This week 100TB brings you the latest news in technology and security:
GCHQ Launches New National Cyber Security Center; Adapteva Tapes Out 1,024-Core Epiphany-V Chip; OpenStack Launches Version 14, ‘Newton’; TalkTalk Hit With £400,000 Fine Over Data Breach; IBM Launches Blockchain-Powered IoT Services.
GCHQ Launches New National Cyber Security Center
The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) announced the formation of a new National Cyber Security Center for the UK, but one which unusually will operate directly under the government intelligence agency.
“It’s not just a building. It’s not just there to coordinate, it’s there to deliver an ambitious strategy that our government is preparing,” claimed Ciaran Martin, who is to serve as the center’s first chief executive. “That strategy is about tackling the most capable threats and protecting our most important national systems – of course it is. But it’s also a significant shift in thinking towards looking – at a national level – at how we use technology to improve cyber security everywhere in the UK.”
The majority of nations that have a national cyber security program operate it independently of their intelligence services.
Adapteva Tapes Out 1,024-Core Epiphany-V Chip
Parallel computing specialist Adapteva announced that it has created the first hardware implementation of Epiphany-V, a 1,024-core reduced instruction set computing (RISC) architecture processor.
Based on the company’s 64-core Epiphany-IV and 16-core Epiphany-III, the latter of which powers the Parallella development board, Epiphany-V was completed following receipt of a grant from the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
“To give a comparison, our 4.5 billion transistor chip is smaller than Apple’s latest A10 chip and has 256 times as many processors,” explained company founder Andreas Olofsson at the unveiling. “The chip offers an 80x processor density advantage over high performance chips from Intel and Nvidia.”
Adapteva is targeting customers in the telecommunications, cryptography and deep-learning markets.
OpenStack Launches Version 14, ‘Newton’
The OpenStack Foundation officially launched the 14th version of its open source cloud package, codenamed Newton, bringing improved scalability, better bare metal provisioning, and improved integration of containers, virtual and physical infrastructure into a single control plane.
“The OpenStack community is focused on making clouds work better for users. This is clearly evident in the Newton release, which tackles users’ biggest needs, giving cloud operators and app developers greater security, resilience and choice,” claimed Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation. “The new features and enhancements in Newton underscore the power of OpenStack: it handles more workloads in more ways across more industries worldwide. OpenStack is a cloud platform that ties everything together—compute, network, storage, and innovative cloud technologies.”
TalkTalk Hit With £400,000 Fine Over Data Breach
Internet service provider TalkTalk has been issued with a record £400,000 civil monetary penalty (CMP) by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for its failings related to the theft of user data, including unencrypted bank and credit card details, in October 2015.
“TalkTalk’s failure to implement the most basic cyber security measures allowed hackers to penetrate TalkTalk’s systems with ease,” claimed Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham in a statement on ICO’s findings against TalkTalk. “Yes hacking is wrong, but that is not an excuse for companies to abdicate their security obligations. TalkTalk should and could have done more to safeguard its customer information. It did not and we have taken action.”
The £400,000 penalty is the highest ever issued by ICO, which is limited under the terms of the Data Protection Act to a £500,000 maximum penalty per offence.
IBM Launches Blockchain-Powered IoT Services
IBM has officially launched its private blockchain service, offering businesses the ability to encode Internet of Things (IoT) data into a tamper-proof ledger using the same technology that drives Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Announced back in July and now publicly launched as the IBM Watson IoT Platform, the system allows IoT devices to log data to private blockchain ledgers. The data stored in these ledgers is protected against tampering and is not publicly accessible, unlike the public Bitcoin blockchain, but can be shared among businesses to verify records’ legitimacy.
The blockchain-driven service is part of IBM’s ongoing $3 billion investment in branching out its deep-learning Watson program into the Internet of Things, which recently saw the company build a $200 million IoT-specific center in Munich, Germany.