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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 government, GCHQ and O2 are throwing their weight behind an initiative to create two new cyber security startup accelerators, reports Computing.co.uk. The aim is to find firms with ideas to protect the nation from the increasing number of cyberattacks.... Read more

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Yahoo has now confirmed a previously suspected attack, undertaken in 2014, where an estimated 500 million user account credentials were stolen, reports UK.BusinessInsider.com. The company confirmed that the stolen data includes names, email addresses, telephone numbers and hashed passwords –... Read more

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Cyberattacks on satellites could spark a global catastrophe due to a combination of lax security and increasing number of potential attackers, reveals Independent.co.uk. The warning follows a new report from independent policy institute Chatham House, which suggested authorities should commit... Read more

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A German consumer watchdog has threatened legal action against WhatsApp over its controversial data sharing deal with Facebook, giving the social media giant until the end of the week to reverse the decision, reports Independent.co.uk. The original plan from Facebook,... Read more

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iPhone passcodes can now be bypassed with just £75 worth of technology, reports BBC.co.uk. A Cambridge computer scientist has cloned iPhone memory chips, allowing an unlimited number of attempts in guessing a passcode. This contradicts claims made by the FBI... Read more