U.S.: Hackers More Dangerous than Al Qaeda It seems that cybercriminals and politically motivated cyberattackers have vaulted to the top of the list of security threats to the United States. On Tuesday, James R. Clapper, the nation’s director of national intelligence told a Senate committee that hackers not affiliated (or at least not directly linked) with another nation-state could very well infiltrate the raft of poorly secured U.S. networks that control critical infrastructure such as power generation facilities. To impress upon the legislators the seriousness of the threat, he ranked cyberattacks ahead of the brand of terrorism practiced by Al Qaeda. Later in the week, Gen. Keith Alexander, the head of the Defense Department's new U.S. Cyber Command told another collection of senators that his group is setting up its own hacker teams equipped to retaliate in the event of a major cyberattack on U.S. networks. Coincidence? Not likely, says a Tech News World article that … [Read more...] about This Week in Cybercrime: Hackers More Dangerous than Al Qaeda?
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Editor’s note on April 17, 2006: We would like to commend Nature for its news report (fee req.) of April 13, 2006, about the claims of the Beijing neurosurgeon Huang Hongyun, which has confirmed the serious doubts raised by our correspondent in this January 2005 article. Anesthetize the rat. Lay it belly down. Shave a patch along its spine and cut to the bone. Do a laminectomy, that is, take the bone off a short length of the back of the spine, exposing the spinal cord. Suspend a 10-gram rod above the spinal cord, at a height of 12.5 millimeters, or 25, or 50 millimeters. Let it drop.The result will be a bruise, or more technically, a contusion, of the rat’s spinal cord. The bruise interrupts nerve transmission, paralyzing some muscles and blocking sensation. The location and severity of the damage will depend on the site of the blow and the height of the drop – and the consequent behavioral changes are reproducible. The procedure was developed in the early … [Read more...] about The Problematical Dr. Huang Hongyun
A court in Saudi Arabia declined to hear the case of Raif Badawi, a liberal blogger who was accused of apostasy, according to the BBC.Apostasy,defined as the abandonment of one's faith, is a particularly grievous charge in Islam. Had it been so inclined, the court that turned down the case could have sentenced Badawi to death.As it stands, Badawi's charge was referred to a lower court, according to the BBC.Badawi was arrested last year for such dastardly deeds as Liking a Facebook page for Arab Christians and declaring May 7 a "day for Saudi liberals," according to the BBC.Friends and family have distanced themselves from the couple, Badawi's wife told the BBC.Although she now lives in Lebanon, she still receives threats, she added.Saudi authorities are particularly uptight about social media. Saudi writer Turki al-Hamad was arrested last year and is currently under a form of house arrest for tweets deemed critical of Islam.In addition, tweets earned writer and blogger Hamza Kashgari … [Read more...] about TECH TREK Saudi Blogger Won’t Face Death on Apostasy Accusation
China is developing a homegrown operating system that could be ready as soon as October as part of an effort to wean itself from Western-made software, according to a Sunday report from the Xinhua government news agency.Following hard on the heels of China's announcement last month that it had launched an investigation of Microsoft under the country's antimonopoly laws, the latest news suggests the new operating system first will appear on desktop devices and then be extended to smartphones and other mobile devices in three to five years.The now-defunct Red Flag Linux software could be part of the new OS, according to Computerworld.Western OS makers Microsoft, Google and Apple were specifically targeted in China's plans, noted Xinhua, whose report is based on a story in the People's Post and Telecommunications News, a publication run by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.China officials earlier this year banned the use of Windows 8 on government computers. "This … [Read more...] about China to Go Its Own OS Way
More security vulnerabilities will appear in the software of Adobe and Apple than in Microsoft's, more attacks on the Internet's infrastructure will occur, and cybersecurity events will stoke international tensions. Those are a few of the predictions for 2017 that security experts shared with TechNewsWorld.Users of Apple desktops and laptops for years have been relatively insulated from the kinds of malicious activity that has besieged those in the Windows world, but that's going to change next year, warned Trend Micro.More software flaws will affect Adobe and Apple in 2017, compared to Microsoft, the company noted in a security predictions report.Declining PC sales and an exodus to mobile platforms have dampened interest in targeting devices running Windows, Trend Micro explained. Microsoft also has upped its security game in recent times, which has made it more difficult for attackers to find vulnerabilities in Windows.Signs of hackers' increased interest in Adobe and Apple started … [Read more...] about SPOTLIGHT ON SECURITY 2017: More Apple Security Flaws, Cyberattacks, Hacktivisim
