StubHub was victim of cyber fraud ring; arrests to be announced

By Deepa Seetharaman and Jim Finkle

SEATTLE/BOSTON (Reuters) – eBay Inc’s StubHub online ticket resale service said it was the victim of a massive international cyber fraud ring, the details of which authorities plan to disclose on Wednesday as they announce arrests in the case.

StubHub’s head of global communications, Glenn Lehrman, told Reuters late on Tuesday that his firm has been working with law enforcement around the world for the last year on the case.

Lehrman said he could not say how much money was involved or how many people were being charged ahead of announcements planned by authorities in several countries on Wednesday.

Fraudulent charges were posted after hackers obtained user credentials by hacking into other sites, then used them to log in StubHub, he said.

“We did not have anyone who hacked into our system,” Lehrman said.

He said the schemes involved a “pretty intense network of cyber fraudsters working in concert with each other.”

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance will announce details about the arrests along with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the City of London Police and the U.S. Secret Service, according to a release from Vance’s office on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s office declined to elaborate.

(Additional reporting by Mica Rosenberg and Joseph Ax in NEW YORK; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Christopher Cushing)

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The Faceless Army: Filipino Call Centers

As each business day begins in New York City, Wall Street becomes flooded with expensive cars and designer suits. Meanwhile, as the sun sets in Manila, some Filipinos get ready to start their workday at a call center.

While the typical workforce in Manila begins to settle down for the night, the faceless army of call-center operators are preparing to take your call. The lives of operators, armed with dual monitors and headsets are drastically altered in order to accommodate Western time zones. This synchronization ensures that Filipinos are better suited to assist the American customer.

See also: The Black Entrepreneur Trying to End Startup Racism Is Almost Out of Cash

Westerners may be unaware of the burden that operators face, as call-center employment is far from your typical nightshift. Some workers liken adjusting their body clocks to the sleep habits of vampires, but that just scratches the surface of their social and cultural sacrifice.

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RoboCup 2014 Is the World Cup for Robots

The 2014 RoboCup is an annual robot-soccer competition that brings together thousands of people to further robotics technology, and to crown a RoboCup champion. This year, the competition will be held in João Pessoa, Brazil.

See also: Relive the Greatest World Cup Moments With a Flip Book

Launched in 1997, RoboCup’s goal is to create a robotic soccer team that will be able to beat the winner of the World Cup by 2050. Although none of the robot teams are currently ready to take on human soccer players, great strides have been made since the competition’s creation.

The matches will take place from July 21 to 25.

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Michael Bloomberg Flying to Israel to Protest Flight Restrictions

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday he will be flying to Tel Aviv to protest the recent flight restrictions and show it’s safe to fly in and out of Israel.

“The flight restrictions are a mistake that hands Hamas an undeserved victory and should be lifted immediately. I strongly urge the FAA to reverse course and permit US airlines to fly to Israel,” Bloomberg wrote in a statement.

The Federal Aviation Administration banned U.S. carriers from flying to or from the Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv Tuesday. The ban came after a rocket fired from Gaza exploded near the airport on that day, prompting several U.S. airlines, including Delta, US Airways and United, to cancel their flights to Israel.

See also: Israel Is Losing Control of the Gaza Media War

Bloomberg, who was mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013, is also the founder and a majority owner of the finance and media company Bloomberg L.P. His statement was met with mixed sentiments on Twitter, with some thanking him and others pointing out that it is a dangerous and biased move.

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Some WSJ computer systems taken offline after cyber attack: Dow Jones

(Reuters) – Computer systems containing the Wall Street Journal’s news graphics were hacked by outside parties, according to the paper’s publisher Dow Jones Co.

The systems have been taken offline to prevent the spread of attacks, but Journal officials have not found any damage to the graphics, the newspaper said citing people at the Wall Street Journal familiar with the matter.

A hacker who goes by the Twitter handle of w0rm allegedly posted tweets and screenshots claiming to have hacked the Journal’s website and offered to sell user information and credentials needed to control the server.

Representatives for Dow Jones were not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Google must face U.S. privacy lawsuit over commingled user data

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – A federal judge rejected Google Inc’s bid to dismiss a privacy lawsuit claiming it commingled user data across different products and disclosed that data to advertisers without permission.

