ShinyShiny snippets: No 10 victim of ‘spyware attack’, claims cyber watchdog


The Prime Minister’s Downing Street office may have been the target of surveillance by powerful spyware made by the Israel-based NSO Group, according to a cyber watchdog group. Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto on Monday said it “observed and notified” the Government of “multiple suspected instances of Pegasus spyware infections” within 10 Downing Street and the Foreign Office in 2020 and 2021. A Pegasus operator linked to the United Arab Emirates is suspected of being behind the infection at Boris Johnson’s office, Citizen Lab said. The group also associated the suspected Foreign Office hacking with NSO clients linked to the UAE, as well as to India, Cyprus and Jordan. Yahoo! 


Workers at Apple’s Grand Central Station store in New York have announced a plan to start a union. If their bid is successful it would be the first union at one of the tech giant’s US stores. The group of staff known as Fruit Stand Workers United must get signatures of support from 30% of colleagues at the store to qualify for a union election. The move follows unionisation drives by staff at Starbucks and Amazon. Apple has not commented on the announcement. A statement on a campaign website for the prospective union said: “Grand Central is an extraordinary store with unique working conditions that make a union necessary to ensure our team has the best possible standards of living.” BBC

The new tech watchdog will have its powers to block takeovers by Silicon Valley giants curbed after ministers bowed to pressure from the likes of Google and Facebook. Ministers are drawing up plans to soften a clampdown on tech acquisitions under the Digital Markets Unit after concerns it would stifle investment in UK startups, according to Whitehall sources. The unit within the Competition and Markets Authority was set up to rein in Silicon Valley giants, including powers to more easily intervene in takeovers by large tech firms with “strategic market status”. However, experts warned the startup scene would be badly damaged by the proposals that would all but ban big tech firms from making deals by judging them under a new stricter standard. Telegraph 

\Google seems to be working on bringing Wallet back in some form after it made the app part of Google Pay (via Android Police). According to Mishaal Rahman, the company is creating a Wallet interface for Google Play Services that will act as a way to access and manage your payment and transit cards, passes, rewards memberships, and more. Currently, you manage most of these in Google Pay, and it seems likely that you’ll be able to get to the new Wallet UI from within that app, which Rahman says will still be used for contactless payments. It also appears that the cards you put into your Wallet will be accessible from elsewhere, as the screenshots show a link saying “learn how passes in your Wallet will appear across Google.” The Verge 

A new climate change GCSE is going to be unveiled that teaches students “how to conserve the planet”. The course will aim to give young people “a deeper knowledge of the natural world around them”, and it will be available to students from 2025. Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi, who will formally announce the qualification on Thursday, said: “The new natural history GCSE will offer young people a chance to develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of this amazing planet, its environment and how to conserve it.” It is one of the first new qualifications to be announced since the exam system was reformed in 2017. Sky News 

Chris Price