Despite a slew of cybersecurity breaches, people still aren’t taking online security seriously

Cybersecurity breaches seem to be a constant part of modern life, with a new high-profile leak or hack happening almost every week. Despite this, however, British people still aren’t taking adequate steps to protect their data, according to findings published by Cyber Security Europe.

In a survey of over 1,000 people living in the UK, almost a quarter – 23% – admitted to regularly using either their name or date of birth as their password in online accounts – an absolute no-no in ensuring a secure account.

Furthermore, 11% – slightly more than one in ten – said that they only use one or two passwords for all their online accounts, meaning that if one were to be breached, hackers could easily gain access to the others.

Even major attacks affecting large percentages of the population don’t seem enough to prompt people to take better cybersecurity precautions, as 76% of people say they never update passwords after a major breach.

British workers are not practices adequate cybersecurity, which is putting businesses at serious risk. Image courtesy of Transport for London

This is particularly bad news for British businesses, which not only have in the past been accused of not doing enough to protect their customers from cybersecurity incidents, but which will be subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from next year, meaning they could be in serious trouble if poor employee practices leave customer data exposed.

Despite this, only 16% of respondents say their workplaces have increased focus on cybersecurity since the WannaCry ransomware attack earlier this year, the most devastating attack to hit UK businesses of late.

In addition, 60% of people said they only used logins and passwords for online security at work, which given how many people use poor passwords, poses a serious security risk for companies.

“A surprising amount of people still seem oblivious to the threat posed to their personal and, in fact, business information by using their name or date of birth as their passwords,” said Bradley Maule-ffinch, director of strategy for Cyber Security Europe.

“Nowadays, this is far from being just a personal issue. We have seen a spate of prolific attacks and breaches this year alone and businesses must ensure that employees are educated about the basics such as password security.

“With the advent of Internet of Things, increasing numbers of people using their own personal devices to connect to business networks which is an ever-growing threat landscape. This could prove a costly vulnerability for organisations in the wake of GDPR.”

DeepMind’s Go-playing AI can learn the game for itself now

Google’s AI subsidiary DeepMind believes it is one step closer to creating AI with general intelligence because its Go-playing software, AlphaGo, has been updated and can now teach itself how to play. AlphaGo Zero was only programmed with Go's basic rules, and from there it learns everything else by itself.

Source: The Verge

UK spies monitoring social media in mass surveillance tactic

The privacy rights group Privacy International says it has obtained evidence for the first time that UK spy agencies are collecting social media information on potentially millions of people. The discovery raises concerns about whether effective oversight of the mass surveillance programs is in place.

Source: TechCrunch

Blue Origin passes hot-fire test

Blue Origin, the aerospace company fronted and largely funded by Jeff Bezos, has released footage of its BE-4 engine's first and successful completion of a hot-fire test. The successful hotfire supports the idea that Blue Origin could in the future be used for orbital and deep space missions.

Source: Ars Technica

5G to be used by 1 billion people in 2023 with China set to dominate

Analysts at CCS Insight have predicted that 5G technology will be in place by 2020, with China being the main beneficiary. "China will dominate 5G thanks to its political ambition to lead technology development," said Marina Koytcheva, VP Forecasting at CCS Insight.

Source: CNBC

Climate change makes it more likely to see hurricanes in Europe

Meteorologists from the University of Bristol have predicted that the likelihood of hurricane-force storms hitting the UK, much like Hurricane Ophelia did this week, will be enhanced in the future due to human-induced climate change.

Source: New Scientist

Russia to launch 'CryptoRuble’

According to local news sources, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the nation will issue its own cryptocurrency at a closed door meeting in Moscow. The news broke via minister of communications, Nikolay Nikiforov.

Source: Coin Telegraph

Human habitat located on the Moon that will shield us from its extreme elements

Researchers have discovered a potential habitat on the Moon, which may protect astronauts from hazardous conditions on the surface.

No one has ever been on the Moon for longer than three days, largely because space suits alone can’t shield astronauts from its elements: extreme temperature variation, radiation, and meteorite impacts. Unlike Earth, the Moon also has no atmosphere or magnetic field to protects its inhabitants.

However, in a study published in Geophysical Research Letters, researchers have claimed that the safest place for astronauts to seek shelter is inside an intact lava tube.

“It’s important to know where and how big lunar lava tubes are if we’re ever going to construct a lunar base,” said Junichi Haruyama, a senior researcher at JAXA, Japan’s space agency.

Image courtesy of Purdue University/David Blair. Featured image courtesy of NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

Lava tubes are naturally occurring channels formed when a lava flow develops a hard crust, which thickens and forms a roof above the still-flowing lava stream. Once the lava stops flowing, the tunnel sometimes drains, forming a hollow void.

The Lava tubes located by Purdue University researchers are said to be spacious enough to house one of the United States’ largest cities, and while their existence – and in particular their entrance near the Marius Hills Skylight – was previously known, their size was previously an unknown quantity.

“They knew about the skylight in the Marius Hills, but they didn’t have any idea how far that underground cavity might have gone,” said Jay Melosh, professor of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University.

“Our group at Purdue used the gravity data over that area to infer that the opening was part of a larger system. By using this complimentary technique of radar, they were able to figure out how deep and high the cavities are.”

At the first meeting of the US’ reintroduced National Space Council, vice president Mike Pence announced that the Trump administration will redirect America’s focus to travelling back to the Moon.

Pence’s declaration marks a fundamental change for NASA, which abandoned plans to send people to the moon in favour of Mars under President Barack Obama.

“We will return NASA astronauts to the moon – not only to leave behind footprints and flags, but to build the foundation we need to send Americans to Mars and beyond,” Pence said.