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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

BT has announced plans to scrap half of the UK’s remaining 40,000 telephone boxes in the next five years, reports TheInquirer.net. The cost of maintaining these phone boxes is £6m per year, with over a third never used for calls.

Today’s top tech news

Leaked SMB exploits have increased the capacity of malware authors in undertaking cyber-attacks, reports ComputerWeekly.com. Researchers behind the information noted that “there is nearly no skill required to leverage these tools and gain unauthorised access to vulnerable systems”.

Today’s top tech news

NHS Digital has signed a new cybersecurity agreement with Microsoft, reports ComputerWeekly.com. The custom support agreement will cover the NHS across the UK until June 2018, including security updates for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and MS SQL 2005.

Today’s top tech news

The number of attacks utilising malicious emails spiked in Q2 of 2017, reports ComputerWeekly.com. Campaigns utilising this strategy rose by 250%, according to new research, with attachments favoured over links.

Today’s top tech news

TalkTalk has been fined £100,000 for breaching the Data Protection Act, reports Silicon.co.uk. Their poor practices reportedly allowed scammers to access huge amounts of data for phone-based phishing attacks.