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Scan of Michelle Obama's passport appears online

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The White House is looking into a cyber breach in which hackers have posted documents online has revealing the passport information of First lady Michelle Obama.

The US attorney general, Loretta Lynch, said it was “something that we are looking into”. The US Secret Service, responsible for the first lady’s safety, also expressed concern.

"The Secret Service is concerned any time unauthorised information that might pertain to one of the individuals we protect, or our operations, is allegedly disclosed," said communications director Cathy Milhoan.

The scan appears to have come from the breached personal Gmail account of a low-level part-time contractor at the White House hired to aid in travel logistics.

Confidential information including travel details, names, social security numbers and birth dates of members of staff were also published online.

The documents were posted on DCLeaks.com, the same site on which emails from former Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared last week.

IBM new business unit to deliver blockchain solutions

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IBM had recently launched its very own industry platforms business unit in an attempt  to deliver blockchain solutions to its customers. According to eWeek, the company claimed that the release of last week’s blockchain unit will entirely concentrate on financial services organizations in addition to other business units.

IBM said:

The Industry Platforms unit will focus on Watson for financial services, blockchain and strategic partnerships.

Bridget van Kralingen, a fast-tracked IBM executive who has served as head of IBM Global Business Services, will be in charge of the unit. Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-It informed to eWeek about the  new unit's capability to increase the company’s commitment to blockchain and highlights the company’s belief that the technology has the potential to enhance its commercial interests.

This is not the first time that the company has taken an interest in developing  the blockchain technology. It is an investor in the blockchain startup, Digital Asset Holdings and is a member of the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project.

Apart from investing, the company opened a Bluemix Garage in New York focusing on blockchain, fintech, and financial services in June. In July, IBM joined the Chamber of Digital Commerce (CDC), a Washington-based advocacy group and trade association that emphasizes on digital currencies and blockchain technology.


Jerry Cuomo, vice president of Blockchain Technologies at IBM recently stated that it was important from a national competitive point of view for U.S. companies and government agencies to lead the world in understanding blockchain and how to utilize it.

Google,Yahoo,Microsoft to block prenatal selection ads

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Google, Yahoo! Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have all agreed to block ads for Indian services that are meant to determine a baby’s sex before birth, adhering to laws that are intended to address one of the world’s worst gender imbalances.

All three companies pledged to honor bans on the promotional content of sexual-determination tests and related products, the health ministry informed India’s Supreme Court on Monday. The court was hearing a case that sought the abolition of all content on search engines that promote such services.

India’s highest court this year reproached the search giants for disregarding domestic regulations, and warned them to abide by the law or cease their operations in the country. But the trio of companies had said sweeping bans on offending key-words would also take away non-promotional content such as research reports and news articles. The health ministry didn’t say during Monday’s testimony how the companies intended to effect the ban with regard to all the articles and reports.

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Female foeticide and infanticide are serious issues in India, where the sex ratio was 943 females per 1,000 males according to the last nationwide census in 2011. Conducting, selling and advertising fetal sex-selection services was made a punishable offense in 1994, thus outlawing sex-determination and abortions in the country. Yet thousands of female fetuses are aborted secretly every year in clinics across local communities where there is a strong preference for sons.

Some parents prefer sons because they’re considered more reliable bread-winners and better able to carry on the family name. Male children are known to get better nutrition and education and a 2015 United Nations report said India has one of the world’s most skewed sex ratios in the under-five age group. The UN added that 100 girls die by the age of five, compared with 93 boys.

Google said it has applied filters to prevent searches and advertising to comply with local laws. That includes disabling auto-complete predictions for relevant terms on its site and showing a warning that tells users pre-natal gender screening or testing is illegal in India.

Yahoo said in an e-mail the company can’t comment because the matter is subjudice. Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment as well given that the changes will hamper the primary result originality.

21-year-old hacker who helped ISIS sentenced to 20 years in US prison

A 21-year-old hacker from Kosovo has been sentenced to 20 years in a U.S. prison after found guilty of passing on personal details of more than 1,000 American military and government personnel to the terrorist organization ISIS.

Ardit Ferizi pleaded guilty to charges of providing material supporting  the terrorist organization, at a court hearing in Virginia.

Ferizi was arrested in Malaysia in October last year and was extradited to the US in January 2016. He used to work online with under a name Th3Dir3ctorY. He has been sentenced  much higher than the 6-year term. Whereas his lawyer argued that he didn't do any real harm and is not a true supporter of the Islamic State.

“He was a nonsensical, misguided teenager who did not know what he was doing,” said public defender Elizabeth Mullin. “He has never embraced ISIL’s ideology.”

However, US Assistant Attorney General John Carlin has dismissed the defense lawyer's defense and described the attack as a dangerous threat to the national security.

While, the Islamic state had published the names that they received from the hacker.

He has admitted of hacking  a private company and pulling out the names, email passwords and phone numbers of about 1,300 people with .gov and .mil addresses.

Both machines in US government offices and corporate computers were his targets.

Once after completing his sentence, Ferizi  will be sent back  to Kosovo and he won't be allowed to re-enter  the US.

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