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Technews: TripAdvisor Charges Man in Italy for Fake Reviews

TECHNEWS – TripAdvisor charged a man in Italy for writing fake reviews about Italian restaurants and hotels on the company’s travel site. The man has been jailed for nine months and mandated to pay a fine of 8,000 euro ($9,300).

According to the TripAdvisor, the sentence was given in June before a court in the southern Italian city of Lecce. However, there was no confirmation from the court.

The man has made offerings of selling glowing reviews to Italian businesses to lift their ratings on the TripAdvisor site. The TripAdvisor site is visited by hundreds of millions of online users monthly.

“We see this as a landmark ruling for the Internet. Writing fake reviews on TripAdvisor has always been a violation of the law in many jurisdictions … However, this is the first time we have seen the laws being enforced to the point of securing a criminal conviction,” TripAdvisor said.

FinanceBrokerage - Technews Spyware campaign targets Iranian citizens
Check Point revealed that a Spyware campaign has been targeting Iranian citizens

TripAdvisor, a US-owned company, said that Italian businesses have started reporting a man who was offering to write fake reviews in boosting their online profiles in 2015.

As per the investigation, it revealed that there were more than 1,000 attempts to send reviews for hundreds of different properties. Further, the US-owned company believes that some businesses pay for fake reviews and were slapped back with penalties that caused their popularity rankings to hit the bottom.

TripAdvisor added that the Postal and Communications Police of Italy had already made a parallel investigation and brought the subsequent prosecution.

Technews: Spyware campaign targets Iranian citizens

According to Check Point Software Technologies Ltd, an Israel-based cybersecurity company, a spyware campaign has been targeting Iranian Kurds and Iranian ISI supporters. Check Point explained that the perpetrators behind this attack “remain unconfirmed” and this had been happening since 2016. Further, the company believes that this attack is of Iranian origin and possibly commanded by government entities.

Check Point revealed that the perpetrators used fake decoy content to lure users into downloading the spyware into their mobile phones. The fake decoy content appears to be an ISIS themed application and a fake app for the existing news agency ANF of Kurdish. Contact lists stored, phone call records, SMS messages, browser history and bookmarks, geolocation, photos, and voice recordings were the data that were collected.

Additionally, Check Point said that there were around 240 people, 97% of which are Iranian citizens, have fallen to the said campaign. The other victims were from the U.K., Afghanistan, and Iraq. Moreover, the company clarified that the actual number of victims of the campaign may even be higher.

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