It's a Zuck Zuck Zuck Zuck World
Still waiting on billions of dollars in unpaid damages, American victims of Iran-sponsored terrorist attacks are attempting to seize Internet properties the United States has provided to Iran.
The victims and their family members today filed a lawsuit against the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the U.S.-based non-profit that administers Internet properties worldwide. In it, the plaintiffs demand ICANN turn over all the top-level domain names provided by the U.S. to Iran, including .ir, ایران, and any other IP address being used by the Iranian government and its agencies.
Space the Final Frontier
A judge in southern Iran has ordered Mark Zuckerberg to appear in Iranian court, CBS News reports.
The judge allegedly wants Zuck to field complaints from individuals who claim Instagram and WhatsApp have violated their privacy. Sounds fun.
Around the World in a Flash
Your fussy, pure-bred longhair is about to get even snottier. According to the AP, Iranian officials are seriously considering sending a Persian cat into space. Because nothing livens up an orbital capsule like zero-G kitty turds.
The AP reports:
Oh good, another opportunity for Eric Schmidt to wax poetic about the liberating powers of technology: Bloomberg News reports that after more than 20 years, the U.S. has lifted its ban on sales of electronics like computers and smartphones to regular Iranians.
You still can’t sell to the Iranian government, though, so don’t get Read More
Iran is on a technological roll this week. First a scientist announced that he’d invented a time machine (never mind that it was more like a 12-year-old girl’s paper fortune teller). Now comes the news that the country is working on its very own “Islamic Google Earth.” It’ll be called Basir, Farsi for “spectator,” and it’s scheduled to debut in four months.
And no, it’s definitely not just a sticker on a piece of glass, either. That would be silly.
Tsk, tsk: Doesn’t anyone have any respect for basic science fictional concepts any more? The Telegraph reports that a scientist in Iran has registered something he calls “The Aryayek Time Traveling Machine.” But before everyone gets super psyched about watching Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence, the description of the device suggests it’s been woefully misnamed.
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt urged North Korean leaders to open Internet access to its citizens, or doom them to a state of virtual isolation. Which, if we understand Mr. Schmidt correctly, he thinks will be far more insidious than the actual isolation North Koreans are currently experiencing. [AP]
North Korea’s official Twitter account only follows three, and only three, other accounts. One belongs to Jimmy Dushku, a 25-year-old investor who’s been to almost 60 Coldplay concerts and counts The Fast and the Furious as his favorite movie. What? [Mother Jones]
They’re not saying how they know, exactly, but U.S. officials are convinced that the cyberattacks on the consumer-facing websites of American banks are the work of the Iranian government. [NYT]
Soon you will buy prepaid iPhones at Walmart. Sounds like another season of The Wire is in order. [PRNewswire]
Not to put a timetable on anything, but Digg figures its content discovery app is about one percent done. Which is as fine a time as any to talk about monetization. [Digg]
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
Analysis of the DDoS tools used in cyber attacks on American banks by religiously-motivated hackers Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters indicates a “well-funded” effort, according to security experts.
As reported by CSO Online, analysts at security firm Prolexic Technologies were able to identify the DDoS toolkit “itsoknoproblembro” as the software behind attacks against Bank of America, Chase Bank, Wells Fargo and PNC.
It may have a hilarious name, but “itsoknoproblembro” is serious business:
Cyber attackers who went after Chase and Bank of America with Directed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on the banks’ websites may have been working for Iran.
A report from the Washington Post cites several officials who have made this claim, including Senator Joseph Lieberman, the chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The Post reports that in an interview with C-SPAN, Sen. Lieberman disputed the idea the attackers were independent hacktivists outraged by a controversial anti-Muslim film:
Looks like the Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz is, at the very least, 0 for 2 against cyber attacks. First came Stuxnet, which wreaked havoc with the equipment used to purify uranium. And now–at least, if a recent report (via VentureBeat) is true–they are dealing with a malware infestation involving sudden, late-night AC/DC.
F-Secure chief research officer Mikko Hypponen received the following email from someone who claimed to be an Iranian nuclear scientist: