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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 : 2013-04-17

Web host and anti-spam group locked in massive cyberwar

Today on the net, two companies locked in cyber war and it’s affecting worldwide Internet traffic. Online campaigning to help a teenage girl in the Maldives sentenced to 100 lashes in public. And hacker group Anonymous out to protect Burma’s Muslim minority.

Web host and anti-spam group locked in massive cyberwar

Experts say it is the biggest cyber-attack of its kind in history. Spam fighting company Spamhaus has been under attack in recent days after adding web hosting company Cyberbunker to its black list. This Dutch company, which operates its servers from a former NATO bunker, has been accused of harbouring cyber criminals from all over the world.

Hackers have retaliated to these allegations by hitting Spamhaus with a prolonged denial of service assault: a technique that involves flooding the targeted site with requests, overwhelming its servers, causing it to crash, using computers infected by a virus. And according to Internet Security Firm Cloudfare, that tried to neutralize the attack, it is the biggest they have ever seen, so large in fact that it’s been slowing down worldwide Internet traffic.

The director of Spamhaus has told the BBC that an attack of this scale could be powerful enough to take down government internet infrastructure: an alarming prospect for governments as they become increasingly preoccupied with computer security.

There are economic implications, and also military … NATO is now focusing on the likely scenario of global cyber war. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has published a manual, laying down international ground rules for cyber war, and how to apply international conventions to a virtual battle ground.

 

Maldives: flogging sentence for teenage girl sparks online outrage

15 year old girl Hawwa Endherima has been sentenced by a Maldives Court to 100 lashes in public, a punishment prescribed under Islamic Sharia, and eight months house arrest, for consensual sex with a man outside of wedlock. The verdict has been met with widespread outrage with web users the world over urging the Maldives government to protect the girl.

Hundreds of Twitter users have been campaigning for the teenage girl under the hashtag #Operation Endherima. Posts that condemn the court’s brutal decision and pointing out that the girl, a rape victim in a separated, unrelated case, deserves to be protected rather than punished.

An online petition has also been started on the site Avaaz.org. The wording states that until the judicial authorities revoke the decision, there will be a mass smear campaign and a boycott of the island’s thriving tourism industry. The petition is proving extremely popular as in just over a week; it has already been signed by over 1 million 300 000 web users.

The authorities responded to the threat almost immediately. In this interview for online newspaper “Sun Online”, the Tourism Minister voices his concerns that a negative tourism campaign will have a disastrous impact on the country’s economy as a whole. He says the government is currently working on more promotional campaigns to minimize the impact of the negative publicity.

 

Now trending on social networks

Hacker group Anonymous has launched Operation Rohingya to raise awareness among media and web users the world over with regards to the plight of the Rohingya in Burma. This Muslim minority is persecuted by the Buddhist majority government and in recent months the Rohingya people have been subject to all manner of abuses of power and torture, with hundreds reportedly dead. Anonymous is asking web users to take to social networks to speak out against the treatment of this community which the UN considered to be one of the most persecuted on the planet.

 

Bill Gates offers grant to develop the next generation of condom

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is offering 100 000 dollars in grant money to fund any group that can come up with a prototype for the next generation of condom. As the instigators of the project state, although they are now a widely used method of contraception, there have been little developments over the past 50 years. And so the foundation is calling upon web users the world over to use their imagination and experience to design the 21st century condom...

 

Video of the day

Here’s a twist on the lyrics to Carl Orff’s famous cantata Carmina Burana : it’s a comical tale on the daily trials and tribulations of sleep deprived parents of toddlers : a brilliant idea from the Sydney Philharmonic Choir in Australia, which you can check out in this video currently doing the rounds online.

By Electron Libre

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