Tech Digest daily roundup: Ransomware biggest business threat, says NCSC

Lindy Cameron, NCSC. Image: NCSC

Ransomware is “the most immediate danger to UK businesses” according to the head of Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre, who added that victims paying up were sustaining the criminal enterprise. Delivering the opening keynote speech at Chatham House’s cyber conference, Lindy Cameron said there had been several major cyber incidents over the past year, including one which Britain and America attributed to hackers working on behalf of China. “Probably the most significant – and one that received attention across the world – was what became known as the SolarWinds attack,” she said, referencing Russian intelligence hacking a software tool used by many companies to manage their emails. Sky News 

The Google Pixel 6 isn’t due to launch until the 19th October, but a major leak has laid the upcoming flagship phones bare. Official landing pages for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro handsets appeared on UK retailer Carphone Warehouse’s website over the weekend (you can find the cached pages on Internet Archive), before being removed. Of course, by then the cat was out of the bag. Just as expected, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro is in line for a new 50MP primary camera said to capture 150 per cent more light, which should make for a much-improved night mode. The Pixel 6 also features Magic Eraser, Google’s long-awaited Photoshop-style software that removes “strangers and unwanted objects” from photos with a tap. What HiFi

Google is giving free physical USB security keys to 10,000 users at high risk of being hacked – such as politicians and human rights activists. The USB keys provide two-factor authentication – an additional layer of security beyond a password. Google says it wants to encourage people to join its “advanced protection programme” for high-profile users. It follows news that the firm sent thousands of warnings to Gmail users who were targeted by hackers. The warnings were issued after Google detected in late September a campaign targeting about 14,000 Gmail users “across a wide variety of industries”, Shane Huntley, director of Google’s Threat Analysis Group said in a statement. BBC


Technology investors have ploughed a record £20bn into British start-ups this year, putting funding on track to double in just three years. Figures from Beauhurst, which tracks start-up deals, found that UK firms had crossed the £20bn mark for the first time after a record third quarter. It comes after a spate of huge funding deals for companies such as Revolut, and Hopin. Tech start-ups have already raised 32pc more than they did in the whole of 2020 and are on track to double the £11.7bn total from 2018. Telegraph 

Twitter has launched a new feature that gives users more control over who can interact with them, essentially allowing users to ‘soft block’ their own followers. The feature is currently available to everyone using Twitter on the web – no word yet on when it’ll be available for the app. To remove a follower, head to your profile and click ‘Followers’. From there, click the three dots next to their name and select ‘Remove this follower’. This action will remove the user from your followers without them being notified of the removal – though according to Twitter, the account can still follow you again in the future. After being removed, the account will no longer be able to see your tweets in their timeline, but they will be able to send direct messages. Tech Radar

Chris Price
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