Breakfast Briefing: GCHQ warning, iPhone 5 launch, FBI denies Apple leak link

Today’s top stories include another warning over cyber snooping, more iPhone 5 rumours, the FBI denies Apple hack, Zuckerberg holds onto Facebook shares, and six-year-old get coding… in Estonia.

Breakfast Briefing: GCHQ warning, iPhone 5 launch, FBI denies Apple leak link

GCHQ to warn over cyber threats – again
UK spy centre GCHQ is to warn businesses that they face an unprecedented threat from cyber attackers. According to reports, intelligence agents are to warn business leaders that thousands of critical systems are compromised every day in the UK.

They’ve said it before, but this time they mean it and will be circulating a crib sheet – Executive Companion – 10 Steps to Cyber-Security.

Apple launching iPhone 5 next week

No big story here, just confirmation of the Apple event we were all expecting. The iPhone 5 will launch on Wednesday 12 September at 10am PST, so that’s 6pm our time. We’ll be ordering pizza and staying late to cover it, so it had better be more exciting than last year.

FBI denies Apple ID leak link

Hackers yesterday claimed to have posted 1m Apple ID details online, saying they got they data from an FBI laptop. The US investigative agency has denied any link to the leak, but it’s still not clear where the data came from.

“The FBI is aware of published reports alleging that an FBI laptop was compromised and private data regarding Apple UDIDs was exposed,” the staetment reads. “At this time, there is no evidence indicating that an FBI laptop was compromised or that the FBI either sought or obtained this data.”

Zuckerberg to hold on to Facebook shares

It must be hard being Mark Zuckerberg – all that money and nothing to spend. The Facebook founder has vowed not to sell any of the shares in the social network he founded, which floated earlier this year. In a bid to instil confidence in the floundering stock, which has dropped in value by 50% since going public in May, the company has said it will not sell shares to cover a £2bn tax bill.

Maria Miller takes over UK broadband

Wave goodbye to Jeremy Hunt, and say hello to Maria Miller, the new minister for Culture, Media and Sport – the portfolio which inexplicably includes broadband. The Tory MP has little tech policy experience to her name, but some big challenges facing her, namely living up to Hunt’s promise to give the UK the best broadband in Europe by 2015.

Most file sharers are monitored

The BBC reports on a study that shows that anyone using BitTorrent to download popular copyrighted content is probably being monitored as they do so.

A team of researchers at the University of Birmingham set up their own software that acted like the torrent site and logged connections to it. They found evidence that among the Top 100 files, users would be logged by a monitoring firm within as little as three hours – and the service doesn’t differentiate between first-time users and hardcore downloaders. The monitoring is being carried out by “copyright enforcement organisations, security companies and even government research labs”.

What happens to Kickstarter money if the project fails?

The millions of dollars given by excited Kickstarter users to fund tech projects may not get returned if those projects fail, NPR reveals. The Ouya project raised $8.6m, and is supposed to deliver gaming consoles by March – what happens if they aren’t ready? Another project, for a smartphone/watch, is already delayed; one user asked for a refund, but was refused. Others have paid back funds, however. NPR notes one telling point: “While the company’s policy says creators have to give refunds on failed projects, the website doesn’t have a mechanism to do it.”

Estonian six-year-olds to get programming classes

What’s the right age to start coding? In Estonia, students will start programming classes as early as first grade, reports Ubuntu Life, as the nation looks to push to the front of Eastern Europe in terms of IT growth. Now why can’t we have primary school programmers in the UK again?

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