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A federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled Monday that Naruto, a "crested macaque," does not have legal standing to file a copyright claim against a nature photographer, as Naruto is not a person. The case dates back to 2011, when British nature photographer David Slater was on a shoot on the Tangkoko reserve in Indonesia. Naruto somehow swiped Slater's camera and managed to snap a few pictures. Slater later published a book, including some of the so-called "monkey selfie" images. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the advocacy group seeking to represent Naruto, then filed a lawsuit, saying that Naruto's copyright of the image had been violated. In January 2016, a federal district judge in San Francisco ruled that Naruto had no standing: not being a person, he could not bring a lawsuit. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Simplified figurative process of a Cryptocurrency transaction. (credit: Mikael Häggström / Wikimedia) Researchers have defeated a key protection against cryptocurrency theft with a series of attacks that transmit private keys out of digital wallets that are physically separated from the Internet and other networks. Like most of the other attacks developed by Ben-Gurion University professor Mordechai Guri and his colleagues, the currency wallet exploits start with the already significant assumption that a device has already been thoroughly compromised by malware. Still, the research is significant because it shows that even when devices are airgapped—meaning they aren't connected to any other devices to prevent the leaking of highly sensitive data—attackers may still successfully exfiltrate the information. Past papers have defeated airgaps using a wide array of techniques, including electromagnetic emissions from USB devices, radio signals from a computer's video card, infrared capabilities in surveillance cameras, and sounds produced by hard drives. On Monday, Guri published a new paper that applies the same exfiltration techniques to "cold wallets," which are not stored on devices connected to the Internet. The most effective techniques take only seconds to siphon a 256-bit Bitcoin key from a wallet running on an infected computer, even though the computer isn't connected to any network. Guri said the possibility of stealing keys that protect millions or billions of dollars is likely to take the covert exfiltration techniques out of the nation-state hacking realm they currently inhabit and possibly bring them into the mainstream. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies) The drive between Chicago and Cleveland can take about five hours. Taking the train is a little longer—six to seven hours, depending on how many stops the train makes. It's easy to see why people would be interested in bringing a faster type of transportation to the corridor. Enter Hyperloop, of course. The brainchild of Elon Musk, a Hyperloop is a system of transportation envisioned to carry cargo or passengers at speeds above 700 mph through low-pressure tubes. The train pods would hover above the track, using either magnetic levitation or air-bearings. Stretch a tube across the 344 miles between Chicago and Cleveland and simple math suggests you could cover the distance in half an hour, give or take. At least, theoretically. No Hyperloop system has (publicly) broken a rail-speed barrier yet, and Hyperloop startups have generally focused on announcing new investments or miles-per-hour achievements rather than describing how safety would work in such a system if a pod were to break down and passengers needed to escape a vacuum-sealed tube. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / The "proof of concept" payload for today's exploit shows crucial protected information from the now-exposed Nintendo Switch bootROM. (credit: Kate Tempkin / ReSwitched) A newly published "exploit chain" for Nvidia Tegra X1-based systems seems to describe an apparently unpatchable method for running arbitrary code on all currently available Nintendo Switch consoles. Hardware hacker Katherine Tempkin and the hacking team at ReSwitched released an extensive outline of what they're calling the Fusée Gelée coldboot vulnerability earlier today, alongside a proof-of-concept payload that can be used on the Switch. "Fusée Gelée isn't a perfect, 'holy grail' exploit—though in some cases it can be pretty damned close," Tempkin writes in an accompanying FAQ. The exploit, as outlined, makes use of a vulnerability inherent in the Tegra X1's USB recovery mode, circumventing the lock-out operations that would usually protect the chip's crucial bootROM. By sending a bad "length" argument to an improperly coded USB control procedure at the right point, the user can force the system to "request up to 65,535 bytes per control request." That data easily overflows a crucial direct memory access (DMA) buffer in the bootROM, in turn allowing data to be copied into the protected application stack and giving the attacker the ability to run arbitrary code. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Google is planning a massive redesign of its major products this year. We've already seen some major changes land in the first Android P Developer Preview, and we've seen leaks of a new Gmail design. Next up on the docket is Google Chrome. We've been unofficially calling Google's new design effort "Material Design 2," which is how it was first referenced in a Chrome commit from February. "Material Design" is Google's current company-wide design language, which first debuted in 2014 with Android 5.0 Lollipop. We're expecting to hear a lot about Material Design 2 at Google I/O 2018, but so far we've seen work-in-progress MD2 changes bring a lighter, rounder design to Google's products. Round buttons, boxes with rounded corners, and white background are usually among the changes. We also see an increasing use of the "Product Sans" font in the redesigns, which makes everything look more Googly given that it's the same font used in Google's logo. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Anthony Quintano / Flickr) In advance of his upcoming testimony before the UK Parliament, Aleksandr Kogan wants the public to know two things: he's sorry, and he's not a Russian agent. (Kogan, who was born in Moldova, moved to the Soviet Union as a child before eventually emigrating to the United States, where he became a citizen.) Kogan, who authored the initial Facebook app created at the behest of Cambridge Analytica, has now come forward. He recently granted interviews to The New York Times, BuzzFeed News, and CBS' 60 Minutes. (Kogan did not respond to Ars' request for comment.) It was Kogan's 2014 app, "This is Your Digital Life," which invited users to log in with their Facebook credentials and answer a slew of survey questions in exchange for $4. Those respondents also allowed Kogan and his team access to their friends' public profile data. In the end, this system captured data on 87 million Facebook users. This data trove ultimately wound up in the hands of Donald Trump's presidential campaign when it hired the London-based firm. Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / The "Surface Phone" is speculated to be some kind of dual-screen device. (credit: Microsoft) The rumors that Microsoft is developing some kind of phone-like device (perhaps a "Surface Phone" or "Andromeda") have been floating around for years, with little concrete evidence that such a thing exists. But the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview has given new fuel for the speculative fire: it has a set of new APIs for cellular phones. Windows has had integrated support for cell modems since Windows 8, but this has been restricted to supporting data connections. Telephony—dialing numbers, placing calls—has always required either Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile. This has made the full Windows 10 unsuitable for a phone. That may be changing. Windows 10 build 17650—a preview of Redstone 5, the next Windows update after the delayed April update—includes some telephony APIs. The new APIs cover support for a range of typical phone features: dialing numbers and contacts, blocking withheld numbers, support for Bluetooth headsets and spearphone mode, and so on and so forth. There also looks to be some kind of video-calling support, suggesting support for 3G or LTE video calling. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / I thought this screen from Detroit could be used as a metaphor for the current legal wrangling, but I'm not 100% sure of how. (credit: Quantic Dream) Quantic Dream, the developer behind upcoming PS4 game Detroit: Beyond Human, has brought lawsuits against two French media outlets following articles accusing the developer of fostering a "toxic corporate culture." Kotaku reports on the lawsuits against Le Monde and website Mediapart, two of the three outlets that published a joint investigation of Quantic Dream in January. The third, Canard PC, told the site it has received "threatening letters" surrounding the articles but is not the subject of any lawsuits at this time. "We're suing their journalists," Quantic Dream founder David Cage confirmed to Kotaku at a recent preview event. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Doctors performing surgery. (credit: Getty | BSIP) A young military veteran severely maimed by an improvised explosive device (IED) received a transplant of a large section of tissue, including the penis, scrotum, and a portion of the abdominal wall, from a deceased organ donor, according to The New York Times. The 14-hour operation took place at Johns Hopkins Hospital last month. It marks the third successful penis transplant and the first complex penis transplant, which is to say it involved the scrotum and surrounding tissue as well as the penis. For ethical reasons, surgeons removed the testicles prior to the transplantation to prevent the possibility that the recipient could father children genetically belonging to the donor. Though doctors expect his recovery and nerve regrowth to take some time, they’re hopeful that the patient will eventually recover the ability to urinate and have spontaneous erections and orgasms. In fact, they expect urination to be possible within a few months. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Set TV's website. (credit: Set TV) Netflix, Amazon, and the major film studios have once again joined forces to sue the maker of a TV service and hardware device, alleging that the products are designed to illegally stream copyrighted videos. The lawsuit was filed against the company behind Set TV, which sells a $20-per-month TV service with more than 500 channels. "Defendants market and sell subscriptions to 'Setvnow,' a software application that Defendants urge their customers to use as a tool for the mass infringement of Plaintiffs' copyrighted motion pictures and television shows," the complaint says. Besides Netflix and Amazon, the plaintiffs are Columbia Pictures, Disney, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros. Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Volkswagen They say there's none so zealous as a fresh convert. The fallout from dieselgate saw Volkswagen find religion in electrification, and the automaker sure is embracing it. Last year, now-departed VW Group Chairman Matthias Müller revealed Roadmap E, which commits the company to electrifying its entire lineup by 2030. It is building networks of 350kW DC chargers. In Europe that's happening with other OEMs; here in the US it's doing it alone (revealing on Monday that Target and Sheetz, among others, will join 100 Walmarts in the network). It has locked in $25 billion of batteries for European- and Chinese-market battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and barely an auto show goes by without the reveal of yet another BEV under the I.D. sub-brand. The first of these will go on sale in 2020, with the microbus that everyone drools over coming in 2022. But one I.D. electric car will hit the street a little sooner. Well, one particular street—the strip of road that runs up to the top of Pikes Peak in Colorado. Volkswagen will use this year's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb both to stress test its new BEV platform and—if driver Romain Dumas sets a new EV record—to make some headlines. In March we saw a couple of renders of the I.D. R Pikes Peak, but on Sunday at Alès in France, it finally gave us our first look at the real thing. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Getty / Aurich Lawson) If you’ve ever wished that a new study came packaged with some science fiction exploring the implications, this is your lucky day. Of course, not every research paper lends itself to a short story, but a manuscript by NASA’s Gavin Schmidt and the University of Rochester’s Adam Frank asks a fun question: are we sure that humans built the first industrial civilization in Earth’s history? In recent years, scientists have debated defining a new geologic epoch—the “Anthropocene”—based on the idea that humans have done enough to leave a recognizable mark in Earth’s geologic archives. Theoretically, if another world harbored life that produced an industrial civilization, we could find the proof written in that world’s rocks, too. To examine that idea, Schmidt and Frank pawed through the pages of Earth’s history—after all, it’s not impossible that some earlier species built a civilization that was subsequently wiped out, right? By looking for funky signals in the rock record, you can think about how clear the signs might be on another world. Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / This 2017 concept art might be the closest we get to new Final Fantasy VII remake footage for a while. We're now approaching three full years since Sony first announced it was remaking the beloved Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation 4. In that time, we've only seen a quick trailer's worth of gameplay footage (itself now over two years old) and a few scattered pieces of concept art for the mysterious project. Now, a new Japanese job posting from publisher Square Enix suggests the developers are still in the early stages of the project, which aims to be something much more ambitious than a simple remake of the 1997 original. As translated by Gematsu, Square Enix's new job posting is looking for a "Battle Planner" that will lead the "creation of a battle system that combines commands and action" (this despite the fact that battle scenes were shown in a 2015 trailer for the project). The publisher is also filling a "Level Planner" position that will devise ideas for level designs and help construct a "workflow for location production." Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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While Amazon's Alexa successfully infiltrated homes via Echo devices over the past few years, the company reportedly continues to look for new ways that it can make homes smarter. According to a Bloomberg report, Amazon is secretly developing a "domestic robot" that may be a portable home for its virtual assistant. The project is codenamed "Vesta" after the Roman goddess of the hearth, home, and family. According to people familiar with the plans, Vesta is being led by Gregg Zehr, the head of Amazon's Lab126 hardware research and development division. That same group developed devices, including the popular Echo smart speakers, Fire TV set-top boxes, and Fire tablets. While the project has reportedly been in the works for years, Amazon appears to be hiring more employees for Lab126 to focus on robotics. There are a number of new robotics-related job listings on the Lab126 website, including one for an Applied Robotics Scientist position. However, most other listings now produce a 404 error page when clicked. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / One of the 2016 MacBook Pros. (credit: Andrew Cunningham) Apple quietly launched a new battery replacement program to help a "limited number" of MacBook Pro users. According to the program's webpage, some 13-inch MacBook Pros without Touch Bars may experience component failure that causes the built-in battery to swell. It's not a safety issue, but Apple will replace batteries on the affected laptops for free. The company didn't provide details about which component inside these MacBook Pros could fail and cause the battery to expand. Affected laptops were manufactured between October 2016 and October 2017, and users can check to see if their device is eligible by inputting the device's serial number into the program's webpage. Older MacBook Pros and MacBook Pro models with Touch Bars shouldn't be affected. If your device is eligible for the battery replacement program, you can either take your laptop to an Apple Authorized Service Provider or an Apple retail store to have it serviced. Authorized personnel may need to send the laptop to Apple's Repair Center for a few days, and you have the option to immediately send the device into the repair center yourself rather than going to a store first. Apple advises users to back up all data on their MacBook Pros and repair any other problems with the device before getting it serviced. