Entries by admin

Scientists Discover How To Store Data On Matter Smaller Than DNA

Scientists from Brown University are reported to have discovered how to store data on metabolic molecules, which are pieces of matter that are even smaller than DNA. Storage In Artificial Metabolomes   The results of the recent research announced on the Brown University website and published in the PLOS ONE journal describe how researchers have […]

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Security Flaw Discovered In NHS Anaesthetic Machines

Cybersecurity firm CyberMDX has reported the discovery of a security flaw in some Internet-connected GE Healthcare anaesthetic machines which could leave them vulnerable to hacks. Security Flaw The security flaw has been described as the exposure of the configuration of certain terminal server implementations that extend GE Healthcare anaesthesia device serial ports to TCP/IP networks. […]

Microsoft Criticised By UK’s Cyber Security Agency Over Dmarc

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has complained that it has been unable to compile meaningful statistics and draw meaningful conclusions about email security in its latest report because Microsoft stopped sending Dmarc reports two years ago. What Is Dmarc? Domain-based message authentication, reporting and conformance (Dmarc) is a protocol, developed by the Trusted Domain Project, to […]

Facebook Launches Martin Lewis Anti-Scam Service

Facebook has launched a new anti-scam service using the £3m that it agreed to donate to the development of the programme in return for TV consumer money champion Martin Lewis dropping his legal action over scam ads. What Legal Action? Back in September 2018, MoneySavingExpert’s (MSE) founder Martin Lewis (OBE) took Facebook to the UK […]

£183 Million Fine (Biggest Ever) For BA Data Breach

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has imposed a £183 million fine on British Airways, the biggest fine to date under GDPR, for a data breach where the personal details of 500,000 customers were accessed by hackers. The Breach The breach, which involved criminals using what is known as a ‘supply chain hack’ took place between […]

1000+Android Apps Harvest Our Data Without Our Permission

Researchers from the International Computer Science Institute have reported that up to 1,325 Android apps are gathering data from devices after people have denied them permission, and Google claims that it will address the problem with the introduction of the new Android “Q” Operating System. Apps Finding Way Around Privacy Restrictions According to the ICSI […]

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Googlemail’s Tracking of Your Purchase History

CNBC research has highlighted how Googlemail creates a (difficult to delete) page of your purchase history by tracking your purchase receipt emails, and perhaps details stored in locations other than the inbox. Not Obvious Back in May, CNBC researchers highlighted how your Googlemail account creates a page of your purchases, which it was believed was […]

Ad-Free Firefox Browser Service For $4.99 Per Month

Mozilla looks likely to be entering the premium browsing market later this year by offering a subscription based (advert-free) browsing experience of selected journalism websites and other value-adding features via a special version of Firefox. What’s The Problem? Many news content websites rely on the revenue from adverts, but this can make for a distracting […]

Latest Windows 10 Update Causes Problems For VPN Enterprise Users

The latest update to Windows 10 could break the platform’s Remote Access Connection Manager (RASMAN) and, therefore, cause problems with VPN for Enterprise users with certain settings. Potentially Millions Given that the latest Windows update which contains the problem code accounts for 50 million users, it was initially thought that a problem may have been […]

‘Mobile-Sensing System’ Could Evaluate Your Workplace Performance

A newly developed ‘Mobile-Sensing System’ that uses a combination of smartphone, fitness bracelet, app and cloud-based machine learning algorithms can track and rank the workplace performance of employees with 80% accuracy. Based On Student Monitoring App The underlying technology blueprint for the new system, which was developed by a group of researchers including Dartmouth University […]

New Electric Cars Will Emit Noise For Safety Reasons

In contrast to the vision of a quieter, close-future utopia where vehicles pass noiselessly by, a new law means that from 2021, all new four-wheel electric cars will be required to include a noise emitting device so that pedestrians can hear the cars approaching. At low speeds, at least. Avas The EU rules on the […]

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Is CCTV Surveillance By Amazon Drones Be The Future?

An Amazon patent from 2015 appears to indicate that Amazon may consider ‘surveillance as a service’ using a swarm of its delivery drones armed with CCTV, as a monetising opportunity in the future. Patent The details in the patent foresee customers paying for a tiered service that employs the onboard cameras of Amazon’s delivery drones […]

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Fire-Prone MacBook Pros Recalled

Apple has announced a recall of some older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units due to the fire risk posed by a tendency for the battery to overheat. Repair and Replace Free Apple is offering a recall and replacement program for units that were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017 with the company offering […]

Could Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency Be The Future Of Money?

Facebook has announced the launch of its new crypto-currency called ‘Libra’ 2020 which will enable payments to be made by a special phone app, and by messaging services such as WhatsApp, so that spending the new currency could be as easy and fast as texting. Libra Association Management of the currency, units of which can […]

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Facial Recognition Glasses For Covert Surveillance

The “iFalcon Face Control” AR glasses that incorporate an 8-megapixel camera in the frame and NNTC facial recognition technology (due to go on sale next year) are reported to have already been deployed into several security operations. US / Dubai Manufactured The facial recognition-enabled smart glasses are made by American company Vuzix and use facial […]

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Samsung’s Advice To Virus-Check TVs Causes Customer Concern

Samsung’s recent release of a how-to virus check video coupled with the advice to complete the check “every few weeks” has caused confusion and concern among customers. Video At the heart of Samsung’s virus-checking information release was a 19-second video guide that Samsung said had been posted simply to educate and inform customers. The video […]

ICO’s Own Website Fails GDPR Compliance Test

Irony and embarrassment are the order of the day as the Information Commissioner’s Office, which is responsible for ensuring GDPR compliance in the websites of businesses and organisations, has been forced to admit that its own website is not GDPR compliant. Cookie Consent Notice The problem, as pointed out to the ICO by Adam Rose, […]

Revenue Risk To UK Companies Too Slow To Adopt AI

Research from the McKinsey Global Institute shows that UK companies could lose 20% of their cash flow if they are too slow to invest in and adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools. Could Miss Out Even though the report highlighted the UK’s higher than average AI-readiness, the country could miss out on a potential 22% boost […]

