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CIO Essentials: Here we are again

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, as the saying goes. That's exactly the mistake the UK government made this week with its 'agile' approach to AI regulation . In a blinding flash of neoliberalism, the government has decided that AI - a technology that threatens 300 million full-time jobs worldwide - doesn't really need dedicated regulation. Instead, existing bodies like the ICO and CMA will take on oversight for their respective areas. The government has also said, ef

31 Mar 2023 5:46 pm
Russian threat group stealing government emails via Zimbra flaw

Winter Vivern seen targeting entities in European governments that support Ukraine in the war A Russia-based threat group known as Winter Vivern or TA473 has been targeting a flaw in the Zimbra webmail client to exfiltrate emails from officials in European countries. That's according to a report from security vendor Proofpoint , which has been tracking this activity since February. It does not identify the countries concerned. The attackers exploit a vulnerability tracked as CVE-2022-27926 on un

31 Mar 2023 3:46 pm
Meta changes ad targeting - but only in Europe

Facebook users in Europe will be able to opt out of some of the highly targeted advertising on the platform starting next week, as Meta works to comply with an EU court order.

31 Mar 2023 2:55 pm
Asian tech roundup: Jack is back

Welcome to Computing's fortnightly roundup of tech news in Asia. This time we look at China easing restrictions on tech firms, and India's internet crackdown in Punjab. China Jack Ma , co-founder of Alibaba, has returned to China after spending several months outside his home country. He had been travelling around Asia and Europe, following negative comments he made about the Chinese government's tech crackdown in 2020. Source Alibaba Group has announced plans to split into six separate business

31 Mar 2023 1:41 pm
3CX admits supply chain attack

Trojanised version of the 3CX desktop VoIP app observed communicating with C2 servers Communications app maker 3CX on Thursday acknowledged that its Windows VoIP app includes a security issue and has been the subject of a software supply chain attack, amid reports from cybersecurity researchers about an active campaign using the app to target 3CX customers. This appears to have been a targeted attack from an advanced persistent threat, perhaps even state sponsored, that ran a complex supply chai

31 Mar 2023 1:29 pm
Case study: Bet365's Platform in a Box

When we entered the US market in 2019, we knew we had taken on a big technical challenge. Unlike most countries, the regulatory environment does not operate as a single entity. Instead, each state has its own regulator with their own specific requirements and compliance architecture. Therefore, we needed to create a delivery framework that could be tailored to those individual requirements and the timescales of each state regulator. It was a conundrum full of complexity. It asked, how do you spl

31 Mar 2023 12:30 pm
Amazon lobbying against datacentre clean energy bill, report

The Oregon bill seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity used by high energy use facilities in the US state Amazon is working behind the scenes to neuter a datacentre clean energy bill put forward by the US state of Oregon, reports suggest. The House Bill 2816 (HB2816) requires datacentre owners in Oregon to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by switching completely to renewable energy sources by 2040. Amazon has publicly expressed its commitment to green ene

30 Mar 2023 4:56 pm
'AI doom' letter sparks a backlash

Musk-signed moratorium appeal adds to AI hype, aims at the wrong targets and is signed by many of those causing the problems, say opponents The open letter signed by more than 1,000 technologists, academics and engineers, calling for a pause on the development of large AI models until more robust auditing procedures are in place, has divided the AI community. While its signatories include well known names such as Elon Musk, Steve Wozniac and Stuart Russell as well as engineers from Google and De

30 Mar 2023 4:52 pm
Breaking the mould at Bloomberg: An interview with software engineer, Lisanne de Groot

Tech employers should support and fund employee communities for under represented groups, and help those who dominate the sector to be strong allies for the benefit of all. Lisanne de Groot began university as a chemistry major, having decided during high school that computer science wasn't for her. However, computer science was required during her degree, and de Groot realised that her younger self had not appreciated all the subject had to offer. I had successfully avoided computer science i

30 Mar 2023 4:30 pm
Google accused of wilfully destroying evidence - again

Google selectively utilised the history feature of Google Chat to try to make messages pertaining to ongoing antitrust lawsuit disappear. Google destroyed messages which may have contained evidence for antitrust suits against the company, ruled a US federal judge yesterday. Judge James Donato, presiding over the suit, was quite clear in his judgement, stating that Google intended to subvert the process of evidence gathering, and displayed a dismissive attitude towards the suit, which was filed i

29 Mar 2023 4:34 pm
UK aims for 'agile' AI regulation

The UK government has set out a new whitepaper on AI regulation, with the aim of driving esponsible innovation and maintaining public trust in the technology. However, it has ruled out establishing a new central regulator for the technology, instead preferring to split responsibility among existing bodies. A new whitepaper ('A pro-innovation approach to AI regulation') sets out the business case for artificial intelligence. It notes that the UK's AI industry is already well developed, employing

