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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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Over 360 million MySpace account details have gone up for sale on the dark web, reports TechWeekEurope.co.uk. The passwords were stored using SHA1 algorithms, which are considered fairly simple to decrypt, and did not use ‘salting’ techniques – the process... Read more

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The UK government has revealed that self-driving car manufacturers will be held responsible for accidents rather than the humans ‘driving’ them, reports TheInquirer.net. The government has given more insight regarding how it thinks driverless car insurance policies could work, revealing... Read more

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Foxconn, suppliers for Apple and Samsung, has reportedly replaced 60,000 of its factory workers with robots, reports BBC.co.uk. Economists have previously issued warnings regarding how automation will affect the job market, with one report suggesting that 35 per cent of... Read more

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Google plans to eliminate passwords on Android applications by the end of 2016, reports Telegraph.co.uk. Instead, apps will unlock based on who is using them and where. Known as Project Abacus, this new security system would use biometrics to determine... Read more

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More CIOs report directly to a CEO than ever before, indicating that companies are increasingly acknowledging the central importance of IT and technology to their organisation, reports Computing.co.uk. More than one-third (34 per cent) of CIOs surveyed in the report... Read more