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Week Ending: November 9th - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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This week’s roundup in I.T. and tech news brings you stories on the US midterms, artificial intelligence and a Twitter hack that set out to steal Bitcoin. It’s been an interesting week in the industry so take five and make sure you’re clued up with some of the key stories.

Twitter accounts used to promote cryptocurrency malware

Several verified Twitter accounts were hacked over the course of this week, one of which was PatheUK, a film distribution company in the UK with over 20,000 followers as well as retail outlet Matalan with its 81,700 following.

It was revealed earlier this week that the accounts were hacked and used in an attempt to scam users out of Bitcoin. Due to the number of followers the accounts have, they were equipped with the ‘verified’ blue tick, making it look more genuine.

The accounts were abducted, redesigned and immediately started to pump out tweets in an attempt to convince people that they were in fact Tesla CEO, Elon Musk.

The tweet read: “I’m giving away 10,000 Bitcoin (BTC) to all community!” followed by a statement that he had left his Tesla post. The link in the tweet invites the user to send a small amount of crypto to a given wallet, and in return, multiple Bitcoins will be credited to their account. Because that’s absolutely how it works!

However unfortunately for some, many people believed the scam, and some sent the cryptocurrency. The total transactions given to the scam account totalled 28.2 bitcoins, which is around $180,000 at the current rate of exchange.

Read more on this via Crypto News Review.

American midterms faced online threats of disinformation from bot accounts on social media

This week the American midterm elections took place, leading to gains from both ends of the political divide in the US. However, as what now seems to be commonplace within the American political system, there was of course a campaign of disinformation being run by over 10,000 Twitter bot accounts, 30 Facebook accounts and around 85 Instagram accounts. And for all we know, these could just be the tip of the iceberg.

The Facebook accounts all seem to have been in French and Russian languages, whereas the Instagram accounts were all in English. Some accounts would focus on celebrity involvement, whereas others would engage in political debate.

The process for the identification of these accounts is a complicated one, however there are now systems in place to manage and identify these threats. Some publicly available tools are known, such as ‘Hoaxley’ and ‘Botometer’, developed by computer researchers at the University of Indiana. With these tools, users can identify automated accounts and analyse how they spread information.

Learn more via Sky News.

AI will match human intelligence by 2062

According to a leading expert, in less than 50 years, artificial intelligence will be comparable with humans on traits such as adaptability, creativity and emotional intelligence.

Toby Walsh, a professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of New South Wales, has placed a date on this reality when speaking at the “Festival of Dangerous Ideas” at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Walsh argued that we are already experiencing the risks of AI that seem to be so far in the future.

Walsh argued that the main challenge is to avoid the apocalyptic rhetoric of AI and to determine how to move forward in the new age of information.

Taking into account the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Walsh argued that we should be more sceptical about how data is misused by tech companies. In a world where people have watches that monitor your heartbeat and even blood pressure, data is becoming something that while belonging to the user, the user does not own.

A huge issue is untangling the ethics of machine accountability as they get smarter, and Walsh believes it “will be the third revolution in warfare”.


Those were some of this week’s top stories but if you want more content, follow us across our four social media channels.