IT Security Updates issue 19

The latest news from the sector sees Malware on a laptop become “art”, Microsoft in trouble with the NSA thanks to WinXP vulnerabilities, Dark Net police crackdowns driving cyber criminals into encrypted chat spaces – like Telegram and  more … Malware Infected “Artwork” Sells For Over $1 Million Dollars As cyber crime and malware intrusion becomes commonplace […]

Employee Subject Access Requests Increasing Costs For Their Companies

Research by law firm Squire Patton Boggs has revealed (one year on from the introduction of GDPR ) that companies are facing cost pressures from a large number of subject access requests (SARs) coming from their own employees. SARs A Subject Access Requests (SAR), which is a legal right for everyone in the UK, is where an […]

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Microbe Grown Headphones Offer Hope In Fight Against Plastic Waste

Finnish design house Aivan has shown how its ‘Korvaa’ headphones can be made from natural, microbe-grown, biodegradable materials, thereby offering hope in reducing the amount of plastic waste that goes to landfill or litters the natural world. Natural Prototype Although the headphones don’t actually work, the concept that has been created shows how a mixture […]

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Google AR Glasses Enterprise Edition For Workers

Six years on from the launch of the first Google glasses, Google has announced the introduction of Google Glass 2 Enterprise Edition, glasses incorporating a wraparound camera and AR and designed to help workers by providing instant hands-free access to key information. Improved Following on from the original introduction of Google’s ‘Glass’, followed by the […]

SurveyMonkey’s Bold Dublin Move

California-based online survey software company SurveyMonkey has opened a datacentre in Dublin with a view to attracting enterprise customers in the EMEA region. SurveyMonkey SurveyMonkey, which was established in Portland by Ryan and Chris Finley, has more than 750 employees globally and is estimated to have more than 600,000 paying users across more than 300,000 […]

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Old Routers Are Targets For Hackers

Internet security experts are warning that old routers are targets for cyber-criminals who find them an easy hacking option. How Big Is The Threat? Trend Micros have reported that back in 2016 there were five families of threats for routers, but this grew to 35 families of threats in 2018. Research by the American Consumer Institute […]

Surveillance Attack on WhatsApp

It has been reported that it was a surveillance attack on Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging app that caused the company to urge all of its 1.5bn users to update their apps as an extra precaution recently. What Kind of Attack? Technical commentators have identified the attack on WhatsApp as a ‘zero-day’ exploit that is used to […]

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3D Shopping Via Google Search

Later this month, Google will be rolling out 3D Augmented Reality (AR) in its search results, a change which could allow retailers to show their products online in a way that enables customers to a virtually ‘try’ those products and see them in situ before buying them. Shown At Phone Launch Google showed how 3D […]

Proposed Legislation To Make IoT Devices More Secure

Digital Minister Margot James has proposed the introduction of legislation that could make internet-connected gadgets less vulnerable to attacks by hackers. What’s The Problem? Gartner predicts that there will be 14.2 billion ‘smart’, internet-connected devices in use worldwide by the end of 2019.  These devices include connected TVs, smart speakers and home appliances. In business […]

G7 Cyber Attack Simulation To Test Financial Sector

The G7 nations will be holding a simulated cyber-attack this month to test the possible effects of a serious malware infection on the financial sector. France The attack simulation was organised by the French central bank under France’s presidency of the Group of Seven nations (G7).  The three-day exercise will be aimed at demonstrating the […]

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Data Breach Report A Sharp Reminder of GDPR

The findings of Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report have reminded companies that let customer information go astray that they could be facing big fines and damaging publicity. The Report The annual Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) draws upon information gained from more than 2,000 confirmed breaches that hit organisations worldwide, and information about […]

IT Security Updates issue 18

The latest news from the sector sees HMRC fall foul of GDPR rules on biometric data content, Dell and Sierra Wireless rush out patches to fix flaw issues, farming businesses now targeted by cyber criminals, new rules on IoT hardware being devised by HM Government …The latest news from the sector sees HMRC fall foul of […]

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Google Offers Auto-Delete of History After Three Months

Google is joining tech giants Facebook and Microsoft by offering users greater privacy of their data which for Google will give its users the option to automatically delete their search and location history after three or eighteen months. What’s The Problem? According to Google, feedback has shown that users want simpler ways to manage or […]

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GDPR Says HMRC Must Delete Five Million Voice Records

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has concluded that HMRC has breached GDPR in the way that it collected the biometric voice records of users and now must delete five million biometric voice files. What Voice Files? Back in January 2017, HMRC introduced a system whereby customers calling the tax credits and Self-Assessment helpline could enrol […]

Microsoft’s Move Away From Passwords Towards Biometrics

In a recent interview with CBNC, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President and Chief Information Officer Bret Arsenault signalled the corporation’s move away from passwords on their own as a means of authentication towards (biometrics) and a “passwordless future”. Passwords – Not Enough On Their Own Many of us are now used to two-factor authentication e.g. receiving […]

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First Organ Delivery By Drone

A human kidney for transplant has been delivered by drone to a Medical Centre in Baltimore in the first flight of its kind. Cutting Edge Technology The drone transportation of the living organ over a one-mile journey used cutting-edge technology in the form of an AI-powered drone that had been specifically designed to maintain and […]

123456 Still A Popular Password

A study by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) into breached passwords has revealed that 123456 featured 23 million times, making it the most widely-used password on breached accounts. Top Five Easy-To-Guess Passwords The study, which analysed public databases of breached accounts to discover which words, phrases and strings were most popularly used, also […]

No Windows 10 Updates For PCs With USB Devices or SD Cards Attached

Microsoft has announced that if your PC has a USB device or SD card attached it will not be possible to upgrade the computer to the Windows 10 May 2019 Update because of an “Inappropriate drive reassignment” issue. The Scenario On its support site, Microsoft has announced that an attempt to upgrade a computer with […]

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Fake Finger Fools Fool Proof Phone

A Reddit user claims to have used a 3D printer to clone a fingerprint and then use the fake fingerprint to beat the in-display fingerprint reader on a Samsung Galaxy S10. Fingerprint Scanner The Galaxy S10 and S10+ phone models have an Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner embedded into the screen that uses soundwaves to create a […]

IT Security Updates issue 17

The latest news from the sector sees Bounty UK fined £400,000 from the ICO, NCSC launch a venture capital drive for new cyber security start-ups, this month’s patch Tuesday updates … New Mums Service Bounty Fined £400,000 For Unlawfully Sharing Personal Data Bounty (UK) Ltd, the pregnancy and parenthood support service, has been fined by the […]

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Automatic Compensation For Broadband Problems Begins

This week will see the introduction of automatic compensation, without having to ask, for customers of BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet who experience delayed repairs, installations or missed engineer appointments. More To Follow PlusNet has also committed to the scheme but hasn’t provided a timescale while Hyperopic and Vodafone will begin automatic […]

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Is Huawei Really Dragging Its Feet Over Security?

