Phil Muncaster

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Naver raver charged over 25 MEEELLION account breach palaver

A 31-year-old South Korean has been charged with using stolen personal information to hack the online accounts of 25 million users of the country’s popular Naver portal. The Asian nation’s National Police Agency said the suspect purchased the data – including names, addresses, internet IDs and passwords – back in August last …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Mar 2014

Terminator-maker 'Cyberdyne Inc' lists on Tokyo stock exchange

El Reg readers of a more fatalistic disposition may be dismayed, but probably not surprised, to hear that Cyberdyne - the company that invented Skynet and ultimately the murderous "Terminator" machines - has just listed on the Tokyo stock exchange. Of course, it’s not the shadowy defence firm of the iconic Arnie films, which …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Mar 2014
cloud

Microsoft switches on Azure in China

Microsoft stole a march on its cloudy rivals today by announcing its Azure cloud services are available in China. Redmond revealed as far back as May 2013 that it had signed a deal with local player 21Vianet to provide Azure in the Middle Kingdom, and it has been around in beta for a few months. However, this week will see the …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Mar 2014
channel_partners_deal_handshake

New-wave offshorers present exotic new risks

A need to drive down costs is forcing many multinationals to look at emerging Asian offshore locations such as Indonesia and Vietnam, but IP security and privacy concerns continue to hold them back, according to a new report. Gartner’s Leading Locations for Offshore Services in Asia/Pacific 2014 report, paints a mixed picture. …
Phil Muncaster, 26 Mar 2014
Spam

Chinese cops cuff 1,500 in fake base station spam raid

China’s police have arrested over 1,500 people on suspicion of using fake base stations to send out mobile SMS spam. The current crackdown, began in February, according to Reuters. Citing a Ministry of Public Security missive, the newswire says a group operating in north-east Liaoning province, bordering North Korea, is …
Phil Muncaster, 26 Mar 2014
Kim Dotcom

Dotcom's Mega looks for a backdoor onto NZ stock exchange

Kim Dotcom’s cloud storage business Mega Ltd has announced plans to go public with a NZ$210 million (£109m) backdoor listing on the New Zealand stock exchange, which will open the firm up to a whole new level of scrutiny. Backdoor listings are usually enacted by smaller firms looking to go public without the cost and hassle of …
Phil Muncaster, 25 Mar 2014
LG Vu

Blinking good: LG launches smart light bulb for Android/iOS

LG has launched the Smart Lamp, a hi-tech light bulb which can be controlled by smartphone that looks to have the potential to both secure an office and liven up the Christmas party held within its walls. The Smart Lamp is a 60W LED light bulb which can communicate with iOS 6.0 and above or Android 4.3 and above smartphones by …
Phil Muncaster, 25 Mar 2014
The new Twitter logo. Pic: Twitter

Turkey's farcical Twitter ban leads to SPIKE in tweets

The volume of messages sent Turkish Twitter users may have grown by over 130 per cent as users turn to a range of workarounds to circumvent a government banimposed late last week The ban initially appeared to come in the form of a DNS redirect from the country’s ISPs. This took users to a statement explaining that Twitter is …
Phil Muncaster, 24 Mar 2014

Michelle Obama speaks out against censorship ... in China

Michelle Obama veered away from the usual niceties of matrimonial diplomacy on Saturday by arguing in a speech at Peking University that internet freedom should be a universal right. FLOTUS is in China with her mother and daughters on a week-long tour designed to build closer ties between the world’s two superpowers and their …
Phil Muncaster, 24 Mar 2014
Great Wall of China

India's outsourcers look east with eyes on Asian tigers

Indian IT services group Nasscom is turning its attention eastwards with a focus on China, Japan and other previously untapped markets in an attempt to maintain the industry’s double-digit growth. The country’s outsourcers have historically focused their efforts on customers in the UK and US, but president R Chandrasekhar said …
Phil Muncaster, 21 Mar 2014
The new Twitter logo. Pic: Twitter

BLUE BIRD DOWN: Turkey wipes out Twitter 'scourge'

Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan appears to have ordered Twitter be blocked in the nation after the service was used to post information alleging government corruption. Turkish users trying to load Twitter.com were taken to a page with a statement from the local telecoms regulator TIB, according to Reuters. The statement …
Phil Muncaster, 21 Mar 2014
Viz Profanisaurus mobile app screenshot

The Reg's guide to cursing in Mongolian

NSFW The Mongolian government this week released guidelines on over 700 keywords which are now banned for websites in the country, and in so doing revealed to the world one of the most inventive list of swearwords since Roger’s Profanisaurus. The list of 774 Russian, Mongolian and English words published by the country’s telecoms …
Phil Muncaster, 21 Mar 2014
Great Wall of China

