IT news in brief: Amazon makes a profit

Amazon reported a net profit of $5.09m (£3.61m) for the three months to 31 December, compared to a loss for the same quarter a year ago of $545.14m. The company made a loss for the full year of $567.3m but this was considerably less than the $1.41bn a year earlier. Turnover for the quarter was $1.12bn, up 15 per cent from $972m last time. Amazon said that more than 29% of its sales were made to international customers.

UK government computer systems have been targeted by hackers at least 85 times in the last five years, and over half of the attacks were made on the Ministry of Defence. The Lord Chancellor’s department has confirmed evidence of 19 incidents in the last five years, three by outsiders and 16 by internal staff. The figures were revealed in answers to parliamentary questions to Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow. Burstow also highlighted the problem of hardware theft. ‘Two thirds of all computer thefts are from the MoD. These new figures must give real cause for concern. Apart from the waste of taxpayers’ money, it suggests a casual approach to security,’ he said.

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