After espionage chiefs from the ‘Five Eyes’ agreed last July that they would try to contain the global growth of Chinese telecom Huawei (over fears that it was spying for China), a new report from the Huawei Cybersecurity Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) says that the company is still not fixing previously identified security problems. Summary – […]

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Experts Recommend Security Update For Magento E-commerce Sites

Security experts are warning companies with a Magento e-commerce site to make sure that it has the latest security patch and updates in order to avoid the risk of card skimming attacks. Magento Magento, originally developed by Varien Inc (now owned by Adobe) is a leading open-source, enterprise-class e-commerce platform written in PHP.  Security concerns […]

HTTPS Security Vulnerabilities Found

Research teams at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and Tu Wien in Austria have discovered security vulnerabilities in the TLS browser encryption defence system of 5.5% of 10,000 HTTPS sites which could leave website visitors vulnerable to attack. What Is TLS? Transport Layer Security (TLS) is one of the two security protocols (the other is SSL) […]

Facebook Rolls Out ‘Why Am I Seeing This Post?’ Tool

In an attempt to be more transparent and give more control to its users, Facebook is about to roll-out a new “Why am I seeing this post?” tool, which will give users insights into their newsfeed algorithm. Algorithm Explained The new tool essentially goes some way to explaining how the algorithm that decides what appears […]

IT Security Updates issue 16

The latest news from the sector finds the ICO fining companies big sums of money for spamming and falling foul of data privacy rules, Huawei is a big risk but how big a risk for your business(?), how ethical hackers are helping UK universities improve their cyber resilience and more … ICO fines Pension Company £40,000 […]

Controversial Copyright Backed By MEPs

The European Parliament has given its backing to new copyright rules, including the controversial Article 13, (opposed by many big tech companies) which could now change the way that Europe’s creative and digital industries work. European Parliament Vote The new copyright rules are encapsulated in the EU Copyright Directive which, having gone through many revisions […]

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Emails To Become More Dynamic With Google’s AMP For Email

Google has launched ‘AMP For Email’ which will make emails more dynamic and more like web page experiences as interaction can take place within the email itself rather than including links that send recipients to a web page for the interaction. Announced For Gmail Last Year Accelerated Mobile Pages are something that Google has been testing […]

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Microsoft And Adobe Team Up To Fight Salesforce

Microsoft and Adobe are teaming up to make it easier for users of Adobe’s marketing software to find and target potential customers for business goods on Microsoft’s LinkedIn, thereby fighting their common competitor Salesforce.com Inc. What Is Salesforce? Salesforce is a market leading American cloud-based CRM platform. The company’s 2018 revenue was $10.5 billion, most […]

The Web @ 30

It was back in March 1989, 30 years ago, that the World Wide Web as we know it was created by a computer scientist at the CERN particle physics lab near Geneva, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. From Proposal To Reality Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal in March 1989, entitled “Information Management: A Proposal” which was based […]

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Robot Programmed to Carry Out Unbiased Job Interviews

TNG and Furhat Robotics in Sweden have developed a social, unbiased recruitment robot called “Tengai” that can be used to conduct job interviews with human candidates. Existing Robot, Modified The robot, ‘Furhat’, was developed several years ago by Stockholm based start-up Furhat Robotics. The Furhat robot, which looks like an internally projected human face on […]

Cash Under Threat

A new report has concluded that with the recent steep fall in the use of cash, particularly by young people, the government and regulators need to step in to ensure that cash remains a viable method of payment in the future. The ‘Independent’ Research The independent research called ‘Access to Cash Review’ was authored Natalie […]

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Fingerprint Bank Card

RBS is reportedly about to hold trials of a new, more secure biometric bank card where customers can use their fingerprint instead of a PIN to verify purchases. April The trial, which will involve some 200 RBS and NatWest UK-based customers, is due to begin in April this year and will and last for three months. […]

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Warning: Serious Windows 7 Bug Reported

Google has warned those who are still using Windows 7 that they are at risk of hackers being able to take over their computer by exploiting the combination of a flaw in the Window 7 OS and Google’s Chrome Browser. Google Alert The threat to Windows 7 comes from combined flaws in its OS, and […]

Chatbot Supports Students

Lancaster University has announced that it has launched a chatbot “companion” for students which allows them to ask almost any question about their university experience, from student life, and welfare, to academic studies and more. Ask L.U. The chatbot service, called ‘Ask L.U.’, was built on Amazon Web Services (voice) and delivers a voice interface […]

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New, Free Windows 10 Microsoft Office App Launched

Microsoft has announced the launch of its new “Office” app for Windows 10 which is an update to the former My Office app, will come pre-installed on Windows 10 machines and will provide access to an online version of Office for those who don’t have a subscription for Office 365. Simply “Office” The new, free […]

IT Security Updates issue 15

The latest news from the sector sees the ICO fine a sacked council employee for using privileged access to help his girlfriend find a job, GCHQ is getting worried about the use of Chinese “tech” in big infrastructure, the latest on Microsoft’s February patch updates and more … Sacked Council Officer Fined by ICO for […]

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Form-Jacking Attacks Hit High Profile Companies

Research by Security Company Symantec has revealed that high profile companies such as BA and Ticketmaster are among the many thousands of businesses whose websites are being targeted with “form-jacking” attacks every month. What Is Form-Jacking? Form-jacking involves inserting a small amount of malicious JavaScript code into the checkout web pages of e-commerce sites, thereby […]

Targets Of A Rise In Extortion Scams

A report by cyber-crime researchers is warning professional people and those in higher level management positions that extortion scams are on the rise with higher earners as the obvious targets. Report The report, from researchers at risk protection firm Digital Shadows, tracked so-called ‘sextortion’ campaigns from July 2018 to February 2019, during which time they discovered […]

