Huawei Adds AI Chips, Dual Leica Cameras to Mate 10 Smartphones

Today’s topics include the release of three new artificial intelligence-integrated Huawei smartphones; the reveal of KRACK flaws in WPA WiFi security; Microsoft’s Ireland email privacy case going to the Supreme Court; and Chrome’s new tool for protecting users from unwanted software.

Huawei unveiled on Oct. 16 three new smartphones that integrate artificial intelligence and will be available through staggered releases around the world through the end of 2017. The Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro and Porsche Design Mate 10 all use Kirin 907 chipsets, which deliver vastly improved AI capabilities when used with Huawei's included HiAI mobile computing platform.

"As we enter the age of intelligence, AI is no longer a virtual concept but something that intertwines with our daily life," said Richard Yu, CEO of the Huawei Consumer Business Group. "The Huawei Mate 10 Series introduces the first mobile AI-specific Neural Network Processing Unit, launching a new era of intelligent smartphones," Yu said.

Prices are $824 for the Mate 10, $942 for the Mate 10 Pro and $1,645 for the Porsche Design Mate 10.

The WPA2 protocol that is widely used to secure WiFi traffic is at risk from multiple vulnerabilities, collectively referred to as "KRACK Attacks," which were publicly disclosed on Oct. 16.

"Attackers can use this novel attack technique to read information that was previously assumed to be safely encrypted," the vulnerability disclosure warns. KRACK is an acronym for Key Reinstallation Attacks, which include 10 different vulnerabilities and define new approaches to exploit the way that WPA2 generates a session encryption key.

All WPA2-protected WiFi networks generate a fresh session key using the four-way handshake, which is vulnerable to a key reinstallation attack where an attacker tricks a victim into reinstalling an already-in-use key. At this point, there is no indication that the KRACK vulnerabilities have been exploited in the wild by an attacker.

Microsoft's high-profile Ireland email privacy case is going to the Supreme Court. Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed an earlier decision requiring Microsoft to turn over to the U.S. Department of Justice emails that are stored in an Irish data center. However, on Oct. 16, "the Supreme Court granted the Department of Justice's petition to review Microsoft's victory," announced Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer of Microsoft.

He continued, "The Electronic Communications Privacy Act … was never intended to reach within other countries' borders." The ECPA was enacted in "the era of the floppy disk," well before the World Wide Web transformed how businesses and individuals communicated and the advent of the cloud, argued the Microsoft executive.

Smith also argued that if the U.S. government acts unilaterally to seize emails located overseas with search warrants, there is little to stop foreign governments from exercising the same maneuver on data stored in the United States.

Google has added new features in Chrome for Windows that will better protect users from unwanted and potentially harmful software. They also complement the protections in the Chrome Safe Browsing service that identifies and alerts users when they navigate to potentially unsafe websites.

The new additions to Chrome address issues that manage to get past Safe Browsing protections, including warning users about browser settings that may have been reset without their knowledge or permission.

Another feature makes it easier for users to get details on any software that Chrome might have identified as risky or unwanted and to take action on it, serving up an alert to users offering to remove the software and restore their system to the original settings.