Berlin, Sep 20 (AP/UNB) — Germans are beginning to embrace electric cars, with experts predicting the country will have a million hybrid or battery-electric vehicles on the road by 2022.
The government originally aimed to have that many e-cars in Germany by 2020, but slow uptake in the land of the Autobahn forced it to abandon that goal.
A government advisory panel said Wednesday that recent additional financial incentives for buyers have helped provide the necessary jolt for Germany to reach the million mark two years late.
Official figures show some 460,000 electric or hybrid cars in Germany last month, and about 13,500 publicly accessible charging stations.
German automakers, shaken by the diesel emissions scandal, now have 33 electric or hybrid cars on offer, a figure the industry expects to triple in the coming years.
Dubai, Sep 19 (AP/UNB) — An Iranian government-aligned group of hackers launched a major campaign targeting Mideast energy firms and others ahead of U.S. sanctions on Iran, a cybersecurity firm said Tuesday, warning further attacks remain possible as America re-imposes others on Tehran.
While the firm FireEye says the so-called "spear-phishing" email campaign only involves hackers stealing information from infected computers, it involves a similar type of malware previously used to inject a program that destroyed tens of thousands of terminals in Saudi Arabia.
The firm warns that raises the danger level ahead of America re-imposing crushing sanctions on Iran's oil industry in early November.
"Whenever we see Iranian threat groups active in this region, particularly in line with geopolitical events, we have to be concerned they might either be engaged in or pre-positioning for a disruptive attack," Alister Shepherd, a director for a FireEye subsidiary, told The Associated Press.
Iran's mission to the United Nations rejected FireEye's report, calling it "categorically false."
"Iran's cyber capabilities are purely defensive, and these claims made by private firms are a form of false advertising designed to attract clients," the mission said in a statement. "They should not be taken at face value."
FireEye, which often works with governments and large corporations, refers to the group of Iranian hackers as APT33, an acronym for "advanced persistent threat." APT33 used phishing email attacks with fake job opportunities to gain access to the companies affected, faking domain names to make the messages look legitimate. Analysts described the emails as "spear-phishing" as they appear targeted in nature.
FireEye first discussed the group last year around the same time. This year, the company briefed journalists after offering presentations to potential government clients in Dubai at a luxury hotel and yacht club on the man-made, sea-horse-shaped Daria Island.
While acknowledging their sales pitch, FireEye warned of the danger such Iranian government-aligned hacking groups pose. Iran is believed to be behind the spread of Shamoon in 2012, which hit Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and Qatari natural gas producer RasGas. The virus deleted hard drives and then displayed a picture of a burning American flag on computer screens. Saudi Aramco ultimately shut down its network and destroyed over 30,000 computers.
A second version of Shamoon raced through Saudi government computers in late 2016, this time making the destroyed computers display a photograph of the body of 3-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi, who drowned fleeing his country's civil war.
But Iran first found itself as a victim of a cyberattack. Iran developed its cyber capabilities in 2011 after the Stuxnet computer virus destroyed thousands of centrifuges involved in Iran's contested nuclear program. Stuxnet is widely believed to be an American and Israeli creation.
APT33's emails haven't been destructive. However, from July 2 through July 29, FireEye saw "a by-factors-of-10 increase" in the number of emails the group sent targeting their clients, Shepherd said. The actual number of attacks likely was even larger as FireEye's figures only include their own clients.
The emails, pretending to be from a Mideast oil and gas company, targeted organizations in the Mideast, North America and Japan. The recipients included companies involved in the oil and gas industry, utilities, insurance, manufacturing and education, FireEye said.
Several clues lead FireEye to believe APT33 has the backing of Iran's government. The hackers uses Farsi, work an Iranian workweek of Saturday through Wednesday and correspond during Iranian office hours, FireEye said. Its list of targets also includes American firms in petrochemicals and aviation, as well as allied nations, like members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, Shepherd said. The GCC encompasses Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
"Since we started tracking APT33 in 2013, their sophistication has definitely improved. . We wouldn't put them on the same level as some of the more-sophisticated Russian groups, for instance, in terms of capability," Shepherd told the AP. "But they are a very capable group and they manage to meet their objectives, which is to compromise institutions in both the government and private sector and steal data."
