Global Tech Roundup: Hackers return nearly $600m worth of stolen cryptocurrency


Hi Guys! It’s the end of another busy week in the world of tech. From Samsung’s unpacked event to the outstanding $700 million raised by Reddit and Twitter’s plan to open an office in Nigeria, the week was packed with surprises.

Here is a quick roundup of some of the major stories around the globe you might have missed.

Hackers return nearly $600m worth of stolen cryptocurrency

This week, hackers stole some $600m worth of cryptocurrency from a blockchain site Poly Network. This heist appears to be one the largest cryptocurrency heists in history.

According to the company, the hackers exploited a vulnerability in its system and stole thousands of digital tokens such as Ether.

“About $267m of Ether currency has been taken, $252m of Binance coins and roughly $85 million in USDC tokens.”

Global Tech Roundup: Hackers steal $600m worth of cryptocurrency, then return most of it

Hours after the hack, Poly Network urged the thieves to “establish communication and return the hacked assets”, In a letter posted on Twitter.

On Thursday, Poly Network confirmed on Twitter that $268m worth of Ether tokens has now been recovered.

By Thursday evening, Poly Network posted an update that most of the remaining assets in the hacker’s possession had been transferred to a digital wallet controlled by both the hacker and the company.

The hackers, whom the firm named “Mr White Hat”, posted several pages of notes to the blockchain, disclosing why they hacked the firm and the offers Poly Network made to them.

Reddit raises $700 million Series F at $10 billion valuation

Reddit, the self-declared ‘front page of the internet,’ has raised an additional $410 million in funding, with the final Series F round expected to be closed at about $700 million.

The company previously raised $250 million in funding earlier this year for a valuation of $6 billion.

Global Tech Roundup: Hackers steal $600m worth of cryptocurrency, then return most of it

However, Reddit’s co-founder and CEO, Steve Huffman told the Times that the company was approached with this recent financing round by Fidelity Investments and were made an offer it couldn’t refuse.

With the latest round, the company says it is now valued at more than $10 billion.

Despite the current influx of funds, Huffman says the company still plans to go public. “We are still planning on going public, but we don’t have a firm timeline there yet. All good companies should go public when they can,” he added.

Twitter gets new font called Chirp but not everyone likes it

On Wednesday, Twitter unveiled a new design that includes a new font, called Chirp, and higher-contrast colours.

However, almost immediately, some users began to complain about the new font. Some said that the font was too big while others opined that the new font gave them headaches.

While talking about the new font, Twitter said that while it might feel weird at first, the new updates make the platform more accessible, unique, and focused on you and what you’re talking about.

Not many agree though. One user claims that it was incredibly difficult to read. “It’s incredibly difficult for me to read with, and it physically hurts to look at it.” Another user added that “It looks like the letters are doing the wave, I hate it.”

Twitter, however, says it is listening to feedback. “We tested the font and found that while it does take people a little time to get used to it, overall they like the change. We’re listening to feedback about the font and will continue to improve it.”

The company has a history of making changes when it believes it has made a mistake, so those who hate the font may get their reversal.

Disney+ beats expectations to hit $17.02bn revenue as subscribers rise to 116 million

Like Netflix, Disney’s streaming service beat analysts’ expectations for revenue and subscriber growth in its latest quarter.

The streaming service raked in $17.02 billion in revenue, higher than the $16.76 billion expected. Its earnings per share were also pegged at 80 cents, above analysts’ expectations of 55 cents.

Global Tech Roundup: Hackers steal $600m worth of cryptocurrency, then return most of it

Similarly, Disney+ subscriber base rose 100% year-over-year to 116 million paid subscribers. This is above the 114.5 million Wall Street had expected.

This was a welcome change from the disappointing second-quarter earnings, where the pandemic pushed results askew of estimates as Disney+ only reached 103.6 million subscribers when analysts were expecting 109.3 million.

Zambia shuts down access to Twitter and other social media platforms amid ongoing elections

The Zambian government reportedly blocked access to WhatsApp and other apps during its ongoing general elections, according to internet monitor NetBlocks.

The block is affecting its state-owned internet providers and other private networks.

The restriction comes days after the government threatened to shut down the internet if Zambians “failed to use the cyberspace during this year’s election correctly.”

Global Tech Roundup: Hackers steal $600m worth of cryptocurrency, then return most of it

Now that the block is in place, reports say the government intended to keep it till Sunday when vote counts are expected to have ended.

Zambia isn’t the first African country to implement social media restrictions and internet shutdown during an election. It is now a recurring theme for most African countries.

Countries like Cameroon, Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, Guinea, Togo, Benin, Mali and Mauritania have all faced social media restrictions and internet shutdowns during elections.

You can check out other news that happened during the week here. Have a nice weekend!!

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