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A Russian hacker group has attacked the news site CNET. It later said it stole usernames, encrypted passwords and emails for more than one million users. 

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Eight World Cup games have been played since Microsoft’s answer to Siri, Cortana, was given the ability to predict the outcome of football matches in an update - and it has accurately called the winner every time. A 100 per cent hit rate is something which even Paul the Octopus could not achieve during the 2010 competition. Since this article was written two quarter-final games have been played and with Germany and Brazil both winning Cortana has stretched its run of accurate predictions into double figures. Cortana is named after the AI character that appears in the Halo video games, and is voiced by the same actress that provided dialogue for the games. It was demonstrated for the first time in April this year and will become a key part of Windows Phone, Windows and Xbox One in coming months. Currently it is only available to Windows Phone users in the US as a beta.

 

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The UK government has published the Information Security Breaches Survey every year since the early 90s with the aim of increasing awareness of security risks. It’s an interesting read and provides a quantifiable insight into the current state of security across UK businesses.  This year’s report found that over 80% of large organisations and 60% of small organisations had a security breach in the last year. What’s more alarming is that breaches are costing twice as much as last year – the average cost of a breach to a large organisation is now £600k to £1.15m. This is predominantly driven by the costs of business disruption, incidence response, and lost assets and intellectual property.

 

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Many of you will have heard about the Heartbleed Bug in the news.  Whilst this won’t affect every business (those that don’t use SSL servers – these are the ones that leave a padlock in the address bar of your web browser) it will affect many of the sites that you and your staff may visit on a daily basis.

 

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A Dorset school with academy status has fallen victim to an online scam, reportedly losing more than £1m. St Aldhelm's Academy in Poole was contacted by people pretending to be bank workers and requesting details of the school's bank account. Staff subsequently passed them on and the criminals withdrew the money, part of a multimillion-pound government loan for rebuilding. The fraud happened last summer but has just come to light. The theft is believed to be linked to organised crime in eastern Europe. The matter was immediately referred to the police and Action Fraud by the academy trust and to the EFA. The matter continues to be investigated by the police.

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Several IT firms in the West Midlands are leading the fight against hackers with the help of a computer game.

Serious Games in Coventry have teamed up with a cyber security specialist and a team of organisational psychologists from Aston University in Birmingham, to create software they hope will be used alongside business training.

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In the early 2000s, just around the time of the Dot Com Boom, some insurers stood up, took notice and began to develop a product designed to address the financial loss that might arise out of data breaches. This was at a time where most companies were just beginning to realise the economic potential of the Internet. At this time insurers were looking  to target the big dotcom companies such as Amazon, Yahoo, eBay and Google.  

 

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Supermarket chain Tesco has suspended more than 2,000 online accounts after cyber thieves targeted log-in credentials and Clubcard points. The deactivation comes after thousands of usernames and passwords - taken from non-Tesco websites - appeared on a text-sharing portal. It is believed that cyber thieves then used that data to crack accounts at Tesco.com, relying on the habit of some people using the same usernames and passwords for various websites. A Tesco spokesperson told Sky News: "We take the security of our customers' data extremely seriously and are urgently investigating these claims. "We are contacting all customers who may have been affected and are committed to ensuring that none of them miss out as a result of this." The speculative attack on Tesco was also used to steal Clubcard points from some customers - believed to number fewer than 10.

 

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A Russian hacker took over the BBC server and tried to sell the server and its contents to other hackers during the festive season.

The BBC's security team believes it managed to secure the site on Saturday 28 December. It had been broken into via a server usually used for uploading large files.

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Snapchat said it will release an updated version of its app after hackers downloaded usernames and phone numbers for 4.6 million accounts.

It said the update will allow users to opt out of appearing in its feature, Find Friends, after they have verified their phone number.

Find Friends allows users to upload their address book contacts to find others who are also using the service.

The hack came after a security firm warned of vulnerabilities in the app.

The security firm, Gibson Security, highlighted the flaw, which it said could be used to reveal the phone numbers of users, in its report published on 25 December.

 

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The Irish loyalty programme firm, Loyaltybuild have been hit by a hack attack which saw the loss of 376,000 customer full credit card details.

According to investigatory results by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC), credit card and contrary to all payment storage rules CVV details were held unencrypted on Loyaltybuild's systems in the run-up to attacks in the middle of October.

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Five men have been added to the FBI's Cyber Most Wanted list for their roles in crimes that saw tens of millions of dollars being stolen.
The FBI says hundreds of thousands of people fell victim to the suspects for whom rewards of up to $100,000 (£62,190) are being offered.
They include Carlos Perez-Melara who is being sought for a variety of cyber crimes including running a fraudulent website in 2003 that offered customers a way to "catch a cheating lover".  People who took the offer downloaded spyware that secretly installed a programme on their computers which allowed scammers to steal the victims' identities and personal information.

 

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The computer software company Adobe has been hacked, potentially compromising the data of 2.9 million customers, the company revealed on 3rd October.

Adobe said "sophisticated attacks" had been carried out "very recently".

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Personal details of more than two million customers of Vodafone Germany have been stolen by a hacker. Vodafone said the attacker got access to customer names, addresses, bank account numbers and birth dates.

The trove of information was stolen from a database sitting on the company's internal network. The operator said customers had been told about the breach and warned to watch out for "phishing" messages that try to extract more personal data.

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Cyber criminals have compromised thousands of Foxtons estate agent customers' accounts, following a successful cyber-attack on its networks.

The attackers infiltrated the company's networks and posted username and password details of a staggering 9,816 Foxtons customers online. It is currently unclear how the attackers got into Foxtons' networks to steal the information and at the time of publishing the estate agent had not responded to V3's request for comment on the attack.

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Electronic BINS in the heart of London must stop tracking hundreds of thousands of passing smartphones, officials have demanded.


A dozen or so high-tech rubbish cans - which display adverts and information on built-in flat-screens and are dotted around the capital's financial district's pavements - were set up to collect data from nearby phones.

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A recruitment firm has been reprimanded by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for leaving the details of nearly 7,500 CVs on its database unsecured on its public website.

The site, Janetpage.com, is a hub for those in the care industry, and the ICO was alerted to the fact that the supposedly secure website for firms seeking staff – where 7,435 CVs were stored – was completely open to anyone visiting the website.
The company was unaware of this error and when alerted to it said it may have been caused by a hack on its system, although no evidence was able to support this.
In its report on the issue the ICO said those running the website staff lacked the technical know-how to install such a system and were not trained on data protection measures.

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NHS Surrey has been fined £200,000 by data regulators over the loss of sensitive information about more than 3,000 patients. Thousands of children's patient records were found on a second-hand NHS computer that was auctioned on eBay, the BBC understands.

Regulators said NHS Surrey failed to check that a data destruction company had properly disposed of the records. Three further computers that had been sold on eBay contained sensitive data.

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Don't Let The Lights Go Out On Your Business

Fears that the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony might have come under cyber-attack have been detailed by officials for the first time.
The concern was that the lights could have been turned off during the ceremony.

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Cyber risks are the losses and liabilities that a company may face as a result of using such things as the internet, computer systems and email

 

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