The week in news - August 17
Data security is undoubtedly the question of the hour, and the latest victim to be put under the magnifying glass is the Democratic National Convention of the United States. With the November presidential elections fast approaching, implications of foreign involvement in domestic affairs have surfaced following the cyber attack. A report by the Guardian confirms that a data analytics program the DNC used has been hacked, while an email leak to WikiLeaks has also occurred. Media reports are suggesting involvement from Russian intelligence services, which are in violation of US national law, though officials have denied any such involvement. Reports suggest the US is considering imposing sanctions for the data breach.
It’s been a turbulent week in American politics, and not just for the Democrats. According to an article by the New York Times, Donald Trump’s campaign chief, Paul Manafort has been implicated in a secret ledger detailing cash payments from the Yanukovych regime between 2007 and 2012. Manafort’s career history includes some controversial positions, including the Marcos administration in the Philippines in the 1980s. As the former consultant to the Party of Regions, the ledger suggests that Manafort received in excess of $12 million over the five-year period. At the time of writing, Manafort had declined to address the press, though his lawyer has refuted the accusations, despite growing speculation and the potential impact this may have upon Mr Trump’s campaign, in light of his pro-Russian stance and recent DNC hacking attempts.
South Korean watchdog the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has launched an investigation into Google’s dealings in the country. The probe focuses on anti-trust allegations, including, among others, accusations from advertisers that the corporation has overdue payments dating back to 2012. This marks the second investigation the watchdog has launched in South Korea into Google, (who maintain a small share of the search engine market in Korea at just 10%) and is reminiscent of those around the world; anti-competition concerns have arisen in the European Union, while Russia recently fined Google $6.8 million for violating the nation’s anti-trust legislation.
Singapore’s Keppel Corporation has refuted claims made by Zwi Skornicki that high-level officials condoned and authorized the payment of bribes. Skornicki is countering claims against himself being processed in Brazil, implicating C-suite executives including the Keppel Offshore & Marine Chief Executive Officer, Chow Chow Yen. Bribery allegations stem around payments made to secure contracts with the Brazilian state-owned oil firm, Petrobras – which has itself been the subject of extreme contention in recent months.
A group of hackers that operate under the name Shadow Brokers have reportedly obtained surveillance tools and technologies believed to be linked to the United States’ National Security Agency. The data is said to include documents dating from 2013, and in a Tumblr post published on Monday, the Shadow Brokers announced an online auction for the ‘cyber weapons’ is to be held via the digital bit coin currency until a winner has been allocated.