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This Week in Tech News: UPS, Retadup and USB4

Retadup Bot Hijacked [caption id="attachment_19345" align="alignleft" width="358"] Photo by Safar Safarov on Unsplash[/caption]

Retadup Bot Hijacked

[caption id="attachment_19345" align="alignleft" width="358"]Laptop screen displaying code in front of a dark background. Photo by Safar Safarov on Unsplash[/caption]

This week, a malicious mining botnet powered by Retadup malware that had been in control of nearly one million computers was eliminated.

The malware allowed the mining of cryptocurrency through absorbing power from the processor of the infected computer. TechCrunch reports that it would have been easy for the operators of the malware to share it between devices as well as run other malicious code, like ransomware.

An Avast blog post announced that the security firm successfully stopped the malware after discovering a design flaw in the control server.

Obtaining the proper authority from French prosecutors, since most of the malware’s infrastructure was located there, allowed police to take control of the server and remove the malware from victims’ computers.

The malicious control server was replaced with one that would cause the Retadup worm to self-destruct. French police called it one of the largest networks of hijacked computers across the globe.

USB4: The World is Ready

[caption id="attachment_19348" align="alignright" width="359"]A USB drive in focus with an unfocused white background behind it. Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash[/caption]

If you’ve been dissatisfied with your current USBs and data transfer speeds, the USB Promoter Group announced that we are closer than ever to a universal USB standard, which will likely be seen in late 2020.

USB4 was first introduced in March of this year, but official specifications have now been released. TechCrunch reports on USB4’s three main improvements: faster speeds, optional compatibility with Thunderbolt 3 and improved display. USB4 will outshine USB 3 in terms of sending data and power, with sending speeds of 40 gigabits per second through  Intel’s Thunderbolt technology.

While the connector will remain the same and users will still be able to plug old USB equipment into USB4 ports, USB-C connectors will be required to use USB4 ports. According to CNet, Intel will be producing USB4 hubs and dongles that fan out with multiple modern ports. Additionally, now that the USB Implementers Forum has done away with the technically specific names that we saw in past versions of USB releases, we’re much less confused and ready for the day where multiple USB-C devices can be plugged into a single hub.

UPS Has Its Cake and Eats It Too

[caption id="attachment_18725" align="alignleft" width="380"]UPS Hybrid Electric delivery truck parked near a curb with a tree. Photo by Ryan McKnight licensed under CC by 2.0[/caption]

UPS has partnered with commercial electric vehicle technology startup, Tevva, to introduce 15 new hybrid vehicles to its U.K. fleet. The new trucks can switch between hybrid and fully electric modes, according to TechCrunch, providing a range of about 400 km (250 miles) and the same cargo carrying capacity as diesel-powered trucks. The modes will also ensure that the vehicles obey local transportation laws, such as Birmingham’s introduction of a clean air zone sometime next year.

This solves an issue UPS previously has faced, where existing electric trucks couldn’t always travel to inner drop-off points in some cities due to range restrictions. Additionally, the new hybrid trucks will be able to carry more parcels than fully electric trucks. UK customers in Tamworth and Southampton are already being served with these new hybrid vehicles.


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Featured image credit: Photo by Taskin Ashiq on Unsplash

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