Catch up on this week’s round-up of the latest hosting and tech news. Here’s what we’ve uncovered since our last edition.
AI Pilgrim Father heads to Cape Cod
One of the most hi-tech yachts ever built is about to leave Plymouth in a recreation of the Pilgrim Father’s transatlantic crossing on the Mayflower in 1620. The aptly named Mayflower Autonomous Ship is a 10 knots per hour trimaran, skippered by an artificial intelligence robot that uses over a million images of the sea to help it navigate. The 32.5m vessel is built from lightweight, aluminium composite, powered by solar-powered batteries and features radar, lidar, GPS and camera technologies. These technologies will help the AI captain to scan the sea ahead for hazards and, if necessary, make data-driven decisions to amend its course and speed.
As it makes its way to Cape Cod, just like the original Mayflower, the 21st Century namesake will also use its onboard tech to gather data about the Atlantic and its marine life, while also collecting water samples to discover the extent of plastic pollution.
Video game sites hacked
Five members of a Malaysian and Chinese cybercriminal gang have been charged by the US of hacking businesses in the video games industry. According to the US Justice Department, the Chinese members of the gang, several of whom were senior managers for a network security business, hacked into the websites of video game companies in the US, Japan, Singapore, France and South Korea. During the attacks, they fraudulently obtained in-game currencies and other items and these were then passed to the Malaysian members who sold them on the black market for genuine currency through an illegal website.
At the same time, the gang were also charged with hacking up to a hundred different software developers, computer manufacturers and social media companies from Australia, Brazil, Chile, India, Japan, Singapore and the USA. The hackers were charged in their absence and because of the lack of extradition treaties with the USA they are unlikely to face justice.
Universities replace labs with VR
The lack of space in science labs due to social distancing has led universities to use virtual labs instead. The technology had originally been developed to let students experiment with dangerous materials without physical risk.
Other advantages of virtual reality include the ability to use ‘inverted microscopes’ where students can go inside structures to examine them in minute detail. So, instead of looking at a blood cell under a microscope, they can actually wander around inside the cell. At the same time, the simulated environment can include virtual versions of hi-tech equipment that the university doesn’t have the financial resources to afford or which there is little access to for students.
Interestingly, students who have had the opportunity to work in VR labs have improved the recall of the subjects they have worked on.
DDoS attacks rise by 151%
According to a report by the security company, Neustar, the number of DDoS attacks rose by 151% in the first six months of 2020. Among these were both the longest and largest attacks the company had seen, with one attack lasting over five days and another hitting 1.17 Tbps.
Neustar state that indicators highlight the growing number, volume and intensity of DDoS attacks following the pandemic. Attacks are getting bigger, lasting longer and occurring more frequently than ever before. This is happening to companies of all sizes, with the biggest rise in attacks taking place on both the largest and the smallest companies.
Smaller companies are particularly at risk as bad actors need fewer resources to knock out their services. In this sense, cybercriminals see them as low hanging fruit. As a result, the most significant rise has been in the number of small-scale attacks, which, according to Neustar, puts every small business with an internet presence at risk.
Recruitment site joins cloud race
Job site company, Indeed, is the latest major business to announce plans for a cloud migration. The company intends to migrate its customer-facing products, business-critical workloads and legacy databases to the cloud, in a process that will see 30 petabytes of data being moved.
The goal of Indeed’s migration is to shrink its in-house datacentre footprint by 40 per cent and to streamline its IT operations. Cloud technology will enable the company to scale its core data platform on top of vendor infrastructure, increase online availability and improve the reliability and performance of its website for users, especially during peak periods.
It will also make use of analytics, machine learning, managed databases, compute, storage and data warehousing to speed up the innovation of new products while simultaneously cutting the cost of development.
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