Week Ending: 26th July - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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This week has been a huge news week! With the hottest UK temperatures on record and a new Prime Minister dominating the headlines, you might have missed some of the other stories in the news. So, whether you’ve been following the comings and goings of politicians or just had your head in the fridge, don’t fear, we’ve rounded up some of the top stories in the world of I.T. and tech this week.

UK students’ data risk

In a sophisticated phishing attack, students and applicants at the University of Lancaster have had their data stolen. In the breach, the personal data from applications has been accessed, including addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses. Several applicants to the university have received fake invoices in an attempt dupe them into handing over funds. In addition to this, records and I.D. documentation from a “small number” of existing students was accessed.

The university has informed the students affected and says it is working with law enforcement agencies to minimise damage and catch those responsible – an individual has been arrested in connection with the breach and investigations are ongoing.

This attack highlights the vulnerability of the higher education sector. Educational organisations are relatively easy targets for cyber-attacks. The nature of colleges and universities, with many separate faculties and facilities, and the inevitable movement of data between departments makes I.T. admin and security difficult to implement and maintain.

Huawei back in the spotlight… AGAIN

Amid what has been a difficult few months for the tech giant, Huawei is facing fresh allegations this week in the Czech Republic. Officials claim the organisation poses a potential cybersecurity threat due to its supposed close links with the Chinese government.

Huawei has already faced tough opposition from the USA in the form of sanctions resulting in the telecommunications giant no longer being able to use the Android operating system, as well as preventing it from partaking in the development of the country’s 5G network.

The Czech public broadcaster has now published evidence that claims two former Huawei managers have collected and shared the personal information of a number of clients. The collected details were apparently inserted in a database managed by the company’s headquarters in China and shared with Chinese officials in Prague.

Huawei vehemently denies all allegations. However, the Czech National Cyber and Security Information Agency has issued a security alert that identifies Huawei as a national security threat. The report cites a Chinese law, in which private companies located in China are required to help national authorities gather intelligence.

EU crackdown on harmful content

The use of harmful and often illegal content across social media has been a hot topic of conversation for over a decade now. While most agencies agree something needs to be done to prevent this content spreading, up to this point they haven’t agreed on what the consequences should be.

The European Union (EU) has been enraged with the way social media giants have allowed harmful and illegal content to spread like wildfire across their networks and there’s been a number of proposals on how this issue should be dealt with. The latest proposal involves completely rewriting the rulebook on how to engage with big social media organisations.

The proposed "Digital Services Act" will give the EU legal powers to influence how social media platforms govern hate speech, extremist material and political advertising – following in the footsteps of GDPR. However, unlike GDPR where individual member states have rights to fine organisations for violations, the Digital Services Act would remove power from individual member states and place it in the hands of a continental regulator.

Those were some of this week’s top stories but if you want more content, follow us across our four social media channels: