Most of those charged by the US authorities, including many Russian nationals, acted as “money mules,” or money-laundering agents, merely concerned with moving stolen funds for their Zeus-armed clients.
“The mule organization typically recruited mules from Eastern Europe who were either planning to travel to or were already present in the United States on J1 visas,” reads one of the complaints in the matter.
"The mules kept a portion of the fraudulent proceeds for themselves -- usually 8 to 10 percent -- and transferred the rest to other participants in the fraudulent scheme."
The trojan, which mainly spreads through phishing and drive-by download attacks, is said to have helped thugs rake in over $200 million since 2006.
Google has found itself mired in ever-increasing controversy ever since it fessed up to collecting payload data in over 30 countries. While data privacy watchdogs around the world are becoming more unstinting in their strictures on Google, Britain's data protection authority is not too concerned about the actual impact of the entire Wi-Fi snooping episode.
Britain's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) found no “meaningful personal details” while vetting data samples it collected from Google. Unlike its counterparts elsewhere, the ICO was never too keen on probing the matter and had even asked Google to delete the data at the onset of the crisis in May.
"On the basis of the samples we saw we are satisfied so far that it is unlikely that Google will have captured significant amounts of personal data," the UK's leading data protection authority said in a statement. "There is also no evidence as yet that the data captured by Google has caused or could cause any individual detriment."
But Apple can be expected to pull out all the stops to retain its comfortable lead over its younger rival. Earlier this month, it dragged Taiwanese phone maker HTC to court, alleging that its Android phones infringe nearly 20 of its patents. It wants a ban on the import of all such HTC handsets that infringe the iPhone-related patents.
Although HTC is yet to officially respond in court, the phone maker from the Far East has finally broken its silence over the lawsuit. It should not surprise anyone that HTC disagrees with Apple's claims and remains unfazed. It has vowed to “fully defend” itself.
“HTC strongly advocates intellectual property protection and will continue to respect other innovators and their technologies as we have always done, but we will continue to embrace competition through our own innovation as a healthy way for consumers to get the best mobile experience possible,” said Peter Chou, chief executive officer, HTC Corporation.
The press release appears to be a reminder of HTC's ability to innovate to anyone who doubts it. It quite proudly points out “HTC’s technology firsts” that include the first Windows PDA (1998), first 3G CDMA EVDO smartphone (October 2005), first Google Android smartphone and first 4G WIMAX smartphone (November 2008).
A couple of weeks after eBay agreed to sell 65% of Skype to a group of investors, the founders of Skype, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, contrived to gatecrash eBay’s party. Joltid, a company in which the two Skype founders are stakeholders, filed a copyright lawsuit on Wednesday against Skype. Skype's founders retained control over the peer-to-peer technology at the VoIP client’s core even after selling Skype to eBay for $2.6 billion. They had agreed to license the source code to eBay.
Joltid has accused eBay of unlawfully modifying and sharing the source code. An adverse decision could even force eBay to shut down Skype until it can come up with an alternative version. The San Jose-based internet company has said that it is making arrangements to face any such eventuality. However, the presence of a contingency plan should not be construed as a lack of confidence on its part. “We remain on track to close the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2009,” an eBay spokesperson said.
An Amazon.co.uk spokesperson told Cnet that this unbelievable price is to stay indefinitely. However, Microsoft is still to return the website’s call for comment on the issue. Ask your British cousins to carry some spare Windows 7 Home Premium copies in their baggage the next time they sail across.
Youtube was probably as tailor-made for copyright woes as it was for success. Apart from a copyright infringement law suit filed by Viacom, it is also contesting the claims made by a group of copyright owners in a separate class action law suit.
Baltimore became the first US city to be blessed with a commercial WiMax service in October, 2008. Though WiMax hasn’t spread like a flu across the country since then, the rate of implementation is expected to pick up a bit in the near future. Clearwire’s WiMax network has now become operational in Atlanta, Georgia and anyone living their can avail the service by purchasing a USB modem and a daily/monthly subscription.
The WiMax network in Atlanta is the biggest of its kind in the U.S and encompasses an area measuring 1,200 square miles. The speeds are expected to hover between four and six Mbps on an average with 15Mbps being the upper limit. Separate USB modems are available for desktops and laptops.
If laptop users will have to fork out $59.99 for the modem, their desktop-doting counterparts will have to pay $79.99 for the desktop-compliant modem. The latter species can also rent the device for a monthly sum of $4.99. The monthly subscription plan costs $40 whereas the service can also be accessed for $10 daily.
Stamford-based IT research firm Gartner has revealed the worldwide PC industry’s sales figures for the second quarter. Overall, the global PC industry registered a growth of 16% as a total of 71.9 million units were shipped during the quarter. More and more people are turning to notebooks, as opposed to desktops, as notebook prices continue to plummet. However, the US PC industry couldn’t keep up with the highly promising growth rate seen globally and managed a much subdued rate of 4.2% - total shipments stood at 16.5 million units.
If its Q2 performance is anything to go by, HP is not moving an inch from its position as the top PC maker in the world. HP’s sales grew at a faster rate than even the global average. But Dell is not too keen on staying at No.2 either. It raised its market share to 15.6% and even outshone HP’s year-over-year growth rate. These days one can’t resist mentioning netbooks but they really didn’t leave much of a mark in the US; still early days, though.