news·4 min read

Daily Skimm: Russian Hackers, Articles of Impeachment, and Mulan's Honorable Trailer

Russian Hackers
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Dec 6, 2019


The Story

The US is cracking down on Evil Corp.

Evil what now?

Corp. No, this isn't about "Mr. Robot." It's a Russian-based cybercriminal organization that's allegedly stolen over $100 million from hundreds of banks and financial institutions in over 40 countries.


Whoa, indeed. Yesterday, the US Treasury Department brought new sanctions against the org, saying it had used malware (IT speak for software designed to damage computers) to steal people's login information. And that it did this by sending phishing emails with misleading links and attachments.

Who else has been affected by this?

Smaller businesses that didn't have great cyber defenses. When a virus managed to infect people's computers, Evil Corp would use it to steal login info and drain people's bank accounts.

What's being done to stop this?

Key NATO allies, the UK, and the US are all working together to take Evil Corp down. In addition to the sanctions from the Treasury Department, the Justice Department indicted Evil Corp's two alleged leaders: Maksim Yakubets and Igor Turashev. Worth noting: the US says Yakubets has ties to Russia's intelligence services...but isn't accusing the gov of wrongdoing. A $5 million reward is being offered to anyone who can help with the arrest of these two men.

You mentioned Russia. What does it have to say about all this?

That it has no link to Yakubets. And that it's "groundless" to imply that it does.


This isn't the first time the US has worried about alleged Russian hackers (see: the 2016 election, the 2014 email hack). And this latest development isn't exactly easing concerns about foreign interference. Especially as we near the 2020 election.


Who's saying 'thank u, next'...

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Yesterday, she asked the House Judiciary Committee to draft articles of impeachment against President Trump. For weeks now, House committees have been holding hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. If you need a reminder on what that's about, we go into it all here. Pelosi said that the president's actions have "seriously violated the Constitution." And leave lawmakers "no choice but to act." A House vote on impeachment articles could come before Christmas. But Trump is not letting any of this get to him, and is saying 'bring it on.'

  • Up next: On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee is expected to hear from the Intelligence Committee on its impeachment inquiry findings.

...Oh and speaking of Nancy Pelosi, she made it clear to reporters that she doesn't like to be messed with.

What's taking a look in the rearview mirror...

Uber. Yesterday, the company released its first safety report, revealing nearly 6,000 reports of sexual assaults over the last two years. The victims involved both drivers and passengers. The report – which also documented the number of murders and crashes that took place using Uber's service – comes after years of criticism over its safety practices. Uber admits the numbers are "hard to digest." But it's already started to make efforts to address safety concerns (see this and this). And has pointed out that over 99.9% of the more than 2 billion rides in the last two years were considered safe. It's also...

  • Setting a standard: No other ride-hailing company has proactively shared these kinds of numbers. The move is being applauded by groups working to end sexual assault.

Who people are talking about…

R Kelly. Yesterday, the singer was hit with a new bribery charge. This is over his relationship with Aaliyah back in the '90s. It's long been rumored that Kelly married her when she was just 15 years old (and he was 27). But her wedding certificate said 18. Now, federal prosecutors are accusing Kelly of bribing an Illinois government official in 1994 to get Aaliyah a fake ID. The new charge comes after other recent charges accusing Kelly of sexually abusing women and girls for decades. Kelly's lawyer dismissed the latest charge as absurd.

Who pulled out the scissors…

President Trump. Yesterday, a new report said that the US has one of the lowest tax burdens in the developed world (behind Ireland, Chile, and Mexico). And that we can thank Trump's 2017 tax cuts for it.

What's becoming a real pain…

Cellphones. A new report found the number of head and neck injuries caused by the devices went up in the last two decades. Siri, text 'ouch.'

What's the most rare and beautiful of all...

The flower that blooms in live-action adversity.

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