Potential Jail For Clicking on Terror Links

The new UK Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 means that you could face up to 15 years in jail if you visit web pages where you can obtain information that’s deemed to be useful to ‘committing or preparing an act of terrorism’. Really? The government states that the Act is needed to “make provision […]

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Kellogg’s Uses Virtual Reality To Sell More Cornflakes

Breakfast cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s has been working with third-party VR companies to help it determine the best way to display its new products in stores. Who? Kellogg’s is reported to have been working on a pilot scheme with Accenture and Qualcomm.  Accenture is a Dublin-based global management consulting and professional services firm with a strong […]

IT Security Updates issue 14

The latest news from the sector sees Gartner identify a big increase in biometric tech spending but warns companies there are risks involved. You possibly missed Safer Internet Day 2019 but you should take a minute to learn more about the event. Mumsnet was hit by a major data breach and the BBC asks if […]

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Could 5G’s High Frequency Be Dangerous?

5G may be the next generation of mobile internet that could provide new and innovative opportunities and boost to new industries, but there have been some concerns that its high-frequency mmWave spectrum could pose new health risks. Long-Held Concerns Ever since there have been mobile phones, there have always been concerns that prolonged exposure to low-energy, […]

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Man Fined After Hiding From Facial Recognition Cameras

A man was given a public order fine after being stopped by police because he covered his face during a trial of facial recognition cameras in Romford, London. What Facial Recognition Trial? A deliberately “overt” trial of live facial recognition technology by the Metropolitan Police took place in the centre of Romford, London, on Thursday […]

Windows 10 Error Messages Soon To Make More Sense

Starting with the April 2019 update, Microsoft will be adding “Learn more” links to its error code messages in a bid to enable users to see what the code means, plus the chance to fix the error on the spot. Resolved During Installation The “Learn More” links will be there to help if there is […]

IT Security Updates issue 13

In this edition we find why Magnacrest Ltd were charged by the ICO for failing to reply to a Subject Access Request, why your company needs to pay the Data Protection Fee if it is a data controller, ICO announce more Brexit-related data protection investigations, Microsoft announces the death of Internet Explorer and more… Housing […]

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Apple’s Video-Calling ‘Eavesdropping’ Bug

Apple Inc has found itself at the centre of a security alert after a bug in group-calling of its FaceTime video-calling feature has been found to allow eavesdropping of a call’s recipient to take place prior to the call being taken. Sound, Video & Broadcasting As well as allowing the caller to hear audio from […]

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Research Reveals Top-Selling Car Keyless Theft Risk

Research by consumer Group Which? has revealed that hundreds of popular models of car are vulnerable to “keyless theft”. Keyless Car Theft Keyless car entry systems enable owners to unlock the doors of their car with the brush of a hand if the key fob is nearby. If the car has keyless start-stop, once inside […]

IT Security Updates issue 12

In this edition we find Gartner’s latest cyber-security awareness-building idea, the Centre for Internet Security’s top three ‘threat’ trends for 2019, Cambridge Analytica’s latest woes at the hands of the ICO, how even a small pottery businesses is falling foul of cyber crime and more … Cyber Security Trends for 2019 – What to Look […]

Biggest Personal Data Breach Puts Password Effectiveness In The Spotlight

Password-based authentication has long been known to be less secure than other methods such as multi-step verification or biometrics, but a massive leak of a staggering 87GB of 772.9 million emails, 21.2 million passwords and 1.1 billion email address and password combinations recently shared on hacking forums has brought the inherent weaknesses of password authentication […]

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£15K Fine For Ignoring Data Access Requests

SCL Elections, the parent company of the now defunct Cambridge Analytica which was famously involved in the Facebook profile harvesting scandal, has been fined £15,000 for failing to respond to a data access request from a US citizen, and for ignoring an enforcement notice by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Data Protection Act The […]

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Fake News Fact Checkers Working With Facebook

London-based, registered charity ‘Full Fact’ will now be working for Facebook, reviewing stories, images and videos, in an attempt to tackle misinformation that could “damage people’s health or safety or undermine democratic processes”. Why? The UK Brexit referendum, the 2017 UK general election, and the U.S. presidential election were both found to have suffered interference […]

Windows 7 Activation Errors A Coincidence Says Microsoft

Just after the January update on 8th January, Windows 7 users began to experience activation errors, but Microsoft put the issues down to coincidence, despite admitting that it had reverted changes made to activation servers in the update in order to fix the problem. What Is An Activation Error? Windows Activation Technologies are used by […]

Contactless Card Fraud Has Doubled

The UK’s fraud reporting service, Action Fraud, has reported that contactless card fraud doubled in 2018 to £1.8m stolen compared with £711,000 in 2017. Average Theft Amount Increased The latest Action Fraud figures have also revealed that the average theft through contactless fraud in 2018 rose to was £657, compared with £493 in 2017. Back […]

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London Police Facial Recognition Trial

It has been reported that the police are conducting a trial of a facial recognition system in Soho, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square over two days in the run-up to Christmas in a bid to identify people among the Christmas shoppers who are wanted by the police or the courts. Overt Far from being used […]

Smart Botnet Detection Needed

For businesses to maintain an effective cyber defense, the ability to prevent, detect and stop smart botnets in real-time is now an important consideration. What Is A Botnet? A botnet is a term for multiple malicious mini-programs working together to take over large numbers of computers and digital devices for different purposes e.g. stealing data […]

IT Security Updates issue 11

The latest news from the sector sees Marriot Hotels fall victim for the second largest cyber attack in history, GDPR hits the news again as SMEs continue to fail to understand the scale of their data privacy responsibilities, 25% of NHS trusts fail to invest in cyber security, and more… SME organisations ‘clueless’ about GDPR […]

Does Your Business Take Cash?

