Daily Tech Briefing: August 4, 2014

 
 
By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2014-08-04 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Federal court ruling orders Microsoft to violate international law; Backoff retail malware pulls user info from POS systems; Google scraps proposed floating product showplace barge in Maine; and there's more.

 
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Read more about the stories in today's news:

 
 
 

Lawyers for Microsoft have stated that the company intends to appeal a federal judge's order that they turn over the contents of a customer's email that's stored on a server in Ireland.

However, if Microsoft does comply with the order, the company will violate of both Irish and European laws. The court's order is based on a government search warrant that Microsoft and other legal experts contend is on shaky Constitutional grounds, since under normal circumstances a warrant can only be used for evidence that's located inside the U.S.

The case will go next to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but legal observers believe the case will go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court no matter which side wins the next round.

The U.S. government is urging that people watch out for a newly discovered form of retail malware, known as Backoff that is rooting out user information from Point of Sale terminals.

According to a technical alert from the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, the Backoff malware first appeared in October 2013 and is still active with at least three primary variants. It can log keystrokes, scrape device memory for credit card data and communicate with other nodes in a larger botnet.

Google has sold a four-story floating barge in Portland Harbor in Maine, where it had been building what was designed to be a floating interactive space where consumers could one day see new technologies firsthand.

In a recent email, a Google spokesperson confirmed that the barge had been sold, but declined to reveal any more about the now-defunct project or any such future endeavors.

The first release of BlackBerry Messenger for Windows Phone is now available for download. Along with the traditional messaging features, BBM for Windows Phone will also include new ones such as stickers, BBM Voice, BBM Channels and the Glympse location-sharing feature. BBM for Windows Phone features three screens that lets users swipe to Chats, Feeds and Contacts.

 
 
 

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