Tech Digest daily roundup: Ukraine hit by massive cyber attack

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Ukraine has been hit by a “massive cyber attack”, knocking a number of key government websites offline and issuing a warning to the public to “expect the ​​​​​​​worst”. The disruption comes at a time of extreme tensions with Russia, which has massed around 100,000 troops at Ukraine’s border. Ukrainian cyber police launched an investigation into the attack and have yet to attribute blame. A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “It’s too early to draw conclusions, but there is a long record of Russian assaults against Ukraine. Websites for the foreign ministry, national security and defence council and the government’s cabinet of ministers were among those affected. Sky News 

Up to 44 million UK Facebook users could share £2.3bn in damages, according to a competition expert intending to sue parent company Meta. Dr Liza Lovdahl Gormsen alleges Meta “abused its market dominance” to set an “unfair price” for free use of Facebook – UK users’ personal data. She intends to bring the case to the Competition Appeal Tribunal. A Meta representative said users had “meaningful control” of what information they shared. Facebook “abused its market dominance to impose unfair terms and conditions on ordinary Britons, giving it the power to exploit their personal data”, Dr Lovdahl Gormsen says. And this data, harvested between 2015 and 2019, provided a highly detailed picture of their internet use, helping the company make “excessive profits”. BBC 

The UK’s four major mobile phone networks are preparing to raise monthly tariffs for millions of customers by as much as 10% in the next few months. BT Group, Virgin Media O2, Vodafone, and Three UK all plan to increase prices in April, further deepening the cost-of-living crisis. The networks say the increases will allow them to recoup billions invested in upgrades to cope with a surge in data usage, particularly arising from the introduction of 5G. But they could spark a showdown with regulators who are monitoring the squeeze on household incomes from higher energy, food and high street prices as inflation builds towards 6%. Evening Standard 

Google has paid $1bn (£730m) to buy its central London building in what it said demonstrated a long-term commitment to the value of having workers in the office. The search giant, which has 6,400 staff in the UK, said buying the Central St Giles building reflected its “continued confidence in the office as a place for in-person collaboration”. The company plans to refit the 15-storey complex, where it occupies about 40pc of the space, for a new era of hybrid working that includes video calls and outdoor meetings. The deal will allow Google to accommodate up to 10,000 staff in the UK. Telegraph 

Apple has purged several copycat versions of the word-guessing sensation Wordle from its App Store, after several developers attempted to monetise its popularity. The website-only game was created by software engineer Josh Wardle, who originally made it for his word game-loving partner. He released it to the public for free in October, and despite its viral success said he has no intention of making any money from it. At least one developer approached him in an attempt to license the game for an app, but the offer was turned down. Zack Shakked went ahead and released his own version of the game on Apple’s App Store, charging $29.99 for a premium account. Independent 

 

Chris Price
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