Microsoft is diverting a chunk of its budget into IoT research and development, while a new wearable from MIT can read your mind.
In internet of things (IoT) news this week, Google staff raised concerns over the company’s involvement in a US military drone project.
Meanwhile, Apple snapped up John Giannandrea – Google’s former head of search and AI – to give virtual assistant Siri an edge.
Microsoft prioritises IoT in budget reshuffle
Over at Redmond, Microsoft announced that it would be investing $5bn into building out its IoT services and products arm over a four-year period.
While the firm didn’t specify how exactly the money would be spent, it’s safe to assume it will contribute to the development of new products and address the need to boost the security of IoT devices and networks.
Julia White, corporate vice-president at the company, said: “Whether they’re building products that transform the home, office or factory floor, one thing remains clear: IoT is a collaborative, multidisciplinary effort that spans cloud development, machine learning, AI, security and privacy.”
The Register reached out to Microsoft and asked whether the spend was new money or a reallocation of previously earmarked funds and the company responded: “This investment includes planned resource in hiring, research and product development, partner enablement, and training and infrastructure investment.
“This signals Microsoft’s continued commitment to digital transformation and the internet of things.”
Mirai variant botnet launches attacks on financial sector
According to research from Recorded Future, a Mirai botnet variant was used in attacks on at least one company in the financial sector. The variant is possibly linked to the IoTroop or Reaper botnets, the report said.
A DNS amplification attack hit first on 28 January, while a second company in the financial industry experienced a DDoS attack on the same day at around the same time. It’s thought the same botnet was behind both incidents.
At least seven IP addresses were controllers for the botnet and ZDNetwas told that the companies affected were global Fortune 500 firms. At least one of the firms saw customer service disrupted temporarily.
Researchers say it’s the largest attack since Mirai first wreaked havoc at the end of 2016.