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Week Ending: October 19th - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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This week’s roundup of I.T. and tech news focusses on the threat of cyberattacks to the UK from hostile nations; the launch of a new Code of Practice for the Internet of Things’ security, and the most recent controversy surrounding Facebook.

UK faces constant security threat from hostile attackers

The UK’s top cyber-defence centre has stopped Britain falling victim to almost 1,200 attacks in the last two years, its annual review reveals.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is currently conquering around 10 attacks every single week within the UK, revealing also that many of the cyberattacks directed against the UK were the work of the Russian intelligence agency, the GRU.

The annual review, published on the 16th, gives further detail for the first time of the type of tactics that are used by the NCSC’s incident management team, which works tirelessly behind the scenes to coordinate defences to support UK victims when attacks do get through.

As well as defeating sophisticated attacks by foreign powers, the NCSC had also sought to shut down net sites and domains used in phishing attacks. This led to the closure of over 140,000 sites which are disguised to look like they were created by banks, government agencies and businesses.

DCMS launches Code of Practice for IoT security

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has launched a new voluntary Code of Practice to help manufacturers boost the security of internet-connected devices such as smartwatches, virtual assistants and toys.

There are expected to be more than 420m internet connected devices in use across the UK within the next three years, and the government fears that poorly secured devices such as virtual assistants, toys and smartwatches could leave people exposed to security issues and even large scale cyberattacks.

The new Code of Practice outlines thirteen guidelines that manufacturers of consumer devices should implement into their product’s design to keep consumers safe. This includes secure storage of personal data, regular software updates to make sure devices are protected against emerging security threats, no default passwords and making it easier for users to delete their personal data off the product.

Read more via Electronics Weekly.

Facebook tool makes UK political ads ‘transparent’

As of the 16th of October, any person who wishes to advertise a political cause on Facebook within the UK will need to abide by a new set of rules.

Users will now need to prove their identity and location to Facebook and each advertisement will now carry a message saying who has paid for the content.

These new tools are part of a commitment Facebook made during appearances before the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) earlier this year to offer more transparency around political advertising.

This news has come following Facebook’s recent controversy over the way the political advertisements were used during the US 2016 Election and the UK’s EU referendum.

In the US, thousands of ads were bought by Russian groups in an attempt to create disharmony throughout the country. Facebook has been under tremendous pressure to make sure the same thing did not happen during the run-up to November’s midterm elections.

Read more on the changing practices of Facebook via the BBC.


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