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Technology 23 November 2020

The Week in Internet News: Siberian Student Climbs Tree to Get Internet Access

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossGuest AuthorTechnology Reporter

Great heights: As his classes move online, Russian student Alexei Dudoladov has to climb a birch tree to get Internet access, Reuters reports. The student at the Omsk Institute of Water Transport, which is nearly 1,400 miles east of Moscow, says his home Internet service is not strong enough to connect to online classes. “I need to go into the forest 300 meters from the village and climb a birch tree that is eight-meters high … and I get on Zoom to speak to professors and prove that I am not skipping class for no reason.”

Even greater heights: Meanwhile, the Ector County Independent School District in Odessa, Texas, is hoping that the new SpaceX satellite Internet service will help give students and teachers better Internet access, Education Dive says. The district is the first in the U.S. to work with SpaceX’s Starlink Internet service. A pilot project in early 2021 will include 45 families with students or teachers in the district.

Cybersecurity boss fired: U.S. President Donald Trump, who continues to insist he was the victim of massive nationwide voting fraud in his recent election loss to Joe Biden, has fired Christopher Krebs, who led the federal government’s election cybersecurity efforts, NBC reports. Trump didn’t fire Krebs for election problems, but because Krebs has insisted that the election was fair and secure.

More security: India’s government is pushing for a more comprehensive cybersecurity policy after cybercrimes in the country have surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, New Delhi Times says. A new cybersecurity policy is coming soon, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said recently. “Cyberspace offers its own risks and threats,” Modi said. “It can be a threat to the social fabric of our country, our economy and can even threaten the development of our nation; we are very well-aware of that.”

Malware engaged: A new malware variant is targeting Brazilian e-commerce site MercadoLivre and its payment page MercadoPago to harvest login credentials, credit card numbers, and other financial information, Bank Info Security reports. The Chaes malware uses LoLbins, a binary supplied by the operating system that is usually used for legitimate purposes. Its use of legitimate software makes the malware challenging to detect with antivirus tools.

Access to the Internet has never been more important. Learn how you can help close the global digital divide.

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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