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Hackers Linked to Iranian Government Targeting US Presidential Campaign, Claims Microsoft

Microsoft blaming hackers for intervening into presidential campaign of US

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash.
FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. VOA

Microsoft said hackers linked to the Iranian government targeted a U.S. presidential campaign, but were not successful.

The company said in a blogpost Friday that the hackers attempted to penetrate 241 accounts, including a U.S. presidential campaign, current and former U.S. government officials, media targets and prominent expatriate Iranians.

It said the hackers were successfully able to access four accounts, but Microsoft said none of those accounts belonged to a campaign or any current or former government officials.

Microsoft did not identify the election campaign whose network was targeted by the hackers.

FILE – Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Christopher Krebs testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 22, 2019. VOA

Chris Krebs, director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said in a statement to VOA that his agency is aware of the report by Microsoft and “we are working with them to assess and mitigate impacts.”

“While much of this activity can likely be attributed to run-of-the-mill foreign intelligence service work, Microsoft’s claims that a presidential campaign was targeted is yet more evidence that our adversaries are looking to undermine our democratic institutions,” he said.

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A computer network used by 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign was hacked during that election.

The latest attacks by a group that Microsoft dubbed “Phosphorous” occurred during a 30-day period between August and September. Microsoft said the attacks were not technically sophisticated but did say the hackers researched their targets and tried to use personal information to access the accounts. (VOA)

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iPhone 11 Takes Apple Ahead of Microsoft in $1-tn Market cap: Report

Apple is in for a bumper festive season sales and the iPhone 11 series -- starting from Rs 58,900 - has registered very strong demand from the consumers in the country

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apple, software, updates, iOS
An Apple company logo is seen behind tree branches outside an Apple store in Beijing, Dec. 14, 2018. VOA

The pent-up demand for its newly-released iPhone 11 series has made Apple the most valuable company in the US again, ahead of Microsoft with a $1.07 trillion market cap.

Sailing through the US-China trade war that may impact its devices too, Apple stock has reached $236.21 to beat the previous high set just over a year ago.

The news that Chinese and American trade negotiators have reached a preliminary agreement aimed at easing the ongoing trade war between the two nations after holding a new round of high-level talks in Washington, DC, also helped Apple as a proposed 15 per cent tariff looms on $156 billion in Chinese goods, including smartphones and other consumer goods, from December 15.

At the moment, only two US companies — Apple and Microsoft — are in the $1 trillion market cap bracket, with Jeff Bezos-led Amazon inching closer.

Apple shares are about five times higher than they were when Tim Cook became CEO of the company in August 2011, reports Barron’s.

The rally owes partly to a report by the Nikkei Asian Review claiming that Apple is ramping up production of its three iPhone models by as much as 8 million units or 10 per cent of its production.

FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash.
FILE – Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. VOA

Apple’s weak rally in Q4 2018 was largely driven by concern over iPhone demand. The tables have turned, and this time Apple is set for a record sales riding on aggressive pricing and attractive discounts in countries like India.

The Cupertino-based iPhone maker is expected to report Q4 results on October 30.

The iPhone 11’s pricing strategy has worked well for the consumers in India too as the devices went out-of-stock at both Amazon India and Flipkart in just three days after the pre-booking was thrown open on September 20.

Also Read: Oracle Ensures Keeping Sensitive Data within Boundaries of India

The increase in orders appears to validate Apple CEO Tim Cook’s new strategy of enticing budget-conscious consumers with cheaper models amid the weakening world economy.

Apple is in for a bumper festive season sales and the iPhone 11 series — starting from Rs 58,900 – has registered very strong demand from the consumers in the country. (IANS)