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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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The total IT infrastructure spend for on-premise and cloud rose by 19.5 per cent in Q3 of 2016, with Infrastructure-as-a-Service experiencing a jump to 24.9 per cent, reports CloudPro.co.uk. The growth resulted in an all-time high in revenue of $1.5bn... Read more

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The UK Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to put science and technology first in the UK’s Brexit negotiations, reports Computing.co.uk. The government aims to continue a policy of attracting “potential, talent and ambition” to the UK following its departure... Read more

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The recent cyberattack affecting Barts Health NHS hospitals has been confirmed as Trojan malware, reports ZDNet.com. In Friday’s attack, Barts Health NHS Trust was forced to take its computer systems offline. A number of systems, including those in the pathology... Read more

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The UK government’s plans for tax digitisation could be delayed by at least one year following ‘serious shortcomings’ exposed by the Treasury Committee, reports TheRegister.co.uk. In 2015, HMRC was awarded £1.3bn of digital investment over four years, designed to end... Read more

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Snap, the owner of Snapchat, has confirmed it will make the UK its main hub outside of the US, reports Sky.com. The California-based tech giant, which is reportedly preparing for a $25bn stock market float on Wall Street, said the... Read more