Cashless businesses that only take contactless card payments, such as cafes and bars may be growing in number in major cities but despite their apparent convenience for their target market, they are also attracting accusations that they are discriminatory. Cashless Bar The BBC, for example, recently featured a story about the Crown and Anchor pub […]

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Google Chrome’s ‘Incognito’ Mode Not So Incognito

Research by Internet Privacy Company DuckDuckGo is reported to have produced evidence that could show that even in Incognito mode, users of Google Chrome can still be tracked, and searches are still personalised accordingly. Incognito Mode Going incognito (private browsing mode) in Google Chrome means launching a separate ‘Incognito’ browser window by going to top […]

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Automatic Broadband Compensation Is Nigh

After Ofcom announced back in November 2017 that broadband and landline customers will automatically be able to get compensation from their providers when things go wrong without the need for a claim, it appears that an £8-per-day deal agreement has finally been reached between Openreach and five of the UK’s internet service providers. Agreement The […]

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02 Outage – What Happened

02 Outage – What Happened After last week’s major O2 4G mobile network outage which left millions of customers with no network data access has been blamed on an expired software certificate that 3rd party supplier Ericsson had installed for some customers at business-critical part of the network. What Happened? On Thursday last week, O2 […]

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Hard of Hearing? Skype Offers Live Captions And Subtitles

On 3rd December, Skype announced that it was celebrating United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities by launching its new call captioning with live captions and subtitles feature. Inclusivity & Accessibility Skype says that this latest feature, which uses AI-driven captions, is part of its on-going work to make Skype more inclusive and make […]

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ICO Investigation Into Police Use of Facial Recognition Technology

ICO head Elizabeth Dunham is reported to have launched a formal investigation into how police forces use facial recognition technology (FRT) after high failure rates, misidentifications and worries about legality, bias, and privacy. Concerns Expressed In Blog Post In May In a blog post on the ICO website back in May, Elizabeth Dunham expressed several concerns […]

SIM Swap Scam Warning

A recent investigation by BBC TV’s Watchdog Live revealed evidence that some mobile phone shop staff are not conducting proper ID checks for replacement SIM requests, thereby enabling some customers to become victims of SIM swap scams. What is a SIM Swap Scam? SIM swap scams are believed to have been in existence for the […]

New Hashtags Feature For Google Maps

Google has begun the global rollout of its new ‘hashtags’ feature in Google Maps, which allows users to add hashtags to the end of the reviews they write, thereby helping others to find local attractions and businesses. How It Works When using Google Maps e.g. to find places to eat or local attractions, if a […]

Data Protection Trust Levels Still Low After GDPR

A report by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has shown that as 42% of consumers have received communications from businesses they had not given permission to contact them (since GDPR came into force), this could be a key reason why consumer trust in businesses is still at a low level. Not Much Difference The […]

IT Security Updates Issue 10

The latest news from the sector sees the ICO get a criminal locked up for six months under the Computer Misuse Act, Vision Direct has been hacked which has seen nearly 7,000 customer credit card details affected by the hack, the Met Police’s Gangs Matrix has been found in breach of data protection rules by […]

Free VPN Tools May Be Linked To China

A new investigation by Metric Labs of the top free VPN (Virtual Private Network) apps in Apple’s App Store and Google Play has revealed that more than half are run by companies with Chinese ownership. What’s A VPN? A ‘Virtual Private Network’ (VPN) is generally used to keep internet activity private, evade censorship / maintain […]

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Which? Survey Reveals Best & Worst Online Retailers

The results of a new survey by consumer watchdog ‘Which?’ has revealed the UK’s best and worst online retailers, according to the experiences of 10,000 Which? members over 6 months. Homebase, Red Face…In a Bad Place Unfortunately for Homebase, which is currently undergoing a restructuring that will involve 42 store closures, their online store was […]

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Facial Recognition For Border Control

It has been reported that the UK Home Office will soon be using biometric facial recognition technology in a smartphone app to match a user’s selfie against the image read from a user’s passport chip as a means of self-service identity verification for UK border control. Dutch & UK Technology The self-service identity verification ‘enrolment […]

IT SECURITY UPDATES ISSUE 9

Hi again Jon and welcome to our latest ‘Essential IT Security Updates’ newsletter : essential reading for IT security and data protection leaders like you wanting to stay ahead of developments and news in this ever-changing sector. Feel free to use this content in your marketing or simply to keep abreast for yourself and your team. This issue features news […]

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Fatal Security Flaws Discovered in Solid State Drives (SSDs)

Researchers from Radboud University in the Netherlands have released a paper highlighting several security flaws that they’ve discovered in SSDs which mean that data from a flash disk can recovered in more than one way, even if it’s supposedly self-encrypted. What Is An SSD? An SSD is a solid-state storage device that uses integrated circuit […]

Easyjet – Electric Planes By 2030

Easyjet is reported to have backed plans to develop and introduce commercial passenger aircraft powered by electric batteries on its short-haul routes, possibly by 2030. Prototype A prototype battery-powered, electric aircraft with a range of 335 miles is already being built by one-year-old US company Wright Electric, the same company that Europe’s no.2 low-cost airline […]

New Qualifications To Improve Digital Skills of Adults in England

The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) has begun a consultation about the introduction of new BDSQs [Basic Digital Skills Qualifications] that are designed to improve the digital skills of adults across England. What’s the Problem? Research by UK domain name company Nominet, for example, has shown that less than half of adults have […]

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EU’s Web Copyright Directive Could Spell Trouble

A vote in January on contentious new EU copyright laws could negatively impact tech platforms and all online publishers, create risky legal grey areas for many businesses, stifle freedom of expression, and lead to more surveillance and control. What Copyright Law? There will be a final vote in January 2019 on an EU Directive on […]

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Adult Site Visits on Work Computer Lead to Network Infection

The extensive online porn-accessing habit of an employee of a US government department known as the US Geological Survey (USGS) is being blamed for a government computer network becoming infected with malware. 9,000 Pages In an investigation, highlighted in a paper (published online) by the US Office of the Inspector General, it was discovered that […]

IT security updates 8

Hi again and welcome to our latest ‘Essential IT Security Updates’ newsletter : essential reading for IT security and data protection leaders like you wanting to stay ahead of developments and news in this ever-changing sector. Feel free to use this content in your marketing or simply to keep abreast for yourself and your team. The latest news from […]

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Businesses Looking Forward to 5G

UK businesses are looking for a boost in the speed and scope of communications in the form of 5G, but how soon will having a 5G phone that delivers all the 5G benefits become a reality, and what will it take to make it happen? What Is 5G? 5G is the fifth generation of cellular […]

