The New York Times says that it has repeatedly come under the attack of Chinese hackers over the last four months, reports the BBC. The newspaper says that the attacks coincided with a report it ran which claimed Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had amassed a multi-billion dollar fortune. Jiabao was not accused of wrongdoing but according to the BBC, China is sensitive about reports on its leaders’ wealth.
The attacks on the major US newspaper started with the hacking of David Barboza’s account, the paper’s bureau chief in Shanghai who wrote the report, along with the account of one of his predecessors. The hackers went on to retrieve the password of every New York Times employee and gain access to any computer in the paper’s network along with 53 personal computers, most of which were outside the Times offices.
Once discovered, the paper hired internet security firm Mandiant to trace the attack. The firm believes the initial breach may have been through a spear-phishing attack, where an employee clicked on an email or link containing malicious code. It also found that the tactics the hackers used were consistent with other attacks it had traced to China.
Although the accusations have been dismissed as “groundless” by China’s foreign ministry, several governments, companies and organisations have accused the Chinese of systematic cyber espionage for years.
See the full story on BBC.co.uk
The producer of the 1975 hit movie Monty Python is bringing a case against the stars of the film, the so-called Pythons, for a share of the royalties of the popular musical Spamalot. Spamalot, which won a Tony for best musical in 2005, has been a hit on both sides of the Atlantic and is referred to as the “musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture.”
The producer of the film, Mr. Forstater, is claiming that he is owed a percentage of the significant amount of income that the musical, and its spin-off merchandise, has produced. Three of the five remaining Pythons – Eric Idle, Michael Palin and Terry Jones – are expected to be questioned.
The Telegraph reports that Mr. Forstater filed for bankruptcy in June but this was annulled in October. He is now involved in an independent voluntary arrangement to deal with his debts.
See the full story on www.Telegraph.co.uk
A UK-based animation company will destroy four of its films after it was accused of misleading consumers by the way it marketed the DVDs. Brightspark Animations, a small company based in Brighton, was accused of changing the names and packaging of some of its films in a way that bore striking similarities to Disney favourites such as the Brave, the new Pixar animation featuring the voices of Billy Connolly and Kelly MacDonald.
Disney launched the copyright claim against Brightspark after receiving complaints from customers that they had been misled by the titles and packaging. Brightspark’s animation names, for example, were Braver, Tangled Up, The Frog Princess and The Little Cars as opposed to Disney’s Brave, Tangled, The Princess and the Frog and Cars. The company agreed to destroy all copies of the animations, not do anything similar in the future and pay some of Disney’s legal fees.
See the full story on www.theargus.co.uk
Makers of the hit TV show Homeland have been threatened with a lawsuit for misrepresenting Beirut in a recent episode of the show. The threat came from Lebanese Tourism Minister Faddy Abboud who said that the filming “did not depict reality” and could damage Lebanese tourism. The BBC reports that Mr. Abboud plans on suing the director and producer of the show.
The matter is made even more complicated because the show is based off an Israeli series called Hatufim and the episode concerned was actually shot in Israel. The history between the two territories has at times been volatile and some consider Homeland’s depiction of Arabs to be insulting.
Homeland, which is produced by Twentieth Century Fox, has won multiple Emmy Awards, including Best Drama, Best Lead Actress in a Drama and Best Lead Actor in a Drama.
See the full story on BBC.co.uk