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Today’s top stories

Industry digest
Online gossip site, Gawker Media, has experienced a cyber attack enabling spammers to take over thousands of Twitter accounts
, reports BBC News Online. A group calling itself "Gnosis" acquired and then released a 500MB file containing Twitter user data on the file-sharing system Bittorrent. Spammers were then able to break into thousands of Twitter accounts where users had used the same or weak passwords.

 The national security adviser, Sir Peter Ricketts, has warned permanent secretaries that "hacktivists" who last week targeted the sites of companies such as MasterCard and PayPal could switch their focus to Britain. The news comes as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is due to appear in court today. Extra security measures have been added to selected government web services and in particular those used to claim benefits or provide tax information. See the full story in The Independent.

Google's new cloud computing operating system, ChromeOS, looks like a plan "to push people into careless computing" by forcing them to store their data in the cloud rather than on machines directly under their control, warns Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and creator of the operating system GNU. He warns that many could lose their legal right to data if it is stored on a company's machine in the cloud rather than on your own. Read the full story in The Guardian.

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WHSmith denies data breach after customer information is reportedly emailed to its entire mailing list, reports Telegraph.co.uk. Thousands of WHSmith customers have been emailed the personal details of other magazine subscribers because of a processing ‘bug’ in the retailer’s Contact... Read more

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The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) website has fallen victim to cyber attackers, reports Guardian.co.uk. A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack was launched against the NCA, which is seen as a retaliation by Lizard Squad for the six teenagers... Read more

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British spy agencies have checked leaked Ashley Madison records to see if their staff are vulnerable to blackmail, reports Telegraph.co.uk. A senior government source has revealed that personal data from the dating website, which has been published on the dark... Read more

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Children should be warned about the dangers of the web sooner, reports SkyNews.com. Baroness Shields, the former head of Facebook’s Europe division, has warned children should be informed about cyber-bullying and grooming sooner. Her remarks come as a YouGov poll... Read more

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Facebook has launched its own digital assistant to rival Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, reports BBC.co.uk. “M is a personal digital assistant inside of Messenger that completes tasks and finds information on your behalf,” explains David Marcus, Head of Messenger... Read more