Friday Five: Meat giant hacked by Russia-linked group

Zone’s Martha Green handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

1. Meat giant hacked by Russia-linked group

The world’s largest meat company, JBS, was hit by a cyber-attack last weekend. The cyber breach by the group known as REvil bought operations in the US, Canada and Australia to a halt. REvil, also known as Sodinokibi, came to light in 2019 and have become one of the most prolific and profitable cyber-criminal groups in the world.

The FBI released a statement in which it said it is working to bring the ‘threat actors to justice’, who are thought to operate in Russia. In the latest statement from the White House on Wednesday, it was stated that President Biden would bring up the issue of cyber attacks with Putin in two weeks’ time.

2. Etsy plucks fashion app Depop off the hanger

Ecommerce giant Etsy is buying fashion resale app Depop for a mighty $1.62bn. Etsy CEO Josh Silverman is excited about the acquisition of Gen Z’s favourite second-hand fashion marketplace. Rightly so, as it has over 30 million users in 150 countries ready to be combined with Etsy’s 82 million buyers and 4.2 million sellers.

Silverman stated that Etsy sees “significant opportunities for shared expertise and growth synergies” across their shared portfolio of brands. However, don’t expect too much change, at least in the short term — Depop is going to remain a standalone business so users of the app shouldn’t see many differences.

3. Gigabit broadband boost for east of England

A new broadband infrastructure firm is aiming to connect one million homes and businesses in the east of England to gigabit broadband by 2025. Upp plans to invest £1bn in the new fibre-to-the-home network, which will be built in underserved regions and should result in an estimated 600 new jobs for the area.

As the numbers working from home have increased during the pandemic, so has the need for high-speed internet. A one gigabit (1 Gbps) connection would typically allow the downloading of a high-definition film in under a minute. Work has already started in towns across Lincolnshire and Norfolk, with benefits expected from next summer.

4. Conservatives fined for unwanted emails

The Conservatives have been fined £10,000 by the data watchdog for sending marketing emails to 51 people who did not want to receive them. The non-consensual emails were part of a million-strong mailshot sent in the name of Boris Johnson in the eight days after he became prime minister in July 2019.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) says this was due to the Conservatives’ failure to update their subscription list. The ICO added that its investigation had taken a long time because “the party repeatedly failed to provide responses within time periods set, even when those periods were extended”.

5. Spotify wants to make you feel really special

Spotify is out to make you feel special again in exchange for some free PR. A new feature, Only You, serves to let everyone know just how special you are. Similar to the Spotify Wrapped feature, it’s a stories-like interface featuring your listening habits of the last year, only now you can share your audio birth chart.

Yep, you can now let everyone know which artist is your sun, moon and rising sign, and who you’d invite to your dream dinner party. Whether anyone wants to know these things is another matter, of course. “Nobody listens like you,” says Spotify. Which is probably not true, but it’s still a nice sentiment, I suppose.

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