146m records breached in July cyber attacks and India restricts laptop imports
146 million records compromised by cyber security incidents in July 2023
More than 146 million records were compromised across 87 publicly disclosed security breaches in July of this year, according to figures from IT Governance.
The statistics show a 47% increase against July 2022 and a 920% increase from June 2023. Three of the biggest data breaches impacted Tigo, the Indonesian Immigration Directorate General, and Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America.
Tigo – one of Chinas most popular online messaging platforms – experienced a data leak affecting over 100 million records from 700,000 individuals – including leaked names, usernames, genders, email addresses, IP addresses, user-uploaded photos, and private messages.
The second biggest breach of July affected more than 34 million Indonesians, who had their passport data leaked after a hacker gained unauthorised access to the country’s Immigration Directorate General at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, as reported by cyber security researcher, Taguh Aprianto
IBM and NASA teamed up to build the GPT of Earth sciences
BM, HuggingFace, and NASA have collaborated to build an open-source geospatial foundation model that will serve as the basis for a new class of climate and Earth science AIs that can track deforestation, predict crop yields, and rack greenhouse gas emissions.
The green project hopes to use the reams of data set to be generated by NASA’s Earth science missions to better model the impact of humans on the earth, such as climate change and deforestation.
IBM leveraged its recently-released Watsonx.ai to serve as the foundational model using a year’s worth of NASA’s Harmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 satellite data (HLS). That data is collected by the ESA’s pair of Sentinel-2 satellites, which are built to acquire high-resolution optical imagery over land and coastal regions in 13 spectral bands. HuggingFace is hosting the open-source model on its platform.
Sriram Raghavan, VP of IBM Research AI, said in a press release. “By combining IBM’s foundation model efforts aimed at creating flexible, reusable AI systems with NASA’s repository of Earth-satellite data, and making it available on the leading open-source AI platform, Hugging Face, we can leverage the power of collaboration to implement faster and more impactful solutions that will improve our planet.”
India restricts import of laptops, tablets, and servers
The Indian government has announced new restrictions on the import of laptops, tablets, other personal computers, and servers with immediate effect.
The move means the Ministry of Commerce and Industry will impose a licensing requirement for imports, as it looks to boost local manufacturing efforts and encourage outside investment from major manufacturers into the country,
“Import of laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers, and ultra-small form factor computers and servers falling under HSN 8741 shall be ‘restricted,'” a government notification said.
UK unveils £40m fund to launch “5G Innovation Regions”
The UK government’s Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) has announced a £40m fund designed to help local areas across the UK boost their digital connectivity and develop advanced wireless technologies in areas such as healthcare solutions, futuristic farming, and smart systems to improve transport and cut congestion.
The latest funding is part of the UK’s Wireless Infrastructure Strategy, which was unveiled in April, and aims to unlock growth potential across the country by boosting connectivity.
DSIT said that local and regional authorities can now apply for a share of the £40 million fund to launch so-called 5G Innovation Regions – areas where they can demonstrate plans to drive 5G adoption and boost growth.
Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, Sir John Whittingdale, said: “5G Innovation Regions will be uniquely positioned to benefit from breaking down barriers which hinder the rollout of such technologies at a local level and this initiative offers every community the chance to gain these opportunities.
“Improving connectivity through a world-class digital infrastructure is one of the core components of the government’s plans to level up every community in the UK and I encourage local areas to apply and to be ambitious in their vision for reaping the rewards of 5G.”
BT appoints Kirkby as new CEO
BT has appointed Telia CEO Allison Kirkby as its new CEO, making her the first woman to lead the UK telecoms incumbent in its 170-year history.
Kirkby, who has been a member of the BT board since 2019, will step down from her current role as CEO at Swedish telco Telia at the end of January 2024.
She will replace current BT chief Philip Jansen who in May revealed plans to cut as many as 55,000 jobs across the company by 2030, citing the need for a leaner business as well as the impact of artificial intelligence (AI).
Kirkby said: “BT is such an important company for the UK, and our many customers both in the UK and internationally, and is uniquely placed to help everyone benefit from the rapid advances in digitalisation.”
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