Week Ending: 13th March - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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With coronavirus still dominating the news headlines and spreading across the globe, it’s hard to keep up with the latest I.T. and tech news. It’s been a busy week in the news, however. This week’s roundup brings you covid-19’s latest effect on the tech industry, coupled with a nation of zombie bots taken down by Microsoft, and a report by that shows just how slow broadband in some UK homes really is compared to London’s Underground. And breathe. Catchup here on the latest industry news.

Global bot network taken down by Microsoft

In the news this week, Microsoft has announced that it was part of a team that combatted an international army of zombie bots called Necurs. As one of the world’s largest botnets, it has infected over 9 million computers across the globe and was responsible for numerous criminal scams including sending fake emails and stealing personal information.

Bots work by activation from cyber-criminals, where they then remotely take over internet-connected devices to install malicious software, which can then be used for unlawful activity like collecting personal data and deleting files without notifying the owner. In a statement by Microsoft, the takedown of Necurs spanned 8 years and was a team effort with 35 countries involved.

The global network Necurs appeared in 2012, and to grow its network to 9 million, it used an algorithm that created domain names which then turned into websites. It used these sites to send instructions to its army of infected computers. The takedown implemented by Microsoft and partners cracked Necurs’ algorithm, allowing them to predict what domain names it would be using in advance, so they could then block them before turning into malicious websites.

Read more here.

UK homes have broadband slower than the Tube

This week the Metro revealed that data collected from a Uswitch research report evidences that millions of homes in the UK have a slower broadband connection than the London Underground.

After Uswitch analysed 99 platforms and stations for its WiFi speeds in Zone 1 of the underground network, the average broadband speed is 19.8Mbps. In contrast to this, research demonstrates that 4.4 million homes across the UK are still utilising old ADSL connections, which reaches speeds of just 8.8Mbps. Additionally, 30 of the 99 platforms could even be labelled as having superfast broadband with speeds of over 24Mbps, with Embankment station, Charing Cross, Lambeth North and Paddington being the fastest stations. Westminster, High Street Kensington, Holborn, Gloucester Road and Sloane Square were named the slowest WiFi stations.

The Bakerloo line was recorded as having the fastest download speed, and the District line the slowest, with a speed of just 5.58Mpbs.

In conclusion, the current WiFi service available on the Tube offers a faster network speed than 30% of UK homes. The Government has pledged that all homes will have gigabit-speed broadband by 2025.

E3 cancelled due to Covid-19

The world’s biggest gaming conference, E3, The Electronic Entertainment Expo organised by the Entertainment Software Association, has been cancelled due to coronavirus fears. The event that takes place in Los Angeles is the latest one to be cancelled by officials in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

It brings 70,000 people together to hear announcements about latest and upcoming games and test the games. This year’s conference was expected to be significant, with it being the last expo before PlayStation and Xbox release the new PlayStation 5 and Series X at the end of the year.

Bloomberg and Ars Technica have already announced the decision after official reports surfaced and speculative rumours appeared on social media, with an official announcement to come from E3 later on.

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