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Exclusive: SWIFT discloses more cyber thefts, pressures banks on security
SWIFT, the global financial messaging system, on Tuesday disclosed new hacking attacks on its member banks as it pressured them to comply with security procedures instituted after February's high-profile $81 million heist at Bangladesh Bank. In a private letter to clients, SWIFT said that new cyber-theft attempts - some of them successful - have surfaced since June, when it last updated customers on a string of attacks discovered after the attack on the Bangladesh central bank. "The threat is persistent, adaptive and sophisticated - and it is here to stay." The disclosure suggests that cyber thieves may have ramped up their efforts following the Bangladesh Bank heist, and that they specifically targeted banks with lax security procedures for SWIFT-enabled transfers.
Uber plans to have 50 fully electric cars in London by end Sept
Ride service Uber [UBER.UL], which allows users to instantly hail a taxi ride using their smartphone, said some British customers would soon be traveling in electric cars, in keeping with London's drive to lower emissions. Uber said that by the end of September some of its drivers would make use of 50 fully-electric cars under a partnership deal with car manufacturers BYD and Nissan, with hundreds of the environmentally-friendly cars potentially being on its books by next year. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has promised to make London one of the greenest cities in the world, with more low-emission buses, additional charging points for electric cars and an extra charge levied on the most polluting vehicles amongst his plans.
Amazon Dash one-button device arrives in Britain
Seeking to capitalize on Britons too busy or forgetful to shop for household essentials, retail giant Amazon is bringing its thumb-sized, one-button ordering device to the UK. From Wednesday, British Amazon Prime customers will be able to order supplies of products such as toilet paper, dishwasher tablets, dog food and coffee at the touch of the wifi-connected Amazon Dash button. Some customers thought the U.S. launch on March 31, 2015, was an April Fool's joke, said Daniel Rausch, director of Amazon Dash.
USDA closes offices in five states after anonymous threats
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has closed six offices in five states after receiving anonymous threats, a USDA spokesman said on Tuesday, and police were investigating similar threats to faculty members from at least two universities in eastern states. "Yesterday, USDA received several anonymous messages that are concerning for the safety of USDA personnel and its facilities. As a precaution, USDA has closed offices," department spokesman Matthew Herrick said.
Twitter to share ad revenue on videos by U.S. users
Twitter, Facebook Inc, Snapchat and YouTube are all competing to keep or recruit top video talent as they seek to cash in on the wave of televison-style advertising that has been moving to the internet. Twitter already offers revenue sharing to media and entertainment companies such as CBS Corp and the National Football League which post videos through its Amplify Publisher Program.
Google expands nascent ride-sharing service: WSJ
(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google unit plans to open its ride-sharing program to Waze app users in San Francisco this fall, pitting itself against Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL], the Wall Street Journal reported. Google in May launched a pilot program around its California headquarters which allowed several thousand area workers at specific firms to carpool together with users of its Wave navigation app, according to the WSJ report. (http://on.wsj.com/2bzJrcN0) Alphabet executive David Drummond on Monday resigned from Uber's board due to increasing competition between the companies. ...
Kaepernick anthem protest prompts backlash from NFL greats
By Amy Tennery NEW YORK (Reuters) - San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's sideline protest during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at a National Football League pre-season game last week has generated criticism from current and former NFL stars. Kaepernick, 28, sat during the national anthem on Friday in a protest against racial injustice in the United States, a move that prompted boos from some fans. Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward wrote in an Instagram post Tuesday that while he can "respect" Kaepernick's cause, he doesn't "agree with the method he chose." "If you want to make a point or take a stand, go straight after the root of that cause," wrote Ward.
Google cloud unit close to winning PayPal business: CNBC
While Google is the front-runner, the online payments processor is evaluating the other providers and hasn't made any decision yet, CNBC reported, citing people familiar with the matter. PayPal has some existing business with Amazon Web Services, according to the CNBC report.
Asia’s Most Innovative Universities
China and India have the biggest populations in the Asia-Pacific region, and the economic news coming out of both countries usually dominates world headlines. Out of the top 20 universities, 17 are based in Japan and South Korea. Topping the list as the most innovative university in Asia is KAIST, also known as Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology.
EU telecom regulators adopt strict net neutrality rules, industry dismayed
By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union telecoms regulators adopted strict rules on Tuesday limiting how telecoms firms like Vodafone and Orange can prioritize some types of Internet traffic, dealing a blow to an industry hoping to boost revenues. The guidelines on net neutrality - the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally - were welcomed by Internet activists. The European Union adopted its first ever net neutrality rules last year and Tuesday's guidelines will be used by regulators to enforce the law.
Cyber security firm LogRhythm raises $50 million after changing IPO plans
By Heather Somerville SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Cyber security company LogRhythm has raised $50 million from private investors after postponing plans for an initial public offering late last year, the company said on Tuesday, the latest sign of how austere the IPO market has become for some technology start-ups. LogRhythm selected bankers more than a year ago with an eye on a $1 billion-plus IPO in the second half of 2015, Reuters reported last year. "We definitely were contemplating an IPO," said Dave Welsh, a partner at Adams Street Partners and LogRhythm investor and board member.
Sri Lankan court detains two after presidential hack over exam date
A Sri Lanka court remanded a man and a teenager in custody on Tuesday on suspicion of hacking into the president's website to demand that authorities abandon a proposal to switch university entrance exams to the new year holiday month of April. "Police filed charges under the Computer Crimes Act and the court remanded the two until Friday," Manju Sri Chandrasean, the lawyer who appeared for the second suspect, told Reuters. President Maithripala Sirisena's website, www.president.gov.lk, was first hacked on Thursday and then again on Friday.
Exclusive: Six U.S. senators urge Obama to prioritize cyber crime at G20 summit
By Jonathan Spicer NEW YORK (Reuters) - Six U.S. senators have urged President Barack Obama to prioritize cyber crime at this weekend's Group of 20 summit in China, in the wake of the theft of $81 million from Bangladesh's central bank, according to a letter obtained by Reuters. In the letter sent to the White House ahead of the Sept. 4-5 summit, Sherrod Brown, a senior Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, and five other Democratic senators say they want the U.S. president to press leaders from the world's 20 biggest economies to commit in joint communiques to a "coordinated strategy to combat cyber-crime at critical financial institutions." The letter, dated Monday, suggests that concern among U.S. lawmakers is growing over the February incident in which hackers breached Bangladesh Bank's systems and used the SWIFT banking network to request nearly $1 billion from an account held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Livestream of Kim Dotcom extradition hearing a first for New Zealand
By Charlotte Greenfield WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A New Zealand judge gave permission on Tuesday for the hearing of German tech entrepreneur Kim Dotcom's appeal against his extradition to be streamed on YouTube, making it the country's first court case to be broadcast on the Internet. The six-week hearing opened in Auckland this week, nine months after a lower court ruled Kim Dotcom could be sent to the United States to face copyright infringement and money-laundering charges over the filesharing website Megaupload. The case has been closely watched by the media industry and developers in the file-sharing business for signs of how far the United States is willing to go to protect U.S. copyright holders.
China regulator to curb news that promotes 'Western lifestyles'
China will crack down on social and entertainment news that promotes improper values and "Western lifestyles", the country's broadcasting regulator said, the latest effort at censorship in an already strictly regulated media environment. President Xi Jinping has embarked on an unprecedented drive to censor media that do not reflect the views of Communist Party leaders. Authorities have already issued rules limiting "foreign-inspired" television shows and put tougher penalties on the spread of rumors via social media.
Facebook CEO says group will not become a media company
By Giulia Segreti ROME (Reuters) - Facebook Inc. will not become a media company, its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Monday, telling students the firm would remain a technology platform. An increasing number of users are turning to social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter , to find their news, but Zuckerberg said his firm had no ambitions to become a content provider. "No, we are a tech company, not a media company," said Zuckerberg, after a young Italian asked him whether Facebook intended to become a news editor.
Ritchie Bros to buy U.S. e-commerce site IronPlanet for $758 million
(Reuters) - Canadian industrial auctioneer Ritchie Bros Auctioneers Inc said it will buy IronPlanet, a privately held U.S. e-commerce site for used equipment, for about $758.5 million, as it looks to diversify its portfolio. Burnaby, Vancouver-based Ritchie, which focuses on the sale of heavy machinery, will fund the transaction with a combination of cash and new debt. IronPlanet, backed by Caterpillar Inc , allows users to place bids online or on-site, or buy at a fixed price.
Exclusive: Six U.S. senators urge Obama to prioritize cyber at G20 in China
By Jonathan Spicer NEW YORK (Reuters) - Six U.S. senators have urged President Barack Obama to prioritize cyber crime at this weekend's G20 summit in China, in the wake of the theft of $81 million from Bangladesh's central bank, according to a letter obtained by Reuters. In the letter sent to the White House ahead of the Sept. 4-5 summit, Sherrod Brown, a senior Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, and five other senators say they want the U.S. President to press leaders from the world's 20 biggest economies to commit in joint communiques to a "coordinated strategy to combat cyber-crime at critical financial institutions." The letter, dated Monday, suggests concern among U.S. lawmakers is growing over the February incident in which hackers breached Bangladesh Bank's systems and used the SWIFT banking network to request nearly $1 billion from an account held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Sri Lanka police arrest teen over hacking president's website
Sri Lanka police on Monday arrested a 17-year old school boy on suspicion of hacking into the president's official website, demanding that his university entrance examination dates not be changed, officials said on Monday. The website of President Maithripala Sirisena, www.president.gov.lk, was first hacked on Thursday and then again on Friday. The hacker, who made his claim as "The Sri Lankan Youth", posted a message on the website demanding a presidential election immediately if Sirisena was unable to address his demand of not changing the examination dates to April, the month most Sri Lankans celebrate traditional new year.
