Welcome to our latest round-up of news from the technology and hosting world. Here’s what we’ve discovered this month.
Short-Lived Smart Devices
While expensive smart devices, like TVs and washing machines, are growing in popularity, they could stop working within just a few years. According to consumer company Which?, although the physical components of these appliances could continue working for more than ten years, a lack of software updates from manufacturers could make them obsolete in as little as two.
With software updates, in many cases, ceasing after just a few years, the smart devices are left abandoned by manufacturers. This leaves them not just at risk of hacking, should vulnerabilities appear, but also means that they might not be able to function as the systems they rely on are themselves updated. For example, if new technologies, protocols or regulations affect the sending and receiving of data, these machines may cease to function if they are not updated.
In a survey of 119 manufacturers across 20 different product categories, most only offered around two years of technical updates and five years of security updates for appliances that could potentially last for over a decade.
Royal Mail Ransomed
Thousands of UK businesses that rely on Royal Mail for overseas deliveries are unable to export goods as a result of a suspected Russian ransomware attack on the postal company. The attack has infected the Royal Mail’s international deliveries IT systems, forcing the business to ask customers not to send letters and packages abroad until service is resumed.
According to analysts, the cybercriminals used a form of ransomware called Lockbit which was created by Russian-linked groups to encrypt systems and steal data. Although no details have been released, as Royal Mail is a key part of the UK infrastructure, experts expect the ransom amount to be significant.
We would like to remind all eukhost customers of the threat of ransomware and the need to keep their systems secure.
As the UK moves forward with its plans for establishing a digital pound, it will shortly begin a public consultation. As one of the world’s leading financial centres, the government thinks it is vital that the country embraces cryptocurrency but in a way that creates a stablecoin, i.e., one which has a stable value that is linked to non-digital currencies or the price of gold.
The UK plan is for the digital pound to be used by people and businesses in conjunction with existing bank and cash payments, rather than being a replacement. It also wants institutions that handle the currency to offer users the same levels of protection.
As in other countries, such as France, which are exploring digital currency, public consultation is seen as vital. In the UK, this will be part of the government and the Bank of England’s research and exploration phase. Any launch of a digital pound is still some years away.
Samsung Feels the Squeeze
The impact of the global economic crunch is being felt by tech giant Samsung which is expecting to see its latest quarterly profits drop by around two-thirds. As the leading manufacturer of smartphones, memory chips and televisions, it has been hit by a global drop in demand for its devices and the chips it supplies to other manufacturers who, themselves, are cutting production.
After the boom in demand for technology during the pandemic, the impact of the Ukraine war on global inflation has seen sales slow across the technology sector, with numerous other hi-tech businesses cutting costs and shedding jobs. Amazon and Meta, between them, are laying off almost 30,000 staff.
Android Satellite Link
If you’re an Android phone user that suffers from poor connectivity, a partnership between US chip maker Qualcomm and satellite phone company Iridium is about to offer potentially life-saving emergency help. From mid-2023, Android phones that contain Qualcomm chips will be able to connect with Iridium’s satellites if they are unable to access terrestrial networks.
At first, this will just be for sending and receiving messages and benefit those in remote areas in an emergency. There are plans to expand the service to include data and calls later on, as well as let users connect with other devices, like PCs, tablets and cars. However, this is likely to be a paid-for service.
To use the new service when it is launched, users will need an android phone with a Qualcomm chip, and they’ll need their phone’s manufacturer to enable the service. Visit our website for more news, blog posts, knowledge base articles and information on our wide range of hosting services.