29 Mar 2023 4:32 pm
Former Head of Police National Cyber Crime Unit joins Cybersecurity Festival

We're delighted to announce Charlie McMurdie, former head of the Police National Cyber Crime Unit and senior crime advisor to PwC, as a keynote speaker at Computing 's Cybersecurity Festival , taking place in Surrey on 10th & 11th May. This exclusive event will bring together the most senior and influential voices among security leaders throughout the UK. Charlie's keynote on the first day of the Festival will explore cybercrime and cybercriminals. She will provide an overview of the sector; rea

29 Mar 2023 2:13 pm
Cull of cybersecurity startups likely due to faltering economy

There are just way too many of them Compared to their peers in the broader tech industry, the cybersecurity sector has seemed pretty sturdy since the economic travails that began last year. Of the thousands of vendors in the cybersecurity market, for instance, just a fraction have done major lay-offs . More cracks in the facade are likely to appear in the coming months, though. The cybersecurity industry benefits from some unique demand drivers that've helped keep many vendors more or less intac

29 Mar 2023 1:35 pm
The Cloud Excellence Awards are back for 2023

Computing is pleased to announce the return of the annual Cloud Excellence Awards , one of the most in-demand and popular events on our calendar. The cloud can be an incredibly powerful tool for organisations, enabling them to respond quickly to changing market conditions, experiment with new ideas, and quickly and efficiently set up new infrastructure and platforms. The Cloud Excellence Awards are how companies can showcase their success in leveraging the cloud to achieve these benefits. Enteri

28 Mar 2023 4:30 pm
Interview: NormCyber, Security Excellence Awards finalist

'NormCyber has a laser sharp focus on what is otherwise an underserved part of the market: mid-sized organisations' Cybersecurity is all about ensuring our computer systems, networks, and digital lives are free from disruption. Computing's Security Excellence Awards celebrate the achievements of the IT industry's leading security companies, solutions, products and personalities - the ones who are keeping every other part of the industry operating. This year's winners will be announced at a live

28 Mar 2023 2:00 pm
50 US government staff targeted with commercial spyware

'We were were astounded by the number,' says senior official At least 50 US government personnel are believed to have been targeted with commercial spyware, allowing hackers to gain access to and spy on the victims' devices. According to senior administration officials who talked to the Washington Post , the known victims work in at least 10 countries spanning different continents and that there could be more such instances . We were astounded by the number, said one senior administration offici

28 Mar 2023 1:53 pm
Some parts of Twitter source code leaked online

Parts of the source code used to run social media site Twitter have leaked online, marking the latest challenge for a platform struggling to reduce technical issues since its takeover by Elon Musk late last year. According to the New York Times , documents filed with the US District Court for the Northern District of California indicate that Twitter issued a subpoena on 24 th March to GitHub, where a user identified as FreeSpeechEnthusiast shared parts of Twitter's source code without permission

27 Mar 2023 4:43 pm
Databricks announces 'Dolly' - an open-source ChatGPT rival

Big-data analytics firm Databricks has an open-source language model called Dolly, which it claims can replicate ChatGPT's abilities without the expensive hardware and large datasets. The firm, founded by the creators of Apache Spark, says the release of Dolly is aimed at democratising large language models (LLMs) . It should help small firms to build their own generative AI models, rather than being limited to only large tech companies who can afford the investment. By open-sourcing Dolly and i

27 Mar 2023 2:11 pm
Intel co-founder Gordon Moore dies aged 94

Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel Corp and a pioneer in the semiconductor industry, passed away on Friday at the age of 94. According to a statement from Intel and Moore's family philanthropic foundation, he passed away at his home in Hawaii, surrounded by his family. Moore began working on semiconductors in the 1950s and went on to co-found the Intel Corporation in 1968. He became famous for his 1965 prediction, known as Moore's Law , that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit (IC)

27 Mar 2023 11:43 am
Industry Voice: How MongoDB enabled M&S 'build' over 'buy' Strategy for new Sparks loyalty platform

In 2020, Marks & Spencer relaunched Sparks, its digital-first loyalty scheme, offering customers greater personalisation and ease-of-use. With the change of loyalty program from Points based system to Offer based system and encountering limitations scaling the app with its existing partner, Marks & Spencer made the decision to build in-house rather than opting for an off-the-shelf product. In order to build the right product, the right people and the right database platform were needed. MongoDB'

24 Mar 2023 7:38 pm
TikTok CEO grilled by hostile US politicians over China links

Hearing comes as US politicians from both sides are pushing for a complete ban of the social media app