Dhaka, Sept 18 (UNB) – Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL) has appointed Thai firm Thaicom Public Limited Company as the consultant for commercially launching the activities of Bangladesh’s first geostationary communications satellite Bangabandhu-1 abroad.
BCSCL Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood told UNB on Tuesday that they hired the Thai firm for the next two years for expanding the commercial activities of the satellite.
He said Thaicom Public Limited Company will work for developing coordinated market for the satellite.
Earlier, Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar said Thales Alenia Space which developed the Bangabandhu-1 will hand over the satellite to Bangladesh within this month and its commercial activities will start at the end of the month.
State Minister for Information Tarana Halim had also said her ministry has urged all private television channels to use the Bangladeshi satellite alongside BTV for broadcasting their programmes.
Bangladesh entered the elite Space Club of 57 nations with the launch of its first geostationary communications satellite into the orbit by US space transport company SpaceX on May 12.
The satellite was launched using the latest version of SpaceX's upgraded Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket, from the historic Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.
Two ground stations -– one in Betbunia of Rangamati and the other at Joydevpur of Gazipur -– have been set up to control the satellite.
Dhaka, Sep 18 (UNB) - The country’s premier e-commerce site, robishop.com, is offering exclusive pre-booking facility for purchasing the latest exciting handsets from Motorola.
Customers can pre-book Motorola Moto E4 Plus, Moto E5 and Moto E5 Plus till 24th September from robishop.com.
The Motorola Moto E4 Plus, Moto E5 and Moto E5 Plus are priced at Tk. 11,990, Tk. 14,990 and Tk. 19,990 respectively.
These exciting new handsets come with a large display with advanced cameras that snap crisp, gorgeous photos even in low light.
Moreover, with massive battery capacity, fast performance, impressive loudspeakers and stunning design, these handsets promises to herald a new era of entertainment through a mobile device.
All these handsets come with amazing gift items (Motorola Bag/Cap/T-shirt/Bluetooth Speaker), 15 months warranty, 0 per cent EMI for six months and 4GB free data (2GB regular and 2GB 4.5G) with 30-days validity.
In addition, the customers can enjoy 100 per cent bonus data volume upon purchasing any existing data pack above Tk 100 within nine months of purchasing any of these handsets.
Customers can pre-book the Motorola devices from robishop.com using EMI facility or online payment. Cash on delivery option is also available.
Dhaka, Sep 17 (UNB) – The edotco Bangladesh (edotco BD), an integrated telecommunications infrastructure services company in Bangladesh has recently completed the transfer of 20 percent of its shares held by Robi Axiata Limited.
This will result in edotco BD becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of edotco Group in line with the conditions set by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
In August, edotco announced that it has been selected by the BTRC to obtain a conditional tower sharing license. Upon completion of the conditions, this license will allow edotco to build and manage telecommunications towers for multiple mobile network operators in the country.
As part of the conditions, edotco BD, cannot retain a mobile network operator as its shareholder. With the transfer, edotco BD moves one step closer to fulfilling the conditions for tower license eligibility.
Rahul Chaudhary, Country Managing Director of edotco Bangladesh said “We have been working closely with Robi and our local partners to ensure a smooth transition. We are confident we will be able to fulfill all the conditions within the set timeframe.
We are looking forward to receiving the complete license and are determined to keep serving the telecommunication industry in Bangladesh”.
The edotco BD, has been at the forefront of the country’s tower infrastructure landscape since 2013, providing end-to-end solutions in the tower services sector from tower leasing, co-locations, build-to-suit, energy management, transmission and operations and maintenance. The company recently announced Getco, a Bangladesh-based conglomerate as a 30 percent shareholder and strategic partner.
Through its subsidiary Greencon Tower Company Limited, Getco will partner with edotco to provide next-generation infrastructure to meet the country’s growing connectivity needs.