2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
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- Bank-stealing malware returns after US crackdown
Malicious software used to steal millions from bank accounts has re-emerged a month after US authorities broke up a major hacker network using the scheme, security researchers say. The security firm Malcovery said it identified a new trojan based on the Gameover Zeus malware, which officials said infected up to one million computers in 12 countries, and was blamed in the theft of more than $100 million. "This discovery indicates that the criminals responsible for Gameover's distribution do not intend to give up on this botnet even after suffering one of the most expansive botnet takeovers/takedowns in history," Malcovery said in a blog post Thursday. In a status report filed in court, officials said that "all or nearly all of the active computers infected with Gameover Zeus have been liberated from the criminals' control and are now communicating exclusively with the substitute server established pursuant to court order."
- Sri Lanka Muslim leader warns of radicalisation after riots
Sri Lanka's most senior Muslim politician Friday warned that his government's failure to restrain Buddhist monks accused of sparking religious hate attacks will foment Islamic extremism and threaten security. Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem said he had been under intense pressure from supporters to quit President Mahinda Rajapakse's coalition after it failed to prevent last month's deadly religious violence. Four people were killed and 80 wounded in the worst religious riots to hit the island in recent decades. Hakeem told the Foreign Correspondents' Association in Colombo that "Islamophobia" was gripping the mainly Buddhist country where Muslims accounted for 10 percent of the 20 million population.
- More and more airlines eliminating pesky check-in process
In a sign that traditional airline check-in could become a thing of the past, low-cost US airline JetBlue has become the latest carrier to eliminate the process altogether. After Air France, Finnair, Brussels Airlines, ANA All Nippon Airway and Lufthansa, JetBlue has also introduced automatic check-in, eliminating the need to check-in online 24 hours before their flight. Instead, customers will receive an email alert 24 hours before their scheduled flight along with either a printable boarding pass or a paperless mobile boarding pass for those who’ve downloaded their JetBlue mobile app. In an interview with aviation trade site Future Travel Experience, JetBlue’s senior vice president Eash Sundaram pointed out that the check-in process has become an antiquated and unnecessary step in the flying experience today.
- Couple accused of literally selling their kids into slavery so they could buy more in-app purchases
We’ve seen some serious gaming addictions before, but this one might be the most extreme case we’ve ever heard of. GamesInAsia has translated a report from Games.sina.com.cn that describes how an unmarried couple in China has been accused of selling their children to human traffickers because they were worried that raising their children would give them less money to spend on in-app purchases in mobile games. According to GamesInAsia’s translation, the couple sold their first child to traffickers because they didn’t think they could support it financially. When the second pregnancy occurred, the couple could have conceivably been able to support it but that would mean that the man in the relationship would have had to cut down on his in-app mobile
- Vatican makes 'new generation' cardinal head of key German archdiocese
The Vatican has appointed the archbishop of Berlin, seen by German media as part of a "new generation" of less dogmatic clergy, to take over the Cologne archdiocese, the largest and richest in Germany, it said on Friday. The move makes Rainer Maria Woelki, who turns 58 next month, one of the most influential Roman Catholic cardinals and is an indication of the type of person Pope Francis wants to see in prominent Church roles. Berlin's Tagesspiegel newspaper called him "the prototype of a new generation of bishops ... not grumpy and dogmatic ... these men speak of mercy and mean it. Still, they're theologically conservative." Woelki is a Cologne native and served there for years under his retired predecessor, the staunchly conservative Cardinal Joachim Meisner, before becoming bishop of Berlin in 2011.
- US House chairman: $3.7 billion request 'too much'
- Iran's aid to Hamas has bearing on nuclear talks, House panel chief says
The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is citing what he says is Iran’s role in providing Hamas with the longer-range rockets it is firing into Israel as one more reason to proceed cautiously and set demands high before reaching a deal with Tehran on its nuclear program. Rep. Ed Royce (R) of California says the Syrian-made M-302 rockets that are widely believed to have reached Hamas’s arsenal by way of surreptitious Iranian transport should serve as a reminder to the US and other world powers currently negotiating a nuclear agreement with Iran that the government in Tehran can’t easily be trusted. Saying the US has “had a lot of experience over the years with deception from the government of Iran,” Congressman Royce told reporters at a Monitor Breakfast Friday that the M-302 rockets “which Iran transferred to Hamas [serve as] a good reminder in terms of the nature of the regime.” The resolution included an amendment authored by Royce calling attention to what it says is the destabilizing role Iran plays by providing Hamas and other organizations with the weapons now targeting Israeli population centers.
- Watch someone break the iPhone 6′s unbreakable sapphire screen
The leaked iPhone 6 front panel – supposedly made of sapphire crystal – is very hard to scratch or break according to a couple of videos that have put it through various torture tests. However, Nowhereelse has discovered an even more thorough stress test video, which will show you what you need to do to break the iPhone 6′s screen. FROM EARLIER: New report claims to reveal release date for iPhone 6 and ‘iPhone Air’ You don’t need to understand Chinese to get what’s going on in the video. The person who has obtained a supposed white version of the iPhone 6’s front panel puts the component through various tests, many of which it’s able to survive unharmed. From the looks of it, the