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Inside IoT (Dec 5th, 2017)

A security researcher says that a newly discovered botnet is “pretty sophisticated and could hit internet-connected devices at any time. Botnets send debilitating surges of data to servers.The rise of smart hardware has made the damage caused by botnents more severe and widespread, largely because IoT devices are often insecure. The new botnet so far has hit 100,000 devices, about 90,000 of which are routers. "It's a pretty sophisticated approach," said Dale Drew, chief security strategist at broadband Internet provider CenturyLink. The unknown operator "has a pretty significant scanning army right now where he's adding more and more vectors to his IoT pool." — ARS TECHNICA

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Apple's iPhone is now available SIM-free. Apple's online store now contains a "buy without a carrier" option, allowing people to buy without using AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, or Sprint.  Prior to today, customers had to choose a wireless carrier in the U.S. Now, customers can pay full price and activate the phone with the carrier of their choice. The unlocked SIM-free iPhone X still starts at $999 with 64GB. Apple also sells a 256GB model for $1,149, the same price as a carrier model. — ENGADGET

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More than half of security companies lack the knowledge to prevent a serious hack of the energy system, according to a new report from Inmarsat Enterprise. The report surveyed senior IT decision makers from 100 large energy companies. More than half, 53 percent, admitted the need to make "heavy investments" to meet physical and digital IoT security requirements. About 54 percent said they need additional security skills to deploy successful IoT projects. Only 30 percent said they had given special consideration to network security and about 38 percent said they have taken additional steps to protect against cyber attacks. — TECH REPUBLIC

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Smart tattoos could replace health trackers and fitness wearables, according to MIT. The tattoos would change colors based on the person's health conditions at a given time. The ink in the tattoo reacts to the interstitial fluid that surrounds the cells in the body, to show the current state of a person's blood. The tattoo ink changes colors based on factors such as dehydration, or low glucose levels. Scientists are also looking at creating tattoo ink that disappears from the skin after it's no longer needed. POCKET LINT

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Qanta Computer Inc., a manufacturing partner of Apple, has a licensing agreement with Lumus to produce AR lenses. Qanta led the $45 million investment round last year for Lumus, a company based in Israel that designs displays for AR glasses. Under the new agreement, Qanta will manufacture the lenses for Lumus, and also have the option to produce them for other technology companies. Qanta has other clients that include HP and Acer, but the company gets almost 60 percent of its revenue from Apple. — BLOOMBERG 

(this item first appeared in Inside VR/AR, our daily digest of news about virtual reality and augmented reality. Check it out here )

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