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DIGIT Tech News Roundup: 28th June 2019

Ross Kelly


Tech News

This weeks edition of the DIGIT Tech News Roundup features a range of our top trending articles; from robot redundancies to fresh woes for Boeing. 

Glasgow data recovery firm accused of negotiating ransom with hacker

A Glasgow-based cybersecurity company has been accused of negotiating a payment with cybercriminals to retrieve files locked by a ransomware attack.

In an expose originally reported by ProPublica, it is alleged that Red Mosquito Data Recovery (RMDR) claimed to be in the process of recovering files seized during an attack. However, cybersecurity researchers at anti-virus provider Emsisoft were actually conducting a ‘sting operation’ to test the firm’s capabilities.

RMDR, which is based at Blairtummock Place near Easterhouse, describes itself as a “one-stop data recovery and consultancy service” on the company website.

“As ransomware recovery specialists, we have an outstanding track record in advising businesses and individuals affected by computer ransomware,” the company bio reads. The firm said it offers professional alternatives to paying ransoms. However, noted that “paying the ransom may be the only viable option for getting your files decrypted”.

Red Mosquito also said it does not recommend “negotiating directly with criminals since this can further compromise security”. ProPublica said that these claims have since been removed from the company’s website.

As part of the sting operation, Fabian Wosar, CTO at Emsisoft, created a fake ransomware dubbed ‘GOTCHA’ and also played the role of the victim in this scenario, creating the fake persona of ‘Joe Mess’.

Want to find out more? Read the full story here.

New Boeing 737 max issue could ‘significantly’ delay return

Regulators in the US have revealed a possible new flaw in Boeing’s troubled 737 Max aircraft, with the latest development likely to push back the aircraft’s return.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it identified the “potential risk” during simulator tests. In March of this year, the company’s best-selling aircraft was grounded following two crashes. Boeing is currently in the process of upgrading the aircraft’s flight control system, which is the focus of the crash investigators. This control system is designed to prevent the plane from stalling.

In a tweet, the FAA stated: “On the most recent issue, the FAA’s process is designed to discover the highlight potential risks. The FAA recently found a potential risk that Boeing must mitigate.”

In May, the regulator suggested the approval of Boeing’s changes to the 737 Max could come in late June. This would have allowed for test flights to take place in early July. Airline companies across the globe had hoped that the 737 Max would be up and running during the summer months. However, the timetable was then pushed back to late 2019 before the latest revelations.

Want to find out more? Read the full story here.

Police Scotland rolls out mobile phone technology

Police officers in Dundee, Perth, Kinross and Angus will be among the first in Scotland to start using mobile devices as part of their operational duties, Police Scotland announced.

The £21 million Mobile Working Project, which was part-funded by the Scottish Government’s capital budget allocation, will see approximately 10,000 of Police Scotland’s uniformed officers issued with mobile devices by Spring 2020.

These devices will be further enhanced over time with the addition of future policing applications, including national systems, as they become available. Officers will be able to access a wide variety of police systems while out on duty, without the need to return to a police station and log onto a computer.

Long-term, the rollout is expected to enable officers to spend more time working within the community, dealing with incidents, supporting victims and focusing on crime prevention.

Want to find out more? Read the full story here.

Dribble app launches in Glasgow to help parents find child-friendly venues

An app has been launched to help parents in Glasgow and the west of Scotland find child-friendly venues and activities.

The mobile app, named Dribble, is a family-friendliness review app that enables users to personalise their needs and draw upon helpful information about venues; with reviews from parents available to gauge the child-friendliness of their destination. Dribble can be downloaded from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

The app has already been launched in Edinburgh by Gill Mudie, a mother of two from the capital. Mudie’s inspiration for launching the app came from her own experiences. As a new mum, Mudie felt she needed a tool to help her – and other parents – to find places that are baby-friendly – providing buggy space, high chairs, and baby changing facilities, for example.

Since then, this has rapidly expanded to meet the needs of parents with older children, and now covers places to go and things to do with kids up to the age of 13.

Want to find out more? Read the full story here.

Scottish companies to embrace IoT through CENSIS business support package

A year-long Scottish Government-funded programme will be delivered by CENSIS, the Innovation Centre for sensor and imaging systems, and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to demonstrate the transformative potential of IoT across some of Scotland’s key growth industries.

Key elements of the programme of activity will include a series of workshops which will identify projects for ongoing support, and a starter kit, aimed at businesses without any in-house IoT expertise. Along with a suite of ‘how-to’ guides from CENSIS, these initiatives will aim to educate and inform businesses and organisations about how they can use IoT technology.

The first ‘Scotland’s IoT Future: Future Tech‘ workshop will take place on the 26th of June and will focus on the transport industry. George Lowder, Chief executive of Transport for Edinburgh will be speaking at Edinburgh Trams’ headquarters.

The workshops will discuss the application of IoT to real-world projects with a focus on user-services, quality outcomes and viable business cases. CENSIS will then progress various ideas generated by delegates, creating use case studies for each sector.

Between August and October, four additional sessions will take place across Scotland covering topics including smart cities, smart buildings, tourism, and food and drink. They have been commissioned by the Scottish Government following the launch of its national IoT Scotland network in 2018.

Want to find out more? Read the full story here.

Robots could replace up to 20 million factory jobs by 2030

Analysis firm Oxford Economics believes that several hundreds of thousands of jobs could potentially be lost to robots in the UK.

The economics firm highlighted that people who are replaced by automation could find that similar roles in the services sector will also be affected by automation. However, it added that the increase of robots will have a positive effect on employment and economic growth.

The firm called for action to prevent a damaging rise in income inequality and explained that each new robot will eliminate 1.6 manufacturing jobs – with the least-skilled regions being severely impacted.

Oxford Economics also stated that weaker economic regions, where people have lower skills and higher unemployment rates, will be at far greater risk of widespread job losses in years to come. Employees who leave manufacturing generally seek new jobs in transport, construction, maintenance, and office and administration work. These sectors are also vulnerable to automation, analysis shows.

According to the firm, every additional robot installed in those lower-skilled regions could result in nearly double the number of redundancies compared to those in higher-skilled regions of the same country; which could exacerbate growing economic inequality and political polarisation.

However, the report stresses that productivity benefits from automation should boost growth, meaning that while job losses are expected, new opportunities will likely arise in alternative fields.

Want to find out more? Read the full story here.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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