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Anti-Isis hackers claim BBC website attack

A group of hackers working to target Islamic State online have apparently claimed they were behind an attack which took down the BBC's website and iPlayer for several hours earlier this week.

A screenshot of the BBC website during the hacking attack

A group named the New World Hackers said they had carried out the attack on Thursday as a "test" of their abilities, according to messages sent to the corporation's technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones.

"It was only a test, we didn't exactly plan to take it down for multiple hours," said the messages, which were posted on Twitter by Mr Cellan-Jones.

"We realise sometimes what we do is not always the right choice, but without cyber hackers ... who is there to fight off online terrorists?"

The hackers took down the website by overwhelming its servers with a flood of requests for information, the BBC said.

A BBC spokeswoman said the broadcaster would not comment on the claim of responsibility made by the group.

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Microsoft to warn Outlook users of government hacking

Microsoft will tell Outlook users about 'state-sponsored' hacking. Credit: PA

Microsoft is to begin warning users of the Outlook email service when it suspects a government has tried to hack their accounts, the company said on Wednesday.

The policy change at the world's largest software company follows similar moves since October by Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo. Google pioneered the practice in 2012 and said it now alerts tens of thousands of users every few months.

Microsoft has offered alerts about potential security breaches for two years without specifying the likely suspect.

In the statement, the company said: "As the threat landscape has evolved our approach has too, and we'll now go beyond notification and guidance to specify if we reasonably believe the attacker is 'state-sponsored'."

The announcement came after it emerged Microsoft did not tell Hotmail users it suspected Chinese authorities of hacking into more than 1,000 accounts several years ago.

Driverless robotic buses could be part of 'tech nation'

Ed Vaizey MP said driverless robotic buses could be used in rural areas. Credit: PA

Driverless robotic buses and GPS systems allowing people to find parking spaces are among the ideas proposed for the UK's digital strategy for the next five years.

Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey said the Government wants technology to "transform day-to-day life" in the UK, with the country built as a "Tech Nation".

Writing in The Times, he said: "It might mean that the best educators from around the world are made accessible to all – with virtual reality sets bringing Nobel laureates into the classroom.

"That we can build better houses, faster. That more power is given to the patient, and the care we provide four our elderly and sick is improved and made more affordable.

"That we use driverless robotic buses in rural communities or help people to find parking places using GPS technology."

Mr Vaizey said the digital strategy would be set out early in 2016.

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