Cybercrime Gang Broken Up in Spain, Mastermind Arrested

Police in Spain have captured a cybercrime gang made up of Ukrainians and Russians that allegedly stole more than 1 billion euros ($1.24 billion) from financial institutions worldwide in a five-year spree, authorities said Monday.

The gang's alleged mastermind, identified as a Ukrainian and named only as "Denis K.," was arrested in the coastal city of Alicante, 350 kilometers (220 miles) southeast of Madrid, according to statements issued by Spanish police and European Union law enforcement agency Europol.

Three suspected accomplices, said to be Russian and Ukrainian, were also arrested. Authorities didn't say when the arrests took place.

The gang used malware to target more than 100 financial institutions worldwide, sometimes stealing up to 10 million euros in each heist. Almost all of Russia's banks were targeted, and about 50 of them lost money in the attacks, authorities said.

The gang sent phishing emails with a malicious attachment to bank workers, Europol said. The software gave the gang remote control of infected machines, providing them with access to the internal banking network and infecting servers controlling ATMs.

ATMs were instructed to dispense cash at a pre-determined time, and the money was collected by organized crime groups supporting the main gang.

The gang converted its illicit gains into bitcoins and used the cryptocurrency to purchase assets, including houses and vehicles, in Spain.

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FTC Confirms Facebook Investigation as Stock Prices Plunge

The Federal Trade Commission confirmed Monday that it has an opened a "non-public" investigation into Facebook Inc.'s privacy practices.

The social media giant's stock quickly dropped more than 5%. It's now down more than 20% from its Feb. 1 high.

The FTC's announcement comes after reports last week that the agency was investigating Facebook over the widening controversy involving Cambridge Analytica. That data analytics firm tied to the Donald Trump presidential campaign accessed 50 million Facebook users' information without those users' knowledge, allegedly in an effort to influence voters.

Bloomberg News reported last week that the FTC was looking into whether Facebook had violated terms of a 2011 consent decree in which the tech giant agreed to get users' permission for certain changes to privacy settings.

The FTC's confirmation that it is investigating Facebook is the latest of the social media giant's problems after the New York Times and British newspaper the Observer reported that Cambridge Analytica had aimed to use Facebook user data in an attempt to sway voter opinions.

The data originated from a personality quiz app developed in 2013 by a Cambridge University researcher. About 300,000 people took that quiz, and the researcher was also able to access "tens of millions of their friends' data" based on how Facebook's platform worked at the time, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said last week in a post on his Facebook page.

Zuckerberg said he learned two years later from journalists at the Guardian that the Cambridge researcher had shared the data from his app with Cambridge Analytica, a move that violates Facebook policies. Zuckerberg said that Facebook banned the personality quiz app from its platform, demanded that the researcher and Cambridge Analytica "formally certify" they had deleted all of the improperly obtained data, and received those certifications.

Lawmakers have called for Zuckerberg to testify in front...

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Sex-Trafficking Bill Makes Craiglist Ditch Personal Ads

Craigslist has dropped personal advertisements after Congress passed a law making websites liable for promoting sex trafficking and prostitution.

The Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) drops legal protection for websites that "unlawfully promote and facilitate prostitution and websites that facilitate traffickers in advertising the sale of unlawful sex acts with sex trafficking victims".

It also makes website liable for content their users post.

In order to stay above the law, Craigslist has taken the decision to close its personal ads service-- ensuring the tool cannot be misused.

A statement from Craigslist said: "We can't take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are regretfully taking Craigslist personals offline. Hopefully we can bring them back some day.

"To the millions of spouses, partners, and couples who met through Craigslist, we wish you every happiness!"

It was initially thought the missed connections section, which reunites people who met briefly or shared glances, was to be removed too, but Craigslist appears to still be running them.

Reddit has also banned its sex worker sub-reddits, such as its escort pages.

A statement on the website's policy announcement page read: "As of today, users may not use Reddit to solicit or facilitate any transaction or gift involving certain goods and services, including paid services involving physical sexual contact."

The decision has been met with anger from many people, including sex workers.

Amber Ashton tweeted: "This is going to hurt the most marginalized struggling workers the hardest and I?EU?m in actual tears about it.

"Time to strategize how we can help those who will need it most."

Another Twitter user posted: "If you think this isn't a move towards shutting down, not only sex workers, but 'sexual deviant relationships' of all kinds (queer, interracial, casual sex, non-monogamous, etc) then you are naive, my friend."

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Sex-Trafficking Bill Makes Craiglist Ditch Personal Ads

Craigslist has dropped personal advertisements after Congress passed a law making websites liable for promoting sex trafficking and prostitution.

The Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) drops legal protection for websites that "unlawfully promote and facilitate prostitution and websites that facilitate traffickers in advertising the sale of unlawful sex acts with sex trafficking victims".

It also makes website liable for content their users post.

In order to stay above the law, Craigslist has taken the decision to close its personal ads service-- ensuring the tool cannot be misused.

A statement from Craigslist said: "We can't take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are regretfully taking Craigslist personals offline. Hopefully we can bring them back some day.

