The Switchboard: Microsoft employee e-mail hacked by Syrian Electronic Army

January 16

Published every weekday, the Switchboard highlights five tech policy stories you need to read.

Microsoft confirms Syrian Electronic Army hacked into employee email accounts."The hacking group posted three internal emails that appear to have been obtained from several Microsoft employee’s Outlook Web Access accounts," according to The Verge. "The emails mainly discuss the latest compromises of several Microsoft-owned Twitter accounts, but they do show that the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) gained much greater access beyond just social network accounts."

A first look at the Target intrusion, malware."Target hasn’t officially released details about the [point-of-sale] malware involved, nor has it said exactly how the bad guys broke into their network," reports the independent security researcher Brian Krebs. "Since the breach, however, at least two sources with knowledge of the ongoing investigation have independently shared information about the point-of-sale malware and some of the methods allegedly used in the attack."

Verizon’s victory over FCC rules seen as a loss for Netflix. "Carriers have argued that the biggest bandwidth hogs should share in the costs of sending their content to customers," Bloomberg writes. "The idea is to charge Netflix or Google the equivalent of first-class handling, so that 'House of Cards' or YouTube videos can get guaranteed quicker delivery." To get up to speed on the underlying issue, check out these 11 questions that explain net neutrality in plain English.

AT&T CEO says awaiting clarity on U.S. surveillance rules. "AT&T Inc CEO Randall Stephenson said on Wednesday he was anxious to hear details of President Barack Obama's proposals to reform U.S. surveillance programs, hoping for more clarity on the rules guiding the data collection operations," according to Reuters.

Google warned of 'last opportunity' to settle European antitrust case. Joaquin Almunia, the head of the European Commission's competition unit, has been pursuing an antitrust complaint against the US search giant since 2010. Google has provided two proposals to settle the complaint, but seen both rejected. It is now believed to be preparing another proposal.

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post.
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Brian Fung | January 15