Thursday, August 5, 2021

Hashtag Trending, June 22, 2021- Water facility hacks; Amazon Prime Day; IBM Toronto office

With files from Samira Balsara

Water facility hacks are becoming more prominent, Amazon Prime Day is no celebration for workers, and IBM opens a new office in Toronto.

It’s all the biz/tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Tuesday, June 22 and I’m your host Alex Coop.

50,000 security disasters waiting to happen: The problem of America’s water supplies: "If you could imagine a community center run by two old guys who are plumbers, that’s your average water plant," one cybersecurity consultant said. from technology

The United States is experiencing a growing number of cyberattacks on water facilities. According to an NBC report, water utilities may be the most vulnerable to hackers. We don’t have to go that far back to cite some real examples: in January a hacker attempted to poison a water treatment plant in the San Francisco Bay Area. This attack was soon followed by one in Florida where the hacker raised the levels of sodium hydroxide in the drinking water to poisonous levels. Both incidents occurred because the hacker was able to get into a TeamViewer account which many water facilities use. These attacks are hard to control since there is no federal or industry accounting of water treatment plants’ security and many water facilities are not run by for-profit companies like electricity. More than 50,000 water facilities in the U.S. are nonprofit entities. [NBC]

Amazon’s annual “holiday” has kicked off in the U.S. and the U.K., but the latest chatter on social media isn’t about the great deals. The two day event called Prime Day, is where Amazon users get access to major discounts on a variety of products. While this is fun for buyers, the day is often a nightmare for Amazon’s frontline workers. Prime Day means mandatory overtime for warehouse workers. Shifts are often extended from 12 to 12 hours. While poor working conditions at Amazon’s warehouses isn’t new information, the ongoing pressure facing its workers as demand for products only skyrockets remains a huge issue. One worker told Jacobin (Jack-o-bin) that he would be made to work 55 hours during these busy periods. An ex-Amazon employee mentioned she was once made to work 24 hours straight on Prime Day. While other countries prepare for a busy day, Amazon workers in Canada will not as Amazon Canada has paused Prime Day due to COVID-19 concerns. [Jacobin]

And lastly, IBM Canada has announced a new office in Toronto. The company revealed on Monday that it would be merging four major Toronto offices into one single workspace in a prominent downtown Toronto spot. The new office will include an AI and hybrid cloud client showcase centre. IBM says there will be collaboration spaces for employees and clients and space for IBM Garage, an incubator for accelerating digital transformation. The space is expected to host new employees who will fill 500 job openings in the GTA. Since January, IBM Canada has filled around 1,200 roles, 250 of them going to students. 

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. Thanks for listening.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Editorial director for IT World Canada and its sister publications, and former community reporter. Also a great pick up basketball player | acoop@itwc.ca

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