Week Ending: July 3rd - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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In this week’s roundup of I.T. and tech news, we look at how hackers have targeted the online multiplayer game, Roblox, with messages to support Donald Trump in the run up to the US presidential election. Plus, we delve into some predictions of what the Apple iPhone 12 may look like, and how a suspicious email reporting service has seen one million referrals in a couple of months. It’s never a quiet week in the world of tech, so keep up to date with all the latest major happenings here.

Hackers target Roblox accounts to push players to support Donald Trump

With the US presidential election on the horizon, it has been reported that hackers have targeted users who are playing on the online multiplayer game, Roblox, to support Donald Trump.

Roblox has more than 100 million users worldwide and is marketed at children aged between 9 and 14. Players have reported that in-game messages have been sent from the hacked profiles to the account holders’ friends urging them to support Donald Trump in the upcoming US presidential election in November.

Users complained their profiles were hacked with the message: “Ask your parents to vote for Trump this year!” and also “MAGA2020”, which is an abbreviation of Make America Great Again.

Hacked accounts have also dressed the game’s avatars in accessories that represent items worn by Donald Trump and his supporters. For example, a red hat with “Running of the bulls” printed on the front in white writing, which appears like the Make America Great Again hats the US president favours. On top of this, some characters have been altered to wear T-shirts that feature an American Eagle.

One gamer wrote on Twitter: “A Trump supporter hacked my Roblox account and messaged my friends to vote for him”. Another complained: “Why is my avatar this? I’m now even American.”

Find out more information here, and see an example of a hacked Roblox account.

Apple could launch iPhone 12 without headphones, or a charger

TF Securities’ analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is known for making reliable predictions about Apple’s future products, claims Apple’s upcoming smartphone, the iPhone 12, may not come boxed with wired headphones, or even a power adapter!

The move to not include wired headphones would enable Apple to push its wireless AirPod headphones. However, the lack of power adapter is intended to be a cost-saving measure as the iPhone 12’s production costs have been greater as a result of 5G support.

It is believed the 20W power adapter will become an optional accessory to the iPhone, and Apple will begin to phase out its 5W and 18W power adapters later in 2020.

Kuo also predicts that it is likely that Apple are going to promote the environmental benefits of introducing fewer accessories for iPhones, reducing the firm’s electronic waste each year.

Other predictions made by Kuo, suggest that the iPhone 12 might not have any ports at all, and the new phone could have a square body, a very similar shape to the old iPhone 4.

With all these predictions made by Ming-Chi Kuo, we cannot wait to see what the iPhone 12 is going to look like.

Discover more here.

Email reporting service has one million referrals in a couple of months

There have been reports that fake online shops and spoofs have been created involving brands such as TV licensing, HMRC, and the DVLA. These ‘online shops’ and spoofs, from reputable brands, are among the one million referrals to a new service set up by a branch of the UK intelligence agency, GCHQ.

The one million scams have been detected by Suspicious Email Reporting Service which The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) launched back in April this year.

The NCSC launched as part of the Government’s Cyber Aware campaign and it allows the public to report suspect emails which are believed to link to fraudulent and suspicious websites. The pioneering tool has been a massive success and has seen a huge response with an average of 16,500 emails per day from the public. In addition to this, the NCSC is also reaching its milestone of one million reports of suspicious websites and emails from the public.

Ciaran Martin, NCSC Chief Executive Officer, said:

“Reaching the milestone of one million suspicious emails reported is a fantastic achievement and testament to the vigilance of the British public.

The kind of scams we’ve blocked could have caused very real harm and I would like to thank everyone who has played their part in helping make the internet safer for all of us.

While it’s right that we should celebrate reaching this milestone, it is important for all of us to remain on our guard and forward any emails that don’t look right to”

Find out more here.

Those were some of this week’s biggest stories in I.T. and tech, but if you want more content, follow us across our four social media channels.