Week Ending: October 13th - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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This week’s roundup in I.T. and tech news sees us discuss how hackers have been mining bitcoin; Artificial Intelligence and its naysayers in the House of Lords - and finally Facebook’s fumble on Wednesday.

Let’s jump right in and see what you might have missed from the I.T and tech world over the past seven days.

Hackers target Amazon Cloud for bitcoin

Amazon Web Services have been compromised on more than one occasion by hackers who wanted to use the device to mine the cryptocurrency bitcoin. Hackers got into Amazon Cloud’s servers after discovering that their administration consoles weren’t password protected.

This was revealed by a recent report which explained, "Upon deeper analysis, the team discovered that hackers were executing a bitcoin mining command from one of the Kubernetes containers."

Aviva and Gemalto, two multi-billion dollar companies were impacted and made aware of the hack.

The AI debate in Lords

This week a House of Lords select committee sat down for the first session looking into Artificial Intelligence. The discussion sparked quite a contrast in views from those taking part. While three academics spoke excitedly about AI’s capabilities, a group of journalists were sceptical on the topic and the current furore surrounding it.

Wendy Hall, professor of computer science at the University of Southampton made her point stating: “It is already there in financial services and in healthcare, and there is now an acceleration – the genie is out of the bottle, and automation is in every walk of life. The downside is that we need to get a grip of AI because it is happening so fast, and there will be job losses as well as new jobs.”

An opposing view came from Rory Cellan-Jones, technology correspondent for the BBC who warned not to buy in to the hype just yet, explaining that there are other focuses: “Five years ago it was big data, three years ago [it was] cloud, and now it is AI. There are extraordinary claims being made. We need to worry about bias in algorithms and the infrastructure to make driverless cars work.”

There were some interesting comments made from both sides, you can read further here.

Facebook and Instagram down

The news that every food blogger and fanatic meme-sharer was dreading. On Wednesday 11th October, 2017 Anno Domini, social media platforms Instagram and Facebook were not working. Cries could be heard from the streets as pet owners couldn’t share photos of their dogs and aspiring models couldn’t post that perfect Starbucks selfie.

Used by more than a billion people, it’s global news when a site such as Facebook is suffering a problem. For the UK, it was reported that almost 90 per cent of problems were total blackouts or users being unable to log in, while on Instagram the core issue was with its news feed. Facebook confirmed that it was experiencing "an increased number of API errors" and was looking into the problem.

By Wednesday evening, the tech wizards seemed to have ironed out any problems and normal business was resumed. Phew!

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