Google’s cars, German mill damaged by hackers and Silk Road busts worth $ 1 Million

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Google’s self driven car: Pics emerge

early-vehicle-lores

We’ve seen Google play (pun intended) with self-driven cars for a while now. They were even hinted at during Google I/O. They basically looked like ordinary cars because they were in fact, ordinary cars that were fitted with their gadgets… Until now.

Google just released photos of their proposed design of the car. It look vaguely car-ish and offers a few improvements over the last few prototypes. For one, it apparently has headlights now. This is not just to see where its going (which makes no sense because its self driven and uses Radar) but also to let other cars see it as well, lest they meet head on. They’ve also improved on the the hardware located on top of the car which includes a camera/radar rig revolves giving the car its vision,

While mass production of these are still way off, a car that can drive by itself has in itself a few obstacles to overcome such as weather conditions and even certain legal issues that will take time to be sorted out. But for now, let us bask in the awesomeness of the self driven car.

Hackers cause major damage at German steel mill

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A blast furnace located in Germany was forced to shut down when hackers infiltrated its system and caused massive damage to the mill.
According to a report by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), akin to the ICANN attack, the hackers used booby-trapped emails to steal logins that gave them access to the mill’s control system which when modified, led to parts of the plant failing which resulted in an abnormal shutdown of the blast furnace. This unscheduled shutdown is responsible for the damage, the report states.
The report also states that the the attackers utilized a  method of phishing known as a “spear phishing” campaign where it is aimed at particular individuals in the company to convince people into opening messages that are programmed to capture usernames and passwords without their approval.
The phishing helped the hackers extract information they used to gain access to the plant’s office network and then its production systems. The technical skills and prowess showed that they display familiarity with standard IT systems yet also specialize in software used for monitoring and administration.
No names have been released by the BIS so the company and hackers remain anonymous and even a motive is yet to be discovered,

Bitcoin trader sentenced to Jail for trading bitcoins on Silk road

Utah Software Engineer Mints Physical Bitcoins

Charlie Shrem, a Bitcoin trader was sentenced to a period of two years in jail for illegal bitcoin trading, where he was helping people swap cash for bitcoins on the Silk Road marketplace. He had amassed around a total of $1 Million worth of bitcoins by this method. In addition to his sentence, he also forfeits $950,000 to the US government.

Though not directly involved, Shrem was arrested because of his association with Robert Faiella who was responsible for setting up an exchange that gave those in the Silk Road the opportunity to swap cash for bitcoins, which was the only form of currency accepted on the Silk Road.
The Judge who handed down the sentence looked down upon Shrem with disdain as Shrem had happily agreed to help Faiella get access to bitcoins. Faiella now awaits his sentence which is due in late January. He has also pleaded guilty for the charge of running an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Lawyers working for Shrem said his involvement stemmed from his interest in bitcoins rather than the Silk Road. The two year sentence is less than government lawyers sought who said he should face 57 months in jail.

 

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