Citizens' Issues
500 mn accounts hacked in 'state-sponsored' attack: Yahoo
Joining the list of global companies who have faced users' data breach in the recent past, a Yahoo investigation has confirmed that at least 500 million user accounts were hacked in late 2014 which, it believes, was a "state-sponsored" attack.
 
The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers," Yahoo revealed in a statement late Thursday.
 
"The ongoing investigation suggests that stolen information did not include unprotected passwords, payment card data, or bank account information; payment card data and bank account information are not stored in the system that the investigation has found to be affected," the Sunnyvale, California-based company added.
 
According to Yahoo's Chief Information Security Officer Bob Lord, the information was stolen from the company's network in late 2014.
 
Based on the ongoing investigation, Yahoo believes that information associated with at least 500 million user accounts was stolen and the investigation has found no evidence that the state-sponsored actor is currently in Yahoo's network.
 
Yahoo is working closely with law enforcement on this matter. The breach could also impact Yahoo's $4.8 billion sale of its core business to Verizon.
 
Yahoo has notified potentially affected users and has taken steps to secure their accounts.
 
These steps include invalidating unencrypted security questions and answers so that they cannot be used to access an account and asking potentially affected users to change their passwords.
 
Yahoo has recommended that users who have not changed their passwords since 2014 to do so.
 
"Yahoo encourages users to review their online accounts for suspicious activity and to change their password and security questions and answers for any other accounts on which they use the same or similar information used for their Yahoo account," the statement read.
 
The company further recommends that users avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails and that they be cautious of unsolicited communications that ask for personal information.
 
Additionally, Yahoo has asked users to consider using Yahoo Account Key, a simple authentication tool that eliminates the need to use a password altogether.
 
Online intrusions and thefts by state-sponsored actors have become increasingly common across the technology industry including professional social network LinkedIn, micro-blogging website Twitter and file hosting service Dropbox, to name a few.
 
Yahoo and other companies have launched programmes to detect and notify users when a company strongly suspects that a state-sponsored actor has targeted an account.
 
Since the inception of Yahoo's programme in December 2015, independent of the recent investigation, approximately 10,000 users have received such a notice.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

 

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India made 139 account information requests in 2016: Twitter
Between January and June this year, the Indian government made 139 account information requests and requested for 42 accounts to be removed from the micro-blogging website, Twitter's biannual transparency report revealed on Thursday.
 
Twitter is, however, yet to remove any account requested by the Indian government or court order.
 
According to the report, the US government made 2,520 Twitter information requests -- comprising 44 percent of the total requests received by Twitter. 
 
Other countries that made the most number of information requests were Japan (732), the UK (631), France (572) and Turkey (280).
 
"We have received 2 per cent more government requests for account information, affecting 8 per cent more accounts during the first half of 2016 than in the previous reporting period," the report said.
 
This includes requests that originated from seven new countries -- Bermuda, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Jordan, Macedonia, Malta, and Mongolia.
 
"Since the inception of Twitter's Transparency Report, we have received government information requests from 76 different countries," it added.
 
In the first half of 2016, Twitter received 13 per cent more removal requests compared to the previous reporting period.
 
Removal requests originated from 37 countries, five of which are appearing in the report for the first time: Azerbaijan, Chile, Israel, the Maldives, and the Philippines. 
 
The largest volume of requests came from Turkey (2,493) and Russia (1,601), the two countries that have historically submitted the highest volume of removal requests. 
 
"Overall, removal requests affected a total of 20,594 accounts: 2,600 had some content removed for violating our Terms of Service, 2,799 accounts had some content withheld (account-level or Tweet-level), and no action was taken on the remaining 15,195 accounts," Twitter said.
 
The data includes all instances where Twitter employed its Country Withheld Content (CWC) tool. 
 
Since its first report in 2012, Twitter has used CWC in 12 countries: Germany, France, the Netherlands, Russia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan, India, and for the first time during this reporting period, Australia, Ireland and Spain.
 
"Over the first six months of 2016, we received legal requests for content removal from 37 different countries, resulting in content being withheld at the Tweet or account level in 11 of those countries," the company said.
 
For the first time, Twitter received a request from Pakistan that was accompanied by a court order. 
 
"This request and others submitted by Pakistani officials related to impersonation of the office of President Mamnoon Hussain. We suspended the account in question in accordance with our Impersonation policy," the report said.
 
Between January and June, the company received 1,283 preservation requests, affecting 3,311 accounts, from law enforcement requesters around the world. This number does not include preservation extension requests. 
 
Out of the 5,680 total global information requests Twitter received during this reporting period, 1,155 were emergency requests. 
 
The top requester was the US with 385 requests and the second top requester was Japan with 169 requests. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

 

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Apple acquires Hyderabad-based machine learning startup
US tech giant Apple has acquired Tuplejump -- a Hyderabad-based machine learning startup that helps companies to store, process and visualise big data with its unique software.
 
Founded in 2013, Tuplejump's two co-founders Rohit Rai and Satyaprakash Buddhavarapu have already joined Apple while third cofounder, Deepak Alur, joined Anaplan - a Cloud-based business modelling and planning platform for sales, operations and finance.
 
According to a Tech Crunch report, Apple is on a machine learning company buying spree and recently bought two well-known startups Perceptio and Turi.
 
"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," a company spokesperson told Tech Crunch.
 
Apple was particularly interested in "FiloDB" -- an opensource project that Tuplejump was building to efficiently apply machine learning concepts and analytics to complex data.
 
The Tuplejump team was well acquainted with open source big data tools such as the Apache Spark processing engine, the Apache Cassandra NoSQL database, and the Apache Kafka distributed high-throughput publish-subscribe messaging system, Venturebeat reported.
 
"Tuplejump also built an open source search indexing system called Stargate that works with data stored in Cassandra and relies on the fundamentals of the Apache Lucene full-text search software," the report added.
 
Tuplejump's website has been shut down following the acquisition, the details of which are yet to be disclosed.
 
In May, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the company's first development centre in Hyderabad to work on Apple Maps during his visit to the country.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

 

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