Ransomware & more news

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Ransomware

North America Is Biggest Ransomware Target, Chainalysis Says – Bloomberg – This quote in the article about ransomware stood out to me: “The number of bad actors responsible for these widespread attacks is surprisingly small,” the report said. By taking action against the biggest players in groups such as infrastructure providers and money launderers, it said, “law enforcement can have an outsized impact and disrupt the operations of multiple strains.” – If ransomware was treated as war by other means that it actually is, rather than thinking of it as a law enforcement problem, things might get better. It would require the west to target ransomware payment rat runs and take out its key ransomeware players through covert means

Design

Carhartt WIP FW:21 Flower & Season | carhartt-wip.com – such a good photography project

Economics

Evergrande: China faces ‘challenging trade-offs’ in addressing developer’s debt crisis, IMF says | South China Morning Post

Ethics

We need to get news off Facebook, and we need to talk about mental health – Baekdal Plus – Thomas Baekdal is a Danish media analyst who has been an expert commentator on online media for over a decade. His newsletter and analysis carry a lot of weight in the European media industry

Finance

Henry Kravis and George Roberts step down as KKR chiefs | Financial Times – Kravis and Roberts had a storied career in finance including the RJR Nabisco corporate battle captured in Barbarians At The Gate.

Elite Capture of Foreign Aid Evidence from Offshore Bank Accounts Jørgen Juel Andersen Niels Johannesen Bob Rijkersdisbursements to highly aid-dependent countries coincide with sharp increases in bank deposits in offshore financial centers known for bank secrecy and private wealth man- agement, but not in other financial centers. The estimates are not confounded by contemporaneous shocks such as civil conflicts, natural disasters, and financial crises, and are robust to instrumenting with predetermined aid commitments. The implied leakage rate is around 7.5 percent at the sample mean and tends to increase with the ratio of aid to GDP. The findings are consistent with aid capture in the most aid-dependent countries.

Hong Kong

Almost half of Hong Kong’s BN(O) migrants are still unemployed, struggle with language and workplace culture differences | South China Morning Post – this rings true to me, although I would argue that the language issues are confidence, NOT ability. All of this will change for the better in a couple of years. Whats interesting is their high level of realism and determination to leave anyway. We’re now starting to see healthcare workers as well, who should fare better

Chinese Billionaire Jack Ma ‘in Hong Kong’ After Media Investment Ban — Radio Free Asia – South China Morning Post to become state media

Ideas

Among the Taliban: a soldier-turned-writer’s journey through Afghanistan | Financial TimesI’ve benefited from the west. I had to fight, though; it has not been easy, but I hate being a victim. People kicked my head in. I kicked theirs in back. Things improved after I left my hometown of little opportunity in 1997. The Pakistani boys left back there are told to pull their socks up, get called Pakis, are accused of turning England into an Islamic state, forced into marriages, have fingers pointed at them by politicians when it’s convenient, and today they’re being told to change from being undereducated town-dwellers to remote coders for international tech companies. Yeah, right. A plane ticket to a war zone is much easier – great essay in the Financial Times

The Triumph and Terror of Wang Huning – Palladium

Luxury

Should Brands Even Be Speaking About Social Causes? | Highsnobbriety 

Media

New Bond Can’t Take On Beijing’s Supervillains | Foreign Policy – how Hollywood underwent capture by China and now can’t break free without giving up access to the China market

Chinese Billionaire Jack Ma ‘in Hong Kong’ After Media Investment Ban — Radio Free Asia – South China Morning Post to become state media? Which makes me wonder about what will happen to Stand News, Hong Kong Free Press and HK01?

Security

U.S. to tell critical rail, air companies to report hacks, name cyber chiefs | Reuters – good that they are doing it, but should have been done over a decade ago. I would be surprised if the offensive tools aren’t already implanted ready to go off

Company That Routes Billions of Text Messages Quietly Says It Was Hacked | Motherboard

WeChat’s Privacy Breach Exposed Online – Brumpost – not terribly surprising

Taiwan

The Harvard Crimson – Harvard summer school moves from China to Taiwan – wider issues of cultural decoupling driven by Chinese conduct

Beijing accuses Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen of demanding equal ‘state-to-state’ treatment | South China Morning PostBeijing says her comments that Taiwan should not be ‘subordinate’ to the mainland had revived the doctrine first adopted by Taipei in 1999. Tsai is reported to have played a prominent role in formulating the theory, which Beijing says cannot exist alongside the one-China principle

Vietnam

Vietnam’s factories lurch into crisis from worker exodus with holiday shopping on the line | South China Morning Postthousands of workers – originally from the poorer parts of the country – who are leaving for their hometowns, an exodus that has left business owners in a state of panic over labour losses. Of the 3.5 million migrant workers employed in Ho Chi Minh City and its neighbouring provinces, 2.1 million want to return home, according to state media reports – explains Nike’s problems indicates that its systemic rather than brand or sector based in nature

Web of no web

China tests unmanned warships at secret base | The Times – to be expected