WhatsApp blocks two million Indian accounts

WhatsApp has said it blocked over two million accounts in India in May and June for violating rules. The service said 95% of these users were blocked for violating the limits of the number of times messages can be forwarded in India. The submissions were made by WhatsApp in its first monthly compliance report under India’s controversial new IT rules. India is WhatsApp’s largest market with about 400 million users. The Facebook-owned messaging service said its “top focus” has been to prevent accounts in India from sending harmful or unwanted messages at scale. Using advanced machine learning technology, WhatsApp reportedly … Continue reading WhatsApp blocks two million Indian accounts

WhatsApp to let users message without their phones

WhatsApp is testing a new feature that will let people message without using their phone for the first time. At present, WhatsApp is linked to a user’s phone. Its desktop and web apps need that device to be connected and receiving messages. But the new feature will let users send and receive messages “even if your phone battery is dead”. Up to four other devices – like PCs and tablets – can be used together, WhatsApp said. To begin with, the new feature will be rolled out as a beta test for a “small group of users”, and the team … Continue reading WhatsApp to let users message without their phones

Ransomware gang goes offline, prompting questions

A Russian-based hacker group blamed for a massive ransomware attack went offline Tuesday, sparking speculation about whether the move was the result of a government-led action. The “dark web” page of the group known as REvil disappeared some two weeks after an attack which crippled networks of hundreds of companies worldwide and prompted a ransom demand of $70 million. “REvil has seemingly vanished from the dark web, as its website has gone offline,” tweeted Allan Liska, a security researcher with the firm Recorded Future, who noted that the site had been unresponsive from around 0500 GMT. The news comes after … Continue reading Ransomware gang goes offline, prompting questions

Google fined $593 million by French antitrust agency

Google was fined 500 million euros ($593 million) in France after the search giant failed to follow an order to thrash out a fair deal with publishers to use their news content on its platform. The Alphabet Inc. unit ignored a 2020 decision to negotiate in good faith for displaying snippets of articles on its Google News service, the Autorité de la concurrence said Tuesday. The fine is the second-biggest antitrust penalty in France for a single company. “The sanction of 500 million euros takes into account the exceptional seriousness of the breaches observed,” said Isabelle de Silva, president of … Continue reading Google fined $593 million by French antitrust agency

Hong Kong defends privacy law after Big Tech raises concerns

Hong Kong has defended planned changes to privacy laws, brushing off concerns raised by a technology industry body. The new law targets “doxxing” – the malicious act of publishing people’s personal information online. But an industry group says technology giants may pull out of the city over fears that they could become liable for user content. Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam said officials would meet companies that are concerned about the changes. In a letter, the Singapore-based Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) – which counts Facebook, Google, Twitter and Apple amongst its members – said the proposed legislation was too broad. … Continue reading Hong Kong defends privacy law after Big Tech raises concerns

Swedish Coop supermarkets shut due to US ransomware cyber-attack

Some 500 Coop supermarket stores in Sweden have been forced to close due to an ongoing “colossal” cyber-attack affecting organisations around the world. Coop Sweden says it closed more than half of its 800 stores on Friday after point-of-sale tills and self-service checkouts stopped working. The supermarket was not itself targeted by hackers – but is one of a growing number of organisations affected by an attack on a large software supplier the company uses indirectly. Cyber researchers say about 200 businesses have been hit by this “colossal” ransomware attack, which had mainly affected the US. Cyber-security firm Huntress Labs … Continue reading Swedish Coop supermarkets shut due to US ransomware cyber-attack

John McAfee found dead in Spanish prison after court grants extradition request

Computer software pioneer John McAfee has been found dead in a Spanish prison hours after a court approved his extradition to the U.S. to face charges of tax evasion.John McAfee Security personnel at the Brians 2 penitentiary near Barcelona tried to revive McAfee, who was 75, but the jail’s medical team finally certified his death, a statement from the regional Catalan government said. “A judicial delegation has arrived to investigate the causes of death,” the statement said, adding that “Everything points to death by suicide.” The statement didn’t identify the tycoon by name, but said he was a 75-year-old American … Continue reading John McAfee found dead in Spanish prison after court grants extradition request

EU launches probe into Google’s conduct in digital ad tech sector

European Union regulators have launched a fresh antitrust investigation of Google, this time over whether the United States tech giant is stifling competition in digital advertising technology. The European Commission said Tuesday that it has opened a formal investigation into whether Google violated the bloc’s competition rules by favouring its own online display advertising technology services at the expense of rival publishers, advertisers and advertising technology services. The investigation underscores European concerns about Google’s dominance in the online advertising industry and whether it is exploiting its data advantage to cement its position in the display ad market, which the EU … Continue reading EU launches probe into Google’s conduct in digital ad tech sector

Developing Story: Several airlines and banks hit by online outage

Several airline websites in the US and Australia suffered an outage early on Thursday, according to the tracking site Downdetector. Those affected include the US carriers American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, and Virgin Australia. Issues were also reported with the sites of several Australian banks, including ANZ, Westpac, St George, and the Commonwealth Bank. It’s unclear if the outages are linked. “We understand that some of our customers are currently experiencing issues accessing our services,” Commonwealth Bank told AFP. “This issue is affecting multiple organisations, including many of the major banks.” Virgin Australia tweeted that … Continue reading Developing Story: Several airlines and banks hit by online outage

Meat giant JBS pays $11m in ransom to resolve cyber-attack

The world’s largest meat processing company has paid the equivalent of $11m (£7.8m) in ransom to put an end to a major cyber-attack. Computer networks at JBS were hacked last week, temporarily shutting down some operations in Australia, Canada and the US. The payment was reportedly made using Bitcoin after plants had come back online, JBS says it was necessary to pay to protect customers. In a ransomware attack, hackers get into a computer network and threaten to cause disruption or delete files unless a ransom in cryptocurrency is paid. “This was a very difficult decision to make for our … Continue reading Meat giant JBS pays $11m in ransom to resolve cyber-attack

Google apologises for ‘ugliest Indian language’ search result

India’s Karnataka state says it plans to send a legal notice to Google after it showed the state’s official language as the “ugliest language in India”. A Google search with these keywords on Thursday showed Kannada as the top result. On Thursday, the tech giant released a statement apologizing for “the misunderstanding and hurting any sentiments”. It has fixed the search results following a massive outrage. Many, including leaders from the southern Indian state, expressed their outrage at the search result on Thursday. Karnataka minister Aravind Limbavali demanded an apology from the tech company saying that this was an attempt … Continue reading Google apologises for ‘ugliest Indian language’ search result

World’s largest meat supplier hit by cyber-attack

The world’s largest meat processing company has been targeted by a sophisticated cyber-attack. Computer networks at JBS were hacked, causing some operations in Australia, Canada and the US to temporarily shut down, affecting thousands of workers. The company believes the ransomware attack originated from a criminal group likely based in Russia, the White House said. The attack could lead to shortages of meat or raise prices for consumers. In a ransomware attack, hackers get into a computer network and threaten to cause disruption or delete files unless a ransom is paid. The White House says the FBI is investigating the … Continue reading World’s largest meat supplier hit by cyber-attack