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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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Today’s top tech news

Greater Manchester Police’s (GMP) website has been hit with a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, reports TheGuardian.com. Users were unable to access the www.gmp.police.uk domain while the attack was occurring, however the affected pages of the website were said... Read more

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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