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Week Ending: 6th December - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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December is officially here, which means everyone has ramped up the Christmas cheer. Whether you’ve been hiding from the merriment or busy making the most of the Christmas treats, if you’ve missed the comings and goings in the world of I.T. and Tech our trusty roundup is here to bring you right up to date.

Huawei begins legal battle with US

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has launched a legal challenge against the USA, as it believes that the country has no evidence that it is a threat to national security.

This is the latest move in the ongoing battle between Huawei and the US. Speaking at a news conference at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen, the company’s chief legal officer, Song Liuping, said: "The US government has never presented real evidence to show that Huawei is a national security threat. That’s because this evidence does not exist."

This is the second legal challenge this year by the company as it fights back against the Trump administration’s policies. Back in May, Huawei launched a similar challenge after the US made the decision to ban government agencies in the country from purchasing its technology. The company has been drawn into the on-going trade war and dispute between the world’s two biggest economies – China and the USA. Read more here.

UK bank trials biometric payment fob

The Royal Bank of Scotland is testing new technology that will allow users to make contactless payments of up to £100 using a payment fob enabled with biometric technology. This will be the first time people in the UK will be able to make payments without using a bank card or mobile phone.

The fobs are around the size of an average keyring, can be fitted to a key chain and they feature a small fingerprint scanner. They will be accepted at existing chip and pin terminals, and according to RBS, its fingerprint scanner will make contactless payments more secure.

Earlier this year the bank trialled biometric bank cards that allowed people to make contactless payments over the current maximum of £30. The bank said this trial was a success but hasn’t said when these cards will be available to all its customers. David Crawford, head of Royal Bank Effortless Payments, said: "After the successful pilot of our biometric debit card we are looking at how we can further develop the technology and push the boundaries to integrate it into our customers everyday lives."

Cyberattacks are becoming more targeted

According to a recent report, cyberattacks are becoming increasingly targeted in nature with targeted attacks outnumbering mass attacks by 65% in the third quarter of 2019. The report also found that attacks on the whole increased during the same period, the most common targets being government, industry, finance, education and science.

In the third quarter of this year, the share of cyberattacks aimed at data theft grew to 61% of all attacks on organisations and 64% of all attacks on individuals (compared to 58% and 55%, respectively, in the second quarter). The share of attacks with direct financial motivation was 31%.

Additionally, it found one fifth of attacks are directed against individuals and almost three quarters of these were to steal data such as personal information and passwords rather than financial. The research actually noted a reduction in cryptocurrency miner attacks, to just 3% of attacks against organisations and 2% of attacks against individuals. This, it said, may be due to the gradual transition by attackers to malware with multifunction capabilities.


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