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Facial Recognition For Buyers Of Alcohol & Cigarettes

A pilot scheme involving NCR, the US self check-out machine maker for Asda, Tesco and other UK supermarkets, and Yoti’s digital identity app will use an integrated camera linked to facial recognition software to help improve, simplify and speed up age approval at self check-outs. Speed & Frustration Reduction The system is intended to tackle […]

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Microsoft Education For Dyslexics

In partnering with charity ‘Made by Dyslexia’, and in signing the Made by Dyslexia pledge, Microsoft has announced that it is the first company to sign a global pledge to help people with dyslexia. Dyslexia Dyslexia is a lifelong condition that is not related to intelligence. Those with the condition experience difficulty with reading, spelling, […]

Businesses Turning To Zero-Trust Security Model

As a widening attack surface and evolving threats mean that organisations continue to breached despite a large security spend, many businesses are now turning to the ‘zero-trust’ security model. What Is The Zero-Trust Security Model? The Zero Trust security model, introduced by analyst firm Forrester Research, is an alternative architecture for IT security that doesn’t […]

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New Facebook Rules For Political Ad Transparency In The UK

After the US and Brazil, the UK has become the next country to be subject to Facebook’s new rules that require those who wish to place a political advert on the social media platform to verify their identity and say who is funding the advert. Verification The new rule in the UK means that anyone […]

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New Tech Laws For AI Bots & Better Passwords

It may be no surprise to hear that California, home of Silicon Valley, has become the first state to pass laws to make AI bots ‘introduce themselves’ (i.e. identify themselves as bots), and to ban weak default passwords. Other states and countries (including the UK) may follow. Bot Law With more organisations turning to bots […]

Windows 10 October Rollout Suspended Due To File Deleting Fault

The October rollout of the update to Windows 10 as part of the SaaS model has been suspended due to reports that some customers have experienced mass file deletions. Eating Files It has been reported that the rollout of version 1809 October 2018 update for Windows 10 has been temporarily halted after users reported that […]

How Business Emails Are Vulnerable

Research by digital risk management and threat intelligence firm Digital Shadows has revealed that company credentials and emails that can be easily accessed on the web are making it easier for cyber-criminals to target businesses with attacks. What’s Are The Problems? According to the research, businesses may be suffering targeted attacks because several key problems […]

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Facebook Hack Keeps Getting Worse

As if the recent Facebook hack of 50 million user accounts that was discovered on 25th September wasn’t bad enough, it became apparent that it could also affect “Facebook Login” service, which allows other apps to use people’s Facebook account to login. What Happened? On Tuesday 25 September, Facebook engineers discovered that hackers had used […]

IT SECURITY UPDATES ISSUE 7

Hi again Jon and welcome to our latest ‘Essential IT Security Updates’ newsletter : essential reading for IT security and data protection leaders like you wanting to stay ahead of developments and news in this ever-changing sector. Feel free to use this content in your marketing or simply to keep abreast for yourself and your […]

Mobile Working Causes Absenteeism

Research by B2M Solutions has concluded that instead of saving costs, mobile working could be costing UK businesses £1.18 billion per year, as 40% of mobile workers attribute time taken off work to stress and anxiety caused mainly by reliability issues with mobile devices. The Research The B2M Solutions ‘Mobile Impact Survey’ gathered the opinions […]

Microsoft Slows Updates

Microsoft has listened to corporate SaaS Windows 10 clients and slowed down the rate of patches and updates that it is sending out, thereby giving company admins more time to catch up. What’s The Problem? For many enterprise / corporate customers, two feature upgrades for Windows 10 a year is proving too much to keep […]

New Chrome 69 Creates Better Passwords, Among Other Features

Chrome 69, the latest version of the Google browser which is now 10 years old, has a number of value-adding new features, including the ability to automatically generate strong passwords. Improved Password Manager This latest version of Chrome has an improved password manager that is perhaps more fitting of the browser that is favoured by […]

ICO Highlights Prevalence of GDPR Myths

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has reported taking 500+ calls per week reporting GDPR data breaches, but one-third of the calls appear to be based on myths and misunderstandings or over-reporting about GDPR matters. Update After Freedom of Information Request The update by the ICO about how things appear to be going just three months […]

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Microsoft Launches ‘AccountGuard’ Email Service For Election Candidates

A new kind of pilot secure email service called ‘AccountGuard’ has been launched by Microsoft, specifically for use by election candidates, and as one answer to the kind of interference that took place during the last US presidential election campaign. Ready For The Midterm Elections The new, free email service (which people must useOffice 365 […]

IT Security Updates Issue 6

The latest news from the sector sees the British Airways become the latest hacking data breach victim, the CBI held its annual Cyber Security conference which was headlined by the head of the National Cyber Security Centre among other sector alumni, and more… In Case You’ve been Living Under a Rock … Hackers Caused A […]

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BA Security Fallout

A discovery of the file containing the code used in the recent hack of the British Airways website and app that affected 380,000 transactions has revealed that it only took 22 lines of JavaScript to cause the massive data breach. Skimming The hack that took place on 21st August and caused disruption into September is […]

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Businesses Set For Augmented Reality

A report based on research by IT Consultancy Group Capgemini has predicted a big shift towards the use of virtual reality and augmented reality by businesses over the next 3 years. Mainstream Soon The results of a survey of 700 business executives across multiple sectors show that 46% think that VR and AR technologies will […]

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Microsoft Introduces AI Automated Audio and Video File Transcription

Microsoft’s new AI tool in OneDrive and SharePoint automatically transcribes the contents of video, audio, and image files, thereby making it much faster and easier to find specific topics and references made in those files. No More Lengthy Transcribing The growth of digital content, particularly in rich file types such as image, video, and audio […]

Uber Moves Into Bikes & Scooters

Ride-hailing service Uber, which has until recently been associated with cars, has announced a shift in focus towards bikes and scooters in order to drive growth and keep people using the platform. The Challenges Uber has faced a number of challenges in recent times, some of which have been of its own making. These challenges […]

Are You On The Wrong Side Of An Algorithm?