"To the millions of spouses, partners, and couples who met through Craigslist, we wish you every happiness!"

It was initially thought the missed connections section, which reunites people who met briefly or shared glances, was to be removed too, but Craigslist appears to still be running them.

Reddit has also banned its sex worker sub-reddits, such as its escort pages.

A statement on the website's policy announcement page read: "As of today, users may not use Reddit to solicit or facilitate any transaction or gift involving certain goods and services, including paid services involving physical sexual contact."

The decision has been met with anger from many people, including sex workers.

Amber Ashton tweeted: "This is going to hurt the most marginalized struggling workers the hardest and I?EU?m in actual tears about it.

"Time to strategize how we can help those who will need it most."

Another Twitter user posted: "If you think this isn't a move towards shutting down, not only sex workers, but 'sexual deviant relationships' of all kinds (queer, interracial, casual sex, non-monogamous, etc) then you are naive, my friend."

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Facebook’s Baby Step Fixes: Defending Its Ad Business

Wondering why Facebook seems to be taking baby steps to address the biggest scandal in its history? Stronger safeguards on user data might damage Facebook's core business of using what it knows about you to sell ads that target your interests.

Facebook is proposing only narrow countermeasures that address the specifics of the furor over Cambridge Analytica. That's the data mining firm that worked for Donald Trump's campaign, and now stands accused of lifting data from some 50 million Facebook users for the purpose of influencing voters.

Those measures, announced Wednesday by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, mostly involve new limits on what Facebook apps can do with the user data they collect. One such errant app was central to the Cambridge Analytica debacle.

But those steps don't get at what many outsiders see as bigger problems at Facebook: its rampant data collection from users, its embrace of political ads that target individuals and small demographic groups with precision, and its apparent inability to end malicious use of its service by governments, shady corporations and criminal elements.

"They're being very deft and creating the illusion of trust," said Scott Galloway, a New York University professor of marketing. But by focusing on the mechanics of how apps work on its service, he said, Facebook is failing to take meaningful action to ensure it's not "weaponized" by scammers, manipulators and other nefarious types.

Ultimately, Facebook is a data-collection company and without user data, it would wither and die. But how much data it sucks in, and what it does with it, is a question of major public importance -- one that touches on the health of democracy itself, privacy advocates say.

It's just not a question that Facebook seems to want to address.

Facebook made $40 billion in advertising revenue last year, and that's expected to rise 22 percent this year...

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Facebook’s Baby Step Fixes: Defending Its Ad Business

Wondering why Facebook seems to be taking baby steps to address the biggest scandal in its history? Stronger safeguards on user data might damage Facebook's core business of using what it knows about you to sell ads that target your interests.

Facebook is proposing only narrow countermeasures that address the specifics of the furor over Cambridge Analytica. That's the data mining firm that worked for Donald Trump's campaign, and now stands accused of lifting data from some 50 million Facebook users for the purpose of influencing voters.

Those measures, announced Wednesday by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, mostly involve new limits on what Facebook apps can do with the user data they collect. One such errant app was central to the Cambridge Analytica debacle.

But those steps don't get at what many outsiders see as bigger problems at Facebook: its rampant data collection from users, its embrace of political ads that target individuals and small demographic groups with precision, and its apparent inability to end malicious use of its service by governments, shady corporations and criminal elements.

"They're being very deft and creating the illusion of trust," said Scott Galloway, a New York University professor of marketing. But by focusing on the mechanics of how apps work on its service, he said, Facebook is failing to take meaningful action to ensure it's not "weaponized" by scammers, manipulators and other nefarious types.

Ultimately, Facebook is a data-collection company and without user data, it would wither and die. But how much data it sucks in, and what it does with it, is a question of major public importance -- one that touches on the health of democracy itself, privacy advocates say.

It's just not a question that Facebook seems to want to address.

Facebook made $40 billion in advertising revenue last year, and that's expected to rise 22 percent this year...

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Founders and CEOs Tell VCs: Get Diverse… Or Else

Hundreds of startup founders and CEOs, from companies including prominent Bay Area firms 23andMe, Airbnb, Dropbox, Stitch Fix and Lyft, have formed a new group pledging that diversity at VC firms will be an "important consideration" when deciding whether or not to take their money.

The launch of Founders for Change by more than 400 budding and established tech companies is a sign of just how top of mind diversity has become in an industry riven by the #MeToo movement and a series of allegations and admissions of sexual misconduct by workers, managers and venture capitalists.

Five years ago, such a group would never have formed, said Sarah Nahm, co-founder and CEO of Lever of San Francisco, which makes job-recruitment software. Lever is a member of Founders for Change.

When her company raised Series A funding in 2014, "nobody was talking about diversity in Silicon Valley, nobody was acknowledging this as a topic, and certainly nobody believed in change," Nahm said.

A former product-marketing manager at Google with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and product design from Stanford University, Nahm said she never felt being female put her at a disadvantage -- until she started raising money for her startup.