Germany wants Facebook to take initiative in fight against online hate
By Thorsten Severin and Andrea Shalal BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's interior minister visited Facebook's offices in Berlin on Monday and said it should be more proactive in removing forbidden content from its social network platform. "Facebook should take down racist content or calls for violence from its pages on its own initiative even if it hasn't yet received a complaint," Thomas de Maiziere said. "Facebook has an immensely important economic position and just like every other large enterprise it has a immensely important social responsibility." The German government has been critical of Facebook in the past.
U.S. appeals court dismisses AT&T data throttling lawsuit
A federal appeals court in California on Monday dismissed a U.S. government lawsuit that accused AT&T Inc of deception for reducing internet speeds for customers with unlimited mobile data plans once their use exceeded certain levels. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said it ordered a lower court to dismiss the data-throttling lawsuit, which was filed in 2014 by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC sued AT&T on the grounds that the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier failed to inform consumers it would slow the speeds of heavy data users on unlimited plans.
European privacy regulators to scrutinize WhatsApp privacy switch
Cyber threat grows for bitcoin exchanges
By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss NEW YORK (Reuters) - When hackers penetrated a secure authentication system at a bitcoin exchange called Bitfinex earlier this month, they stole about $70 million worth of the virtual currency. The latest survey of 46 securities exchanges released three years ago by the International Organization of Securities Commissions and World Federation of Exchanges found that more than half had experienced a cyber attack.
'Birth of a Nation' filmmaker reflects on his 2001 rape trial, acquittal
By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor-director Nate Parker says he never gave another thought to his trial and acquittal on rape charges in 2001 until forced to confront the issue again as the promotion for his film "Birth of a Nation" was gaining steam this month.
Rugby-All Blacks prop Franks cleared of eye gouging allegations
By Greg Stutchbury WELLINGTON, Aug 28 (Reuters) - All Blacks prop Owen Franks has been cleared of eye gouging allegations after the southern hemisphere's governing body did not issue any citings from New Zealand's Rugby Championship clash against Australia. Video footage appeared to show the forward's hands raking across the face of Wallabies lock Kane Douglas during a maul early in Saturday's clash at Wellington Regional Stadium. Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said after his side's 29-9 loss that he had seen the incident and that he thought the match citing commissioner would examine it further.
Burkina Faso bans big buttocks beauty contest
The government of Burkina Faso has banned an annual beauty contest for women with the biggest buttocks, saying such events are sexist. Adverts for this weekend's third edition of 'Miss Bim-Bim', carrying an image of two fully clothed women with exaggeratedly large behinds, provoked an outcry on social media. "Our role is to do everything to avoid damaging the image of women," said Minister Laure Zongo in a statement, adding that social media criticism had persuaded her to act.
Facebook changes 'Trending' feature to rely less on human editors
By Yasmeen Abutaleb SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc changed its popular "Trending" feature, which shows users the most-talked about topics of the day, to make it more automated and further eliminate the potential for human bias, the company wrote in a blog post on Friday. The update is Facebook's latest attempt in recent months to stress its neutrality as its influence grows. Facebook said an internal probe found no evidence of bias.
UK regulator to monitor WhatsApp's data sharing with Facebook
Google hires Airbnb exec to commercialize self-driving cars
By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google self-driving car project took a step closer to market with the hire of a top executive from Airbnb, the online vacation home rental marketplace. Shaun Stewart is joining Google as a director of the self-driving car project, spokesman Johnny Luu said on Friday. Stewart's role will be to help commercialize Google's self-driving technology, which has been in development for more than seven years and has seen an increased pace of activity over the last 12 months.
Judge orders search of new Clinton emails for release by September 13
(Reuters) - A U.S. judge ordered the State Department on Thursday to release by Sept. 13 any emails it finds between Hillary Clinton and the White House from the week of the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, among the thousands of additional emails uncovered by federal investigators. The order came after the Federal Bureau of Investigation gave the department a disc earlier this month containing 14,900 emails to and from Clinton and other documents it said it had recovered that she did not return to the government. Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, has been criticized for using an unauthorized private email system run from a server in the basement of her home while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, a decision she says was wrong and that she regrets.
