April 25 2021
Welcome to our daily tech news roundup – this is the place where we keep you up to date on the latest technology happenings, cybersecurity news, and more. Here’s what’s going on in the tech world today:
Apple has been hit with a $50 million ransom demand
Apple is an organisation known for its security and commitment to user privacy, but ransomware gangs somehow always manage to find a way in. This time, the hacking group REvil went after one of Apple’s suppliers: Quanta, a Taiwan-based organisation that manufactures products for Apple.
REvil also go by the name Sodinokibi and are suspected to be based in Russia. Not only did they send a ransom demand Apple’s way, but they also stole a bunch of data from Quanta’s systems, including engineering and manufacturing schematics of current Apple products, as well as products that are in development.
Apple’s products are notoriously difficult for users and even technical people to fix, making it so that product owners always end up having to go directly to the Apple store for a costly repair. If this data leaks, though, perhaps we could all be building a MacBook from scratch in the comfort of our own homes?
Initially, REvil wanted the $50 million directly from Quanta, but when the manufacturer refused to pay, the gang went one step up the supply chain to demand payment from Apple directly. The authorities in Taiwan are currently investigating the entire situation, while REvil are posting sensitive data on a daily basis in order to get Apple to break. They’ve set them a deadline of May 1st – if Apple doesn’t pay up by then, all of the data that REvil stole will be released to the public. Read more here.
Microsoft has partnered with the Met Office to build a weather forecasting supercomputer
Weathermen everywhere are starting to sweat as the Met Office and Microsoft have teamed up to build a supercomputer designed to provide more accurate weather forecasting. For too long, we’ve been told to expect sunny weather, only to leave the house in shorts and a t-shirt only to get rained on. Growing sick of their bad reputation, the Met Office has turned to technology for more reliable predictions.
Microsoft stepped in to partner with the Met Office and their plan is to build a computer that not only forecasts the weather better, but also will give the UK government a better understanding of climate change. It’ll also be able to provide more detailed weather models, run more potential weather simulations, better predict any severe weather that might be heading our way, and improve local as well as national forcasts.
This all comes at a price though, and a hefty one at that; the government has invested £1.2 billion in this project, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2022. Microsoft has also committed to updating it over the following 10 years as computing improves. When it’s finished, this high-tech piece of equipment will be one of the top 25 supercomputers worldwide, and with Microsoft’s ongoing help, it should stay that way for a while. Read more here.
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