Latest Hosting and Tech News

Latest Hosting and Tech News

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.  

Fastest firewall

Fortinet, the industry-leading firewall developer has launched the FortiGate 4800F, the fastest ever compact firewall for hyperscale data centres and 5G networks. The new firewall supports 19 times as many connections per second as older versions, enabling companies to run far more simultaneous applications. It also provides TLS 1.3 encryption, real-time insight into known, unknown and zero-day threats, and has a built-in zero trust network access that consistently applies policies and security controls across all operating environments.

WHUK customers will be happy to know that FortiGate firewalls have been a key part of our security arsenal for many years and that their advanced intrusion detection and anti-malware tools are used around the clock to keep systems defended.

NHS 111 attacked

The NHS has confirmed that an outage of its 111 telephone service was caused by a cyberattack. Thankfully, only a small number of NHS servers were affected, however, to prevent the attack from spreading, the NHS had to isolate its health and care environments.

While overall disruption to the NHS was only minimal, it did affect the system responsible for dispatching ambulances, ordering emergency prescriptions and booking emergency appointments. This technical issue led to GPs in London being told to expect more 111 patients as the attack affected the electronic referral process for patients in the capital. Those working to recover the system say it could take a week before service is back to normal.

Google feels the heat

As the UK sweltered under the highest temperatures ever recorded on 19 July, it wasn’t just people that struggled to keep cool; Google’s London data centre also floundered in the heat. Indeed, the temperatures got so high that the facility’s two cooling systems failed, and the data centre was forced to shut down to prevent downtime or damage to its hardware.

Modern data centres are purposely built for the environment in which they are set, so the cooling systems at the London data centre would have been designed to cope with the usual range of temperatures experienced in the capital. However, the record temperatures, which remained above 35 degrees throughout 19 July, were beyond expected limits.

As a result of the data centre being shut down, all virtual machines running on Google’s Compute Engine were taken offline, making a number of services across Google’s Europe West 2 zone temporarily unavailable.

UK safety tech boom

The rise in cybercrime has led to a boom in the UK safety tech sector, with annual growth increasing 21% to almost £400 million in 2021. During the same period, the sector’s 117 firms saw employment increase by 30% with the number of current vacancies just short of 3,000. It was also good news for levelling up within the sector with the percentage of firms outside of London and the south rising from 48% to 57%.  

The UK is now a world leader in developing practical IT solutions to improve internet safety and despite the current economic turmoil, the sector is expected to continue growing during the next year. Indeed, two-thirds of businesses within the sector predict increases of over 50% in their number of customers by 2023.

Much of the development taking place is to create tools that tackle child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) content. This focus has been driven by the UK’s Online Safety Bill, which aims to make some businesses adopt safety tech tools, even to the extent of bypassing end-to-end encryption. This, however, is a contentious area that many privacy campaigners strongly object to.

Social engineering scam

A former T-Mobile store owner in California has been found guilty of numerous social engineering frauds. The former owner made over £20 million by stealing staff login credentials that enabled him to unlock and unblock hundreds of thousands of T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint customers’ smartphones.

Phone contracts don’t allow unlocking until after the contract comes to an end, in order to prevent the purchasers from selling their phones before they have paid for them. By unblocking them early, customers were then able to sell their phones on the black market, with the store owner being compensated by the sellers.

The owner obtained login credentials using phishing and other social engineering methods against more senior employees. He would then reset these employees’ passwords giving him free rein to unblock phones using their accounts.

Visit the WHUK website for more news, knowledge base articles, blog posts and information on our wide range of hosting services.

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