Technology news website The Verge has recommended that Apple Account holders ensure that they have extra account security measures enabled, after the website discovered a serious security flaw in the account access system. According to The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), third parties with knowledge of a user's date of birth and email address were able to use a tweaked Apple URL in order to reset passwords and hijack accounts.
Germany's antitrust regulator the Bundeskartellamt has announced that it has fined six companies, a brand association and associated individuals a total of €39 million for anti-competitive information exchange in an ongoing investigation. According to the Bundeskartellamt, the companies have been fined for exchanging information "about upcoming price increases, new demands for rebates from the retail trade and the state of negotiations with retailers", which was stated by Bundeskartellamt president Andreas Mundt to constitute "competition-relevant information which must not be exchanged".
Citigroup Inc (Citigroup) has announced that it has agreed, subject to approval by the United States (US) District Court for the Southern District of New York, to pay US$730 million to settle "a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of investors who purchased Citigroup debt and preferred stock [during the period immediately before the global financial crisis (GFC) and who contend], among other things, that they were misled by misstatements and omissions in the company's disclosures during this period". According to Reuters, investors specifically claimed that Citigroup had understated how much it actually needed to put aside in order to cover for its high-risk residential mortgage loans, and further misrepresented risky assets as having high credit quality.
The United States (US) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that SAC Capital Advisors affiliate and hedge fund advisory company CR Intrinsic Investors (CR Intrinsic) has agreed to pay over US$600 million in what the SEC says is the largest ever settlement of an insider trading case. The SEC stated that CR Intrinsic had been charged with participating in "an insider trading scheme involving a clinical trial for an Alzheimer's drug being jointly developed by two pharmaceutical companies".
The United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that Japanese freight forwarding firms "K" Line Logistics Ltd (K Line) and Yusen Logistics Co Ltd (Yusen Logistics) will pay criminal fines totalling US$18.9 million after they agreed to plead guilty to price-fixing for air cargo shipment services between the US and Japan. According to the DoJ, the fines result from a broader investigation which has seen guilty pleas from a further 14 companies and criminal fine payments of over US$120 million.
Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) founder and executive chairperson Andrew Forrest has attracted the attention of global companies including Google, Microsoft, Virgin and Vodafone through "Walk Free", which is the title of his nascent international campaign to end modern slavery. Mr Forrest's campaign reportedly calls on global businesses firstly to commit to refusing any forced or slave labour throughout their supply chains, and then to verify their pledge by investigating all their operations, including their suppliers.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) has announced the launch of its "first-ever series of biofuel-powered intercontinental flights", to depart from John F. Kennedy Airport weekly. KLM emphasised its cooperation with Schiphol Group, Delta Air Lines, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and its partners in advancing its Corporate BioFuel Program. According to KLM, the biofuel is derived from "used cooking oil", and is "only an option if it does not have a negative impact on biodiversity, local development and/or the local food supply".
The United Kingdom Financial Services Authority (FSA) has announced that a former futures trader has been sentenced to six concurrent four-year prison terms after being found guilty of as many counts of conspiracy to insider trading. According to the FSA, Richard Joseph received "confidential and price-sensitive information" from JP Morgan Cazenove print room manager Ersin Mustafa, to whom Mr Joseph also "transferred a substantial amount of money".
In the United States (US), Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen announced that Google has agreed to settle a multistate investigation into the collection of data from unsecured wireless networks by its Street View vehicles. According to Mr Jepsen's statement, Google's Street View vehicles "collected network identification information as well as data frames and 'payload data' being transmitted over unsecured business and personal wireless networks as the cars were driving by". In addition, "Google acknowledged [that] the data [collected] may have included URLs of requested [webpages], partial or complete email communications, and any confidential or private information being transmitted to or from the network user at the time".
Appearing last week on ABC’s “This Week,” House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers, R-Mich., indicated that the Chinese military and government is responsible for a growing number of cyber-attacks against companies located in the United States. “They use their military and intelligence structure to steal intellectual property from American businesses, and European businesses, and Asian businesses, re-purpose it and then compete in the international market against the United States,” Rogers said on the program. Companies have been reluctant to publicly complain about the attacks due to fears of losing opportunities in China’s growing economic market, according to ABC News’ George Will.
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