Research carried out in Australia by US data experts have highlighted the possible dangers of a future where, by default, many of us could fall foul of unchecked big-data and automated algorithmic decision-making. Travels Yield Insights After travelling around Australia studying the potential risks posed by algorithmic decisions affecting more parts of our lives, Dr […]

IT Security Updates Issue 5

Western Australia’s Government has found the perfect password management approach, that Air Canada’s hack could impact customers by increasing the risk of ID fraud, Deloitte publish cloud strategies to improve cyber security processes and more … Western Australian Government’s Internet Security Audit highlights major cyber-security flaw in basic password management approaches The Auditor General of […]

Apple iPad Battery Gas Leak – Shop Evacuated

The leaking of vapours from a damaged iPad battery led to an Amsterdam shop being evacuated and 3 staff being treated for breathing problems caused by the released gas. Fire Brigade Called Although the fire brigade was called and attended, there were no reports of any actual flames / fire coming from the affected iPad. […]

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Superdrug Customers Informed of Hack

Superdrug is reported to have advised online customers to change their passwords after it was targeted by hackers who claim to have stolen the details of approximately 20,000 Superdrug customers. Hundreds Compromised – Could Be More To date, Superdrug has confirmed that 386 customer accounts are known to have been compromised, but that it is […]

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Facebook Uses Scoring System To Manage Misinformation

It has been reported that Facebook allocates a trustworthiness score to some members to help it manage misinformation issues such as some members continually flagging / reporting stories as fake if they don’t agree with the content. Score? It is not publicly known exactly how the score is arrived at, but it has been reported […]

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New Australian Law Gets The Thumbs-Down From Tech Firms

In Australia, a new draft bill proposing ways for tech firms, software developers and others to assist security agencies and police has been given the thumbs-down by a major industry group over its ambiguity, and the potential security risks it could create. What Bill? The new “Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill […]

Superfast Broadband Boosts Business and Jobs

Among the findings of a recent government report about superfast broadband in the UK are claims that superfast broadband rollout so far has led to job creation and a £12.28 benefit for firms for every £1 invested by central and local authorities. Measurable Benefits The Evaluation of the Economic Impact and Public Value of the […]

IT Security Updates Issue 4

The ICO are investigating a 10 million user data breach at Dixons Carphone, the ICO have also hired a new director as a nod to a changing security landscape, Butlins have announced a major phishing attack resulting in 35,000 customer records being exposed and more… As Britain faces new cyber threats, ICO appoints new executive […]

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IBM Makes Test Version of New Stealth AI Malware ‘DeepLocker’

IBM has announced that it has created its own stealth, ultra-evasive AI malware called ‘DeepLocker’ that can evade all traditional cyber-security protection, hide in normal applications, and only strike when it is sure it has reached its intended target. Why? Cyber-criminals are becoming ever-more sophisticated in their methods, and the resources available to them have […]

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Social Mapper Can Trace Your Face

Trustwave’s SpiderLabs has created a new penetration testing tool that uses facial recognition to trace your face through all your social media profiles, link your name to it, and identify which organisation you work for. Why? According to its (ethical) creators, Trustwave’s SpiderLabs, Social Mapper has been designed to help penetration testers (those tasked with […]

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Amazon Pays Less Tax In UK While Profits Rise

The latest figures show that even though Amazon’s profits trebled last year, their UK tax bill has significantly reduced. How Much? Amazon’s reported pre-tax profits have jumped from £24.3m to £72.3m with the company making £1.98bn in sales revenue. Where their tax bill and contributions are concerned however, the bill is down from £7.4m a […]

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Half of Us Will Activate Our New GDPR Rights Within A Year

The results of a new survey by analytics, business intelligence and data management firm SAS indicate that more than half of UK consumers look likely to exercise their new GDPR rights within the first year of GDPR’s introduction. GDPR The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that applies to those who collect, store and process […]

IT Security Updates Issue 3

The ICO has fined the UK Government’s historic sexual abuse inquiry after a “very distressing” data breach, CISCO promotes a new way of tackling cryptomining hacks, UK Government to launch consultation on changing the UK cyber security sector in order to make it fit for purpose and more… ICO fine Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry £200,000 […]

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10 Million Affected by Dixons Carphone Data Breach

Dixons Carphone has announced that, after a review following a hack of its customers’ data, 10 million customers rather than the original estimate of 1.2 million have actually been affected. What Happened? Back in June, Dixons Carphone announced that a hacking attempt, which had actually taken place in July 2017, had been made on one […]

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Departing CEOs Steal Intellectual Property Says Report

A new report by Code42 that surveying 1,634 senior company employees in the UK, US and Germany, has found that most CEOs take what they regard to be their Intellectual property (IP) with them when they leave a company. It Belongs To Me The Code42’s 2018 Data Exposure Report appears to show what amounts to […]

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AI, ML & ‘Robot’ Business Spending Will Hit $232bn by 2025 Says Report

A recent KPMG reports claims that whereas business spending on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning(ML) and robotic process automation (RPA) technologies is $12.4bn this year, it will increase to $232bn in 2025. Ready, Set, Fail? The report, entitled “Ready, set, fail? Avoiding setbacks in the intelligent automation race” highlights how the potential of AI technology […]

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Google Chrome’s New ‘Site Location’ Security Feature Activated

The new ‘Site Isolation’ security feature for Google’s Chrome browser has been switched on, and could protect users from log-in credentials theft. Decade-Long History The newly switched-on feature actually has a decade-long history in the making. It has been reported that Google invested those engineer-years, mostly in the last 6 years, and a lot of […]

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‘SiliconX’ Next-Generation Battery Material Discovered

Norwegian scientists at IFE claim to have discovered a new wonder-material for future battery production that they have dubbed ‘SiliconX’. Years Of Research The new material, discovered by scientists at Norway’s Department of Energy Technology (IFE) reportedly offers a way to stabilise silicon anodes for Li-ion batteries. This is an aim that years of targeted […]

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NHS … Still Reliant On Fax Machines

A Poll by the Royal College of Surgeons using freedom of information requests has revealed that 8,946 fax machines are still in use in NHS Trusts in England. World’s Largest Purchaser of Fax Machines The poll was carried out after a report last year by DeepMind Health revealed that the NHS was the world’s largest […]

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Microsoft Launches Free Version of Collaborative Chat App ‘Teams’

