Welcome to our latest round-up of news from the technology and hosting world. Here’s what we’ve discovered this month.
Tougher Rules For Service Providers
Managed service providers, like eukhost, now have to comply with stricter security regulations brought in by the UK government. As many of the UK’s key organisations and businesses have migrated IT operations to managed service providers, the government is concerned that cyberattacks on the service providers could take critical national infrastructure offline.
The Network and Information Systems (NIS) regulations first came into effect in 2018, but only now have service providers been included in order to increase national resilience. From now on, they must ensure adequate security is implemented and improve how they report cyber incidents to regulators. This includes providing information about a more extensive range of disruptive and potentially disruptive events. Service providers whose security measures are not considered compliant could be fined up to £17 million.
If you’d invested in Bitcoin in Dec 2012, 10 years ago, a single Bitcoin would have cost you just $12.56. In November last year, when its value was at its peak, you could have cashed that in and made over $60,000 in profit. Such a phenomenal rise in value over such a short space led to a huge rise in cryptocurrency investment and an increasing number of new cryptocurrencies.
Unfortunately, that bubble seems increasingly fragile. Over the last year, Bitcoin’s value has fallen nearly 70% to around $20,000 and several leading cryptocurrency firms have had to file for bankruptcy. Among these are Celsius Network, Voyager Digital, BlockFi and the much-publicised FTX.
As a result, values continue to fall as people begin to pull their investments and question the way cryptocurrency firms are run and regulated. John Ray, who was brought in to run FTX after it filed for bankruptcy claimed he had never seen such a ‘complete failure of corporate controls’ and that there was ‘a complete absence of trustworthy financial information.’
Besides making the world’s most luxurious cars, Rolls Royce is also a world leader in manufacturing jet engines. With global aviation producing 2.1% of all CO2 emissions and 12% of all transport emissions, the company is currently experimenting running a jet engine using carbon-free hydrogen power. If successful, such an engine could help to slash global carbon emissions and reduce the cost of flying. Kerosine, the hydrocarbon fuel it is replacing, is much more costly than hydrogen.
The current project, which is being backed by easyJet, is trialling the use of hydrogen with a standard Rolls-Royce AE-2100A gas turbine jet, one that is in common use within the industry. The engine needs little modification, but tests are needed to see how well the engine runs and can be controlled with the new fuel. Using a range of sensors, the team are running the jet at increasingly higher speeds to monitor how it performs.
This method has been seen as the way forward for greener air travel. While battery-powered flight is possible, current battery technology would not give sufficient power or travel the distances required by larger commercial aircraft.
Drones to the Rescue
Last year, the RNLI carried out over 3000 missions to rescue swimmers in distress and over 100 people drowned off the UK coast. Time is of the essence in rescue missions and in a bid to speed up rescue times, a drone-based solution is being trailed in south Wales.
The trial is making use of specially designed drones that can fly in strong winds and rain and which can land on and float in the water. They can also carry and release buoyancy aids that swimmers in distress can put on to keep themselves afloat until a rescue boat arrives to collect them.
The other advantage of using a drone is that it can fly high above the water, giving rescuers a better view of the sea than can be had from a boat, making it easier and quicker to locate those in distress.
Modern cars are packed to the rafters with hi-tech features, many of which can now be controlled by the owners’ apps. While this makes them highly convenient, it seems some makes have potential security flaws. Security experts have detected vulnerabilities with Hyundai and Genesis vehicles that could enable cybercriminals to control a range of functions remotely.
By targeting insecure APIs used in the owners’ mobile apps, the security experts were able to unlock the doors and boot and take control of the engine, lights and horn. Using reverse engineering, the vulnerability would allow hackers and car thieves to take complete remote control of the vehicles.
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