To help you keep pace with developments in the hosting and tech world, we’ve decided to send out regular blog posts featuring the latest industry news. This is our first post, so we hope you find it both useful and interesting.
Android autofill to be made more secure
Autofill does make filling in forms so much easier, especially on fiddly mobile screens, but what happens if someone gets access to your phone? It means they can get hold of your personal data, log in to all your online accounts and spend the content of your bank account. While most of us lock our phones with a PIN, Google is not satisfied this warrants enough security.
To overcome this, Google is now considering the use of biometric verification before autofill populates your input fields with pre-stored data. To do this, the Android code which carries out the autofill could be updated to enforce the use of biometric verification technologies, such as fingerprint scanning or facial recognition.
Competition over the right to use domain names has always been controversial and it’s a primary reason why businesses should secure as many variants of their brand domains as they can. Recently, however, things seem to be getting a little more heated. After years of asking, global retail giant Amazon has finally been given control of the .amazon top-level domain by regulator ICANN.
This control gives Amazon the sole right to use a top-level domain and this is causing a lot of anger for the South American governments in whose countries the other Amazon is to be found. Indeed the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation, which represents the countries, has called the move ‘illegal and unjust’. Amazon Inc. did try to resolve the issue by offering the South Americans $5 million worth of free Kindles but this didn’t seem to appease their demands. We now wait to see what Jeff Bozos and his company will do with the domain. With amazon.com and its variants already universally established, amazon.amazon might not be worth the struggle.
160,000 GDPR fines in 18 months
Since the madness that preceded the introduction of GDPR in May 2018, the publicity surrounding the regulation seems to have gone quiet. However, despite the radio silence, the various authorities across the EU have been eagerly slapping fines on thousands of miscreants for non-compliance. In the countries in which GDPR operates, over 160,000 fines have already been issued, costing companies almost £100 million.
Though the average fine of £625 doesn’t seem very much, the number issued shows that, right from the outset, regulators are strictly policing GDPR and quickly taking non-compliers to task. In the UK alone, over 22,000 companies have been sanctioned and this number, together with the size of the fines, is set to grow over the next few years. If you are not yet GDPR compliant, you should act quickly before the ICO starts knocking!
Sentry sneaks into Camelot
Though the chances of winning Camelot’s National Lottery might not be very good, the odds that your online account could get hacked might be lower than you think. Just before Christmas, a London-based hacker was in court for illegally accessing National Lottery user accounts which he managed to do using the automated hacking tool, Sentry MBA, purchased from a dark web vendor.
While Camelot has gambled on an updated security system to prevent similar issues arising in the future, the real issue is the easy availability of tools like Sentry MBA. With them, virtually any wannabe cybercriminal can attempt a brute force attack on any website. These sophisticated tools are able to understand the unique characteristics of the site they attack, they have databases of stolen and frequently used usernames and passwords to guess the right combination and they use proxies to evade website defences. With tools like these around, everyone should be making their websites more secure.
Long wait for Internet Explorer patch
Despite the fact that the recently discovered vulnerability in Internet Explorer is now being exploited by cybercriminals in the wild, Microsoft is in no hurry to issue a patch to fix it. Indeed, they have said it will be next month before one is released.
With IE now being a legacy browser, perhaps this delay comes as no surprise, with Microsoft no doubt hoping that more of its users will replace it with the newer Microsoft Edge. At the same time, it might lead the legions of people still using Windows 7 to upgrade to the Windows 10 operating system.
The vulnerability, however, serves as a reminder to everyone to update their software as soon as a new version is released. It’s the best way to keep hackers at bay.
Germans to get personalised footy
Bayern fans are in for a better TV and live streaming experience now that the German Bundesliga has signed the latest technologies for its broadcasting team. Data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning have all joined the squad to provide in-depth analysis of live matches and personalised viewing experiences.
The technology can predict match outcomes, helping it to send recommendations of the best footage to watch in real-time. When this is combined with user data, those recommendations can be matched to the users’ preferences and previous viewing history to increase relevance and engagement. Vorsprung durch Technik (‘Being ahead through technology.’) as the Germans say.
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