The bitcoin cryptocurrency has hit a few bumps in the road, but consumers now find it easier to make purchases and spend their bitcoins online. Silicon Valley startup companies are going beyond simply trying to mine and own bitcoins, and want to focus on apps and services for consumers to use.
The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently ruled that bitcoins are property, not a real currency, while other countries are struggling how to deal with the digital currency.
"It's all about to change over the next 12 to 24 months," said Marshall Hayner, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur hoping to bank on bitcoin with a QuickCoin app. "We are going to see all kinds of people adopt it. It's going to power transactions on the Internet."
Customer information is a valuable commodity to cybercriminals, with the ability to steal identities, transfer money from accounts, and financially ruin victims. Cybercriminals enjoy using the brand names and logos of well-known companies, making it easier to lure users into clicking fraudulent links.
"Phishing attacks are so popular because they are simple to deploy and extremely effective," said Sergey Lozhkin, Kaspersky Lab Senior Security Researcher, in a press statement. "It is often not easy for even advanced Internet users to distinguish a well-designed fraudulent site from a legitimate page, which makes it even more important to install a specialized protection solution."
North Korea and its shiny new space program have an updated logo, which seems heavily influenced from the NASA logo, along with a rather amusing new acronym.
The National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA), whose acronym spells out the Spanish word for "nothing," will not be used for weapons development, North Korea claims.
"The National Aerospace Development Administration is the country's central guidance institution organize all the space development projects," the country said in a press release. "Its mission is to put into practice the idea and principle of the DPRK government to develop the space [sic] for peaceful purpose."
Former CIA intelligence analyst Ray McGovern believes Edward Snowden isn't a traitor to the United States, nor is he a hero.
McGovern discussed how Snowden didn't appreciate a "clear violation of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution," which is one of the reasons the data disclosures were made public. Also, the former CIA analyst noted that National Intelligence Director James Clapper didn't face punishment for lying under oath in front of Congress.
"He's a patriot," McGovern recently said during a speech at Missouri Southern State University. "He took his oath seriously. He took the Constitution seriously."
The top social media network in Russia is now being sued by Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music, with vKontakte accused of "deliberately facilitating piracy on a large scale."
Each of the top three music labels filed individual suits against vKontakte, spearheaded by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). In 2012, the social media site made $172 million in advertising revenue, but didn't pay the IFPI for copyrighted music shared through the site.
vKontakte says it allows copyright holders to submit removal requests of any content that violates copyright rules, but IFPI officials noted the process is too cumbersome. Both the US government and copyright holders have believed vKontakte provides large-scale music piracy - originally launched in 2006, vKontakte has 143 million global users, and 88 million Russian members.
Former women's MMA superstar Gina Carano says she will meet with UFC President Dana White to discuss a possible return to MMA following a four-year retirement. Since leaving the sport, Carano has focused on filming movies while the sport of women's MMA greatly accelerated, welcomed into the UFC for the first time.
"I 100 percent (miss fighting)," Carano said recently during an interview. "There's not a workout I go through that I'm not fighting someone in my mind. It's never gone away."
Some fans hope to see Carano take a break from Hollywood and enter the cage again, while others believe it's just a clever marketing ploy. Carano's latest movie, "In the Blood," is now in theaters, and this is the best time to rile up MMA fans to get a boost in the ticket office.
The Red River Rivalry began in 1900 between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma, 108 games later the rivalry will once again get a rebranding. With the two universities jointly announcing the game formerly known as the "Red River Rivalry" will now be referred to as the AT&T Red River Showdown. Prior to 2005, the game was dubbed the Red River Shootout, with the name being change to Red River Rivalry to commemorate the 100th meeting between the schools.
Athletic Director for the University of Texas, Steve Patterson said: "As a University of Texas alumnus I have long enjoyed the Texas-Oklahoma series and the great tradition it represents for Texas and Oklahoma fans,We look forward to working with AT&T representatives and the University of Oklahoma to generate excitement for the new name and brand, and continuing our relationships with the State Fair of Texas."
Texas leads the all-time series 60-43-5, The game that is played every season at the Cotton Bowl will take place October 11, 2014.
Security bugs in software could leave power plants, oil refineries, and similar infrastructure vulnerable to cyberattacks from foreign-based hackers, according to recent research.
To make matters worse, around 7,600 plants worldwide have software that a cybercriminals with the "lowest skill in hacking" could still be successful. The Yokogawa Centum CS 3000, released in 1998 and designed for Microsoft Windows 98, while companies need to evaluate if they should make immediate software improvements.
"We went from zero to total compromise," said Juan Vazquez, security researcher with Rapid7, told BBC. "If you are able to exploit the vulnerabilities we have identified you get control of the Human Interface Station. That's where the operator sits or stand and monitors operation details. If you have control of that station as an attacker you have the same level of control as someone standing on the plant floor wearing a security badget."
A homeless man in Maine used his ATM card at a TD Bank branch to collect more than $37,000 in cash advances, receiving $700 separated into 53 transactions.
Initially, the man had just $100 in his checking account, but the malfunctioning ATM allowed him to receive multiple cash advances before he was stopped by police.
"We got a call that he was sleeping in the [ATM] vestibule, and we had to move him along," said Lt. Todd Bernard, from the South Portland Police Department, in a statement to local media. "Then at around 5:30 a.m., we got another call that he was back there and taking an unusually long time at the ATM by a who was trying to use it. She thought it seemed suspicious."
European companies are responding to the NSA's spying activities by tightening control over data, boosting encryption, and promising to do a better job of protecting user rights.
"For Israeli companies, the new rules may appear to be onerous, but there could be a great business opportunity for many of them in Europe as a result," said Patrick Van Eecke, legal expert specializing in cybersecurity, in a statement to Israeli media. "There are many companies around the world that specialize in collecting data, but they are not clear on the implications of Europe's new policies - and as a result, there is opportunity for companies from Israel, many of which do understand the policies."
In addition of concerns related to snooping, there are expectations of cyberattacks between national governments and splinter hacker groups. Growing global cyber threats allow countries to find yet another outlet to torment one another - Russia is reportedly launching cyberattacks to disrupt Ukrainian infrastructure, while Ukrainian hackers retaliated by hitting the Kremlin.