News Column

AP-AM Prep-Cyber Corner

February 10, 2014



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! CYBER CORNER !

IN THE NEWS: CALIFORNIA PROPOSES ``KILL SWITCH'' LEGISLATION

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Lawmakers in California are trying to do something smartphone makers have been reluctant to do on their own: provide a ``kill switch'' on their products. Legislation has been rolled out that would require smartphones and other mobile devices sold in or shipped to California to have a way they can be crippled if lost or stolen. The measure, if passed, would require devices to have the anti-theft measures ready for market. If passed, it would be the first law of its kind in the country _ and will likely force phone makers to provide kill switches nationally. California State Senator Mark Leno notes that smartphone robberies have surged to an all-time high in California.

IN THE NEWS: HOW THE TARGET HACKERS DID IT

NEW YORK (AP) _ We continue to learn more about the widespread theft of credit and debit information from Target customers. It appears the hackers who got into the Target system might have used a Pittsburgh-area heating and refrigeration business as the back door to get in. A contractor that does business with Target says it has been the victim of what the company calls a ``sophisticated cyberattack operation'' _ and is co-operating with the Secret Service to see what happened. If hackers did use the Pennsylvania company as an electronic ``wedge'' to get into Target's system, it shows how vulnerable big companies have become as they expand and connect their computer networks to other companies.

ON THE WEB: ALLEGE SILK ROAD MASTERMIND TO GO ON TRIAL IN FALL

CYBERSPACE (AP) _ The Internet entrepreneur accused of being the mastermind behind an online marketplace for illegal drug sales is to go on trial in November. A federal judge has set November 3 as the date Ross William Ulbricht faces charges connected to the Silk Road drug trafficking site. Ulbricht has pleaded not guilty to four charges: drug trafficking, computer hacking, money laundering and running a continuing criminal conspiracy.

IN STORES: FLAPPY BIRD CREATOR REMOVES APP

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) _ The idea of creating an app that becomes a sensation would be a dream for most entrepreneurs. But for the young Vietnamese creator of hit mobile game Flappy Bird, the app has become a nightmare _ and he has taken it down, removing it from Apple's App Store and Google Play. Nguyen Ha Dong says the app ruined his life. The game was uploaded last year _ but only surged to the top in downloads earlier this year. It was downloaded more than 50 million times on App Store alone _ and was making $50,000 a day in ad revenue. There was talk that the game's rapid rise to the top was due to the use of fake accounts to create downloads and reviews. Dong writes on Twitter that having the game become an Internet sensation has ruined his life. In his Twitter post, he didn't address the allegation that the download numbers were inflated _ but he denied suggestions that the game breached another game maker's copyright.

by Oscar Wells Gabriel II

Oscar Gabriel can be reached at ogabriel(at)ap.org.

(The Associated Press)


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Source: Canadian Press Broadcast Wire (Canada)


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