"Fundraising puts so much pressure on you ... matching to this template of success that has stereotypically male attributes: You need to be confident, you need to be aggressive, you need to be sort of this caricature of a successful CEO," Nahm said. "My identity as a CEO just doesn't look like that."

She said Lever has turned down funding from VC firms that "couldn't demonstrate respect" for her as a female chief executive.

"It was getting talked over often, interrupted, not feeling like I was given the space to speak to our business," Nahm said. "A lot of the interactions were about cornering me into...

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Founders and CEOs Tell VCs: Get Diverse… Or Else

Hundreds of startup founders and CEOs, from companies including prominent Bay Area firms 23andMe, Airbnb, Dropbox, Stitch Fix and Lyft, have formed a new group pledging that diversity at VC firms will be an "important consideration" when deciding whether or not to take their money.

The launch of Founders for Change by more than 400 budding and established tech companies is a sign of just how top of mind diversity has become in an industry riven by the #MeToo movement and a series of allegations and admissions of sexual misconduct by workers, managers and venture capitalists.

Five years ago, such a group would never have formed, said Sarah Nahm, co-founder and CEO of Lever of San Francisco, which makes job-recruitment software. Lever is a member of Founders for Change.

When her company raised Series A funding in 2014, "nobody was talking about diversity in Silicon Valley, nobody was acknowledging this as a topic, and certainly nobody believed in change," Nahm said.

A former product-marketing manager at Google with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and product design from Stanford University, Nahm said she never felt being female put her at a disadvantage -- until she started raising money for her startup.

"Fundraising puts so much pressure on you ... matching to this template of success that has stereotypically male attributes: You need to be confident, you need to be aggressive, you need to be sort of this caricature of a successful CEO," Nahm said. "My identity as a CEO just doesn't look like that."

She said Lever has turned down funding from VC firms that "couldn't demonstrate respect" for her as a female chief executive.

"It was getting talked over often, interrupted, not feeling like I was given the space to speak to our business," Nahm said. "A lot of the interactions were about cornering me into...

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Report Says IBM Targeted Older Workers in Layoffs

IBM allegedly targeted older American workers with layoffs, firings and forced retirement to systematically replace them with younger, cheaper millennials and overseas workers, according to a new report.

In the past five years, the investigation found more than 20,000 IBM workers -- about 60 percent of its estimated total U.S. job cuts in that period -- were over the age of 40. IBM, which still employs 400,000 people worldwide, flouted domestic laws and regulations protecting older workers from age discrimination by not providing information on why they were fired, required them to sign away the right to sue IBM and converted job cuts into retirements to avoid public disclosure requirements, alleged the report published Thursday by ProPublica and Mother Jones.

"We are proud of our company and our employees' ability to reinvent themselves era after era, while always complying with the law," said IBM spokesperson Edward Barbini in the report. "Our ability to do this is why we are the only tech company that has not only survived but thrived for more than 100 years."

IBM did not immediately respond to a request for comment to this news organization regarding the report.

ProPublica and Mother Jones uncovered internal documents that allege IBM was aggressively looking into hiring a younger workforce. In one 2014 internal presentational slide, it read CAMS -- an IBM moniker for new emerging technologies like cloud services, mobile, big data and social media -- "are driven by millennial traits." In the same presentation, baby boomers were depicted as "more dubious" of analytics, placing "less stock in the advantages data offers" and less "motivated to consult their colleagues or get their buy in," according to the report.

Internal spreadsheets that evaluated IBM workers' performance and listed workers on the chopping block alleged IBM's job-elimination strategy skewed toward older workers, according to the report....

Read More

Report Says IBM Targeted Older Workers in Layoffs

IBM allegedly targeted older American workers with layoffs, firings and forced retirement to systematically replace them with younger, cheaper millennials and overseas workers, according to a new report.

In the past five years, the investigation found more than 20,000 IBM workers -- about 60 percent of its estimated total U.S. job cuts in that period -- were over the age of 40. IBM, which still employs 400,000 people worldwide, flouted domestic laws and regulations protecting older workers from age discrimination by not providing information on why they were fired, required them to sign away the right to sue IBM and converted job cuts into retirements to avoid public disclosure requirements, alleged the report published Thursday by ProPublica and Mother Jones.

"We are proud of our company and our employees' ability to reinvent themselves era after era, while always complying with the law," said IBM spokesperson Edward Barbini in the report. "Our ability to do this is why we are the only tech company that has not only survived but thrived for more than 100 years."

IBM did not immediately respond to a request for comment to this news organization regarding the report.

ProPublica and Mother Jones uncovered internal documents that allege IBM was aggressively looking into hiring a younger workforce. In one 2014 internal presentational slide, it read CAMS -- an IBM moniker for new emerging technologies like cloud services, mobile, big data and social media -- "are driven by millennial traits." In the same presentation, baby boomers were depicted as "more dubious" of analytics, placing "less stock in the advantages data offers" and less "motivated to consult their colleagues or get their buy in," according to the report.

Internal spreadsheets that evaluated IBM workers' performance and listed workers on the chopping block alleged IBM's job-elimination strategy skewed toward older workers, according to the report....

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