China blamed for cyber chaos

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The United States and its allies moved from Russia to China on Monday, blaming the damaging cyber attacks on government institutions and private companies.

While Russia-based hackers have been held responsible for a slew of ransomware attacks, such as the Colonial Pipeline security breach, a senior White House official said today that the Chinese ministry State Security was using “criminal hackers to conduct unauthorized cyber operations globally, including for personal gain.” Their operations include criminal activities, such as extortion, cryptocurrency embezzlement, and theft by victims around the world for financial gain. “

The official added that the United States had a “high degree of confidence” that attackers of the MSS payroll had led the offensive against Microsoft’s Exchange messaging app, which was leaked in March. and would have affected at least 30,000 organizations. The US decision to condemn China was backed by a coalition of allies, including the EU, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and NATO.

Additionally, the US Department of Justice unveiled an indictment alleging that four Chinese nationals affiliated with the MSS oversaw a separate campaign to hack businesses, universities and government entities in the United States and the United States. abroad between 2011 and 2018, stealing information on sensitive technologies such as vehicle autonomy.

China itself is more concerned with the obvious acquisition of key information, resulting from the passage by the United States of the Cloud Act in 2018, which allowed law enforcement to request data stored outside. of its territory.

Our Beijing team is bringing this gunnery data security to the top of China’s political agenda, and data intertwined with national security. Beijing was quick to create legal barriers against what it saw as “long arm” tactics used by foreign governments to access data. This led the MSS to push for a sweeping new data security law to be introduced in September, while in the meantime its staff were based at New York-listed rideshare service Didi to review its data processing.

Closer to home, Roula Khalaf, editor-in-chief of the FT, was among more than 180 journalists listed as potential targets by users of the Israeli ONS-licensed Pegasus spy tool, according to a Forbidden Stories investigation. . A forensic analysis found that 37 phones belonging to journalists, human rights activists and other prominent figures were infected or faced attempts to infection with ONS spyware.

The Internet of (five) things

1. Pentagon drones disappoint
Concerns over the use of Chinese technology in sensitive areas prompted the Trump administration to immobilize each of the Defense Department’s 810 drones in 2019. This scoop from Kiran Stacey in Washington reveals Pentagon replacements cost significantly more expensive and are much less efficient than those made in China. models.

2. The new direction of driverless technology
Providers of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, or ADAS – a bottom-up approach to developing autonomous technology – are making huge strides, with some experts saying this is a better way to advance driverless technology . If they are right, reports today’s Big Read, the main risk to robotaxi hopefuls like Waymo is not whether full autonomy can succeed, but whether an entirely different approach to the problem will achieve it by first.

3. Zoom buys Five9, Tencent exits Sumo
The booming video conferencing app Zoom will buy cloud-based software provider Five9 for around $ 14.7 billion in its first major acquisition, designed to expand the Zoom Phone offering. In the video game world, Chinese Tencent has struck a £ 919million deal to buy UK game developer Sumo. Lex says the 33 times ebitda multiple outweighs the 30 times Electronic Arts paid for compatriot Sumo Codemasters last year.

4. The tech IPO boom in India
The Zomato food delivery app has kicked off a wave of stock market debuts by Indian start-ups hoping the crackdown on Chinese technology could prompt global investors to turn their attention to India’s tech offerings. Investor demand for Zomato’s IPO on Friday exceeded supply 32 times and is expected to be followed by the payments app Paytm’s $ 2.2 billion listing. (In the United States, online brokerage firm Robinhood is seeking to value up to $ 35 billion in its initial public offering, a file revealed on Monday)

Column chart of IPO proceeds in the first half of each year (in billions of dollars) showing listings in India established for their biggest year since 2008

5. Ackman changes plans
Bill Ackman’s special-purpose acquisition company has abandoned plans to buy a $ 4 billion stake in Universal Music Group after a backlash from regulators and investors. Instead, the acquisition of a 10% stake will be carried out by billionaire Pershing Square’s hedge fund. Universal has taken advantage of the streaming services, but Nic Fildes reports that politicians aim to bridge the gap between what record companies do and what affects artists.

Billion dollar column chart showing global recorded music revenue

Upcoming tech week

Monday: IBM, which recently unveiled a management reshuffle, is releasing its second quarter results after the US markets close.

Tuesday: Netflix is expected to post second quarter revenue growth when released. Slower production of TV shows and films during the pandemic in the quarter could have hurt subscriber growth for the world’s largest streaming service. Days after Richard Branson hoisted the Virgin Galactic flag, Jeff Bezos aims to match it – on the anniversary of the first moon landing – by climbing the 100 km to the edge of the atmosphere in his Blue Origin rocket.

Daily Bulletin

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Wednesday: Chip Manufacturer, Texas instruments is expected to post an increase in sales in the second quarter as its in-house manufacturing capacity gives it an advantage in meeting demand in an atmosphere of limited supply compared to its peers. Dutch chip equipment supplier ASML also reports on its second trimester. Telecom operator Verizon and provider of enterprise software and services SAP will also post profits before the US market opens.

Thursday: After the bell, Intelligence is expected to record a decline in sales in the second quarter as it loses market share to its rival AMD. Investors in AT&T, after seeing it part with its media assets, anticipates a return to the past where Ma Bell only provided telephone services. Expect Thursday’s earnings announcement to put the spotlight on its wireless business after a few positive quarters. Twitter and Break also report.

Friday: Mobile operator Vodafone should have a good first quarter trade update as it hopes to regain ground after Covid-19 hit last year’s numbers, when declining roaming revenues and business activity weighed in about the company. Foxconn Chairman Young Liu answers questions from shareholders at the annual general meeting of the leading iPhone assembler in Taipei and presents his outlook on the business outlook for the second half of the year. He is expected to take stock of the company’s growing electric vehicle business.

Technological tools – security daleks

SmartWater boss Phil Cleary affectionately describes his fleet of miniature robots compatible with VideoGuard 360 video surveillance as “daleks”. Battery-powered sentries patrol their territory 24/7, but can remain inert until their attention is caught by an unexpected movement. Then they take action, shining the spotlight on a potential burglar while announcing that the police and security team have been alerted to their presence. Mark Ellwood reviews these and other cutting edge home protection tools for FT Weekend.

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