24 Mar 2023 6:19 pm
CIO Essentials: The Robo Revolution

One threat is emerging as the clear frontrunner among CISOs this year - and it isn't ransomware. This week I was in the USA for MES IT Security, with IT vendors and end-users from across North America - part of our plans to launch there later this year (exciting news for us, but not the subject of this column). I heard some great talks about cyberinsurance by Wes Spencer and the security trends to watch in 2023 by Gartner's Paul Furtado, as well as chatting to security leaders in every sector. B

24 Mar 2023 5:44 pm
From NHS doctor to the most popular Python instructor on Udemy, meet Angela Yu

Angela Yu on teaching 2 million people to code, the role of AI in coding, and new measures to encourage tech entrepreneurship in the NHS Angela Yu spent six years at medical school training to be an orthopaedic surgeon and three years working as a doctor in the NHS. A keen coder, as a sideline she developed an app to help manage and reduce the cost of locum agency doctor shifts, which generated plenty of interest in her primary health trust and even within NHS England, but despite that, the lack

24 Mar 2023 2:30 pm
The data fines arms race is on

The Irish Data Protection Commission's Annual Report for 2022 gives an interesting insight into GDPR enforcement and how fines are calculated, as well as highlighting differing views on fine levels amongst EU regulators. In 2022, the Data Protection Commission (DPC) issued over 1 billion in punitive fines against Big Tech firms ( link to Annual Report ). Of the thousands of complaints handled, the regulator investigated numerous cross-border complaints as Lead Supervisory Authority. Rafi Azim-Kh

24 Mar 2023 1:30 pm
Mozilla launches $30m startup for trustworthy AI

Initial focus will be on tools that make generative AI safer and more transparent and people-centric recommendation systems Mozilla, the non-profit behind Firefox, has announced a startup dedicated to providing trustworthy AI. The move comes as interest in AI reaches fever pitch, thanks in a large part to the success of OpenAI's ChatGPT in bringing AI to the masses. OpenAI, in which Microsoft has a substantial stake, has been joined by Google , Meta, China's Baidu in releasing generative AI prod

23 Mar 2023 5:27 pm
Arm planning new pricing model

SoftBank is striving to improve Arm's profit margins to make the firm more appealing ahead of its planned IPO. British chip designer Arm is considering increasing the price of its chip designs, particularly its 'Cortex-A' designs that are common in smartphone processors. Arm designs chips used in a significant proportion of the world's smartphones. According to the Financial Times , Arm is planning to introduce a new pricing structure for its chip designs this year,before its initial public offe

23 Mar 2023 4:47 pm
Partner content: The role of cyber negligence in insider threats

When IT leaders think about insider threats, scorned employees making off with intellectual property when they leave for a new job or workers stealing data for financial gain may spring to mind. However, most incidents stem from carelessness rather than maliciousness. According to research by Ponemon, 56% of insider attacks were caused by employee or contractor negligence or carelessness, costing on average $484,931 per incident. The research found that respondents are most concerned about crede

22 Mar 2023 5:57 pm
Antisemitism on Twitter has more than doubled since Musk takeover

Research published earlier this week by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue shows that antisemitism shot up when Musk took over in October. Far from proving a temporary phenomenon as was claimed at the time by the former head of Safety and Integrity, the increased volume of antisemitic tweets has proven sustained. The key finding of the research is that in the run up to the Musk acquisition between June and October 2022, Twitter recorded a weekly average of 6,204 tweets that were deemed plausi

22 Mar 2023 4:43 pm
Increasing the handprint of digitisation - and decreasing its footprint

Tom Lawler. Chief Executive of the US tech advocacy collective the Digital Climate Alliance explains how the group is working to arm the buyers of cloud and datacentre services with data, and to educate and inform public policy from city level all the way through to federal government. The last few days have been all go for stakeholders in Team Humanity. The sixth and final IPCC Report states that the hope of keeping 1.5 alive has already diminished, and that overshoot of 1.5C is almost certain.

22 Mar 2023 4:30 pm
Peter Cochrane: Optimising to extinction

Economic incentives create dangerous levels of brittleness and a lack of adaptability in the face of rapid technological and market change We are the only species on this planet with an almost singular focus on optimising everything on the basis of cost, performance and return on investment. Mother Nature, on the other hand, has learned from billions of years of evolution that optimisation is ultimately destructive to the point of extinction. It fundamentally limits diversity and the ability to

22 Mar 2023 2:36 pm
HPE to acquire operations management company OpsRamp

HPE announced this week that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire OpsRamp in a move to further expand HPE GreenLake into IT operations management (ITOM). OpsRamp bills itself as an ITOM company that monitors, observes, automates and manages IT infrastructure, cloud resources, workloads and applications for hybrid and multi-cloud environments, including the leading hyperscalers. Gartner estimates ITOM to be an approximately $39 billion market. Integrating OpsRamp's hybrid digital

