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Top IT News of the Week (44/2021)


IT news #1: Microsoft Teams launches 3D ‘Metaverse’ avatars.

Topic: Microsoft Teams, metaverse

The business communication platform is introducing 3D virtual avatars and environments to its chat system as part of its ambitions to push towards the “metaverse”. The company says the “Mesh” platform will allow people to meet in the virtual space even without using a virtual reality headset. Microsoft confirmed the virtual chat feature, named “immersive meetings”, will launch in the first half of 2022. This comes after Facebook’s rebranding efforts and the introduction of similar virtual chat rooms. Microsoft’s 3D avatars will represent a real person in remote Teams meetings if they don’t prefer to turn on their webcams and can appear on a regular two-dimensional computer screen. Microsoft said the new system will utilise Al to imitate real movement and gestures, enabling people to bring physical presence into the conversation, even if the camera is not switched on.

IT news #2: Mekotio trojan spreads amid efforts to control attacks.

Topic: Cyberattack, trojan

A new report finds that the Mekotio banking trojan continues to wreak havoc after being used in an increasing number of attacks despite efforts to control the spread. Researchers at Check Point Research discovered the malware used in new attacks and found it uses new tactics to avoid detection. The recent attack series commenced after the arresting of 16 people involved in distributing the Mekotio malware back in July, Check Point Research confirmed. After the arrest, the Mekotio developers responded and updated their malware quickly to prevent perception. The malware continues to target users with phishing emails that contain malicious links or. ZIP files. It includes a digital tax receipt pending submission and asks users to click on the link. Once they do, a malicious. ZIP archive is downloaded.

IT news #3: SEPA faces another wave of cyberattacks.

Topic: Cyberattack

Web attackers who targeted Scotland’s environmental watchdog attempted to sabotage the efforts to fix the issue, a new report discovered. More than 4,000 digital files were accessed and stolen in an incident against the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa). It was also found that Sepa’s cyber incident response plan was unavailable at the time of the incident. This was due to the report and the disaster recovery plan being stored on the servers that were down due to the attack and no offline version or hard copy was available, independent consultants from Azets found. They also discovered the staff initially responded to the attack, but these attempts proved to be unsuccessful. The attackers tried to compromise Sepa’s systems during the recovery and backup procedures. Three copies of the organisation’s data were stored at two different locations, with one stored offline. It was confirmed Sepa had restored most of its critical services, including flooding forecasting.

IT news #4: DDoS attacks targeted UK telecoms providers.

Topic: DDoS, telecommunications

According to an industry trade group, a series of ongoing Distributed Denial of Service attacks targeting numerous
UK-based and international communications providers happened due to a coordinated criminal operation. The Communications Council UK claims the attacks are an assault on the UK’s critical infrastructure organisations like the police, the National Health Service, among other public resources, The Daily Swig reported. It was also stated the council is cooperating with the UK government, National Cyber Security Centre, Ofcom and other international agencies to share intelligence about the attacks to find the best ways to mitigate them. They are affecting Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) vendors. Voipfone was self-identified as one of the victims; however, the exact number of organisations involved remains unclear.

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