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Today’s top tech news

The head of MI5, Jonathan Evans, has revealed the organisation is working to counter cyber-attacks being made on an “astonishing” scale, reports BBC News Online. The UK secret service chief made the announcement during his first public speech in two years, where he warned cyber-criminals and state-sponsored agents were exploiting internet “vulnerabilities,” and that the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were “attractive” targets. Mr Evans said the threat is not only to “the integrity, confidentiality and availability of government information but to business and to academic institutions.”

Sky News Online has reported on the admissions by two British hackers that they were behind cyber-attacks against the NHS, the CIA and the UK Serious Organised Crime Squad. The two – Ryan Cleary and Jake Davis – entered guilty pleas on two counts of “conspiracy to do an unauthorised act or acts with intent to impair or with recklessness as to impairing, the operation of a computer or computers”. Both denied posting “unlawfully obtained confidential computer data” to publically accessible websites such as The Pirate Bay and LulzSec.com. Cleary also confessed to hacking computers based in the Pentagon.

The business social network site Yammer has been acquired by Microsoft for $1.2bn, reports BBC News Online. Five million users including employees at companies such as Deloitte and Ford use Yammer. The acquisition is Microsoft’s second significant purchase in the past year, following its takeover of the Voice over Internet Protocol service, Skype. The CEO of Yammer, David Sacks, said the Microsoft deal will give the company “access to the technologies, expertise and resources we’ll need to scale and innovate.”

The Telegraph has reported that Apple has dropped its claims Mac computers do not acquire viruses. The move was made after approximately 600,000 users, more than 1% of the worldwide total number of Mac owners, were affected by the recent Flashback Trojan outbreak. Apple’s website now features an updated message, which now states Macs are “built to be safe”.

 

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Continued growth in advertising revenue helped Google post a double-digit rise in sales in the first quarter of 2015, reports Scotsman.com. The technology giant booked revenues of $17.3 billion (£11.4bn), a 12% rise on the same period last year with... Read more

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A hi-tech signalling system that will eventually control all of Britain’s trains could potentially be hacked to cause a serious crash, reports BBC.co.uk. Prof David Stupples has advised that plans to replace ageing signal lights with new computers could leave... Read more

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Campaigners have warned that the private lives of Britons will be an open book to the state within 10 years, highlighting manifesto pledges from Labour and the Conservatives that promise more powers for spies. TheGuardian.com reports that both parties have pledged... Read more

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The National Centre for Cyberstalking Research has found that people who spend a lot of time online may struggle to form healthy real-world relationships, reports Sky News. Psychologist Dr Short, one of the co-authors of the research, stated, “If you... Read more