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Hashtag Trending Nov. 2 – Costly graphics cards in Europe; password spraying is on the rise; Apple’s ad policy costs social media platforms

With files from Tom Li

Graphics card prices soar in Europe, password spray attacks on the rise, and social media companies lose billions due to Apple’s new ad policy.

It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Tuesday, November 2nd, and I’m your host, Jori Negin-Shecter.

Graphics card stock is once again worsening, causing their prices to skyrocket in Europe. A 3DCentre survey found that the cost of AMD graphics cards rose 18 per cent and Nvidia cards 16 per cent entering November, as prices surged to more than 200 per cent of their MSRP. While high end graphics cards remain unaffordable, it’s the midrange and budget range that saw the most significant price jumps this quarter. The most sought after cards appear to be the AMD Radeon RX 6800 and the Nvidia RTX 3060, both of which are midrange products.

According to the Microsoft Detection and Response Team, password spray attacks are on the rise. In a password spray attack, the attacker tries to access a large number of accounts using a small number of common passwords. These are unlike traditional brute force attempts, in which threat actors attempt to force their way into a given account. The best way to protect yourself is to use a strong password and enable multi-factor authentication. Additionally, some services, like Microsoft’s Outlook accounts, have ditched passwords altogether to improve security.

Finally, according to an investigation by the Financial Times, Apple’s App Tracking Transparency policy has cost social media giants billions in ad revenue. The policy, which requires apps on iPhones to ask permission to track user data, resulted in companies like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat to lose approximately $9.85 billion since the policy’s implementation. This has forced social media platforms to explore new ways to gather user data and send targeted ads. One adtech consultant believes that it would take at least a year before these companies figure out a new framework.

And now for something a bit different. Apple’s new MacBook Pros aren’t the only hot device the company has released. Its $19 polishing cloth (CA$25), the most unsophisticated tech device Apple has ever created, is currently being scalped for three times the original price. On Ebay, the cloth is selling for as much as $64. That’s nearly the cost of six burritos or three-days worth of groceries. On Apple Canada’s website, the cloth is backordered for 10 to 12 weeks.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Jori Negin-Shecter.

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