Guess which three-letter American agency has been in the news again this week? That's right, the National Security Agency (NSA), which has been slowly hacking their way through the list of people it might not be a good idea to hack. Topping that list are French President François Holllande, with his official residence at Palais de l'Élysée riddled with NSA malware, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose cell phone conversations were apparently recorded along with 35 other world leaders.
It also emerged that the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, has had his personal email account infiltrated, and over 70 million phone conversations were recorded by the NSA in France. Over 30 days. That bears repeating: in France, over 30 days. It's probably safe to say that the number of unmonitored phone calls in less secure corners of the world *cough* the Middle East *cough* is extremely small. Angela Merkel phoned the US President to complain about the "serious breach of trust" that the snooping represented. If he missed anything the Chancellor said to him, Obama can presumably get the agency to play the call back to him.
Now we go switch coasts from Washington DC to San Francisco, where Apple unveiled the latest incarnation of its iPad series, the iPad Air. The fifth-generation tablet is super-thin at 7.5mm, making it 20 per cent thinner than its predecessor. Initial rumours of a fingerprint scanner and gold edition failed to materialise, and Tim Cook has switched favourite words, from "incredible" to "fantastic". He's lucky there are so many words for "good". The iPad Air has the same 9.7in screen as the iPad 4, but it curves around the sides, which makes its fans happy. It's also lighter at 454g. The iPad landed alongside the new MacBook and Macbook Pro, as well as the new OS X, Mavericks, which was available for free from Tuesday night.
Samsung and Microsoft have both made moves towards creating their own rivals to Google Glass. Samsung filed a patent for smart "sport glasses", while Microsoft has been toying with different designs for its own technological headgear. Since the Samsung Galaxy Gear landed earlier this year, Samsung has got itself something of a reputation for doing things first, if not always doing them right. With Google's Glass still in the testing phase of its first 10,000 units, this might also be true of commercially available smart eyewear.
Security firm FireHost has revealed that malware has surged in the third quarter of this year. Two distinct types of attack, SQL injection and cross-site scripting attacks have both risen by a shocking 32 per cent. This is largely due to the increasing availability of automated tools to perform these attacks, which were previously the domain of the more skilled hacking practitioners. Kind of like what Instagram did to photography, in other words.
As a final note, Michael Dell wowed crowds with a shock appearance at the Dell technology Camp in Paris on Wednesday. Our own Aatif Sulleyman, who was covering the event, nearly fell off his chair, and is still recovering from the shock.
Next week, our special correspondent Alysia Judge is getting a sneak peak at the Skolkovo Innovation Centre in Moscow, and security reporter Will Dalton will be heading to the RSA conference in Amsterdam. We can also safely assume that the NSA will turn out to have hacked someone else - but who? The Pope? President Obama? The ITProPortal team? Follow us next week to find out.