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Cyber attack: Hackers used everday devices to cause major internet outages

The Independent - Tech

A major cyber offensive that brought down internet behemoths Twitter and Paypal is thought to have been launched by hackers using common devices such as webcams, baby monitors and digital recorders. In a huge breach of global internet stability, hackers brought down well-known sites including Netflix, Twitter, Paypal and Spotify. The widespread disruption was the result of a coordinated assault on some of the underlying infrastructure that powers the Internet. Dyn, one of several companies responsible for hosting the crucial web directory known as the Domain Name System (DNS), suffered a sustained so-called "distributed denial of service" (DDoS) attack, leading many people intermittently to lose access to specific sites or to the Internet entirely. Attackers overwhelmed the system using hundreds of thousands of devices that had been infected with malicious code to creat a "botnet", Dyn said it had fought off a number of different attacks throughout Friday.


Are You Creditworthy? The Algorithm Will Decide.

#artificialintelligence

Money2020, the largest finance tradeshow in the world, takes place each year in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. At a recent gathering, above the din of slot machines on the casino floor downstairs, cryptocurrency startups pitched their latest coin offerings, while on the main stage, PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman made an impassioned speech to thousands about the globe's working poor and their need for access to banking and credit. The future, according to PayPal and many other companies, is algorithmic credit scoring, where payments and social media data coupled to machine learning will make lending decisions that another enthusiast argues are "better at picking people than people could ever be." There's now a whiff of a hope that big data might finally shore up the risky business of consumer credit. Credit in China is now in the hands of a company called Alipay, which uses thousands of consumer data points -- including what they purchase, what type of phone they use, what augmented reality games they play, and their friends on social media -- to determine a credit score.


Paypal tightens rules on crowdfunding

BBC News

Paypal will stop protecting payments made to crowdfunding projects in several countries, the online money transfer platform has announced. Countries affected include Brazil, the US, Canada and Japan but not the UK. The firm is amending its Payment Protection policy in line with the investment risks and could not confirm if it would be rolled out further. It is also withdrawing protection for gambling transactions and payments made to government agencies. "This is consistent with the risks and uncertainties involved in contributing to crowdfunding campaigns, which do not guarantee a return for the investment made in these types of campaigns," the firm said.