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Korean Banks

The Washington Post report that it seems the attack on South Korea’s Nonghyup agricultural bank back in April was the work of North Korea. The evidence? South Korean investigators said they determined that 10 servers used in the bank incident were the same ones used in previous cyberattack operations against South Korea, including one in 2009 and another in March, that they blamed on the North. Investigators say they determined, for instance, that a “command and control” server used in the 2009 operation was registered to a North Korean government agency operating in China. This is interesting. Command and control servers are compromised computers thatContinue readingKorean Banks

Facebook’s Asian Growth: Not Everywhere is North

I’ve seen some posts recently suggesting that Facebook is not doing well in Asia-Pacific. This, for example, from Forrester’s Reineke Reitsma: For example, Facebook is struggling to gain ground in Asia Pacific: With 58% of online adults accessing it, Orkut is the leading social platform in metropolitan India, while 27% of Japanese online adults use mixi; and in South Korea, Cyworld is most popular, attracting 63% of South Korean Internet users. I won’t quarrel with her stats, but I’d suggest she’s missing a bigger picture: Facebook is growing at quite a clip in many Asian countries. My figures, based on Facebook data—which doesn’t include JapanContinue readingFacebook’s Asian Growth: Not Everywhere is North

When Services Go Pro, Reach for Your Gun

Alarming and confusing news and views concerning Skype’s announcement of its new pricing strategy. Here’s a summary. Key elements trumpeted in Skype’s press release (the most detailed information is here, courtesy of SkypeJournal): Premium subscription package called Skype Pro, which includes free Skype Voicemail (€15 previously) and €30 off a SkypeIn number (previously €30). Cost: €2 per month Removes per minute charges for SkypeOut calls (i.e. calls to ordinary phones) so long as they’re landlines and to the same country you’re in at the time of calling. I.e: unlimited calling, so long as it’s not to mobile phones. Every SkypeOut (and I think SkypeIn) call, whether it’s toContinue readingWhen Services Go Pro, Reach for Your Gun

Asia, the World’s Spam Factory

A new list from Sophos shows that spam is far from dying, thanks largely to Asia: While the U.S. still tops the chart, for the first time it accounts for less than a quarter of all spam relayed. (Compare this to more than 50% two years ago.) But that’s not the problem anymore. The problem is a rise in non-English spam “with the vast majority now being relayed by ‘zombie’ computers hijacked by Trojan horses, worms and viruses under the control of hackers.” Much of this is coming from China and South Korea, which together accounts for 32% of the world’s spam. Add Taiwan’s 2.1%Continue readingAsia, the World’s Spam Factory

The First U.S.-China Cyberwar?

There’s growing coverage of China’s Internet ‘cyberwar’ against the U.S., which seems to have been going on for more than two years with neither side wanting to go public. The U.S. is calling the attack Titan Rain, and as Bruce Schneier points out, the attackers are very well organized. This from AFP: A systematic effort by hackers to penetrate US government and industry computer networks stems most likely from the Chinese military, the head of a leading security institute said. The attacks have been traced to the Chinese province of Guangdong, and the techniques used make it appear unlikely to come from any other source than theContinue readingThe First U.S.-China Cyberwar?

Finding Liberation Online

Further to my earlier post about Lina Yoon’s piece on Korean ‘blogging’, here’s a taster to convince you to take out a subscription to WSJ.com, or go out and buy a copy of today’s AWSJ: WSJ.com – Finding Liberation Online  SEOUL — In the real world, Kim Min Jung is an introverted secretary who finds it difficult talking to people she doesn’t know. When speaking, she often covers her face with her hands. On the Internet, though, the 28-year-old is no shrinking violet. On her personal Web site, Ms. Kim entertains about 1,200 visitors a day with plot summaries and witty commentaries on TV showsContinue readingFinding Liberation Online

News: Worming Its Way Into Korea

 Warning of a new computer worm, this time from South Korea. Yonhap reports Friday that W32/Smess.worm, BadTrans, appears attached to an instant message in MSN’s instant messenger service. The worm is a mutant version of another worm called Sinmsn, which was detected last July.   MSN’s messenger service, which gives pairs or groups of users the capability to send instantaneous text messages to each other via the Internet, is one of the most popular communication tools in South Korea, where more than 10 million customers are connected to the broadband Internet.

Update: Microsoft Says It’s Not Fair

  Microsoft is pretty upset about a plan by Japan, China and South Korea to develop an alternative operating system to Microsoft’s Windows software, saying it would raise concerns over fair competition, Reuters reports. “We’d like to see the market decide who the winners are in the software industry,” Tom Robertson, Microsoft’s Tokyo-based director for government affairs in Asia, told Reuters in a telephone interview. “Governments should not be in the position to decide who the winners are,” Robertson said.   Um, sure.

News: Step Aside, Bill, Let Asia Take It From Here

 From the Suspect This May Be Wishful Thinking Dept Japan, South Korea and China are set to agree to jointly develop a new computer operating system as an alternative to Microsoft Corp.’s Windows software, Reuters quotes Japanese media as saying on Sunday.   It would likely be built upon an open-source operating system, such as Linux. The recent spread of computer viruses targeting the Windows system was one reason behind the plan, as it has awakened governments to the need to reduce their dependence on Windows operating systems.

News: Bothered By Mosquitoes? Use Your Cellphone

 From the Why Use Bugspray When You Can Use Your Cellphone Dept, a report from the Korea Times on a new service by SK Telecom. Its seems South Korea’s top mobile operator is offering downloadable ring tones which, er, generate anti-mosquito sound waves that deter mosquitoes within a range of one metre.     The mosquito repelling service uses a particular spectrum of sound waves, which are undetectable by human ears. But the frequencies annoy mosquitoes, SK Telecom said. And presumably you, when you get the bill, at 3,000 won a download. One of the other downsides pointed out by the correspondent is that “the serviceContinue readingNews: Bothered By Mosquitoes? Use Your Cellphone

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