21 Mar 2023 8:21 pm
Mastodon tops 10 million users

Defying its doubters, the upstart social media platform continues to grow Mastodon, the federated social media platform, notched up its 10 millionth account over the weekend. Launched in October 2016 by German developer Eugen Rochko, who remains Mastodon's only paid employee, for years the platform bumped along with a user base in the low hundreds of thousands, until Elon Musk's chaotic and divisive takeover of Twitter led millions to seek an alternative. In truth, however, Mastodon is a very di

21 Mar 2023 2:40 pm
Why are cyber premiums 'going gangbusters'?

Five years ago carriers thought of cyber insurance as stealing candy from babies - but they were totally unprepared for how the market has changed. Back in the mid-2010s, most cyber-attacks were against international, enterprise-scale firms. The mid-market, firms worth up to about $20 million, was not a big target. That made it easy for these companies to get cyber insurance: it was low cost, with very little underwriting. Adoption was low, but the process was simple and easy. It was a golden ag

21 Mar 2023 1:00 pm
NHS England tells trusts to upload patient data to Palantir by end of March, report

Meanwhile a group prepares to sue NHS England over lack of transparency over 480m data platform contract widely expected to go to Palantir Hospitals in England have been told to pass patient data to Palantir, the US data mining firm thought to be in poll position to win a 480 million data management contract to create a Federated Data Platform (FDP). That's according to news and campaigning site openDemocracy , which cites a letter from NHS England's deputy chief executive and chief financial of

20 Mar 2023 6:06 pm
FBI arrests alleged BreachForums mastermind 'Pompompurin'

Conor Brian Fitzpatrick is said to have created BreachForums after the FBI seized the RaidForums dark web site A New York man who allegedly ran the notorious dark web data-breach site BreachForums, has been arrested by US federal agents. Conor Brian Fitzpatrick, the alleged mastermind behind the cybercrime and who used the alias Pompompurin, was apprehended at his home on Wednesday, according to FBI special agent John Longmire's sworn statement filed in the court. A single charge of conspiracy t

20 Mar 2023 2:16 pm
Two weeks left to enter the IT Leaders 100

Entries for Computing's annual IT Leaders 100 list - recognising the most influential IT leaders in the UK - close in two weeks' time. Computing is all about the IT leader - whether that's the CIO, CTO, IT director, chief architect or any one of dozens of other titles. The IT Leaders 100 recognises and honours these individuals - from a wide range of industries - who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, innovation and transformational impact on their organisations. After submissions close o

20 Mar 2023 1:30 pm
CIO Essentials: Budget reality

It was, to the surprise and delight of many in the industry, a tech-centric Budget. For years the government has spoken boldly about the UK's need to build a new Silicon Valley (which, let's be honest, can't do much more to London property prices), but hasn't followed up words with actions. Even the super-deduction (now ended) only covered heavy machinery, leaving IT investment out in the cold. That's why Jeremy Hunt's announcements about sweeping investments in quantum computing and artificial

17 Mar 2023 6:13 pm
Suspected Chinese threat actors observed attacking Fortinet zero-day

Attacks 'highly targeted at governmental or government-related targets' Fortinet says Threat actors have been observed using a flaw in Fortinet's Security Fabric stack to attack large enterprises and government entities, according to the company's researchers The flaw in question, tracked as CVE-2022-41328 (CVSS score 6.5), is a security path traversal zero-day vulnerability in FortiOS, the network operating system of the Fortinet Security Fabric, which could lead to arbitrary code execution. A

17 Mar 2023 5:35 pm
From the archive: What was LOLA?

Computing is celebrating its 50th year of informing and empowering IT leaders. One of our early readers has been in touch with a story of his own about an ambitious project from the 1970s. In its earliest incarnation, Computing was the official magazine of the British Computing Society , and one subscriber from the deepest, darkest 1970s has been in touch. Alan Cooper, Senior Business Analyst, now retired, is reaching out to former employees of a project he began working on in 1970 - a project t

17 Mar 2023 5:30 pm
Asian tech roundup: China has a ChatGPT rival

Welcome to Computing's fortnightly roundup of tech news in Asia. This time we look at China's data plans, Indian data breaches and Indonesian layoffs. China Baidu has launched ERNIEbot, its ChatGPT rival . Executives admitted that the bot is still imperfect, but felt compelled to release it due to high demand. Source China is overhauling its state ministries to refocus on science and technology. The country appears to be trying to develop its homegrown semiconductor industry as US restrictions b

17 Mar 2023 4:50 pm