Do you guys remember WannaCry(pt)? Last year, in May, some hackers unleashed malware that propagated through an exploit in older Windows-based systems, encrypting data and essentially holding the owner of the system or device hostage unless the user paid a ransom in Bitcoin. Users saw a pop-up that requested a ransom be paid or else all their data would be deleted. It started in Asia and made its way through Europe before the vulnerability was patched up, halting the malware in its tracks. Before that happened though, it wormed (pun intended) its way into the technological business of everyone from your grandma to a British hospital system (yikes) to even the German state railway’s digital signage network.
This was a reminder of a serious technology problem for our industry. Digital signage networks are commonly in public areas. This means that without safeguards, the media is more likely to be physically accessible to those who wish to access it for malicious reasons, a threat many other network administrators don’t have to worry about. The public nature of the displays also may make them more appealing of a target. Viktor Petersson of Screenly has some thoughts on this, and gives advice in his column today.
And even though August is still vacation for many people, it’s actually busy season for education technologists, tech managers and integrators alike, as they work to get schools ready for returning students. Scott Tiner today talks about how his university took advantage of network AV early on, but is still sticking with some good old analog for its reliability.
We also have product and industry news — Luxul has a new router for the AV market, Powersoft and Crestron are partnering up, QSC launches a Q-SYS Designer Asset Manager, Extron has a new touch panel, Construction Monitor offers a new real-time building permit mapping application and a lot more.