America

Cyberattacks Disrupt Holiday Shopping

A screen shot of Mastercard.com.

A screen shot of Mastercard.com. Mastercard hide caption

itoggle caption Mastercard

If you haven't paid attention to the Wikileaks controversy and related denial of service attacks, this may grab your attention. The Telegraph reports consumers can't always shop online for the holidays because MasterCard, Visa and Paypal are working intermittently. (See Eyder's post below for more.)

One payment firm said the cyber attacks had resulted in a "complete loss of service" for its clients, although MasterCard insisted its card transactions were still secure.

The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal is summarizing the larger view with the running post, 'How To Think About Wikileaks'. Writers from Xeni Jardin to the Economist to InfoWorld's Robert Cringely are digesting how the document dump changes us:

This is the single most important story to hit the Internet ever. It dwarfs the Drudge Report's Monica Lewinsky scoop, the Twitter anti-Tehran uprising, and even the Pam Anderson sex video. Never before has a small band of whatever-you-want-to-call-thems taken on every major nation simultaneously, twisting them into knots. But thanks to the distributed nature of the Net, they have — and I suspect they won't be the last.

Now Wikileaks's online payment processor, DataCell of Iceland, says it will take legal steps against Visa and MasterCard for refusing to process donations to the website. No word on PayPal.

SENATE MAY TAKE UP TAX AGREEMENT

NPR's David Welna tells NPR Newscasts the plan worked out between President Obama and Republican lawmakers could come up for debate today. The price tag is a jaw-dropping $900 billion. That's 900,000,000,000. Dollars. David talked to Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) who wants to pay for it somewhere else - "we ought to have other things that constrain spending down the road, because 900 billion, I mean, I think we're all shocked at the sticker price of it".

AIG TO BEGIN BAILOUT REPAYMENT

Speaking of wads of money, financial corporation AIG signaled it intends to pay back money it received in 2008 to stave off collapse. The Washington Post reports AIG will use proceeds from recent sales of subsidiary firms to make a dent on the $20 billion it owes the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. NPR's Jim Zarroli tells NPR Newscasts the arrangement lets the U.S. government start selling some of the AIG shares its holds to reduce its ownership: the government owns about 80 percent of the company.

SINGER ARETHA FRANKLIN VERY ILL

The Detroit Free Press and Detroit TV station WJBK report she's ill with cancer. Franklin had surgery last week, and thanked well-wishers, saying the procedure for the undisclosed ailment was 'successful'.

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