Israeli military networks breached by hackers: researchers
By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Hackers have managed to penetrate computer networks associated with the Israeli military in an espionage campaign that skillfully packages existing attack software with trick emails, according to security researchers at Blue Coat Systems Inc. The four-month-old effort, most likely by Arabic-speaking programmers, shows how the Middle East continues to be a hotbed for cyber espionage and how widely the ability to carry off such attacks has spread, the researchers said. Waylon Grange, a researcher with the Blue Coat [PRJCBB.UL] who discovered the campaign, said the vast majority of the hackers' software was cobbled together from widely available tools, such as the remote-access Trojan called Poison Ivy. The hackers sent emails to various military addresses that purported to show breaking military news, or, in some cases, a clip featuring "Girls of the Israel Defense Forces." Some of the emails included attachments that established "back doors" for future access by the hackers and modules that could download and run additional programs, according to Blue Coat.
Denver teacher's third grade assignment goes viral online
By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - A Colorado teacher who posted notes from her third grade class online and started a social media whirlwind under the hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew said on Friday the assignment had been a revelation for her. Kyle Schwartz, 26, asked the eight- and nine-year-olds at her Denver inner city school to write down something they wished she knew about them, partly as a writing exercise, and partly as a way for her to learn about her pupils. Schwartz, a self-described suburban girl who has taught at southwest Denver's Doull Elementary for three years, said she has conducted the exercise each year, in part because she wanted to underline the issue of poverty in U.S. inner cities.
GM counting on high-speed Internet services in car to drive profits
Now, as the company prepares to expand the technology to most of its 2016 U.S. models, GM is lifting the curtain on its digital business strategy. During a recent investor presentation, company executives put a number on their 4G expectations for the first time, saying they expect to reap at least $350 million in improved profits over the next three years from adding the OnStar 4G systems to its cars. GM is the first automaker to reveal its projections, but it is not alone in chasing digital profits. As in-car broadband usage grows, GM's estimates could turn out to be conservative, some analysts say, since the potential for revenues from in-car broadband connections are still being developed. Taking a cut of e-commerce transactions conducted on in-car systems is one obvious revenue generator, but automakers also expect that software upgrades pushed through a broadband connection will one day save them hundreds of dollars per car in repair costs.
EU to investigate transparency of Internet search results: document
By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Internet platforms such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! will be the subject of a widespread inquiry by European regulators to determine whether they are transparent enough in how they display search results. In a draft of the Commission's strategy for creating a digital single market, seen by Reuters, it says it will "carry out a comprehensive investigation and consultation on the role of platforms, including the growth of the sharing economy." The investigation, expected to be carried out next year, will look into the transparency of search results - involving paid for links and advertisements - and how platforms use the information they acquire. European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip is expected to formally announce the new strategy on May 6. The transparency of search results came under particular scrutiny this week when the European competition chief accused Google of cheating competitors by distorting web search results to consistently favor its own shopping service.
Cyberbullying is avenged by a digital ghost in horror 'Unfriended'
"Unfriended," out in U.S. theaters on Friday, follows six high school students gathering on the video conferencing platform Skype on the anniversary of the suicide of a fellow student, who killed herself after an embarrassing video of her was posted online. Filmed entirely as if the events are unfolding on a computer screen, a mysterious entity joins the group's Skype conversation and begins to coerce secrets out of each friend, before exacting gory revenge one by one, as the others watch in horror. It also highlights online trolls, carelessly posting insults from the safety net of being anonymous and behind a computer screen. "We're using horror movie language, but the story is about one of the biggest problems on the Internet." "Unfriended," released by Comcast Corp's Universal Pictures, was an experimental project, made for less than $1 million.
Europol Director: hackers target banks, not customers
By Toby Sterling THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Banks, rather than their customers, are increasingly the main target of online thieves, Europol director Rob Wainwright said on Friday in an interview. "That has been an important change," Wainwright told Reuters after a conference on cyber security in The Hague.
Israel military networks breached by hackers: researchers
By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Hackers have managed to penetrate computer networks associated with the Israeli military in an espionage campaign that skillfully packages existing attack software with trick emails, according to private security researchers. Waylon Grange, a researcher with security firm Blue Coat Systems Inc who discovered the campaign, said the vast majority of the software was cobbled together from widely available tools, such as the remote-access Trojan called Poison Ivy. The hackers sent emails to various military addresses that purported to show breaking military news, or, in some cases, a clip featuring "Girls of the Israel Defense Forces." Some of the emails included attachments that established "back doors" for future access by the hackers and modules that could download and run additional programs, according to Blue Coat. Using standard obfuscation techniques, the software was able to avoid detection by most antivirus engines, Blue Coat said.
Media-Saturn founder objects to iBood.com takeover
Erich Kellerhals, the founder and minority owner of Media-Saturn, has objected to the way the electronics chain purchased Dutch online retailer iBood.com, stoking a long-running power struggle with majority owner Metro AG. Kellerhals said on Friday Media-Saturn bought iBOOD.com without obtaining the required shareholder approval. Europe's biggest consumer electronics retailer said on Thursday it was buying a majority stake in iBOOD.com as part of a belated push into e-commerce. "The Media-Saturn shareholders meeting on April 15 did not approve the acquisition of iBOOD GmbH," Kellerhals's investment vehicle Convergenta said in a statement on Friday.
Chinese classified ad site 58.com to buy 43 percent of rival Ganji
Chinese classified advertising site 58.com Inc said on Friday that it had agreed to buy a 43.2 percent stake in rival Ganji.com, marking further consolidation in the mainland's hot technology sector. In February, China's two leading taxi-hailing apps Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache agreed to merge, creating a $6 billion company. New York-listed 58.com, dubbed the Craigslist of China and backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd , said it would issue 34 million new ordinary shares and pay $412.2 million in cash to acquire the stake in Ganji.com. 58.com is buying the stake from Ganji.com shareholders including private equity firms Tiger Global Management, Carlyle Group and CITIC Capital, venture capital firms Sequoia Capital, Nokia Growth Partners and Ganji.com's employees and management, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
Sony Pictures condemns Wikileaks release of documents from hackers
Sony Corp's Sony Pictures Entertainment objected to the online release by WikiLeaks on Thursday of a searchable database of more than 30,000 documents that were obtained by hackers in a massive cyber attack last year. "The cyber-attack on Sony Pictures was a malicious criminal act, and we strongly condemn the indexing of stolen employee and other private and privileged information on WikiLeaks," the company said in a statement. Sony Pictures said it "will continue to fight for the safety, security, and privacy of our company." The documents stolen by the hackers were made available to the media last year. The release of 30,287 documents and 173,132 emails on WikiLeaks makes the information widely available and searchable.