Bing accused of out-censoring the Great Firewall

Microsoft is facing another PR battle after a rights group accused Bing of more heavy-handed censorship in China than even homegrown search engine Baidu shackles its users with. Despite claiming to remove results as “narrowly as possible” in order to comply with Chinese censorship laws, Microsoft is actually blocking a “vast …
Phil Muncaster, 20 Mar 2014
Samsung logo

Say CHEESE: Samsung files patent for transparent camera

Korean electronics giant Samsung appears to be upping its efforts to crack the digital camera market after a patent filing emerged detailing designs for a compact camera with a completely transparent display. The filing with the Korean Intellectual Property Rights Service (KIPRS), seen by the Wall Street Journal, describes the …
Phil Muncaster, 20 Mar 2014

'Zotob' hacker 'Diabl0' arrested in Bangkok after three-year hunt

Farid Essebar, aka Diabl0, has finally been arrested by Bangkok police after three years on the run, on suspicion of causing $4bn worth of damage to Swiss banking systems. The 27-year-old Moroccan, who has a Russian passport, was nabbed by police from the the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), as well as officials from …
Phil Muncaster, 19 Mar 2014
The new Twitter logo. Pic: Twitter

Sorry Dick: 3 reasons why Twitter will NEVER be unblocked in China

Comment Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is in China this week visiting the country but rumours of the microblogging platform’s resurrection there have been greatly exaggerated. Twitter and Facebook have been blocked in the Middle Kingdom since 2009, when the government claimed they had been used by protesters to organise ahead of deadly anti- …
Phil Muncaster, 18 Mar 2014

Kick us as hard as you like, RIGHT IN THE CYBERS, says Japan

Japan will today follow the UK’s lead by carrying out a major cyber security drill which will see ethical hackers attempt to infiltrate and disrupt 21 government departments. The drill is designed to test the country’s emergency response capabilities to the full as Tokyo prepares to host the games in 2020. London carried out a …
Phil Muncaster, 18 Mar 2014
Nikon D600

China's annual TV smear segment drags Nikon's name through the mud

Nikon is braced for weeks of fun after it was targeted by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV in an annual consumer complaints show which last year forced a grovelling apology from Apple. The investigative program “3.15” broadcast a special edition last Saturday to coincide with World Consumer Rights Day, however it’s often used to …
Phil Muncaster, 18 Mar 2014

China chastises cheeky chirpers with WeChat clampdown

China’s censors appear to have turned their focus onto Tencent’s popular WeChat messaging platform, suspending and blocking several widely read public accounts in a bid to control online discussions. At least 12 accounts, some of which had hundreds of thousands of followers, were suspended last week and replaced with the …
Phil Muncaster, 17 Mar 2014

MtGox remedy worse than the disease says Kaspersky researcher

A 700MB file that hackers claimed contains valuable database information on bankrupted MtGox is actually hiding Bitcoin wallet file-stealing malware, researchers have warned. Kaspersky Lab’s Sergey Lozhkin claimed in a blog post last Friday that the entire data leak story, which emerged after MtGox CEO Mark Karpeles had his blog …
Phil Muncaster, 17 Mar 2014
alibaba logo

Alibaba float could make Facebook's look like small change

Chinese tat bazaar e-commerce and cloud giant Alibaba Group has finally announced plans to IPO, but in something of a surprise it will take place in the US rather than Hong Kong. The firm, which runs China’s hugely popular Taobao and T-Mall e-commerce platforms, could be valued as high as $200 billion and may even raise more …
Phil Muncaster, 17 Mar 2014
india

Apple India to put mini-shops in suburbs to flog entry-level kit

Apple’s ramping up its presence in India with the launch of a range of small brick-and-mortar stores selling mainly entry-level iPhones and fondleslabs, according to a local report. The shops will be set up by disties Redington and Ingram Micro, as well as other partners, in the neighbourhoods of major and tier two cities, …
Phil Muncaster, 12 Mar 2014
management regulation2

Japan preps new law to bolster government cyber defences

Japanese lawmakers are urgently preparing a new bill designed to allow the government’s information security agencies cut through the bureaucracy that is crippling their ability to deal with online threats. The proposed law would give the National Information Security Centre (NISC) and its Government Security Operation …
Phil Muncaster, 12 Mar 2014
Suitcase bulging with cash

Galaxy S5 launch parties to fizzle in Samsung's back yard

The launch of Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone the Galaxy S5 could be derailed in its home market after the South Korean government slapped a business ban on the country’s three largest operators. The 45-day ban will prevent SK Telecom, KT Corporation and LG UPlus from signing up new customers, selling new phones or …
Phil Muncaster, 11 Mar 2014
Great Wall of China

