This week’s headline story: Russian Hackers Hijack 1.2 Billion Web Credentials Criminals in Russia have amassed a huge database of 1.2 billion stolen user names and passwords and half a billion email addresses, a U.S.-based Internet security company reports. The data, believed to be the single biggest horde of stolen Internet identity information ever collected, was garnered from attacks that reached into every corner of the Web and hit around 420,000 sites. The sheer scale of the database dwarfs previous data breaches such as last year’s Target breach that affected 40 million credit and debit card numbers and 70 million personal records. “These guys did nothing new or innovative,” said one security analyst, “They just did it better and on a mass level so it affects absolutely everybody.”
- Russian Hackers Amass Over a Billion Internet Passwords [NYTimes]
- Russian hackers amass 1.2B stolen Web credentials [Computerworld]
and elsewhere in Tech News.
- Map and navigation apps are about to get much more interesting thanks to the US relaxing its rules governing access to satellite imagery. Up until recently, only the government was allowed access to high-resolution satellite imagery. Not any more! Lockheed Martin will be launching a high-resolution satellite this week that will provide extra-sharp pictures with detail down to the 10-inch level. The new satellite will lead to much nicer imagery in online mapping services from companies like Google and Microsoft, although it will take another 6 months to start harvesting those images.First satellite with high-resolution public imaging launches on August 13th [Engadget]
- The San Jose Police Department is butting heads with the FAA over use of its newly acquired drone. SJPD says it doesn’t need FAA approval to fly its drone, while the FAA disagrees.San Jose Police Department says FAA can’t regulate its drone use [ars technica]
- You will soon be able to reach 911 emergency dispatch centers from your cell phone! The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted Friday to require U.S. mobile carriers and many text-messaging apps to enable users to text emergency dispatch centers by the end of the year.FCC mandates emergency texting services from carriers, texting apps [Computerworld]
and in Information Security news this week..
- Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor that has been leaking thousands of secure government documents, has been granted a three-year residency permit from the Russian government.Snowden allowed to stay in Russia for three more years [Computerworld]
- China has passed a law mandating that users of Internet-based communication services like IMs and social media must use their real name.China wants you to use your real name on social media [Engadget]
- Likewise, Russia has further tightened its control of the Internet, requiring people using public Wifi hotspots provide identification, a policy that prompted anger from bloggers and confusion among telecom companies on how it would work.Russia demands Internet users show ID to access public Wifi [Reuters]
and in Tech Industry news…
- Microsoft has announced that it is giving customers 17 months to stop using older versions of Internet Explorer (IE), including the most popular of them all, IE8. While the move will assist with security issues inherent in older browsers, it will also motivate a lot of businesses to upgrade to Windows 8.Microsoft slashes IE support, sets ‘huge’ edict for Jan. 2016 [Computerworld]
- Finding apps for a Windows Phone isn’t as difficult as it uses to be. Microsoft has revealed that the Windows Phone Store now has over 300,000 apps, nearly twice as many as it had a year ago. The company also boasts 50 percent more developers for Windows Phone.Windows Phone has nearly twice as many apps as it did a year ago [Engadget]
- China has blacklisted Apple products from government purchases. Apple joins Dell, HP and others US companies banned by China for government use. China sites concerns over NSA spying, but some suspect China of wanting to squeeze U.S. tech companies out of the country, opening market opportunities for its own companies.China scrubs Apple’s iPad and MacBooks from government buying list [Computerworld]
- T-Mobile is the first to jump on new legislation allowing users to unlock their smart phones for use on other networks. The company has released an app that offers two unlock options for Avant phone owners: temporary, for the sake of international GSM use, or permanent.T-Mobile becomes first American carrier to release phone unlocking app [ars technica]
- Game streaming and recording site Twitch has silenced thousands of its game videos for using unauthorized audio. Muting illegal audio is a long established practice for YouTube, but new to Twitch. Users are steamed.Thousands of Twitch videos silenced as streaming site mutes copyrighted audio [ars technica]
- In an effort to create a more secure and private web, Google will be boosting search ranking for websites that utilize encryption – that is sites with ‘s beginning with https.Google lowers search ranking of websites that don’t use encryption [Computerworld]
- Ready to turn your Android phone into a walkie-talkie? Verizon is reviving its push-to-talk feature with a free offer for 6 months and five bucks a month there after.Verizon adds push-to-talk to Android phones, makes smart walkie-talkies [Engadget]
- The FCC is now taking public comments and petitions regarding AT&T’s proposed $48.5 billion purchase of DirecTV. This is one of the first steps of a review process in which the FCC will determine whether the acquisition is in the public’s interest.Tell the government what you think about AT&T buying DirecTV [ars technica]
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