Russian hackers were able to target NATO, Ukraine, European Union and private sector companies using a Microsoft Windows exploit, according to iSight Partners. Russia reportedly has organized state-sponsored cyberattacks, so it's no surprise to hear they launched attacks against geographic and political rivals. iSight informed Microsoft about the problem so the company is able to resolve problems and plug the hole to prevent future intrusions.
iSight wasn't able to confirm what type of data was taken in the data breaches, though cyberattacks originating from Russia continue to plague companies. Furthermore, the five-year cyber espionage effort, named "Sandworm Team" by iSight, also included references to science fiction series in the malicious code.
"Your targets almost certainly have to do with your interests," said John Hultquist, iSight cyber espionage head. "We see strong ties to Russian origins here."
Information service company Experian wants consumers and businesses to be more aware of current fraud, identity theft, and cyber threats that face us every day. Cyberattacks largely were ignored by oblivious consumers, but recent point-of-sale (POS) attacks that hit the likes of Target and Home Depot has consumers more interested in potential threats.
"Serious risks are emerging for consumers and businesses as fraudsters identify new targets to attack," said Charles Chung, Experian Decision Analytics president, in a press release. "The monetary cost of fraud losses can be high, but the impact a loss or breach can have on customer relationships and brand integrity can be even higher. Combing comprehensive authentication processes with proportionate measures to monitor user activities and protect consumer data throughout the life cycle is a competitive requirement in today's market."
To help businesses better understand current fraud and cyberattacks, Experian is hosting the Future of Fraud and Identity summit on Monday, October 21 in New York City. It's a difficult time for companies trying to adapt to changing customer needs - and waves of cyberattacks that have been difficult to defend against.
Google may become the first trillion dollar company, but its dominant position as the world's most commonly used search engine has intense rivalry from Amazon.
Surprisingly, Google's competition isn't other engine engine companies. Google's CEO Eric Schmidt said, "Many people think our main competition is Bing or Yahoo. But, really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon". He continued, "People don't think of Amazon as search, but if you are looking for something to buy, you are more often than not looking for it on Amazon."
Google also feels that its position is also threatened by startups and innovators who are probably working from a garage right now. It's understandable, considering that Google's humble beginnings were from a garage. On the matter, Mr. Schmidt said, "Someone, somewhere in a garage is gunning for us. I know, because not long ago we were in that garage. Change comes from where you least expect it. The next Google won't do what Google does, just as Google didn't do what AOL did." Despite its dominant position, Google is one of many search engines that is available today.
Hundreds of Dropbox usernames and passwords were posted online, and the hackers reportedly have almost 7 million other compromised accounts. The breach took place because of third-party apps which can access Dropbox, and wasn't a direct breach of Dropbox.
Dropbox denied it was hacked (via The Next Web): "Dropbox has not been hacked. These usernames and passwords were unfortunately stolen from other services and used in attempts to log in to Dropbox accounts. We'd previously detected these attacks and the vast majority of the passwords posted have been expired for some time now. All other remaining passwords have expired as well."
Despite the appeal of online storage services, users must be cautious when they grant third-party applications access to accounts. While Dropbox wasn't directly hacked, it's questionable as to what apps should be allowed access - as these third-party services are now popular targets for cyberattacks.
Life for the older gaming consoles can be tough, but not in the sense they'll be used as containers to smuggle drugs. Older consoles were used as containers for smuggling cocaine, with four men arrested for allegedly smuggling thousands of grams of cocaine since Microsoft's first gaming console.
According to the investigation report, a pack of 1100 grams of cocaine worth over $100,000 was stashed inside an Xbox 360, and sent to a house in Reading, Pennsylvania. As investigations progressed, the police followed a vehicle where the suspects arrived in their home at Hancock Boulevard, with police raiding both houses after getting a search warrant, where they found a large amount of cocaine and even Xbox consoles, accessories and other parts.
The items are as follows:
- 1100 grams of cocaine with the potential street value in excess of $100,000
- Representative kilogram substitute containing a testable quantity of cocaine
- Miscellaneous x-box game console and parts.
