Week Ending: 22nd January - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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It’s certainly been a week of big headlines – President Biden’s inauguration, home-schooling and vaccines, but what about the Tech and I.T. world?

From lawsuits to vaccine phishing cyberattacks, we’ll bring you up to date on some of the industry’s biggest headlines from the last seven days.

BT face £600 million lawsuit for ‘landline overcharging’.

BT came under fire this week after it was announced the firm is facing a £600 million class-action lawsuit around claims that it has failed to compensate elderly customers that have been overcharged for landlines for years!

BT had allegedly been overcharging its elderly customers for eight years and only agreeing to lower its landline prices following a 2017 review by Ofcom.

Ofcom’s 2017 report stated “people who only had a landline telephone were getting poor value for money in a market that is not serving them well enough” this caused BT to reduce the landline price by £7 a month. However, this didn’t appease everyone as ‘loyal customers’ have not been compensated for overcharging in the past.

Justin Le Patourel, Ofcom, commented:

“Ofcom made it very clear that BT had spent years overcharging landline customers but did not order it to repay the money it made from this. We think millions of BT’s most loyal landline customers could be entitled to compensation of up to £500 each”.

BT said it “strongly disagrees” with this claim and responded saying that they have offered discounted landline and broadband packages in a very competitive market and take pride in their work with the elderly and vulnerable groups.

Discover more here.

Huge rise in phishing domains since COVID-19 vaccines began.

Cybercriminals continue to leverage the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the roll out of the vaccine they seem to have increased their activity.

According to a new report released this week, the number of malicious Covid-19-related domains has spiked dramatically and all since the vaccines were announced and began rolling out.

The report reveals that more than 4,500 new suspicious domains were discovered just 4 weeks after the vaccine rollout was announced, with the domains all containing words such "Covid-19", "corona", "vaccine" and "cure Covid".

The analysis also showed that the use of the word “vaccine” in suspicious domain names had increased by 94.8% between 8 December last year and 6 January 2021 when compared to the previous 30 days.

Nick Emanuel, Senior Director of Product at Webroot who conducted the research, said:

“As 2021 brings the first mass vaccination programs to fight COVID-19, we’re already seeing cybercriminals exploiting the publicity and anticipation surrounding these to target businesses and consumers in phishing and domain spoofing attacks. Scams using keywords based on emotive subjects concerning medical safety and the pandemic are always going to be more effective,

especially when they’re in the public interest.”

This research adds to what we already know about how cybercriminals are exploiting the pandemic for their own gains. It’s therefore important to remember to be vigilant when it comes to opening any links or emails that you don’t recognise.

Read more here.

UK businesses fear ransomware attack in 2021.

According to a report issued this week, a large proportion of businesses in the UK believe they are at risk of a cyberattack in 2021, and its ransomware they believe to be the biggest threat.

Almost half (46%) of business leaders surveyed said they saw ransomware as the biggest cybersecurity risk to their business over the next two years. Cloud account compromise, insider threats, and phishing campaigns were also identified as major concerns.

With many businesses now managing many of their staff remotely, they have identified staff training as one of the most important actions to take to safeguard them against these attacks.

Remote working, as we know, has led to a significant increase in cyberattacks over the last 12 months, and without proper education and training, this is likely to keep growing.

According to the report, over half of respondents (54%) said that time and resource was the main obstacle they came up against when implementing an effective training plan.

Read more 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.