Week Ending: 23rd October - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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With new COVID-19 rules, tiers and local lockdowns dominating the headlines this week, you’ll be forgiven for missing this week’s developments in the I.T. and Tech world.

From NASA’s recent mission to collect asteroid samples to a remote working accolade for our neighbours in Harrogate, we’ll bring you right up to date.

NASA spacecraft successfully collects asteroid sample

"I can't believe we actually pulled this off," were the words from the University of Arizona’s lead scientist Dante Lauretta this week, as NASA successfully collected a sample from the asteroid Bennu.

This really was history in the making, and such exciting news given the current climate.

The NASA spacecraft - Osiris-Rex - has been orbiting the Bennu asteroid for almost two years, and on Tuesday, made the landmark four-and-a-half hour journey from its orbit, 200 million miles from Earth, to hover just above its surface.

Incredibly, the spacecraft managed to avoid boulders as large as buildings to finally reach the asteroid and, using a 11ft robotic arm, managed to grab a sample.

In total, the mission took just 10 seconds, but the team in Denver had to wait for the radio communication delay to find out exactly what had happened.

You can imagine the cheer coming from the mission team when communication finally came through.

Scientists now have the chance to analyse the material the asteroid is made up of and can better predict paths and properties for future hazardous asteroids, therefore giving Earth a better chance to protect itself.

Read more about the mission here.

Employees using social media, messengers, cloud services face potential scams

With remote working becoming the norm for most businesses, it isn’t a surprise that cybercrime is on the increase. Businesses need to protect their employees from scams and fraudsters, however, limiting access to popular services may not be the most effective route.

A report issued by Kaspersky this week, revealed that “most organisations tend to block or limit access to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn. Of these 5, only Facebook sits among the services most frequently used for phishing, with 4.5 million attempts recorded over a six-month period this year.”

What organisations and I.T. departments are in fact missing is those channels which actually have a higher rate of phishing attempts including: WhatsApp (3.7 million phishing attempts), Amazon (3.3m), Apple (3.1m) Netflix (2.7m), and Google’s bundled services (YouTube, Gmail, Google Drive – 1.5m).

To protect against threats of this kind, companies should seek out endpoint security products and make sure employees are trained on cybersecurity.

Read more here.

Keeping your business safe by putting measures in place to prevent attacks or identifying them quicker will allow remote working to be smoother and more sustainable for the future. Please get in touch for advice on how to protect your business whilst working from home:

Google Discloses Biggest-Ever DDoS Attack

Google announced this week that it fended off a record-breaking distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack in 2017.

If this is the case, this makes it the biggest DDoS attack to date.

Google’s Threat Analysis Group made the announcement, stating that the attack was launched by a Chinese Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) group, often referred to by the name APT31.

Just last month researchers announced that there had been a surge in DDoS attacks throughout the course of this year and that attacks are getting more powerful and disruptive, so it’s likely we’ll be seeing more of these types of attacks in years to come.

In a blog post from the director of Google's Threat Analysis Group, Shane Huntley he stated: “While it’s less common to see DDoS attacks rather than phishing or hacking campaigns coming from government-backed threat groups, we’ve seen bigger players increase their capabilities in launching large-scale attacks in recent years.”

Read more on this story here.

Harrogate ranked best place in the UK to work from home

And to finish this week’s round-up some positive local news, as Harrogate has been ranked the best place in the UK to work from home.

After this week’s news, everyone will be moving to Yorkshire. The research carried out by revealed that Harrogate was the most desirable place to work from home.

The town’s huge amount of green space, low crime rates and good schools, along with superfast 60Mbps broadband were amongst the reasons why it was voted number one.

A positive piece for the region to end the week.

Read the full story here.

Those were some of this week’s biggest stories in I.T. and tech, but if you want more content, follow us across our four social media channels.