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technology Tag

The Petya ransomeware took off yesterday across the globe, affecting state-owned and private businesses in Russia, Europe, and the U.S. The BBC has now reported that it "may have started via corrupted updates on a piece of accountancy software." The ransomeware hit Ukraine hardest since it attacked the country's "power grid, banks and government offices" and disrupted some flights at Kyiv's Boryspil Airport. Other companies hit included pharmaceutical giant Merck and Russia's state owned energy company Rosneft.

The world faced a massive ransomware attack using WannaCry, an NSA hacking tool last week, which affected 150 countries. While investigating the WannaCry attack, experts found another ongoing cyber attack. The cybersecurity firm Proofpoint said the newly discovered attack, using Adylkuzz, is a lot quieter than WannaCry, but "has likely generated millions of dollars in cryptocurrency for the unknown attackers." ABC News continued:
According to Ryan Kalember, the senior vice president for cybersecurity at Proofpoint, the attack employed the same hacking tools developed by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and leaked to the public by the hacker group Shadow Brokers in April to exploit vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows operating system.

A large-scale ransomware attack, WannaCry, that infected computers all over the world left governments, health care institutions, and companies reeling. Britain's National Health Service was infected, resulting in the temporary closure of some emergency rooms. Ransomware infects a computer, locking users out of certain applications or files until a ransom is paid. PC casualties were expected to rise today as workers return to work to find WannaCry infecting their work PCs.

Police across the country have developed different techniques to catch people who text while driving. The Wall Street Journal reported that authorities have a hard time going after people for texting while driving because it is hard to prove "and citations can be contested in court." Some officers have disguised themselves as construction workers while others pose as panhandlers in order to catch those who text and drive.

Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike recently revised a report from December that insisted that the group "Fancy Bear," which has ties to Russian intelligence, used malware to hack into Ukrainian artillery. In the same report, the firm said "Fancy Bear" used the same malware to "hack" into the American election. Well, British think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) found that CrowdStrike "erroneously used IISS data as proof of the intrusion." This also calls into question its findings of meddling in our election.

If you're an Apple snob like me, I'm pretty sure you became concerned when Wikileaks published documents about the hacking tools the CIA used to sneak into Apple products. A person could not disable the tools even by resetting their phone. But Apple has come out to assure customers that the company has fixed the vulnerabilities in its newer products.

Authorities have charged four men, including two Russians, for hacking into the computer systems at Yahoo and stealing personal information. The two Russians, Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin, work for Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor of the KGB. Latvian Alexsey Belan, who is also on the FBI's most wanted list, also received charges along with Karim Baratov, who was born in Kazakhstan and holds Canadian citizenship. Canadian authorities arrested Baratov on Tuesday.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has developed a plan top open up the commission and make it more transparent to the public. From The Hill:
“Today, we begin the process of making the FCC more open and transparent,” Pai told reporters. “I’m pleased to announce this morning a pilot project that, if successful, will become a commission practice — one that will give the public much more insight into the commission’s activities.”

Mega gazillionaire, tech innovator, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates sat down for lengthy interview with CNBC Tuesday. The majority of the interview focused on Gates' latest clean energy initiatives -- all privately funded through his private investment fund, stocked with fellow gazillionaire innovators. "I think this administration likes a good deal," said Gates, who explained he and others would feel comfortable approaching the new administration on a variety of issues like energy policy and general regulatory issues.

Today, Israel’s Science, Technology and Space Minister Ofir Akunis lands in India for a four-day visit aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation in the field of science and technology. Minister Akunis is accompanied by a high-profile delegation comprised of several senior Knesset members and government officials, including the head of Israel Space Agency, Avi Blasberger. The ministerial visit comes less than a month after Israeli President Reuven Rivlin visited the South Asian country. Cooperation in technology and innovation has come a long way since both countries established full diplomatic ties nearly 25 years ago. In 2008, Indian space agency ISRO launched Israeli reconnaissance satellite TechSAR aboard its satellite launching vehicle (PSLV). A missile defense system (Barak 8) jointly developed by India's defense research agency (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has already been successfully tested.

Israel's President Reuven Rivlin received a ceremonial welcome at the presidential palace in New Delhi, earlier today. Prime Minister Narandra Modi and senior members of his cabinet where present at the occasion as the visiting Israeli Head of State was given a Guard of Honour by the three services of Indian military. Hundreds of Israeli and Indian flags could be seen waving side-by-side along the route taken by the presidential motorcade in New Delhi. The grand ceremony accompanied by a thundering 21-gun salute is a fry cry from the dead-of-the-night  incognito "stop over" by the then Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan on a tarmac in Delhi, 40 years ago. Israel-India bilateral contacts in those days sounded more like Cold War spy thrillers than everyday diplomacy. Diplomatic relations between the two countries have indeed come a long way.

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Israel's President Reuven Rivlin will visit India on a six-day tour starting November 15. Israeli President will be accompanied by a “delegation of unprecedented size comprising businessmen and university officials”, Indian newspaper The Hindu reports. President Rivlin will become the second sitting Israeli President to visit the South Asian country since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two nations almost twenty-five years ago. President Rivlin and his Indian counterpart, President Pranab Mukherjee, will preside over the signing of a number of cooperation agreements ranging from agriculture to national security.

Earlier this month, Mary covered the WikiLeaks emails that showed then-CNN contributor, now DNC Chair, Donna Brazile forwarded Team Hillary a question ahead of the second presidential debate.  Not only did the DNC not learn anything from the ouster of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but now, a tech blogger finds proof that the WikiLeaks emails concerning Brazile are not "doctored" as she claimed. Fox News reports:
After Democratic Party boss Donna Brazile claimed emails showing her apparently tipping off Hillary Clinton to questions at a March town hall were “doctored,” tech sleuths got to work -- and now say they've found proof the emails are authentic.

Technology giants in Silicon Valley have donated money to Democrat Deborah Ross against Sen. Richard Burr (R), which has become one of the tightest races in the country. The Hill reported:
Laurene Powell-Jobs, the widow of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, tech venture capitalist Brook Byers and tech executive Amy Rao have all donated $2,700 to Ross, the maximum allowed. Paul Haahr, a top engineer at Google, has also donated $2,000 to Ross via the Bay Area based PAC, WomenCount.

Reuters has reported that Yahoo! secretly scanned customers' emails on behalf of the NSA and the FBI. The company even "built a custom software program" to monitor the emails for specific information:
Some surveillance experts said this represents the first case to surface of a U.S. Internet company agreeing to a spy agency's demand by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time. It is not known what information intelligence officials were looking for, only that they wanted Yahoo to search for a set of characters. That could mean a phrase in an email or an attachment, said the sources, who did not want to be identified.