Aurora Attackers Were Looking For Google's Surveillance Database
An anonymous reader writes "When in early 2010 Google shared with the public that they had been breached in what became known as the Aurora attacks, they said that the attackers got their hands on some source code and were looking to access Gmail accounts of Tibetan activists. What they didn't make public is that the hackers have also accessed a database containing information about court-issued surveillance orders that enabled law enforcement agencies to monitor email accounts belonging to diplomats, suspected spies and terrorists. Whether this was the primary goal of the attacks as well as how much information was exfiltrated is unknown. current and former U.S. government officials interviewed by the Washington Post say that the database in question was possibly accessed in order to discover which Chinese intelligence operatives located in the U.S. were under surveillance."
Skype's ominous link checking: facts and speculation
Our associate's discovery that URLs sent through Skype are then visited by Microsoft has caused quite a stir. A little more information has now emerged and leads to even more questions
Google Betting Its Google+ Systems Know What's Best For You
Nerval's Lobster writes "But at this year's Google I/O conference in San Francisco, Google announced that it has a plan to make Google Plus users more engaged, courtesy of new features backed by a handful of data-analytics tricks. Google Plus postings now feature Google-generated hashtags that, when clicked, direct the user to related content from across their network. From a backend-infrastructure perspective, that sort of thing leans heavily on Google's semantic analysis and the ability to make the right connections between various pieces of data. Google Plus will also automatically highlight certain photos out of dozens or even hundreds of shots. Say you went on vacation to India and took some photos of your significant other in front of the Taj Mahal; Google Plus will leverage its database of information to recognize that as a prominent landmark and pluck those photos out of the pile as 'special.' In the words of that posting on the Google+ Blog: 'Your darkroom is now a Google data center.' ...
Feds Seize Assets From Mt. Gox's Dwolla Acount, Accuse It Of Violating Money Transfer Regulations
Bitcoin exchange service Mt. Gox is experiencing some issues with U.S. authorities. The Department of Homeland Security issued a seizure warrant to Dwolla for the money in Mt. Gox’s Dwolla account. Mt. Gox users can’t use Dwolla as a funding option anymore even though it was one of the most popular options. The Japanese startup failed to register in the U.S. as a money transmitting company — president and CEO Mark Karpeles now faces up to five years in prison. Dwolla had no choice but to proceed with the request. IDG News obtained a copy of the warrant through the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the investigation team of the Department of Homeland Security. In order to accept funds in dollars, Mt. Gox opened a Wells Fargo business account for Mutum Sigillum LLC (Mt. Gox’s American subsidiary). The company had to complete a document that states whether it provides money services or not. The warrant reads: “That document was completed on May 20, 2011, and identified ...
Google's Knowledge Graph Gets Smarter, Adds Statistics And 4 New Languages
Amit Singhal, Google’s senior VP of search, today announced that Google’s Knowledge Graph will start exposing a number of statistics as graphs on the search results pages today. Google is also adding Polish, Turkish, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese to its lineup of supported Knowledge Graph languages. With regard to the statistics, Singhal said the system will also try to predict what your next question will be and add related statistics to the graphs. Say you want to know more about the people who live in India, Google may also show you stats for China. Singhal also recapped a number of Knowledge Graph features that expose users personal information – the kind of information Google Now would usually expose, too. These are currently available in beta and uses can sign up for it here. The Knowledge Graph, Singhal said, has enabled Google to move beyond keywords. “It allowed us to answer questions we couldn’t previously answer.” Clearly, Google has been investing heavily ...