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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

More than 1,000 incidents were reported to the National Cyber Security Centre in its first year of operation, reports BBC.co.uk. The centre, part of the intelligence agency GCHQ, says more than half the incidents posed a significant threat. None of... Read more

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1.9 billion records have been leaked or stolen in the first half of 2017, more than throughout the entire of the previous year, reports Computing.co.uk. The report by Gemalto discovered that encryption was used in fewer than five per cent... Read more

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The healthcare sector and social media users are popular targets for cyber attackers, reports ComputerWeekly.com. Healthcare surpassed the public sector in cyber security incidents in the second quarter of 2017. While overall healthcare data breaches are most likely the result... Read more

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Over a quarter of local councils in the UK have fallen victim to some kind of ransomware, reports TheInquirer.net. Most worryingly, 30% said they didn’t know if they had been or not as their IT had been outsourced to private... Read more

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HMRC is gearing up for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation by hiring a Data Protection Officer, reports Computing.co.uk. The role will sit within the Cyber Security and Information Risks (CSIR) directorate, but will report directly and independently to HMRC’s... Read more