OpManager: A single console to manage your complete IT infrastructure. Click here for a 30-day free trial.
Welcome Guest | Sign In
LinuxInsider.com

Pentagon Wary of New Chinese Missile Vehicle

Pentagon Wary of New Chinese Missile Vehicle

Today in international tech news: The Pentagon talks about China's new destruction toy; Canada cries foul over Google privacy and ad targeting; the Syrian Electronic Army is toying with Microsoft; HP to launch a gargantuan phone -- or small tablet -- in India; and Huawei says security concerns are bunk.

By David Vranicar TechNewsWorld ECT News Network
Jan 16, 2014 9:44 AM PT

Last week, China's military took its new "ultra-high speed missile vehicle" -- or "hypersonic glide vehicle," if you prefer -- for its first test drive, raising eyebrows among U.S. defense officials.

The hypersonic aircraft, capable of maneuvering at a mindboggling 10 times the speed of sound -- that's more than 7,500 miles per hour -- is designed to deliver warheads through U.S. missile defenses, according to the Pentagon. Call it a great leap forward in China's military capacity.

The Pentagon has dubbed the aircraft "WU-14"; Wu, incidentally, is China's ninth-most common surname.

[Source: FreeBeacon.com via The Age]

Canada Cries Foul Over Google Privacy

Perhaps taking a cue from the slew of European countries lashing out against Google's privacy policies -- including France, which hit Google with a fine last week -- Canada's federal policy watchdog announced that Google violated national privacy law.

While the EU complaints typically center on Google's melding of various privacy policies into a single cross-platform policy, Canada's beef is with Google's targeted online advertising.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has been investigating Google's ad practices for a year, prompted by a man who complained that he was being targeted based on a medical condition: He had searched for a device to assist with sleep apnea, and subsequently saw ads for such products popping up.

Such targeted ads are hardly shocking -- this has been Google's modus operandi for years -- but this particular instance was deemed inappropriate because it pertained to "sensitive information."

[Source: The Globe and Mail]

Syrian Electronic Army Still Doing Syrian Electronic Army Things

The pro-Bashar al-Assad Syrian Electronic Army accessed Microsoft employee email accounts.

Only a "small number" of accounts were compromised, Microsoft told The Verge -- but enough to enable the SEA to post three internal emails that were plucked from Outlook Web accounts. The emails discuss the recent SEA hacking of a handful of Twitter accounts authored by Microsoft.

Phishing -- sending messages with links that can implant malware onto a computer -- was the SEA's method, according to Microsoft, which added that no customer information was compromised.

However, the SEA noted that Microsoft's password security was far from staunch: "A Microsoft employee wanted to make his password more stronger [sic], so he changed it from 'Microsoft2' to 'Microsoft3' #happened," an SEA spokesperson tweeted.

[Source: The Verge]

HP to Launch Huge Phone in India

HP plans to launch a "voice tablet" with a 6-inch screen in India next month.

The device, which will run on Android, signals HP's return to the smartphone market -- to the extent that a device with a 6-inch screen can be called a "phone." It can play high-definition video, and it is capable of taking HD photos with its front- or rear-facing cameras.

The phablet push is not unique to HP. LG's most recent curved smartphone, the LG G Flex, also has a 6-inch display.

[Source: The Washington Post]

Huawei Says Security Concerns Are Bunk

Chinese telecom giant Huawei denied claims that its equipment is particularly susceptible to hacking.

The declaration came after German magazine Der Spiegel -- among those with unfettered access to Edward Snowden's document bounty -- reported last month that the National Security Agency had installed "back doors" into Huawei equipment.

It is "groundless" to report that Huawei is any more vulnerable than other telecoms, a company spokesperson said.

[Source: The Associated Press]


David Vranicar is a freelance journalist and author of The Lost Graduation: Stepping off campus and into a crisis. You can check out his ECT News archive here, and you can email him at david[dot]vranicar[at]newsroom[dot]ectnews[dot]com.


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ RSS
Should humans colonize Mars?
Yes. It's human nature to explore.
Yes. Earth is running out of resources.
No. It's too impractical and risky.
No. We should focus on saving Earth.
Maybe -- but not until a round-trip is possible.