Week Ending: 28th May - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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How time flies, our last Weekly Roundup of the month is here! With the excitement of another long bank holiday weekend and half term next week we don’t blame you if you missed the latest developments in the I.T. and Tech industry.

From the latest WhatsApp scam to Amazon’s new automated vehicles and robot sorters and Ethereum’s mission to cut its energy use.

Let’s get you up to date.

WhatsApp warning over scam that allows criminals to lock account

The messenger app giant, WhatsApp, has warned users of a recent scam that could lock people out of their accounts and access their private messages. Cybercriminals have tricked WhatsApp users into handing over a six-digit verification code, allowing them to steal the account and attack their contacts in the same way.

These types of scams have been increasing, especially during the pandemic, when people are more vulnerable to these attacks. Knowing what to expect is half the battle, protecting yourself from future threats is the other half.

The chain of events for this type of scam happens when a hacker has access to another WhatsApp account which has your contact details in. The hacker will then pose as a friend and mimic the messaging style to continue conversations. However, during this time you will receive a text message or email from WhatsApp with a verification code. The hacker will have requested this code whilst posing as you, but message as your friend claiming they sent the code to the wrong account and ask you to give them the six-digits.

Unfortunately, this scam has taken multiple victims already, proving to be a sophisticated cyberattack. A recent tweet has surfaced commenting

“Three members of my family have lost access to their WhatsApp this morning. Hackers send a text message from WA with a verification code, then a WhatsApp text from someone you know saying they desperately need the code. Do not send the code or click the link.”

Ensuring that you have a two-factor authentication that requires a pin number to log into your WhatsApp account could help prevent potential attacks.

Read more here.

Amazon to introduce automated vehicles and robot sorters in UK warehouses

Tech commerce giant, Amazon, has once again gone above and beyond with their developments. Amazon is now planning to use automated vehicles and mechanical sorters to reduce the need to carry heavy loads and reduce the number of repetitive tasks for humans.

Within Amazon’s warehouses, the amount of work needed to supply orders to the millions of customers daily is more than humans can manage. Not only does automation provide a quick and seamless journey it reduces the risk of human error or injury.

This latest development will include item sorters that will remove the need for an employee to search through boxes looking for items, therefore reducing muscle strain injuries. Automated pallet movers will make forklifts become obsolete, making room for machines that will lift large boxes and place them onto the conveyor belts automatically.

This experimental tech will be deployed at Amazon’s new site in Doncaster later this year. Dan Fell, Chief Executive of Doncaster Chamber of Commerce commented,

“Through our partnership on fulfilment centre tours at the height of the pandemic, Amazon has demonstrated to members of the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce and others across the UK how people and technology can work hand-in-hand in the workplace to create a positive, and most importantly, a safe workplace for the benefit of both businesses and their employees.”

With big changes such as these, there is always backlash and Amazon is no exception. Many people worry about their job security when automated technology gets introduced. Whilst the technology will benefit the company to sort more efficiently and reduce risks, how many jobs will be at risk?

Discover more here.

Ethereum to change its cryptocurrency to dramatically cut its energy use

Cryptocurrency has repeatedly hit the headlines over the last few months, with Bitcoin’s value dropping, following Elon Musk’s tweet about Tesla no longer accepting Bitcoin as a purchase option and the overwhelming environmental implications. Now Ethereum is set to make a major change to the technology underpinning its cryptocurrency which will reduce the amount of energy and emissions it uses.

Cryptocurrency miners are rewarded with coins; the more they mine the more coins they receive. This results in a higher total value of coins mined. However, the amount of energy being used by cryptocurrency miners is increasing constantly. Much of it being powered by fossil fuels, which can cause vast amounts of damage to the climate.

Most cryptocurrencies have been built on a ‘proof-of-work’ technology, which is one of the primary reasons it is so damaging to the environment. Miners must undertake complicated calculations which require many computers to be running, using a vast amount of energy.

However, there is an alternative technology called ‘proof-of-stake’ which can operate using much less energy. Ethereum has announced it will be moving to proof-of-stake in the coming months. This change will go from the same amount of energy used in a whole country to that of a small town, having a 99.95% reduction on energy use.

Vitalik Buterin, Creator of Ethereum commented,

“Switching to proof-of-stake has become more urgent for us because of how crypto and Ethereum have grown over the last year. I’m definitely very happy that one of the biggest problems of blockchain will go away when proof of stake is complete. It’s amazing.”

Explore 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.