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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.

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Latest update : 2013-02-21

China's military linked to cyberattacks on US firms

China’s military is linked to cyberattacks on US firms. A highly controversial photo is posted online by an Israeli soldier. And we discover basketball’s next big thing.

China’s military linked to cyberattacks on US firms

It is apparently here in this nondescript Shanghai building, the Chinese army has set up its Unit 61398 which has been accused of involvement in numerous cyberattacks on media, government agencies and firms in the US, and also in other English speaking countries.

These claims come from a report released on Tuesday by US computer security firm Mandiant which says it has traced the cyberattacks back to the source, attacks targeting strategic sectors including transport and the high-tech and finance industries.

Private investigators have also revealed information about people thought to be associated with the unit, which specializes in military and economic espionage. An army of hackers apparently composed of computer science graduates and proficient English speakers recruited from universities across the country.

In this video the US firm even goes as far as to explain the different techniques used by the hackers who allegedly stole sensitive data from companies’ computers without their knowing using spoof emails and hidden software.

A spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry has denied the allegations, adding that Beijing is also frequently targeted by cyberattacks, a considerable number of which, he claims, are from the United States. 

Israeli soldier sparks outrage by posting shocking photo online

This photograph has sparked outrage on the web. Published online last week by news site Electronic Intifada, we see what appears to be a Palestinian boy in the crosshairs of a rifle scope belonging to a sniper from the Israel Defense Forces. The picture was found on the Instagram site of Mor Ostrovski, the young Israeli soldier holding the rifle; it has drawn widespread criticism online, although the account in question is no longer accessible.

Many web users, just like the author of the article that exposed the story, have condemned the controversial photo, describing it as sick, shameful and intolerable. Critics of the IDF say it proves the Israeli military regards Palestinian children as potential targets. 

Members of the “Breaking the Silence” Facebook group have expressed similar sentiments: the group which is composed of former Israeli soldiers previously deployed in the occupied territories says the photo is the perfect illustration of the contempt shown by some Israeli soldiers towards the civilian population. Veterans also claim that this is sadly not the first time such shocking “souvenir photos” have emerged online: young soldiers in particular, who are more active on social networks, like to post photos of themselves, boasting about their exploits.

The photos generally go viral, and are seen all over the world, portraying the Israeli army in a very poor light, something the IDF is visibly keen to combat. As this online news portal reports, the army has said it is launching an official enquiry, a thorough investigation to prevent the same thing from happening again. 

Now trending on social networks

Last year, Houston’s Memorial Hermann hospital live-tweeted open heart surgery and a brain operation, and last Wednesday social networkers were able to follow a C-section birth. Every step of the procedure was detailed from the mother’s arrival to the hospital to the operation itself, with messages, photos and videos tweeted under the highly popular hashtag #MHBaby.

Baby piglet uses tiny wheelchair to get around

This little pig is called "Chris P. Bacon” and he was born without the use of his two back legs. But the vet who treated him refused to put to him to sleep. He adopted the piglet and built him wheelchair from children’s toys. The video of the piglet getting around with his new form of transport has gone viral. His owner has also set up a Facebook page with updates on the unusual little pig who now has a legion of fans.

Video of the day

11-year-old Julian Newman stands just 4 foot five inches tall and yet he is already a basketball phenomenon. As we can see in this video, he displays extraordinary talent, incredible dribbling and ball handling and can throw long range shots with the greatest of ease: the stuff champions are made of, yes it looks like he has a very bright future ahead of him...

By Electron Libre

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