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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

Malware Inside the Credit Card Machine

(Update, July 2009: A BusinessWeek article puts the company’s side; maybe I was a little too harsh on them in this post.) This gives you an idea of how bad malware is getting, and how much we’re underestimating it: a U.S.. company that processes credit card transactions has just revealed that malware inside its computers may have stolen the details of more than 100 million credit card transactions. That would make it the biggest breach in history. Heartland Payment Systems, one of the fifth largest U.S. processors in terms of volume, began receiving reports of fraudulent activity late last year. But it took until lastContinue readingMalware Inside the Credit Card Machine

Is New Media Ready for Old Media?

I’m very excited by the fact that newspapers are beginning to carry content from the top five or so Web 2.0/tech sites. These blogs (the word no longer seems apt for what they do; Vindu Goel calls them ‘news sources’) have really evolved in the past three years and the quality of their coverage, particularly that of ReadWrite Web, has grown in leaps and bounds. Now it’s being carried by the New York Times. A couple of nagging questions remain, however. 1) Is this old media eating new media, or new media eating the old? On the surface this is a big coup for folkContinue readingIs New Media Ready for Old Media?

Scoble Shift

Robert Scoble, Microsoft blogger and the subject of a couple of Loose Wire WSJ columns in the past, has quit Microsoft for PodTech, a podcaster and videocaster. Techmeme, the technology bloggers’ portal, is full of the news. It’s as if the Pope has quit his day job and joined AC Milan. There’s lots of speculation, but Scoble says there was no acrimony, no scrimped expense accounts, and lots of effort on the part of Microsoft to get him to stay. For sure the loser in this is going to be Microsoft. While there are thousands of other Microsoft bloggers, none of them had Scoble’s longContinue readingScoble Shift

An Agency for the Citizen Reporter

My friend Saigon-based Graham Holliday has helped launch a words version of Scoopt, the world’s first commercial citizen journalism photography agency. With Scoopt Words : [w]e believe that your blog writing can be every bit as valuable as professional journalism. It’s the same idea that lies behind Scoopt the picture agency: in the right circumstances, amateur photography is just as valuable as professional photography… as we have proven again and again. So if your content is valuable, why shouldn’t you be paid for it? Why is it OK for a newspaper to lift your words or publish your writing for free just because you’re anContinue readingAn Agency for the Citizen Reporter

Wikipedia Goes to Washington

All this stuff about people obsessively airbrushing their Wikipedia biographies is getting out of hand. In December we heard that even Jimmy Wales himself, the guy who has done more than anyone else to make Wikipedia what it is now, was not above tweaking the entry on himself. My conclusion then was that Of course, Wales is not alone in monitoring his biography, and I’m sure if I had one, I would monitor it obsessively too. But when does ensuring that you’re not being accused of masterminding the assassination of presidents become Stalinesque airbrushing of history? And the logical result of this is that everyContinue readingWikipedia Goes to Washington

Did A Computer Virus Bring Down The Soviet Union?

Did software, deliberately programmed by the CIA to fail, hasten the end of the Soviet Union? The Washington Post reports (registration required) that “President Ronald Reagan approved a CIA plan to sabotage the economy of the Soviet Union through covert transfers of technology that contained hidden malfunctions, including software that later triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian natural gas pipeline.” It quotes a new memoir by Thomas C. Reed, a former Air Force secretary who was serving in the National Security Council at the time (At the Abyss: An Insider’s History of the Cold War, to be published next month by Ballantine Books) asContinue readingDid A Computer Virus Bring Down The Soviet Union?

The iPod Battery Controversy Hits The Mainstream

The discussion about iPod batteries has entered the mainstream. You may recall posts on this blog a few weeks back about two brothers who took their complaint that Apple would not replace their worn out battery — saying the warranty had expired, and suggesting they buy a new iPod — public, via a video posted onto the net and public defacement of Apple billboards. I tried to get a comment from Apple at the time, but felt they had less of a case the more I looked at the story: It turned out that Apple did replace batteries (for $99, which would give you aContinue readingThe iPod Battery Controversy Hits The Mainstream

Column: Under the Wire

UNDER THE WIRE The Latest Software and Hardware Upgrades, Plug-Ins and Add-Ons from the 5 June 2003 of edition of the Far Eastern Economic Review , (c) 2003, Dow Jones & Company, Inc. History Scanned The past is being digitized — fast. The ProQuest Historical Newspapers program has just finished scanning more than a century of copies of The Washington Post to its existing database. The database includes each page from every issue, in PDF files, from 1877-1987. The program has already done The New York Times (1851-1999), The Wall Street Journal (1889-1985) and The Christian Science Monitor (1908-1990). Cellphone with Character Somewhat belatedly, NokiaContinue readingColumn: Under the Wire

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