The Download April 13, 2022: Russian hackers, and house-flipping algorithms

This is today’s version of the download, Our weekly newsletter provides daily updates on what’s going on in the world of technology.

Russian hackers try to bring down Ukraine’s power grid to help the invasion

Targeted attack: Russian hackers targeted the Ukrainian power grid and attempted a blackout that would hit 2 million people, according to Ukrainian government officials and the Slovakian cybersecurity firm ESET. The hackers attempted to destroy the computer of a Ukrainian energy company, which uses malware specifically designed to disrupt the system by erasing data and rendering it useless.

Russian support: The effect remains unclear. Ukrainian officials say they foiled the attack, which they claim was intended to support Russian military operations in eastern Ukraine. If successful, the hack would have caused the biggest cyber-inspired blackout ever.

Successful infiltration: According to a Ukrainian government document shared with international partners in recent weeks, Russian hackers recently entered into a Ukrainian power company and temporarily shut down nine electric substations. The document, which has not been made public, was shared with the MIT Technology Review. Read the full story.

,Patrick Howell O’Neill

House-flipping algorithms are coming to your neighborhood

When Michael Maxson found his dream home in Clark County, Nevada, he owned a tech company, not an individual. Zillow, the largest U.S. real estate listing site, began buying homes in 2018, speculating it could create “one-click nirvana” for real estate. The main idea was to use the house price and investors’ cash data to buy them before fixing and selling them.

When he went to inspect the property, however, he noticed that a huge water leak had eroded the walls and flooded the neighbors’ yard. Despite offering to carry out expensive repairs himself, Maxus discovered that the house had already been sold to another family, at the same price he had offered.

During this time, Zillow lost more than $ 420 million in three months of random home purchases and unprofitable sales, leading analysts question whether the overall tech-based model is really viable. For the rest of us, the big question remains: does the advent of Silicon Valley Tech point to a better future for housing or industry collapse? Read the full story.

,Matthew Ponsford

Must read

I used the internet to find out some of the most fun / important / scary / compelling stories about technology today.

1 More than half a billion well-known covid cases have been reported in the world
The true number is likely to be much higher. (NYT)
, Cases are on the rise again across the US(NYT)
, Experts are divided over whether the U.S. should stop testing for tourists entering the country. (WP)

2 Some Ukrainians are fighting Russia by investigating the facts for Facebook
But there is still tremendous pressure to go into physical war. (WP)
, The country is experiencing a relentless campaign of cyber attacks(WSJ $) + Cybersecurity experts lobby for standards to ward off hacking threats(Bloomberg 2) + Drones are being used to gather evidence of war crimes. (WSJ)
, Russian tech workers are fleeing the country to find work elsewhere. (NYT)

3 Jack Dorsey is finding a favorite audience among crypto loyalists

And possibly rewriting his legacy in the process. (Bloomberg 2)
, There’s no getting around it ના The prototype wallet of the block looks like rocks(The Verge)

4 Looks like SpaceX is winning the 21st century space race
The next wave of its success rests on its Starship reusable rocket. (Fast company)
, Starlink went down for a while over the weekend(Registered)

5 tax sites are getting greedy with your data
And they are secretive and shifty about it in the process. (WP)
, This tax season is going to be especially unpleasant for NFT investors. (Atlantic 2)

6 Twitch spectators are going wild for chess
The game’s premier bad boy, led by Hikaru Nakamura. (New Yorker 2)
, Online chess fans are raising money for Ukraine. (CBC)

7 Shanghai’s lockdown is bad news for the global supply chain
The gadget’s circuit border is expected to be the biggest casualty. (FT)

8 tech companies are pulling stops to get their employees back to the office
To be honest, it would be hard to deny Lizo’s private show. (NYT)
, But plenty of tech workers will work from home for people close by. (Information)
, Some simple tips for working haters. (WP)

9 The malware detection industry is getting involved in lawsuits
The biggest names in cybersecurity are not happy with what they see as patent trolling. (The Verge)

10 small electric cars can challenge a Bolivian muscle truck
They’re cheap-but have to face an uphill battle to get into the mainstream. (Rest of the world)

Quote of the day

“Globally and what’s happening in the US is that people have basically given up. They just want to go back to normal life.”

EdTedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s director general, says ordinary people are fed up with covid sanctions, the New York Times reports.

We can still have good things

A place for relaxation, pleasure and distraction in these strange times. (Any ideas? Drop me a line orTweet them to me,

+ While they are not building a crypto empire, it seems that the locals of El Salvador are not afraid of good times.
+ This list goes well with Silicon Valley’s Jared (Donald) Dunn’s best lines.
+ This story of Art Forgers is Hollywood stuff that makes millions from fraudulent paintings.
Timely reminder from Usain Bolt on +The importance of kindness,
+ Take inspiration from this uplifting part and send congratulations to your favorite partner today.
+ An Ode to the Best Sound Woman – Kathleen Turner
+ These cats with careers put us all to shame.

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