Facebook snooping, UK cyber attacks and TalkTalk financial woes: The week in security

Facebook snooping, UK cyber attacks and TalkTalk financial woes: The week in security

There was a heavy government influence on the security news this week as the UK administration launched CyberInvest to help fund cyber security research.

However, it was also revealed that the UK police were requesting more Facebook user data than ever before. Meanwhile, Cabinet Officer minister Matthew Hancock described cyber attacks against the nation as “constant and relentless”.

In other news, Mikko Hyppönen, a security expert with F-Secure, slammed governments around the world for keeping the public in the dark around snooping capabilities.

Read on for the standout security news of the week from the V3 newsdesk.

UK government sought data on almost 4,500 Facebook user accounts in first half of 2015

Facebook web page

It was uncovered that the UK government requested data on almost 4,500 Facebook accounts in the first half of 2015, according to Facebook’s latest government transparency report.

Mikko Hyppönen says public has a right to know extent of government snooping

Mikko Hypponen

Mikko Hyppönen, a security expert with F-Secure, slammed governments for keeping the public in the dark over their surveillance programmes. “We as citizens need to know what law enforcement is doing, in particular we need to know how successful each of their mechanisms are,” he said in a presentation prior to the annual Slush technology conference in Helsinki.

Cabinet minister warns of ‘constant and relentless’ cyber attacks against UK

Downing Street Whitehall

Sophisticated cyber attacks against the government and businesses are “constant and relentless”, according to Cabinet Officer minister Matthew Hancock.

 TalkTalk to take £35m hit on cyber hack and data breach

TalkTalk logo

TalkTalk revealed the cyber attack on its systems that saw data on over 150,000 customers stolen will cost it between £30m and £35m. The company made the admission during its earnings report for the first half of its financial year, with CEO Dido Harding saying it was hard to know the full extent the attack would have on its financial future.

Apple CEO Tim Cook warns of ‘dire consequences’ if encryption is weakened

Tim Cook and Aaron Levie in discussion at BoxWorks in San Francisco

Apple CEO Tim Cook warned there will be “dire consequences” if UK cyber spies are given powers to access the encrypted communications of the public. Speaking to The Telegraph to mark the arrival of the iPad Pro, Cook said that given the amount of data breaches now taking place it is clear that data needs to be protected.

Malvertising threat on the rise but ad-blocking tools could stem the tide

Computer code on a laptop

FEATURE: Malvertising is cheap, effective, difficult to combat and, unfortunately for internet users, on the rise. It is now routinely used by cyber criminals to inject malware into unwitting computer systems and cause havoc by exploiting flaws in popular software such as Adobe Flash.

Facebook faces Belgian privacy battle after cookie tracking ruling


Facebook was facing fines of €250,000 per day if it failed to stop tracking non-members who visit its site. The ruling was handed down by a Belgian court that said Facebook’s use of a tracking cookie, called datr, was illegal when used on those who have not signed up to the social networking service as they have not given their express consent to be tracked.

UK government and GCHQ launch £6.5m CyberInvest scheme to pool security expertise

Houses of Parliament

The UK government, in collaboration with the GCHQ spy agency, launched a scheme called CyberInvest to fund research into cyber security. “CyberInvest is about bringing together academia, industry and government to address the critical shortage of high-end cyber research in a more focused way,” said GCHQ director Robert Hannigan during the annual IA15 conference in London.

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13 November 2015 | 3:41 pm – Source: v3.co.uk


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