- Miscellaneous documents pertaining to the defendants
- Miscellaneous packaging material related to cocaine
- Heat sealer machine
- Additional miscellaneous x-box components and shipping packaging
- Cutting agent related to cocaine.
- Five counter-surveillance cameras
- Over fourteen cellular telephones
- Box of .40 caliber ammunition and loaded gun magazine
- Digital scale
- Plastic bag containing "crack" cocaine
- Approx. $600.00 in U.S. Currency
It appears an Australian retailer has published details of the Microsoft Xbox One Assassin's Creed Unity bundle, which could be announced in the near future. Retailing for around $650 for the Australian market, the bundle includes a black 500GB Xbox One unit, Kinect, Assassin's Creed Unity and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. The bundle without a Kinect will cost around $521 but include the same console and games.
Microsoft hopes its gaming bundles will help draw interest from gamers ahead of the 2014 Christmas holiday shopping season - an important time for the company desperate to try to catch up to the Sony PlayStation 4. The company recently announced its Halo: The Master Chief bundle, but it won't be available to U.S. gamers, however.
Apple is cracking a whip to set an example over smaller companies and suppliers who received (or will receive) contracts from the company to make components for its devices. The company slapped a sapphire display maker with a $50 million fine for leaking the information about its devices' specification and other information that they were obligated to be silent about.
According to the report, the information came out because GT Advanced Technologies filed for bankruptcy once they have decided to sell off their sapphire crystal manufacturing factories. The company was responsible for leaking information about the presence of sapphire display for iPhone 6 before its release. But at the time when it was found that iPhone 6 will be using 'ion-strengthened glass', the share prices took a nose dive. Furthermore, the company owes about $600 million for the displays that are not used.
According to the bankruptcy report, the company said that its deal with Apple for iPhone screens was oppressive and burdensome where they had to terminate the agreement to deal with the situation. As a result, the company's facilities in Arizona and Massachusetts will close down, affecting up to 890 people's jobs. 13 employees would be getting bonuses adding up to $64,700.
Technological advances have allowed researchers to create prosthetic limbs that are able to better mimic the natural movement of human limbs, with medical patients able to regain their sense of touch. In one study, researchers in the United States manufactured a prosthetic hand that uses electric signals sent into a medical patient's harm and brain, providing a sense of "feel."
"The sense of touch is one of the ways we interact with objects around us," said Dustin Tyler, Case Western Reserve associate professor of biomedical engineering and the study's author. "The work reactivates areas of the brain that produce the sense of touch. When the hand is lost, the inputs that switched on these areas were lost."
A group of Swedish scientists created a mind-controlled prosthetic arm that connects to the medical patient's arm, nerves and muscles. This type of research has great potential for those injured in serious incidents, and will continue to be a topic of focus for researchers.
A video of Firefly Online was spotted in YouTube which was showing off its 3D environment engine. The game is designed by Spark Plug Games, and the sneak peak shows a one-minute video of the derelict ship's environment.
The video doesn't show much, except a lot of running around an abandoned ship, but it does give a good look of the game, and the progress the designs have made so far. Firefly is an MMO where the series' cast will be present in the game. According to Andy Fore, the CEO of Quantum Mechanix Interactive who is the publisher for Firefly Online, this will not be a traditional MMO since Firefly wasn't a typical sci-fi show.
When you're a captain of a ship in the game, you will need to get crew members. The crew members are NPCs, but unlike typical NPCs, they have an independent control of their life, and have the ability to transfer to ships belonging to other captains, retaining memories, personality traits and even grudges. The relationship between the character and the NPC is based on loyalty. There isn't much information about the game's release, as the developer is being quiet, unlike other publishers. While it's too early to say if this game will be good, I am sure this will satisfy a lot of Firefly fans.
Social media site Twitter has partnered with Groupe BPCE to test transferring money using tweets, as Twitter continues to show interest in online payments. Meanwhile, Groupe BPCE is the second largest bank in France based on total number of customers, with the money transfers available to customers of any bank.
The bank's S-Money service will be responsible for managing Twitter-based payments, and already supports text message money transfers.
"(S-Money) offers Twitter users in France a new way to send each other money, irrespective of their bank and without having to enter the beneficiary's bank details, with a simple tweet," said S-Money chief executive, in a press statement.