Week Ending: 08th October - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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Thank goodness it’s Friday! Don’t worry if you’ve missed the top news stories in I.T. and Technology this week, our Weekly Roundup is here to get you all caught up.

This week’s round-up covers everything from the Facebook outage wiping $50bn off its market value, a data breach at Twitch and Sky’s latest development, the launch of Sky Glass TV.

Let’s get you up to speed.

Twitch confirms massive data breach

Game-streaming platform Twitch has been the victim of a leak, reportedly divulging confidential company information and streamers’ earnings, with more than 100GB of data being posted online earlier this week.

The hack appeared to expose the gaming platform’s source code along with the earnings of Twitch’s top streamers, showing they have each made millions of dollars over the past two years from the Amazon-owned company. Twitch confirmed the issue and said it is “working with urgency” to understand the full extent of the breach.

Twitch is usually renowned for carefully guarding operational details, such as how much its streamers are paid, so the breach is in danger of harming the platform’s reputation. Unfortunately for Twitch the data breach also comes at a time when its competitors, including YouTube Gaming, are offering large salaries as they look to poach gaming talent.

Candid Wuest, from cybersecurity company, Acronis, commented;

“A lot more damage is now in store for Twitch. The breach was already harming Twitch on all the fronts that count. The leaked data could contain nearly the full digital footprint of Twitch, making it one of the most severe data breaches of late.”

I.T. teams are still in the process of trying to uncover just how serious the data leak is. Although they have not yet said when the mistake was made, so far, the explanation for the hack is that there was a “server configuration” issue, due to human error. Much of the stolen data goes back three years, which might possibly mean servers have been vulnerable to attack for some time although it is also possible that the vulnerability happened more recently. Hackers are always searching and scanning for open databases but it may be that the hackers were tipped off about the internal I.T. blunder.

The download released online was labelled ‘part one’ – suggesting there may be more information to come.

Find out more here.

Facebook outage: what went wrong?

Social media giant, Facebook and its other platforms, including Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, went down globally for close to six hours at the beginning of this week. The fallout of Facebook’s unprecedented outage has mostly focused on the financial impact to the social media empire, with $50bn (£37bn) being wiped off the company’s market value.

Many people have been left asking what happened to cause this outage? During routine maintenance of Facebook’s global network, engineers issued a command which unintentionally took down all the connections in its backbone network, effectively disconnecting Facebook data centres globally.

Facebook’s vice-president, Santosh Janardhan commented,

“Our systems are designed to audit commands like these to prevent mistakes like this, but a bug in that audit tool prevented it from properly stopping the command.”

The command resulted in a loss of connection which then caused a second issue which further compounded the problem.

Many of Facebook’s 2.8 billion users felt the impact on their businesses and communications. It was a timely reminder of the dominant position Facebook has in the modern communications market.

The outage comes at a particularly difficult time for the company, which is finding itself increasingly under pressure over its reach and impact on society.

Read more here.

Sky Glass TV confirmed with built-in Sky, 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos

Sky has announced its first ever TV, Sky Glass. The "streaming TV from Sky" brings the Sky Q service to homes through WiFi, which means no set-top box or dish is required. Becoming the only TV integrated with Sky, this is the first step towards Sky’s goal of moving its TV service from satellite to broadband.

Sky is not the first to package its services into a device, Apple TV box and Amazon’s Fire dongle for example, but combining them with a TV takes the idea further.

With playlist features, a 4K Ultra HD screen, surround sound and voice activation, similar to home speaker devices such as Alexa or Google Home, Sky said the new system will simplify the way users watch and find TV.

Dana Strong, Sky Chief Executive commented;

“Sky Glass is the streaming TV with Sky inside, providing the total integration of hardware, software and content. Built on over 30 years of understanding what our customers want, this is a TV that only Sky could make. We believe this is the smartest TV available, and that customers will love it.”

Discover 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.