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

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Spooky season is almost upon us. With Halloween just around the corner we’ve got some ‘spooktacular’ I.T. and Tech news stories for you to get your teeth in to.

This week we cover everything from Trump launching a new social media platform called TRUTH Social, Acer falling victim to multiple cyber attacks in both Taiwan and Indian branches and Sunderland University’s recent cyber attack.

Let’s get you up to speed.

Trump is set to launch new social media platform TRUTH Social

Former US President, Donald Trump, has announced plans this week to launch a new social media network called TRUTH Social following claims that the ‘big tech’ companies are silencing opposing voices in the US.

Social media played a pivotal role in Donald Trump’s run for the White House, and it was widely known that it was his favourite form of communication as President. Unfortunately, or fortunately, he was banned from Twitter and suspended from Facebook following the storming of the US Capitol by his supporters.

The social media platforms fell under pressure throughout Donald Trump’s presidency to ban him, as many of his posts were criticised as insulting, inflammatory or peddling outright falsehoods.

Since then, Donald Trump and his advisors have been hinting that they are planning to create a rival social media site. An early version of his latest venture, TRUTH Social, will be open to invited guests next month and will be rolled out nationwide in the first three months of 2022.

Trump commented;

“We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favourite American President has been silenced. Everyone asks me why doesn’t someone stand up to Big Tech? Well, we will be soon.”

The nature of TRUTH Social will be overtly politicised, it will not be a talking shop of ideas like Twitter, or a family friendly platform like Facebook. However, it will be similar to other ‘free speech’ social media platforms such as Parler or Gab.

Read more here.

Acer Taiwan falls victim to cyber attack

Tech company Acer, fell victim to yet another cyber attack this week at its Taiwanese branch just three days after the same hacking group managed to breach the servers of Acer India.

DESORDEN hackers announced they had managed to obtain login details belonging to employees of Acer’s Taiwanese branch. The hacking group stated that it had breached the tech giant’s systems in order to “prove that Acer is way behind in its cyber security effects on protecting its data.” They also described the company as a “global network of vulnerable servers.”

The hackers attached a table displaying employee logins and passwords to some of Acer’s Taiwanese servers, these details were then shared on a hacking forum.

DESORDEN, commented;

“We did not steal all the data that was stored on the server and only took data pertaining to Acer employee details. Right after the breach, we informed Acer management on the Taiwan server breach and Acer has since taken the affected server offline.”

This attack comes days after DESORDEN managed to breach the servers of Acer India and obtain approximately 60GB of sensitive data belonging to millions of the company’s customers.

Discover more here.

University of Sunderland’s I.T. system still disabled a week after cyber attack

The University of Sunderland has taken its I.T. system down and is still unable to access online lectures following a cyber attack which took place over a week ago.

The attack which reportedly took place on 12th October has left I.T. systems crippled, with staff and students left unable to use email, online classes cancelled and the university’s website down.

Due to this attack, staff and students could not communicate over Microsoft Teams or the university’s Canvas Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), which provides access to coursework and feedback as well as assignment submission.

An alternative domain has been set up to help provide updates to concerned students, however no services will be offered through this new website.

Sir David Bell, the university’s vice-chancellor commented;

“I was hopeful the frustrating attack, which has disabled the institution’s I.T. systems, would not last for weeks or months. I have been working with the local and national agencies to fix the issue and I’m hopeful there will be positive news in the coming days.”

It seems cyber criminals view this sector as an easier target following virtual transformation efforts all the way through the pandemic. In July, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) updated its guidance on ransomware following a spate of assaults at the schooling sector.

The campus remains open, but with the students unable to use many on-site services including printing and Wi-Fi, this has caused mass disruption for both students and staff.

Find out 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.