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Child safety smartwatches ‘easy’ to hack, watchdog says

Some smartwatches designed for children have security flaws that make them vulnerable to hackers, a watchdog has warned. The Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) tested watches from brands including Gator and GPS for Kids. It said it discovered that attackers could track, eavesdrop or even communicate with the wearers. The manufacturers involved insist the problems have either already been resolved or are being addressed. UK retailer John Lewis has withdrawn one of the named smartwatch models from sale in response. The smartwatches tested essentially serve as basic smartphones, allowing parents to…

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Australia jet and navy data stolen in 'extensive' hack

Sensitive information about Australia’s defence programmes has been stolen in an “extensive” cyber hack. About 30GB of data was compromised in the hack on a government contractor, including details about new fighter planes and navy vessels. The data was commercially sensitive but not classified, the government said. It did not know if a state was involved. Australian cyber security officials dubbed the mystery hacker “Alf”, after a character on TV soap Home and Away. The breach began in July last year, but the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) was not alerted…

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Equifax data hack affected 694,000 UK customers

The beleaguered credit reference agency Equifax has now admitted that 694,000 customers in the UK had their data stolen between May and July this year. The firm’s original estimate of its UK cyber-theft victims, made last month, was fewer, at nearly 400,000. Equifax now says that it will contact its affected UK customers by letter to offer them help. It admits they may be at risk of “possible criminal activity”. Patricio Remon, Equifax’s chief European executive, said: “Once again, I would like to extend my most sincere apologies to anyone…

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How to Hack Your Brain (for $5,000)

EDEN, Utah — One morning last month a group of roughly 60 people, including doctors, C.E.O.s and internet entrepreneurs, gathered under a big white dome to hear the mission statement of their host, a 45-year-old man named Jamie Wheal. As he paced back and forth in front of an altar bearing shiny Buddha heads, Mr. Wheal talked about the perils of information overload in our content-rich era. “A literate person in the European Middle Ages,” he said, “consumed the same amount of content in their entire lives as we do…

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Instagram hack: Celebrity contact details revealed

Instagram has revealed a flaw in its systems revealed “a number of” stars’ phone numbers and email addresses to cyber-attackers. The Facebook-owned social network has emailed verified members, usually prominent figures, to let them know. It said it believed “one or more” attackers had targeted high-profile stars to get their contact information. Instagram said passwords had not been stolen but warned users to watch for suspicious activity on their accounts. However, it did not say which accounts had been affected. The security breach was made possible due to a bug…

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Chinese man charged over US hack attacks

A Chinese man has been arrested in the US for allegedly selling malware used to hack into American companies. US authorities claim in court papers that Yu Pingan bought and sold malicious software including the rarely used Sakula program. That malware has been implicated in the 2014 hack attack on the US federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Information on a huge number of US workers employed in sensitive or secret work was stolen in that data breach. Software bugs Mr Pingan was arrested earlier this week soon after he…

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Power firms alerted on hack attack scenarios

Power firms around the world are being warned about how to spot if they are being targeted by hackers who shutdown parts of Ukraine’s electricity grid. The warnings have emerged from analysis of the malware used in an attack in Ukraine in December. That left about 230,000 people without power for hours after substations were shut down via implanted malware. The move comes as researchers at Black Hat and Def Con reveal ways power firms are lax on security. Immediate risk “Power grid operators need to be aware that these…

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