Net1 to invest up to $40 million in India's MobiKwik over 2 years
MUMBAI (Reuters) - Payment services provider Net1 UEPS Technologies Inc will invest up to $40 million in Indian mobile wallet services provider MobiKwik over the next 24 months, the companies said in a joint statement on Friday. MobiKwik had previously raised three rounds of funding from investors including Sequoia Capital, American Express, MediaTeK and Cisco Investments, according to the statement. (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
Economists see ride-hailing industry as ripe for competition
By Heather Somerville SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Chinese powerhouse Didi Chuxing's acquisition of Uber Technologies Inc's China operations marked the biggest move yet toward consolidation in an industry that many investors and Silicon Valley pundits view as a winner-take-all game. On the day the Didi deal was announced earlier this month, Uber board member Bill Gurley said Uber's rivals in other markets had a slim chance of splitting the market with the dominant player, just as Uber struggled to erode Didi's share in China. After China, the industry will consolidate in other markets, said Hans Tung, an Asia-focused investor and managing partner at GGV Capital, which backed Didi and Grab, a Singapore-based ride service.
Chinese man arrested in Hong Kong over FACC cyber attack in Austria
A Chinese citizen has been arrested in Hong Kong in connection with a cyber attack that cost Austrian aerospace parts maker FACC 42 million euros ($47.39 million), Austrian police said on Friday. FACC fired its chief executive and chief financial officer after the attack, which involved hoax emails asking an employee to transfer money for a fake acquisition project - a kind of scam known as a "fake president incident". FACC's customers include Airbus and Boeing.
India's Infosys says seeing client-specific softness after Brexit
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian IT services provider Infosys Ltd is seeing some 'softness' in clients after Britain voted in June to leave the European Union, a top company executive said during an analyst meet on Friday. Infosys will be in a better position by October to evaluate the impact of this on its earnings outlook for the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, Chief Financial Officer Ranganath D Mavinakere said. ...
Judge in Stanford rape case will stop hearing criminal cases
Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky has requested to be assigned to the court's civil division, more than two months after imposing the controversial sentence on Brock Allen Turner, 20, for the January 2015 attack, Presiding Judge Risë Jones Pichon said in a statement. Persky has received death threats, faced a recall effort and several online petitions seeking his removal in a furor of criticism for what was perceived as a lenient sentence. The uproar over the sentence, fueled in part by the victim's harrowing letter in which she detailed the assault, is part of growing outrage over sexual assault on U.S. college campuses.
U.S. Homeland Security probes hacking of actress Leslie Jones' website
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is investigating a new incident involving actress Leslie Jones, who has been targeted by online abusers, after hackers posted nude photos and personal information on the "Ghostbusters" star's website. In order to protect the integrity of the case, no further details are available at this time," Rachel Yong You, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said on Thursday in an email to Reuters. ICE, as the agency is known, is a branch of the Department of Homeland Security.
Apple fixes security flaw after UAE dissident's iPhone targeted
Apple Inc issued a patch on Thursday to fix a dangerous security flaw in iPhones and iPads after researchers discovered that a prominent United Arab Emirates dissident's phone had been targeted with a previously unknown method of hacking. The thwarted attack on the human rights activist, Ahmed Mansoor, used a text message that invited him to click on a web link. Instead of clicking, he forwarded the message to researchers at the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab.
Russian lawmaker's son convicted in U.S. for hacking scheme
Roman Seleznev, also known as "Track2," was found guilty by a federal jury in Seattle on 38 of 40 counts including wire fraud and intentional damage to a protected computer following an eight day trial, prosecutors said. The conviction of Seleznev, of Vladivostok, followed a 10-year-long investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, the agency said. Seleznev, the son of Valery Seleznev, a member of the Russian Parliament, is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 2.
Canada sees more extremists, including women, traveling abroad
The number of people who have traveled overseas from Canada and are suspected of involvement in radical activities has grown, security officials said in a report that found the number of women leaving to join Islamic State was also on the rise. At the end of 2015, 60 of what Canada calls "extremist travelers" had returned to the country, according to the annual report released on Thursday by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. Goodale has overall responsibility for law enforcement, including the RCMP and Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
Uber lost at least $1.27 billion in first half of 2016: Bloomberg
(Reuters) - Ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] lost at least $1.27 billion before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the first six months of 2016, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. The subsidies Uber grants its drivers was the main reason for the loss, finance head Gautam Gupta told investors in a quarterly conference call, Bloomberg said, citing sources. The company lost about $520 million in the first quarter of the year and another $750 million in the second quarter, Bloomberg said.