By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More than 30 major technology companies are joining the U.S. government to crack down on automated, prerecorded telephone calls that regulators have labeled a “scourge.” AT&T Inc , Google parent Alphabet Inc , Apple Inc , Verizon Communications Inc and Comcast Corp are among the members of the “Robocall Strike Force,” which will work with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. The group was holding its first meeting with the FCC on Friday. The strike force will report to the commission by Oct. 19 on “concrete plans to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions,” said AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson, who is chairing the group
By Harry Pearl and Charlotte Greenfield SYDNEY (Reuters) – German tech entrepreneur and alleged internet pirate Kim Dotcom will seek a review of a Federal Court decision which rejected his bid to keep hold of millions of dollars in assets held in Hong Kong and New Zealand, his lawyer said. A three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled two to one on Friday that Dotcom could not recover his assets because by remaining outside the U.S., he was a fugitive, which disentitled him from using the resources to fight his case. Dotcom’s lawyer Ira P. Rothken said his client would seek a review of the decision in front of the full bench and, if necessary, petition the Supreme Court.
By Eric Auchard FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Tens of millions of vehicles sold by Volkswagen AG over the past 20 years, and some current models, are vulnerable to theft because keyless entry systems can be hacked using cheap technical devices, according to European researchers. Computer security experts at the University of Birmingham have published a paper outlining how they were able to clone VW remote keyless entry controls by eavesdropping nearby when drivers press their key fobs to open or lock up their cars. Vehicles vulnerable to this attack include most Audi, VW, Seat and Skoda models sold since 1995 and many of the approximately 100 million VW Group vehicles on the road since then, the researchers said.
By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. government said on Monday it plans to auction over 2,700 bitcoins that were forfeited during several cases, several of which stemmed from investigations of the online black market known as Silk Road. The U.S. Marshals Service said that the online auction would be held on Aug. 22, and that potential bidders must register by Aug. 18.
By Joseph Menn and Yeganeh Torbati SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iranian hackers have compromised more than a dozen accounts on the Telegram instant messaging service and identified the phone numbers of 15 million Iranian users, the largest known breach of the encrypted communications system, cyber researchers told Reuters. The attacks, which took place this year and have not been previously reported, jeopardized the communications of activists, journalists and other people in sensitive positions in Iran, where Telegram is used by some 20 million people, said independent cyber researcher Collin Anderson and Amnesty International technologist Claudio Guarnieri, who have been studying Iranian hacking groups for three years. Telegram promotes itself as an ultra secure instant messaging system because all data is encrypted from start to finish, known in the industry as end-to-end encryption.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ride-hailing service Uber [UBER.UL] has decided to invest $500 million into an ambitious global mapping project to wean itself off dependence on Google Maps and pave the way for driverless cars, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. The San Francisco-based company is ramping up spending in new technologies such as mapping and driverless cars following new investments into the company earlier this year. A representative for Uber could not immediately be reached for comment. (Reporting by Catherine Ngai; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
As iPhone sales declined for the second straight quarter, Apple CEO Tim Cook peeled back the curtain ever so slightly on its work in artificial intelligence and augmented reality, aiming to reassure investors that the company is ready to ride the next wave of technology. Raving about hit smartphone game Pokemon GO, Cook stressed that Apple is “high on [augmented reality] for the long-run” and investing heavily. Augmented reality, in which computer-generated content is overlaid on the real world, is one of the latest fixations in the technology business, with Pokemon GO among the first applications to catch on.
Verizon Communications Inc said on Monday it would buy Yahoo Inc's core internet properties for $4.83 billion in cash to expand its digital advertising and media business, ending a lengthy sale process for the fading Web pioneer. The purchase will boost Verizon's AOL internet business, which it bought last year for $4.4 billion, as it gains access to Yahoo's ad technology tools, BrightRoll and Flurry, and search, mail and messenger assets. “Yahoo gives us scale that is what is most critical here, Marni Walden, who is head of product innovation and new business at Verizon told CNBC, adding that the company's audience will go from the millions to the billions.
By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Friday pressed major U.S. phone companies to take immediate steps to make technology that blocks unwanted automated calls available to consumers at no charge. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, in letters to CEOs of major phone companies, said so-called robocalls, automated pre-recorded telephone calls often from telemarketers or scam artists, continue “due in large part to industry inaction.” Wheeler's letters went to chief executives of companies including Verizon Communications Inc, AT&T Inc, Sprint Corp, US Cellular Corp, Level 3 Communications Inc, Frontier Communications Corp, Bandwidth.com Inc, and T-Mobile US.
By Alexandria Sage and Julia Love SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple Inc's $1 billion investment in Chinese ride sharing company Didi Chuxing intensifies a race to acquire technology, talent and market access in a rapidly evolving global personal transportation market. Apple's investment comes as auto and technology industry executives and investors are placing bets that self-driving car systems, electric vehicles and ride sharing will eventually converge to allow companies to sell rides in self-driving vehicles, generating revenue day and night.