Communist party boss blames Kunming knife attack on VPNs

The Communist Party’s chief official in western China’s Xinjiang region has blamed online videos and virtual private networks (VPNs) for the knife attack at Kunming station last week that left 29 dead and dozens injured. Speaking during a meeting at the annual National People’s Congress in Beijing last week, Zhang Chunxian …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Mar 2014
management regulation1

Google facing $5 BEEELLION antitrust fine in India

Google may be in the midst of securing a deal on its long-running search dispute with the European Union, but it’s still facing a possible $US5bn (£3bn) fine from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) over allegations it has abused its market leading position in the internet search space. Local laws state that the CCI can …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Mar 2014
Steve Jobs and John Sculley

John Sculley set to take on Apple in India with budget smartmobes

John Sculley, the former Apple CEO best known as the man who fired Steve Jobs, is making a move in the Indian smartphone market with a new venture which will sell Rs.12,000 ($US197) handsets to the masses. Inflexionpoint, the global “IT supply chain company” he founded, owns China-based distributor Dragon Technology, which will …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Mar 2014

China bans TXTing and Tweeting in Parliament

Delegates at China’s largely ceremonial parliament, the National People’s Congress, have been warned to keep their smartmobes firmly in their pockets during the annual ten-day snoozefest meeting. Such is the temptation to relieve the boredom at the Congress, which does little more than rubber-stamp decisions already made by the …
Phil Muncaster, 07 Mar 2014
Borked computer keyboard

Twelve million hit as Korea suffers ANOTHER massive data breach

The South Korean government was forced to launch an inquiry today after another massive data breach rocked the country, time the theft of account information belonging to 12 million customers of telco KT Corp. The Incheon Metropolitan Police said on Thursday it arrested two hackers and the CEO of a telemarketing firm last week …
Phil Muncaster, 07 Mar 2014
Traffic in Beijing during period of heavy pollution

China to blow away smog with DRONES

China is set to unleash a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles to clear the smog from its skies as part of Beijing’s newly declared “war on pollution”. The smog-busting drones were designed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China and will be tested later this month at airports and ports, according to a Chinese language Xinhua …
Phil Muncaster, 07 Mar 2014
Grannote fujitsu laptop notebook elderly old users

Delhi police forget passwords to corruption portal, ignore 600 crimes

The Delhi police failed to respond to over 600 complaints forwarded to it by India’s anti-corruption agency for eight years because they couldn’t access a designated online portal. The portal was launched in 2006 to ensure any complaints sent to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) regarding a particular Delhi government …
Phil Muncaster, 06 Mar 2014
NASA 'Blue Marble' image of Earth taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft

Japanese space boffins set to map the world in 3D

Japan is set to take a major lead in the development of global 3D mapping by stitching together three million satellite images to compile a digital map of the planet. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said it will use images acquired from the Daichi Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS). The satellite was …
Phil Muncaster, 06 Mar 2014

Asian messaging companies are closing in on WhatsApp

While the world picked its jaw from the floor after Facebook decided to fork out $US19 billion for WhatsApp, operators of other messaging services probably broke into huge grins. And the grinners were probably in Asia, where several local players have been quietly amassing loyal user bases that look like they could rival …
Phil Muncaster, 05 Mar 2014

China's mobile underground revealed in new report

China plays host to a vast and highly sophisticated “mobile underground” where cyber criminals can buy the tools to launch attacks for as little as 100 yuan (£9.70), according to a new report from security vendor Trend Micro. The Mobile Cybercriminal Underground Market in China is the firm's follow up to two separate reports on …
Phil Muncaster, 04 Mar 2014

Chinese government builds its own 'ChinaSo' search engine

The Chinese government is having another pop at the local search market after merging two previous failures into a new service, dubbed ChinaSo. The search engine has risen from the ashes of Jike, launched three years ago by Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily, and Panguso, which was launched by Xinhua in the same year …
Phil Muncaster, 04 Mar 2014

Pakistan's YouTube ban may end after Google removes anti-Muslim vid

Google has been forced to take down a controversial anti-Islam YouTube video in a move which could pave the way for the site to finally be unblocked in Pakistan. A US appeals court ordered the web giant to remove the “Innocence of Muslims” film which caused widespread rioting and scores of deaths and injuries across the Muslim …
Phil Muncaster, 03 Mar 2014
Japan

Japanese boffins build 'earring PC' for hands-free computing

Japanese boffins have unveiled a prototype of a tiny 17 gram PC which can be worn like an earring and operated by facial expression. The awkwardly named “Earclip-type Wearable PC” is being developed at Hiroshima City University, according to AFP. Crammed onto the device are a chip,storage, GPS, compass, barometer, speaker, …
Phil Muncaster, 03 Mar 2014
DNA

