Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.
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- The FBI is leading an inquiry into the colossal Twitter hack that impacted high-profile accounts on Wednesday. The hackers posted tweets through the hijacked accounts asking people to donate Bitcoin to cryptocurrency addresses.
- Cybersecurity blogger Brian Krebs thinks the hack may have been carried out by a 21-year-old SIM-swapper who has ties to the hacking group that hijacked Jack Dorsey's account in August last year. The hacker is known as PlugWalkJoe, and a mobile industry security source told Krebs his real name is Joseph James Connor.
- Russian hackers linked to the Kremlin targeted coronavirus vaccine research facilities in the US, the UK, and Canada, UK security officials announced on Thursday. The hacking group — known as APT29, Cozy Bear, or the Dukes — has previously been linked to various cyberattacks, including the hacking of the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 US presidential election.
- Mark Zuckerberg called the Trump administration's response to COVID-19 "really disappointing" in a Facebook interview with Anthony Fauci. "Now that we're here in July, I just think it was avoidable, and it's really disappointing that we still don't have adequate testing," Zuckerberg said.
- European venture capitalists have chosen startups including Benevolent AI, Deep Render, and Darktrace among their 15 AI startups to watch in 2020. AI could contribute a whopping $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, according to PwC estimates.
- Facebook is planning to bring its competitor to TikTok — called Reels — to Instagram users in the US in early August. Reels, which has already debuted in India and other select countries, will live inside of Instagram Stories as an option for sharing short-form video content similar to that on TikTok.
- Facebook is adding an information label to all posts about voting from federal officials and political candidates, including the president. The labels point Facebook users to a voting information page, which is currently hosted on USA.gov.
- Microsoft quietly cut under 1,000 jobs across its business this week, as it enters its new fiscal year. Earlier this week, Microsoft reportedly cut several roles at MSN.com, its online news portal, as it shifted to an AI-powered algorithmic feed.
- Scooter charging startup Charge has signed a $3.1 million deal for new charging stations as it banks on the summer scooter boom. Charge offers a range of scooter charging options, and was founded by a number of senior executives from scooter unicorn Lime.
- Michelle Obama is hosting a new podcast exclusively on Spotify, titled "The Michelle Obama Podcast." The podcast is scheduled to debut on July 29, and will feature "candid, human, and personal conversations" with a variety of familiar faces.
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