A House of Commons investigation into e-crime has chastised the UK's ability to deal with modern cyber-attacks (opens in new tab) and warns that further cutbacks to law enforcement will see the country bleed finance and intellectual property at an alarming rate. The Home Affairs Committee has today published its first ever report on e-crime following a 10 month inquiry, and while its findings will not surprise the information security industry, the urgency of its message will heap more pressure on the government to improve its cyber-security strategy. Among the report's biggest concerns is the apparent "black hole" where e-crime is frequently committed without even being reported or investigated. Banks are accused of simply reimbursing victims of cyber-fraud rather than reporting the incident and allowing law enforcement to pursue the crime. Cyber-espionage was also identified as a growing problem, the committee recommending that a "state of the art espionage response team" is established to tackle covert online attacks. With GCHQ this month revealing the UK was suffering around 70 sophisticated cyber-espionage campaigns a month that were stealing intellectual property on an "industrial scale", the proposal is likely to see strong support from the private sector. For details of the whole report, follow the link above.
4G services will soon be available to 98 per cent of the UK after telecoms regulator Ofcom cleared a "large section of radio spectrum" (opens in new tab) five months ahead of schedule. The four-year process to clear the 800MHz of TV transmissions will be completed on Wednesday and allow 4G mobile broadband to reach almost all of the UK population by 2017. Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said, "4G services will reach 98% of the UK population indoors – and even more when outdoors – which will provide a significant boost for rural businesses and consumers." Engineers performed transmitter upgrades at 600 sites to clear the airwaves with TV viewers having to carry out retunes to complete the process. Wireless microphones have also been upgraded to use alternative frequencies and leave the 800MHz spectrum free for 4G. It was necessary to clear the spectrum due to its close proximity to the UK's Freeview signal, with Ofcom initially predicting up to two million homes would experience TV disruption as a result. The figure was eventually scaled down to 90,000 properties.
HTC has warned investors that it predicts heavy losses in the third quarter of this year (opens in new tab). The Taiwanese firm expects revenue of between NT$50 billion and NT$60 billion (£1.1 billion to £1.3 billion) for the three month period, blaming high costs associated with the production of the HTC One and strong competition in the mid-to-high-range smartphone markets for the fall. CEO Peter Chou said, "The HTC One cost structure is high, we have expected it to improve but it is not where we want it to be." According to Reuters, a group of 22 analysts had previously forecasted third quarter revenue of above NT$75 billion (£1.6 billion), but it looks like HTC will miss that mark by a significant distance. "Our overall gross margin has been impacted by a relatively higher cost structure, lack of economy of scale and certain provisions needed to facilitate the clearance of aging products," the company stated. The predicted Q3 results would represent a decline of around 30 per cent from Q2's numbers.
News that Apple has released iOS 7 beta 4, the latest test version of its forthcoming mobile OS, is still making the rounds, but already one programmer has made a startling discovery. London-based developer Hamza Sood uncovered some intriguing code in beta 4's 'BioMetricKitUI' folder that potentially confirms rumours that Apple's next iPhone will deliver fingerprint scanning technology (opens in new tab). The strings of code in question explicitly refer to a, "Photo of a person holding an iPhone in their right hand while touching the Home Button," as well as noting, "A fingerprint that changes colour during the setup process." It's thought that the references relate to illustrations that will help users set-up their next-gen iPhone, strongly suggesting that a biometric fingerprint sensor will be incorporated into a redesigned Home button on the device. For all the details, follow the link above.