Google sticks its servers behind genomics alliance

Google is throwing its considerable weight, and cloud servers, behind a global genomics alliance with the aim of advancing medical research for future generations. The Chocolate Factory announced today that it is joining the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health, which it describes as an “international effort to develop …
Phil Muncaster, 28 Feb 2014
Facebook logo

Facebook cans Windows and Firefox Messenger apps

Facebook took another step away from the desktop on Thursday with the announcement that it’s canning its Messenger app for Windows and Firefox from next week. The social network said support will end on March 3, in the following brief message sent to users: We're sorry, but we can no longer support Facebook Messenger for …
Phil Muncaster, 28 Feb 2014
channel_partners_deal_handshake

Lenovo banks on $1 BEELLION Moto turnaround in SIX quarters

Lenovo boss Yang Yuanqing has boasted that he can wipe Motorola Mobility’s $1bn-a-year (£600m) losses in just six quarters once his firm takes the helm at the handset maker. Yang told Bloomberg on the sidelines of Mobile World Congress this week that he could make the turnaround without the need to cut any jobs. “Don’t be …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Feb 2014
Fujitsu F-07C Windows 7 phone

Fujitsu says SAYONARA to smartphone chip JV

Fujitsu has decided to end its aspirations to be a smartphone semiconductor player after dissolving a joint venture with NEC and NTT just 18 months after its launch. Access Network Technology Limited was established by Fujitsu in August 2012, with the firm taking a majority 52.8 per cent stake. Its Fujitsu Semiconductor …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Feb 2014

Toshiba floats enterprise cloud storage-as-a-service

Toshiba has entered the cloud storage game with a new enterprise-grade service designed to deliver SAN and NAS capabilities to cloud provider customers. The Toshiba Cloud Storage Array Service is being rolled out from March 1 with a focus on Quality of Service, even for huge data volumes. It’s based on the Virtual Private …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Feb 2014
Suitcase bulging with cash

Samsung chairman wins £500m legal fight with brother

A legal battle that threatened Samsung's stability has ended after company chairman Lee Kun-hee’s brother decided not appeal a court decision against him. Older sibling Lee Maeng-hee ended the two year legal dispute over their inheritance by accepting a Seoul appeal court’s decision to reject his demand for a 940 billion won (US …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Feb 2014

Apple throws sueball at China's patent office over Siri clone

Apple has decided to take on the might of the Chinese government over an on-going Siri patent dispute by throwing a sueball at the State Intellectual Property Office and a Shanghai-based technology firm. Cupertino decided on the lawsuit after it failed to declare Zhizhen Network Technology’s patent for Siri-like voice assistant …
Phil Muncaster, 26 Feb 2014

Taiwan Mobile unveils Granny-tracker smart bracelet

State-of-the-art smartwatches and wearables are garnering many of the headlines at the Mobile World Congress this week, but in Taiwan a local operator has a different idea – a smart bracelet designed specifically for the elderly. The wearable device is fitted with NFC technology so that the user can swipe it over an NFC-enabled …
Phil Muncaster, 26 Feb 2014

China's web giants unite to defuse Windows XP bombshell

A gaggle of Chinese web firms have come together with a plan to protect Windows XP users in the Middle Kingdom for at least the next two or three years, according to local reports. The unusual step will see messaging giant Tencent, search engine Sogou, software company Kingsoft and several others offer technical support for XP …
Phil Muncaster, 25 Feb 2014
hand with thumb up

LinkedIn censors self to launch in China

Business social network LinkedIn has trumped Facebook and Twitter by launching a localised site for China, although the US firm admitted it would be subject to government censorship requirements. The English language version has been used by professionals in China for over a decade and has over four million users, but the firm …
Phil Muncaster, 25 Feb 2014
flag.South Korea

South Korea green lights Stuxnet-like code weapons to nark NORKS

The South Korean government has approved plans to develop a Stuxnet-like virus to disrupt Pyongyang’s missile and atomic capabilities, according to local reports. The plans are part of a new defence ministry strategy designed to enhance Seoul’s offensive capabilities, in a bid to counter a North Korea which has been increasingly …
Phil Muncaster, 21 Feb 2014

Robot army to police football World Cup

Hooligans planning to disrupt the FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer will have to arm themselves against an unusual foe, after the South American country announced plans to police venues with military-grade robots. The Brazilian government has signed a $7.2 million deal to buy 30 so-called PackBots from Massachusetts-based biz …
Phil Muncaster, 21 Feb 2014

Korean credit card companies hit with 90-day, $100m sales ban

Three South Korean credit card firms which are thought to have exposed the personal data of 20 million customers have been forced to suspend all new business for three months in a blow which could cost them nearly $100 million. Korean regulator the Financial Services Commission (FSC) said the firms were not allowed to sign up …
Phil Muncaster, 20 Feb 2014