Microsoft has announced the launch of a free version of its collaborative chat app ‘Teams’ which doesn’t require an Office 365 subscription. What Is Teams? Introduced back in November 2016, ‘Teams’ (as the name suggests) is a platform designed to help collaborative working, and combines features such as workplace chat, meetings, notes, and attachments. Described […]

IT Security Updates Issue 2

Major tech giants aren’t “respecting” the GDPR, the ICO is offering grant funding for ‘innovative’ research into data privacy, Ticketmaster subject to ICO investigation after major breach and more… BEUC argues tech giants’ privacy policies fail to “respect GDPR” The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) along with a team of researchers from the European University Institute, […]

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£500,000 Fine For Facebook Data Breaches

Sixteen months after the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) began its investigation into the Facebook’s sharing the personal details of users with political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, the ICO has announced that Facebook will be fined £500,000 for data breaches. Maximum The amount of the fine is the maximum that can be imposed under GDPR. Although […]

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New System Detects & Warns Of Mobile Phone Use in Cars

Norfolk-based company Westcotec is piloting new technology that can detect whether a handheld mobile phone is in use in a passing vehicle, and then warn the occupants of the vehicle. How? In a UK first, the pilot scheme, which is taking place in four locations in Norfolk, uses a directional antenna, with a detector that […]

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NHS Booking App and Doc Bot

In the NHS’s 70th year, and as part of the push for digitisation, the introduction of an appointment-booking app has been praised, while a GP chatbot has been given the thumbs-down by The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). Book Appointments With A Free NHS App A free app, due to be launched at the […]

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Tech Giant GDPR Privacy Settings ‘Unethical’ Says Council

The ‘Deceived By Design’ report by the government-funded Norwegian Consumer Council has accused tech giants Microsoft, Facebook and Google of being unethical by leading users into selecting settings that do not benefit their privacy. Illusion of Control The report alleges that, far from actually giving users more control over their personal data (as laid out […]

IT Security Updates Issue 1

The ICO have fined BT for a 5 million customer email ‘spam’ campaign that was found not to have ‘customers’ consent’, the ICO have also fined Gloucestershire Police an eye-watering £80,000 after an horrendous email error resulted in abuse victims’ identities being circulated in an open email, Google Home’s latest flaw highlights the worrying reality […]

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Domain Names & GDPR

A recent ruling by a German court about GDPR also applies to personal information held in the worldwide whois service, could mean that domain name admin and tech contact details may no longer be needed because of the GDPR ‘data minimisation principle’. Up Until Now Laws up until now have required ICANN, the Internet Corporation […]

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Facebook Losing the Battle For Teenage Attention

A study by Pew in the US has found that Facebook is now lagging behind YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, as a platform where teenagers spend their time. Down To 4th Place The study, which involved 750 teens in one month earlier this year, found that Facebook has experienced a 20% point drop since 2015 in […]

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834% Rise in TSB Customer Attacks

Following the IT ‘meltdown’ at TSB last month which led to chaos for customers who were locked out of their own accounts, research has found that the number of phishing attacks targeting TSB customers leapt by 843% in May compared with April. Fraudsters Taking Advantage The statistics, reported recently in Computer Weekly, appear to indicate […]

Fruit Robots

Tests are being completed of ‘robot’ fruit-picking machines that can pick strawberries as carefully and quickly as humans, and can help growers solve the labour shortage challenge next growing season. Belgian Prototype Very Promising European strawberry growers in Spain, Belgium and the UK are welcoming tests of robotic prototypes that can harvest soft fruit mechanically. […]

Smart Solar Power Savings From Google

Google, in partnership with energy supplier Eon, with help from German software firm Tetraeder, has released an online tool called ‘Project Sunroof’ that uses Google’s Earth and Maps apps to estimate how much money homeowners could by switching to solar power. How? Smart ‘machine learning’ is at the heart of the tool, and it is […]

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Instant GDPR Complaints For Web Giants

In an almost inevitable turn of events, the social media and tech giants Facebook, Google, Instagram and WhatsApp faced a barrage of accusations that they were not compliant within hours of GDPR being introduced on May 25th. What’s Wrong? The complaints, spearheaded by Privacy group noyb.eu led by Max Schrems centred around the idea that […]

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Data Breach Fine For UK University

The Information Commissioner (ICO) has imposed a fine of £120,000 on the University of Greenwich for a data breach that left the personal details of thousands of students exposed online. What Happened? The breach was discovered back in February 2016, but actually dates back to 2004 and concerns a microsite that was made for a […]

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TalkTalk Super Router Security Fears Persist

An advisory notice from software and VR Company IndigoFuzz has highlighted the continued potential security risk posed by a vulnerability in the WPS feature in TalkTalk’s Super Router. What Vulnerability? According to IndigoFuzz, the WPS connection is insecure and the WPS pairing option is always turned on i.e. the WPS feature in the router is […]

GDPR: Don’t Get Caught Out By Your Logfiles

With all the focus on the more visible elements of GDPR compliance ahead of the Regulation’s introduction of May 25th, one EU Working group is warning businesses not to forget what’s stored in the logfiles of their Internet-facing servers. What Are Logfiles and Why Should We Care? Logfiles record either events that occur in an […]

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Google Chrome’s ‘Incognito’ Mode Not So Incognito

Research by Internet Privacy Company DuckDuckGo is reported to have produced evidence that could show that even in Incognito mode, users of Google Chrome can still be tracked, and searches are still personalised accordingly. Incognito Mode Going incognito (private browsing mode) in Google Chrome means launching a separate ‘Incognito’ browser window by going to top […]

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GMA win Trusted Advisor of the Year Award

  GMA are delighted to be selected by intY as the winner of “Trusted Advisor of the Year 2017” Thanks for our colleagues at intY for giving GMA this award at their ceremony in London at “The Brewery”, near the Barbican centre, on 27th Sept 2017. We hope to continue the partnership to offer all […]

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GMA Celebrates 25 Years!

  It is quite hard to imagine our world without GMA in it, but 25 years ago GMA didn’t exist. In the IT world of 1992 the market was just blossoming. The most dominant introduction around this time was the World Wide Web. Around this time it’s estimated there were just 10,000 websites, today there […]