The United States justice department charged three North Korean military intelligence officials in a campaign of cyberattacks to steal $1.3 billion in crypto and traditional currencies from banks and other targets, including the 2016 theft of monies from Bangladesh Bank’s sovereign account at the New York Federal Reserve. The first action against Pyongyang by President Joe Biden’s administration took aim at what the department called ‘a global campaign of criminality’ being waged by North Korea.
The case filed in federal court in Los Angeles builds on 2018 charges against one of the three, identified as Park Jin Hyok. He was charged with the 2014 hack of Sony pictures, the creation of the notorious WannaCry ransomware, and the 2016 theft of $81 million from the central bank of Bangladesh. The new charges added two defendants, Jon Chang Hyok and Kim Il. The department accused the three of a wide-ranging hacking and malware operation to obtain funds for their government while avoiding punishing UN sanctions.
A sedition case was filed against four people, including Swedish-Bangladeshi journalist and Netra News Editor-in-Chief Tasneem Khalil and Hungary-based entrepreneur Zulkarnain Saer Khan alias Sami, over the Al Jazeera documentary titled "All the Prime Minister's Men". The two other accused are: British journalist David Bergman and Mostefa Souag, acting director general of Al Jazeera Media Network.
Moshiur Malek, founder and president of Bangabandhu Foundation, filed the case with the court of Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Ashek Imam. In the complaint, Malek said Al Jazeera on February 1 aired a ‘fictitious, false, fake and fabricated’ report which was also published on YouTube and other online platforms. By broadcasting the report, Al Jazeera tarnished the image of the government and the state at home and abroad which is tantamount to sedition, the complainant added. After holding hearing, the magistrate recorded the statement of the complainant and took cognisance of the case. The magistrate will pass an order in the case on February 22.
Bangladesh slipped 12 places to 115th position in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, or UNCTAD’s Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index-2020, despite a significant boom in online business in the country following the COVID-19 pandemic. UNCTAD released the 2020 edition of the report that said that Bangladesh’s score in the index stood at 33.3 out of 100, lower by 5.8 from the previous year, when it placed 103rd. It continued the spiral downwards from a far more respectable 88th in the 2018 index.
Among the South Asian countries, only Pakistan (116) and Afghanistan (143) are behind Bangladesh. Although the UNCTAD did not explain the reasons behind the dismal performance of Bangladesh, it said the country’s score in three indicators, out of four, declined while the other one remained unchanged compared to 2019. India expectedly tops the region with its global ranking at 71st followed by Sri Lanka (91), Nepal (113) and Bhutan (114).
Around 25 students of Barishal University were injured after miscreants attacked them at their hostels in the city's Rupatoli area past midnight on February 17, in what seemed like a retaliatory attack by a group of transport workers. Thirteen of the injured were admitted to Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital, with three in serious condition, according to their fellow students.
A group of 50 miscreants carried out the attack with sticks, iron rods and sharp weapons around 1am. It came after BU students had blockaded the Barishal-Kuakata highway earlier in the day in protest after two of their fellows were assaulted at the BRTC Bus Stand inside the campus. One of them was allegedly stabbed by a transport worker following a brawl. Police later arrested the transport worker, and the students ended their blockade. Dr Sadekul Arefin, vice-chancellor of the university, after visiting the hospital this morning said that the university authority will make sure the students receive proper treatment.