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The new (and now rolled-back) Eventbrite Merchant Agreement terms, grabbed this weekend before they were rescinded. Earlier this month, executives at Eventbrite—the popular Internet event-ticketing platform used by thousands of event organizers, including many information security conferences—made a change in the company's "Merchant Agreement" that many missed until this past week. That change added a section to the agreement entitled "Permission You Grant Us to Film and Record Your Events," asserted broad rights over the content of events that use Eventbrite for ticketing. As word spread this past weekend about the changes, many event organizers reacted with shock to the terms and began scrambling to find alternatives to the Eventbrite platform. Facing a backlash to the new language, Eventbrite pulled the section from the Agreement's text on Sunday afternoon. The new terms asserted that Eventbrite staff had the right to "enter and remain" at any event organized with the platform, record the entirety of event with video and photography—including setup and break-down of the event—and retain copyright over everything recorded. The language would have required event organizers to assure Eventbrite was afforded copyright over all the content of the event "for any purpose." "You are responsible for obtaining, at your own cost, all third party permissions, clearances, and licenses necessary to secure Eventbrite the permissions and rights described above," the terms stated. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / A lookout tower stands over the mountains in Firewatch. Valve has acquired Campo Santo, known for the outdoor exploration game Firewatch, the developer announced late Saturday. The 12-person team will relocate to Valve's Bellevue, Washington headquarters as it continues work on In the Valley of the Gods, a search for treasure in an Egyptian desert. "In Valve we found a group of folks who, to their core, feel the same way about the work that they do (this, you may be surprised to learn, doesn’t happen every day)," Campo Santo wrote in its announcement post. "In us, they found a group with unique experience and valuable, diverse perspectives. It quickly became an obvious match." Campo Santo went on to say that the decision came after "a series of long conversations" about values and "how, when you get right down to it, we, as human beings, are hard-limited by the time we have left when it comes to making the things we care about and believe in." Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Trevor Mahlmann Most everyone reading this story will probably know that a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched on Wednesday carrying a NASA spacecraft into orbit—the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite—that will further the space agency's mission of searching for exoplanets. Less well known is the TESS spacecraft's clever orbit, which will enable an on-a-budget but robust science mission of searching for planets transiting in front of nearby stars. This "lunar resonant" orbit, which has never been used by a spacecraft, will allow TESS to both observe nearby stars and transmit data back to Earth with a minimal energy expenditure. (The useful lifetime of a spacecraft is often determined by its amount of onboard propellant). Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, 2016. (credit: Maurizio Pesce / Flickr) Production had been halted for much of last week in Tesla's car factory in Fremont, California, and its battery factory near Clark, Nevada. In a Tuesday note to employees, CEO Elon Musk said that the pause was necessary to lay the groundwork for higher production levels in the coming weeks. Musk said he wants all parts of the company ready to prepare 6,000 Model 3 cars per week by the end of June, triple the rate Tesla has achieved in the recent weeks. The announcement caps a nine-month period of turmoil that Musk has described as "production hell" as Tesla has struggled to ramp up production of the Model 3. Tesla had high hopes for its Model 3 production efforts. In 2016, Musk hired Audi executive Peter Hochholdinger to plan the manufacturing process, and Business Insider described his plans in late 2016: "Hochholdinger's view is that robots could be a much bigger factor in auto production than they are currently, largely because many components are designed to be assembled by humans, not machines." Read 35 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Apple Watch Series 3, with eSIM technology for connecting to cellular networks. (credit: Apple) AT&T and Verizon are being investigated by the Department of Justice (DOJ) over whether they colluded in order to prevent customers from easily switching carriers. The antitrust investigation, reported by The New York Times yesterday, relates to the eSIM (embedded SIM) technology that is used instead of regular SIM cards in cellular-capable Apple Watches and other devices such as the Google Pixel 2. eSIMs are supposed to let customers switch carriers without changing to a different SIM card or device, but AT&T and Verizon are accused of "try[ing] to establish standards that would allow them to lock a device to their network even if it had eSIM technology," the Times report said. The DOJ began investigating about five months ago after complaints from Apple and an unidentified wireless carrier, the article said. Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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SEATTLE—As the Marvel Cinematic Universe expands to every movie theater in the world, the MoPOP Museum of Pop Culture (formerly Experience Music Project) swoops in this week with an exhibit that reminds fans where the heck these costumed heroes came from: the comics pages. Marvel Universe of Super Heroes, a massive, two-story exhibit, began its world-premiere run in Seattle on Saturday with a mix of incredible historical context and Marvel's strange, narrow focus within the MCU. The very good news, as seen in the first gallery, is that the Marvel (which began life in 1939 as Timely Publications) is represented by way of a ton of original production art. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Kym Farnik) According to reports from Bloomberg and E&E News, the Trump Administration has been exploring another way to help coal and nuclear generators: the Defense Production Act of 1950. The Act was passed under President Truman. Motivated by the Korean War, it allows the president broad authority to boost US industries that are considered a priority for national security. On Thursday, E&E News cited sources that said "an interagency process is underway" at the White House to examine possible application of the act to the energy industry. The goal would be to give some form of preference to coal and nuclear plants that are struggling to compete with cheap natural gas. Third time's the charm? This appears to be the third attempt to use policy to keep coal and nuclear operators afloat. The main focus is coal generators, which Trump promised to rescue during his campaign. Although Trump's campaign rhetoric often blamed environmental regulations, the problem has been economic more than regulatory; cheap natural gas has been the biggest threat to coal and nuclear. Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Subaru In a world where seemingly every auto manufacturer is making SUVs (hello, Lamborghini!) and crossovers, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Alfa Romeo does it by making an insanely fast and sporty crossover. Range Rover goes for an incredibly sleek look and a separate screen just for climate control. By contrast, Subaru just tries to make quality vehicles. That strategy has served the company well with the Outback, which has been at or near the top of the station wagon sales charts for what seems like forever. But can that strategy work with crossovers? Enter the Crosstrek. All new for the 2018 model year, the Subaru Crosstrek is a mini crossover built on Subaru's new Global Platform, which Subaru says offers 70-percent more rigidity. The Crosstrek has a raised suspension with Stablex dampers for a smoother ride. The old, familiar Subaru Boxer engine remains—in this case the usual 2.0-liter, direct-injection, four-cylinder suspect capable of cranking out 152hp (113.3kW) and 145lb-ft of torque (196.6nM); if you're thinking that sounds a bit light, keep reading. The all-wheel drive Crosstrek has a seven-speed automatic transmission, but Subaru offers a six-speed manual transmission in the base and Premium trims. If automatic transmission is your thing but you like to take over sometimes, the Crosstrek comes with paddle shifters. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The Internet hype campaign for Super Troopers 2 sneaked in at the tail end of the crowdfunding gold rush in 2015, and that timing might have made all the difference. Crowdfunding fatigue is alive and well, after all, with the practice significantly dropping off since its mid-'10s heyday. Who knows if the Broken Lizard comedy troupe would have raised over $4.6 million if they'd launched the effort even half a year later? What, then, did fans help create by way of an Indiegogo campaign? Exactly what Broken Lizard promised: "the version of Super Troopers 2 you've been waiting for." Consider that a blessing or a curse, depending on your comedy point of view, but there's just no getting around how spiritually faithful this sequel is to the silly-cops original. More important, however, is that this crowdfunded film does not bend to the simplest catchphrase and old-gag doldrums you might expect. Just because Broken Lizard took fans' money doesn't mean the comics were stuck repeating material from the 2001 film. The result is an easy call for best crowdfunded film in recent memory. That's a low bar to clear, of course, and Super Troopers 2 is by no means a perfect film. But its ingeniously orchestrated stupidity—like a Jackson Pollack painting made up of cop pranks and hard-R visual gags—is must-see stuff for anybody who liked the first film. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Tom Perez, the head of the DNC, helped orchestrate this new lawsuit. (credit: Gage Skidmore) The Democratic National Committee has sued Russia, WikiLeaks, the Trump campaign, and a number of other individuals and organizations that the political party believes were affiliated with the now-infamous 2016 hack, whose perpetrators managed to spirit away internal research about then-candidate Donald Trump, as well as private e-mail and messages. The operation to pilfer vast caches of data, much of which was then published by WikiLeaks, was believed to have been orchestrated by the highest levels of the Russian government. "It’s pretty serious—it’s more than a shot over the bow, it’s a shot into the hull of the ship," David Bowker, a Washington DC, attorney, told Ars. Read 20 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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