Your Latest IT Newsletter

Selfies or Fingerprints Via App To Be Accepted By Mastercard

Mastercard announced at the Mobile World Congress tech show in Barcelona this week that from this summer it will be accepting selfies or fingerprints as an alternative to passwords to verify IDs for online payments.

The software that will enable this to happen is a downloadable biometrics app for PC, tablet or smartphone that uses the camera (for a selfie) or a fingerprint sensor for recognition.


Mobile Network Three’s Plans to Use Network-Based Ad Blocker Worries Digital Content Providers

One of the reasons why we are able to access so much high value content for free is likely to be that many content providers are able to use online advertising for their funding.

This is why a recent announcement by the Mobile Network Three that it is to introduce ad-blockers for consumers on its UK and Italian networks has not gone down well with webmasters and digital publishers.

The ad blocker, to be introduced in partnership with Shine, is believed to be able to block 95% of banner and pop-up ads. This, combined with the fact that Three has its 8.8 million customers who could choose to use the as blocker, has caused a wave of reaction from those whose revenues look likely to be adversely affected by the move.


Cyber Attacks Utilise the Pingback Function in 26,000 WordPress Websites

There have been reports this week from researchers at Sucuri of a number of cyber crime incidents that have used a huge network of 26,000 WordPress websites to launch multiple Layer 7 (also known as flood) Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.

A Denial of Service (DoS) attack is one where the perpetrator uses multiple compromised systems that are often infected with a Trojan virus to launch a single attack on one system.

A Layer 7 or flood is where the server that is being attacked is disrupted because its resources and memory are overloaded.


Unlimited Lifetime Glass Coin Time Capsule To Preserve Human History

Scientists from the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) have developed a glass disc just smaller £2 coin that is capable of holding 360TB of data and has thermal stability up to 1,000°C.

These features are thought to make the prototype disc known as the 5D an ideal medium for storing large quantities of important human data and information as a kind of time capsule.

The strength and resilience of the nanostructured glass which makes up the disc is believed to make the disc something that could survive with its stored information intact for billions of years. It’s certainly a long way from burying a box of artifacts under the floor of a new shopping centre and commentators have said that it is more akin to the memory crystal idea featured in the Superman films.


HSBC Customers To Use Voice or Fingerprint Recognition

HSBC is another in a succession of banks and financial organisations that are favouring biometrics over passwords as a way to improve security for their customers and to reduce the costs to those organisations of attacks.

In what is thought to be the largest planned rollout of voice biometric technology, HSBC is introducing a system that will allow its 15 million+ customers to use their voice or their fingerprint for authentication purposes rather than just passwords.

The first of HSBC’s customers to use the system will those in its First Direct internet and phone banking division in March /April, with the rollout for other customers planned for this summer.