.2M. Yes, M for MEELLLION

The Register - Smut-watchers suckered by evil advertising


Pizza Spam.jpg


Where we're going we don't need roads

I like cars. I like driving. I like driving cars.

There are many out there like me, who relish the challenge driving for the fun of it. Who rushed out to get their licence the day they could so they could be free. One of my first solo road trips was a lengthy Hamilton to Auckland odyssey to see A Clockwork Orange on the big screen but really it was the drive itself that attracted me: the movie was mere bonus points.

I don't enjoy sitting in traffic, however, and yes I know, I'm not stuck in traffic, I am traffic, but there's little as frustrating as crawling along at 10kph on a motorway under signs warning you not to go faster than 100kph. I'd much rather be on a train or a ferry or something where I can do some actual work (oddly reading on a bus makes me car sick. Very strange but true) so I'm a big fan of moving every commuter out of cars and into other forms of transport as quickly as we can.

But for some people driving isn't a choice, it's a job. In the US truck driving is the single biggest employee category there is. It's remarkable how many drivers the US employs (that figure doesn't include taxis or other forms of driving either, that's just trucks).

And all those jobs are about to fade away. Perhaps not all at once, perhaps not as quickly as some are saying (the next five years) but certainly a lot more quickly than we're prepared for. Automation will take over driving as surely as it's taken over letter delivery and all the other buggy-whip jobs that used to be all pervasive.

All those autonomous cars that are currently testing software are adding to a repository of knowledge that is never going to decrease (barring Blade Runner-style EMPs of course) and will only ever grow. Self-driving cars are on their way, along with trucks and planes and for two very simple reasons: money and safety.

Labour costs account for 75% of the cost of shipping goods across the United States. Three quarters of the cost is tied up in paying people to drive things around. That's astonishing and frankly that's ripe for disruption. Uber has already said it will buy every autonomous car Tesla can produce and seeing how they already treat their drivers, that's no surprise.

The second is safety (which is of course another way of saying "money") and given that the vast bulk of all car accidents are attributable to "driver error", getting rid of the driver is the best way to bring the road toll down and that's going to be a second key driving force behind the end of the driver.

The Guardian - End of the Road

The Register - Q: How do you test future driverless car tech? A: Slurp a ton of real-world driving data

CIO - Study: Use of IoT in corporate networks is soaring

NZ Herald - Communicating cars could save NZ lives - study


The future's so bright

The second fastest fibre to the home uptake rate in the OECD. New submarine cables being laid and coming on-stream now. Competitive mobile networks offering 4G service over a high proportion of the country. High smartphone penetration rates and schools that are quickly adopting digital technologies as teaching and learning tools.

New Zealand is booming and is a place of great opportunity, says IDC Research and I agree. I've been agreeing vigorously for the past 20 years and I'll keep agreeing until the ICT industry in its broadest sense becomes New Zealand's biggest export earner.

IDC's report, "New Zealand Telecommunications: The Streets are Paved with Glass" says the physical infrastructure is in place and the business environment is benign enough for companies to start up quickly and easily (something I can attest to - you can do the whole thing online except for setting up business bank accounts because of course you might be money laundering so we must make you go in to a branch like an animal) and so we are well placed to take over the techno-world.

However, all is not as rosy as we would hope. Sure, the environment is great for end users, for businesses wanting connectivity and for start-ups wanting to take on the world, but the poor old telcos are fighting a rear-guard action to maintain ever shrinking margins. Costs will have to be cut and, as I've said elsewhere, the real push will be to build a quality network without all the fluff and carry on that goes on around the edges (cough rebranding cough) and which detract from the core business of moving bits around the place for customers.

But for now, we once again stand on the cusp of a brave new world of ICT growth and I can't wait. Well, I can, because we've been standing here for quite some time. But you know what I mean.

IDC Research - IDC Telecommunications Report: A Land of Digital Opportunity

CIO - NZ fast becoming the land of digital opportunities: IDC

NBR - More mergers and acquisitions ahead in 'under pressure' telco sector: IDC


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