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THE WORLD THIS WEEK [Week, The (Oman)]
[January 05, 2014]

THE WORLD THIS WEEK [Week, The (Oman)]

(Week, The (Oman) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) SPAIN ARRESTS EIGHT OVER GLOBAL BANK CYBER HEISTS Spanish police earlier this week said they had arrested eight people suspected of helping to steal more than US$60mn from banks world­ wide by hacking into credit card processing firms and withdrawing money from cash machines. The arrests are one of the biggest breakthroughs yet outside the US in conne­ction with a series of global bank heists, coordinated across numer­ous countries by cells which withdrew millions of dollars in a matter of hours.

Spanish police said in a statement they had detained six Romanian citizens and two Moroccans on the outskirts of Madrid, and seized $34,400 in cash as well as around 1,000 blank credit cards, IT mate­ rial and jewels after several building searches. The statement said the global hacking gang had been controlled by a single person, who had been arrested in Germany. German prosecutors said in May they had arrested two Dutch citizens suspected of taking part in a $45mn cyber heist involving two Middle Eastern banks.

BBC SERVER TAKEN OVER BY RUSSIAN HACKER AT CHRISTMAS A Russian hacker secretly took over a computer server at the BBC before Christmas and tried to sell access to it to other hackers, accord­ing to reports. The BBC's security team believes it man­ aged to secure the site on December 28. It had been broken into via a server usually used for uploading large files. Reuters said the hacker, known online as 'HASH' or 'Rev0lver', offered proof that he had broken in by posting a screenshot of the server and its files on an underground forum where he was trying to sell access on December 25. Alex Holden, founder of Hold Security, a cybersecur­ ity company in Milwaukee, US, said the hacker didn't specify a price for access, but that the value of being able to get into the BBC server wasn't the same as that of hack­ ing credit card details. "I doubt that the BBC stored 40mn credit cards, but they have something as valuable," he said. "We do not comment on security issues," a BBC spokesman told Reuters.

SECOND BLAST IN RUSSIA'S VOLGOGRAD CITY KILLS 14 At least 14 people were killed when a bomb blast ripped through a trolleybus on Monday in the second deadly attack in the Russian city of Volgograd in two days, law enforcement authorities said. The explo­ sion came a day after a suicide bomber killed at least 17 people in the main railway station of the southern city 40 days before Russia is to hold the Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. State TV footage showed the twisted, gutted remains of the blue­ and ­white trolleybus, its roof blown off and debris strewn around the street. Federal investigators said the blast was believed to have been a 'terrorist act'. The consecutive attacks underscored Russia's  vulnerability to militants and will raise fears of a concerted campaign of violence before the Olympics, which start on February 7 in Sochi, about 690km southwest of Volgograd. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either of the attacks. Authorities said 37 people were hospitalised after Sunday's attack and 23 were reported wounded on Monday.

Bangladesh activists clash with police at polls protest Supporters of Bangladesh's opposition parties clashed with security forces in Dhaka ahead of the country's general election next week. Police said two peo­ ple were killed as protesters defied a ban on rallies. The opposition is demanding that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina steps down and a neutral gov­ernment is installed before the election. The government has rejected the demand, saying the elec­ tions are a constitutional necessity. Police fired water cannon and rubber bullets at protesters who threw stones and homemade bombs. The leader of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Khaleda Zia, had called for a march on the capital, Dhaka, defying a police ban and protesting against the 'farcical' election. Police surrounded her home on Sunday in an apparent bid to stop her from addressing the demonstration.

400 calls made to 911 over three years has landed a woman in Los Angeles in jail. Linette Young, 43, was sentenced to 180 days in jail, three years of probation and mand- atory psychological counselling after she called 911 more than 400 times. She requested paramedic service as many as six times a day and - 220 times between January 1 and September 13 in 2013.

19.58unique visitors logged in to North American Aerospace Defence Command's mn (NORAD) Santa-tracking website on Christmas Eve. NORAD said its volunteers answered 117,371 calls from children seeking information on the jolly old elf's whereabouts. First lady Michelle Obama was among the programme's 1,200 volunteers.

517 people - including 151 children - have been killed in regime air strikes on the northern Syrian province of Aleppo in a fortnight since December 15, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The monitor said raids using explosives- packed barrels had also killed 46 women.

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