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Today's Tech: Apple files iWatch trademark application and Facebook and Twitter prove worthy hacking allies

Apple has submitted a trademark for 'iWatch' in Japan (opens in new tab), it has emerged. The discovery of the application has all but confirmed that the tech giant is set to enter the wearable technology market. If successful, the trademark would cover computers, computer peripherals and wristwatches. How long the process could take is currently unknown. The iWatch has been the source of much speculation over the last few months, with many expecting the device to feature in last month's WWDC conference. That obviously didn't happen, and in the few weeks between then and now, there have been several developments from other companies, namely Sony and Intel, in terms of wearable hardware. There have also been movements in this area from Samsung, Google and Microsoft. Apple's last brand new device was the iPad, which debuted in 2010.

In the realm of IT security, the instinct for most companies is to simply throw money and technology at the problem. But ignoring the human element of cybercrime would be naïve, Kaspersky Lab's David Emm argues. A report from Kaspersky this week highlighted an alarming rise in phishing attacks with an average of 3,000 users being attacked in this manner every day in the UK (opens in new tab); three times as many as were recorded during 2011-2012. Significantly, phishing attacks prey more heavily on weaknesses in the individual than in network infrastructure – the trend thus demonstrating the growing importance of our behaviour in the process of cyber-attacks. And where better to mine for these behavioural weaknesses than social media sites? "If you're a pickpocket in town, you go where the crowds go, and modern hackers are the same," said Emm. "If you think about Facebook as if it were a country, it'd be among the two or three most populous in the world. There are masses of people on social networks and therefore there's a big pool of potential victims." Social networks provide the perfect platform for spreading malware, Emm says, with miscreants ceaselessly "trying to persuade people to click on something [example, right]. They spot fear in them, spread gossip, or do similar things to try and get people to click." For more on how to avoid getting caught out on social media, follow the link above.

Sticking with security, it has emerged that one of the biggest cyber-threats to the UK appears to be coming in the form of sophisticated espionage plots, with intelligence officials revealing the alarming rate of attacks currently being endured by British organisations. Around 70 sophisticated cyber-espionage operations are launched on government or industry networks every month (opens in new tab), leaving intellectual property brutally exposed. Sir Iain Lobban, director of the Government's Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), said foreign hackers have managed to penetrate some UK companies for up to two years, and that business secrets across the country were currently being stolen on an "industrial scale." "People are going after intellectual property and then seeking to translate it into national gain," said Lobban. "We started a couple of years ago thinking this was going to be very much about the defence sector but really it's any intellectual property that can be harvested." MI5 told the BBC that foreign intelligence services were behind many of the attacks, but neither the security division nor GCHQ were willing to specify exactly who was responsible for the operations.

Mobile roaming charges across Europe are set to tumble as of today (opens in new tab), with new limits imposed by the European Union coming into force. The amount network operators can charge users for making and receiving calls, and browsing the Internet abroad has been capped, making phone use substantially cheaper for tourists. Beginning 1 July 2013, making a call outside your own country will cost a maximum of 24 Euro cents (21p) per minute, compared to 29 cents this time last year, and 43 cents back in 2009. Internet use has been cut from the 2012 rate of 70 cents per megabyte used to 45 cents per megabyte, while receiving a call and sending an SMS are both a cent cheaper from last year, at 7 cents and 8 cents respectively. The EU's initiative will further reduce costs for consumers in 2014, with the maximum charges then falling to 19 cents per minute for making a call, 5 cents per minute for receiving a call, 6 cents for sending an SMS, and just 20 cents per megabyte for Internet data. Receiving SMS messages is currently free of charge in another EU country, and will remain as such.

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews, Newsweek, and ITProPortal.