Top Stories for the Week of February 17, 2015

  • Episode 387
  • February 17, 2015
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Tuesday February 17, 2015


Dutch MPs are demanding that the government beef up their online infrastructure after a DDOS attack took most of the government's web sites down last week.

A cyber-attack took down most of the Dutch government's web sites last Tuesday.

It has been confirmed that a cyber-attack took down most of the Dutch government's web sites last Tuesday.

The attack, which also took down some private sites, highlighted the vulnerability of public infrastructure.

It came as the US beefed up its defences, and followed warnings that sites belonging to the French authorities had been targeted.

Dutch MPs demanded that the government ensures state sites were capable of withstanding similar attacks in future.

In a statement, the Dutch government confirmed that it had been the victim of a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS), in which servers are flooded with traffic, causing the sites to fail to load.

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


A very slick and professional cyber robbery has been taking place for the past 2 years, siphoning roughly a billion dollars from worldwide banks.

A new report has revealed that up to 100 banks and financial institutions worldwide have been attacked in an "unprecedented cyber robbery".

A new report has revealed that up to 100 banks and financial institutions worldwide have been attacked in an "unprecedented cyber robbery".

Computer security firm Kaspersky Lab estimates $1bn has been stolen in the attacks, which it says started in 2013 and are still ongoing.

A cybercriminal gang with members from Russia, Ukraine and China is responsible.

Kaspersky said it worked with Interpol and Europol on the investigation.

It said the attacks had taken place in 30 countries including financial firms in Russia, US, Germany, China, Ukraine and Canada.

Kaspersky said the gang's methods marked a new stage in cyber robbery where "malicious users steal money directly from banks and avoid targeting end users".

The gang, which Kaspersky dubbed Carbanak, used computer viruses to infect company networks with malware including video surveillance, enabling it to see and record everything that happened on staff's screens.

In some cases it was then able to transfer money from the banks' accounts to their own, or even able to tell cash machines to dispense cash at a pre-determined time of day.

Calling it a very "slick and professional cyber robbery" Kaspersky said on average each bank robbery took between two and four months, with up to $10m stolen each time.

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


President Obama wants tech firms to open up and share more information with the government in a collaborative way, but they're just not buying it.

According to US President Barack Obama, private tech firms should share more information with government and with each other to tackle cybercrime.

According to US President Barack Obama, private tech firms should share more information with government and with each other to tackle cybercrime.

The issue has become a White House priority since a widely publicised hack of Sony Pictures at the end of 2014.

But some key tech firms are concerned about government surveillance.

Senior Google, Yahoo and Facebook executives turned down invitations to the White House cybersecurity summit, held at Stanford University.

Relations between the US government and tech firms have been strained since electronic surveillance practices were exposed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

President Obama is bringing a message of inclusive collaboration to beat cyber threats, and a coordinated federal approach, superseding the patchwork of state laws, might seem sensible.

But the absence of Silicon Valley's most senior figures hints at a deep division between it and Washington. They are uneasy about allying strongly with an administration tarnished by Edward Snowden's revelations the NSA has spied extensively on their customers.

Mr Obama' own intelligence officials now say cybercrime poses a more pressing threat to national security than terrorism.

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


A California-based company is stripping the carbon out of the air and turning it into usable plastic, and they say they can do it cheaper--and much more environmentally friendly--than the current methods.

A California-based company has figured out a way to take the pollution out of the air and turn it into plastic you can hold in your hand.

The plastics industry creates 1.8 trillion pounds of carbon emissions every year, but now one company has figured out a way to take the pollution and turn it into plastic you can hold in your hand.

Located in Costa Mesa, California, Newlight Technologies is forming plastic out of thin air. Literally.

Newlight's CEO, Mark Herrema said "We would be breathing this right now".

He's figured out how to make plastic out of destructive carbon emissions that would otherwise heat the atmosphere, rather than with fossil fuels such as oil. Most importantly, he figured out a way to do it cheaper. It's something he has been working on for 11 years since he started the company with his friend Kenton Kimmel in his parents' garage.

Here's how it works: Carbon emissions are captured from farms, landfills, and energy facilities and are fed into a 50-foot-tall reactor at Newlight's plant. A bundle of enzymes strips out the carbon and oxygen and rearranges them into a substance they call air carbon.

The product is then melted down and cooled inside tubes and sliced into little plastic pellets that can be molded into anything.

Herrema calls it "a disruptive technology that's gonna change the world."

Newlight is selling its plastic to companies such as furniture maker KI who uses it to create chairs. There are also air carbon cell phone cases, soap dishes and plastic bags.

At a recent Fortune Magazine event, Michael Dell announced his company will use Newlight's air carbon bags to wrap its computers.

The challenge is for Newlight to grow its business enough to disrupt the $380 billion U.S. plastics industry.

Source: www.cbsnews.com

Sent to us by: JoeInNH


An online security researcher found a bug in Facebook's code that would have allowed him to delete any of your public photos.

Public photos on Facebook could've been deleted with just four lines of code, says an online security researcher.

Public photos on Facebook could've been deleted with just four lines of code, says an online security researcher.

Laxman Muthiyah was playing around with Graph API - the tool which developers use to make Facebook apps.

Testing it on his own photos, Muthiyah found a way to manipulate the code so that it deleted one of his images.

He explained in a blog post, "I got access to delete all of your Facebook photos (photos which are public or the photos I could see)".

He immediately reported the bug to Facebook's security team and says "They were fast in identifying this issue and there was a fix in place in less than two hours from the acknowledgement of the report."

A Facebook spokesperson has since confirmed the sequence of events and Muthiyah has posted a screenshot of a Facebook message saying he has been offered $12,500 as a reward for finding the fault.

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


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