Saying his decision was a close call, U.S. District Judge Paul Grewal in San Jose, California, ruled on Monday night that Google must face breach of contract and fraud claims by users of Android-powered devices who had downloaded at least one Android application through Google Play.

Other parts of the lawsuit were dismissed, including claims brought on behalf of account users who switched to non-Android devices from Android devices after Google had changed its privacy policy in 2012 to allow the commingling.

“Like Rocky rising from Apollo’s uppercut in the 14th round, plaintiffs’ complaint has sustained much damage but just manages to stand,” Grewal wrote in a 28-page decision, referring to the film series starring Sylvester Stallone as the boxer Rocky Balboa. Grewal had dismissed two earlier versions of the lawsuit.

Google is based in Mountain View, California, and operates its namesake Internet search engine. It did not immediately respond on Tuesday to a request for comment.

Mark Gardy and Joseph Sabella, lawyers for the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to similar requests.

The lawsuit arose after Google on March 1, 2012 scrapped a variety of privacy policies for different products, and created a single, unified policy letting it merge user data generated through platforms such as Gmail, Google Maps and YouTube.

Users complained that Google made this change without their consent and with no way to opt out, in a bid to better compete for ad revenue against Facebook Inc and other social media companies “where all of a consumer’s personal information is available in one site.”

They said this jeopardized their privacy by exposing names, email addresses and geographic locations, increasing the threat of harassment or identity theft by third parties.

Google reported $15.42 billion of revenue in the first quarter, of which 90 percent came from advertising.

The case is In re: Google Inc Privacy Policy Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 12-01382.

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Facebook’s Zuckerberg to testify at N.Y. forgery trial: prosecutors

By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The government will call Mark Zuckerberg to testify against an upstate New York man accused of trying to cheat the billionaire founder of Facebook Inc out of half his stake in the social media company, a federal prosecutor said on Tuesday.

Zuckerberg is expected to be a key witness against Paul Ceglia, who is charged with forging a 2003 contract with Zuckerberg that purportedly entitled him to half of Facebook.

“It’s a witness that the government 100 percent knows it will be calling at trial,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Frey said at a court hearing before U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter in New York federal court.

The trial is scheduled for Nov. 17.

The charges stem in part from a 2010 civil lawsuit Ceglia filed against Zuckerberg and Facebook in Buffalo, New York, claiming the two men signed a contract when Zuckerberg was a freshman at Harvard University that gave Ceglia half of a planned social networking website.

Zuckerberg had previously done some programming work for Ceglia’s company,, and Facebook has said the only valid contract between them related to that company.

Prosecutors in Manhattan charged Ceglia in 2012 with forging documents as part of the Buffalo litigation, including the contract and email correspondence with Zuckerberg.

In March, a Buffalo federal judge dismissed Ceglia’s lawsuit, finding the purported contract for an ownership stake in Facebook was doctored.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Carter denied a request from Ceglia’s lawyers to authorize warrants for Zuckerberg’s cell phones, email accounts and bank records at Facebook from 2003 to 2004 as overly broad.

He also rejected their bid for Zuckerberg’s Harvard email account and any possible disciplinary records against him for unauthorized use of the school’s computer system.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Canada launches plan to improve Internet in remote areas

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian government on Tuesday invited remote communities across the country that don’t have high-speed Internet access to make a claim on some of the C$305 million ($284 million) it plans to spend over the next three years to upgrade access.

But consumer group was skeptical of the move, skewering both the Conservative government and Canada’s telecom companies for failing to finish earlier projects on time or to the scale required.

The government’s Connecting Canadians plan aims to deliver high-speed Internet – judged to be speeds faster than 5 megabits per second (5 Mbps) – to 280,000 households that it says sit below that line.

Critics say, however, that the government’s minimum “high-speeds” are not fast enough for users to participate in a number of data-intensive activities, including video conference calls.

The plan “will still leave many Canadians struggling to catch up with our global counterparts when it comes to broadband access, reliability, and speed,” said Steve Anderson, executive director of

The country’s telecom regulator wrote to telecom companies BCE Inc, Telus Corp, and Manitoba Telecom Services last month, concerned they would miss an end-August deadline to complete remote access projects already underway.

The regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), said in the letter that Telus has already told it that it will not meet the deadline and has asked for more time.

The CRTC said it is considering what penalties to impose if the deadline is missed. BCE, Telus and Manitoba Telecom were not immediately available to comment.


Industry Minister James Moore likened the launch to such pivotal moments in the country’s history as the completion of a transcontinental railway and the opening of the Northwest Passage.

He said areas eligible for funding will be made public later this year and companies be invited to pitch for connection projects.

The move is part of a long-promised comprehensive plan for digital communications and commerce that Ottawa says will also strengthen online privacy protection and beef up cybersecurity.

Many of the underserved areas shown on a government map are in the Prairie provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta and farther west in British Columbia. Connection would mean some 98 percent of Canadian households would be linked to online services by 2017, the government said.

“Connecting Canadians is about ensuring that Canadians, whether they live in urban centers or remote regions of the country, have access to the latest wireless technologies and high-speed networks at the most affordable prices possible,” Moore said in a statement.

An OECD broadband report released on Tuesday ranked Canada quite highly with over 70 percent of households connected, while falling behind France, the United Kingdom, and well behind the United States on wireless penetration.

The new infrastructure being funded can be either wired or wireless, the government said.

($1=$1.07 Canadian)

(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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Apple Reports Revenue of $37.4 Billion in Q3, Missing Estimates

Apple‘s third quarter profits beat Wall Street estimates, but sales came in a bit short.

Apple reported earnings of $1.28 per share on revenue of $37.4 billion for the June quarter, beating Wall Street estimates for earnings of $1.23 per share but missing on revenue of $37.99 billion.

See also: Apple Is Starting to Get Exciting Again

The company sold 35.2 million iPhones during the quarter, up from 31.2 million the same quarter a year earlier and roughly matching analyst estimates. That’s particularly impressive considering that Apple is expected to launch the next iPhone model in a couple months.

However, iPad sales came in a bit below estimates at 13.27 million. That’s down both from the previous quarter and the same quarter a year earlier.

“Our record June quarter revenue was fueled by strong sales of iPhone and Mac and the continued growth of revenue from the Apple ecosystem, driving our highest EPS growth rate in seven quarters,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in a statement. “We are incredibly excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, as well as other new products and services that we can’t wait to introduce.”

Apple stock has rallied in recent months thanks to an unusual 7-1 stock split, increased buybacks and a wave of reports about the company’s upcoming products in the fall, including rumors of two larger iPhone models and the so-called iWatch.

On Monday night, less than a day before the earnings report, The Wall Street Journal hyped expectations even more with a report that Apple is asking suppliers to manufacture as many as 80 million new iPhone models for the fall, much higher than the previous year.

The company’s stock was down by about 1% in after hours trading following the earnings release.

AAPL Chart

AAPL data by YCharts

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LinkedIn Buys B2B Marketing Firm Bizo for $175 Million

LinkedIn on Tuesday announced it is buying Bizo, a B2B marketing firm, for about $175 million.

The transaction is a combination of 10% stock and 90% cash. It is expected to close in the third quarter.

Formed in 2008, Bizo provides software and services that let B2B customers reach their target audiences online within professional segments. The platform also lets marketers adjust their messaging as the target customer moves through the purchase funnel. Some 120 million professionals use Bizo’s platform.

See also: How LinkedIn Found My ‘Future’ Self

“It’s exciting for us to bring Bizo’s expertise and technology into our ecosystem,” said Deep Nishar, LinkedIn’s SVP of product and user experience, in a statement. “Our ability to integrate their B2B solutions with our content marketing products will enable us to become the most effective platform for B2B marketers to engage professionals.”

“We have been a LinkedIn partner for a while now and it became clear that our respective missions and cultures are really well aligned,” said Russell Glass, Bizo’s Co-Founder CEO, in the statement. “I couldn’t be more thrilled that we are coming together to accelerate our ability to reach professional audiences, nurture prospects, and acquire customers in truly powerful ways.”

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