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SummaryPresident Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian authorities to protect state computers from hacking attacks, the Kremlin said on Monday, after an Internet security firm said a spy network had infiltrated government and embassy computers across the former Soviet bloc.

Putin orders protection from hacking attacks

President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian authorities to protect state computers from hacking attacks, the Kremlin said on Monday, after an Internet security firm said a spy network had infiltrated government and embassy computers across the former Soviet bloc. Dubbed Red October, the network used phishing attacks — or unsolicited emails to intended targets — to infect the computers of embassies and other state institutions with a programme designed to harvest intelligence and send it back to a server. Putin signed a decree on January 15 empowering the Federal Security Service to “create a state system for the detection, prevention and liquidation of the effects of computer attacks on the information resources of the Russian Federation”. State computer and telecommunications networks protected by the cyber security system should include those inside Russia and at its embassies and consulates abroad, according to the decree, which was published on a Kremlin website on Monday.

Pearson sees another tough yr as earnings fall

British education and media group Pearson warned on Monday it expects tough market conditions to continue in 2013 after a weak fourth-quarter hit earnings last year. The owner of the Financial Times newspaper and Penguin books publisher said it now expects to report on February 25 adjusted earnings per share of around 84 pence for 2012, below the 84.9 pence it had predicted in October, due to weaker educational funding in developed markets and sluggish advertising. The result had already expected to be down on the previous year’s earnings of 86.5 pence a share due to the sale last year of its 50% stake in the FTSE International market indexes business to the London Stock Exchange, which it said contributed 2.2 pence a share to earnings in 2011. The rare downgrade knocked its share price down 3.6% to 1193 pence by 1004 GMT, slightly below the level they were trading at the start of the year following a jump last week.

Taliban attack Kabul traffic police HQ

Suicide bombers and gunmen launched an eight-hour assault on the headquarters of the Kabul traffic police on Monday, Afghan officials said, in the second coordinated attack on a government building in less than a week. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the operation In which all five attackers and three traffic police officers were killed, interior ministry officials said. The attack raised the possibility that insurgents were shifting tactics, testing

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