China's antitrust authorities have approved Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility, on the condition that the Android operating system remain open source and its code be made freely available to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).Android devices had nearly 74 percent of the Chinese market in Q4, 2011, and that -- together with Google's large war chest, technical expertise and the high market barriers to entry into the mobile market -- means Android is in a dominant position, China's Commerce Department said."Our stance since we agreed to acquire Motorola has not changed, and we look forward to closing the deal," Google spokesperson Niki Fenwick told LinuxInsider."Android is clearly a key platform for many Chinese manufacturers of devices, and the vertical integration of software and hardware between Google and Motorola appears to have spooked the Chinese," Al Hilwa, a program director at IDC, said.The agreement will last for five years. Google will have to file a report with … [Read more...] about Why China Stuck Its Foot in Android’s Door
Microsoft announced Monday that it is teaming up with Chinese telecom Huawei to sell a low-cost, Windows-powered smartphone in Africa, which according to The New York Times is the world's fastest-growing smartphone market.The phone, which will initially cost around $150, is called the "Huawei 4Afrika" and will be sold in seven countries, including South Africa, Morocco and Egypt.Windows currently ranks fourth among smartphone operating systems; it had just 2 percent international market share last fall.Microsoft's partnership with Huawei will not affect its deal with Nokia, which turned to Windows Phone to power its new line of smartphones. A Microsoft executive reported that the company and Nokia would release their own new Windows phone in Africa later this year.Africa's smartphone market has reportedly grown an average of 43 percent a year since 2000. In sub-Saharan Africa, 10 percent of the 450 million cellphone users have smartphones, but that number is expected to spike, … [Read more...] about Microsoft, Huawei Mount African Smartphone Expedition
Uber has nailed down a record US$3.5 billion investment from the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund -- the largest-ever investment in a closely held technology firm.The investment is part of a deal that will allow Uber to expand its Middle East operations. Yasir Al Rumayyan, managing director of the fund, will take a seat on Uber's board of directors.With a valuation of about $62.5 billion, Uber now is considered the most valuable venture capital-backed firm in the world.The investment brings the company's total balance sheet, including its cash on hand and lines of credit, to more than $11 billion. "We appreciate the vote of confidence in our business as we continue to expand our global presence," said Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. "Our experience in Saudi Arabia is a great example of how Uber can benefit riders, drivers and cities, and we look forward to partnering to support their economic and social reforms."The deal is considered historic -- not just because of the Saudis' vote of … [Read more...] about Uber Scores Historic $3.5B Saudi Investment
Confusion reigned in the market Tuesday, as the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq each slipped into early-morning freefalls, then rebounded to gains by the end of the day of 46.10, 5.54 and 9.82, respectively.That was caused by weak economic data, with consumer confidence slipping and the price of gold, which bears an inverse relation to the stock market hitting a new record of US$1,309.20 an ounce.The confusion saw shares of Apple tumbling to $286.97 at one point, then shooting up to $289.32 in highly volatile trading. That ground was lost by the end of the day -- AAPL closed at $286.86, a 1.48 percent loss.Apple had been on a roll since Sept. 7, with its share price increasing in short bounds to peak at $292.32 on Setp. 24. Will investment uncertainty continue to bedevil the company? More importantly, will the uncertainty continue? And what impact will this have on Apple's third-quarter financial report, which will be issued Oct. 18?Finally, what about the tablet RIM announced on … [Read more...] about CUPERTINO BUSINESS REPORT Where iPad Goes, There Goes Apple
In a decision 20 months in the making, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled Monday that, starting in April, certain HTC smartphones cannot be imported into the U.S. due to a violation of one of Apple's patents.Apple had alleged that HTC was violating 10 technology patents, though the ITC ruled that the Taiwanese smartphone maker was infringing on just one, a data tapping feature. It allows users to tap, for instance, a date, address, or phone number in the text of an e-mail or text message and open those digits in a feature such as a map to help find an address or dial a phone numbers.However, due in part to the span of time until the ban is enacted, the decision isn't expected to be immediately devastating to HTC's Android-based devices."Patents are not invincible. The claims of the patent, the heart of the legal exclusivity, have limits. By omitting the infringing feature, HTC and any other company can avoid the draconian effects of an exclusion order. Of course, if a patent … [Read more...] about CUPERTINO BUSINESS REPORT Apple’s Patent Win: Just a Feather in Its Cap?