Hacker gains access to a small number of Microsoft’s private GitHub repos

A hacker has gained access to a Microsoft employee’s GitHub account and has downloaded some of the company’s private GitHub repositories.

The intrusion is believed to have taken place in March, and came to light this week when the hacker announced plans to publish some of the stolen projects on a hacking forum.

While ZDNet has confirmed with multiple Microsoft employees that at least a small portion of the stolen files are authentic, we have been told that the hacker did not gain access to the source code of any major Microsoft core projects, such as Windows and Office.

Microsoft employees who commented on the leak have told ZDNet that such major projects are hosted internally at Microsoft and not on the company’s public GitHub portal.

The number of private repos believed to have been acquired by the hacker is believed to be around 1,200.

A Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet

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Cash use to go below 5% of total spending in Middle East

Banks in the Middle East are the most ardent proponents of a cashless society, with the use of cash to expected to reduce dramatically over the next few years.

Lockdowns across the world, in reaction to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, are expected to reinforce this trend.

According to a study carried out in 2019 by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), 60% of banks in the region expect cash to account for less than 5% of total spending within five years. This compares to 48% of banks globally expecting this to be the case.

The survey was carried out before Covid-19 took a grip and governments implemented lockdowns, which could accelerate moves towards cashless societies. Because of the risk of spreading the virus through contact, the use of cash is currently advised against, where possible.

For example, recent research in the UK from ATM network provider Link revealed the long-lasting impact

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ACCC and OAIC promise to put consumers at the centre of CDR enforcement

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) have vowed to put consumers at the centre of their joint enforcement activities under the imminent Consumer Data Right (CDR).

The CDR has been touted as allowing individuals to “own” their data by granting them open access to their banking, energy, phone, and internet transactions, as well as the right to control who can have it and who can use it.

The first sector to which the CDR will apply is finance, through an open banking regime, with telecommunications and energy soon to follow.

After delays and pushbacks due to COVID-19, the Australian government will push forward with the July 1 mandate, with the ACCC and the OAIC jointly publishing their Compliance and Enforcement policy [PDF] on Friday.

“The purpose of this policy is to help consumers and CDR participants understand the

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UK said to be on verge of major technology shift for Covid-19 contact-tracing app

The UK government’s Covid-19 contact-tracing app could be in the throes of a radical alteration in its nature, just as it has become available to download and use in its test zone on the Isle of Wight, based on a controversial centralised database that has drawn the ire of privacy and communications experts alike.

Developed by NHSX, the digital innovation arm of the UK’s health service, the contract-tracing app works by using Bluetooth to automate the “laborious” process of contact tracing and has the goal of reducing transmission of the virus by alerting people who may have been exposed, so they can take appropriate action.

Once installed, the app will use Bluetooth Low Energy to log the distance between a user’s smartphone and other phones nearby that also have the app installed. The anonymous log of how close users are to others will be stored securely on each user’s phone.

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