Alleged Huawei spy was caught disguised as ‘Weihua’ employee

If you’re going to steal trade secrets for your employer, you might want to do a little more to hide your identity than simply rearrange the letters of your company’s name. 

That’s apparently all one Huawei employee spy did to disguise himself during a late-night attempt to steal technology from a U.S. competitor. 

Needless to say, it wasn’t exactly successful.

This hilarious new detail emerged as part of the United States government’s indictment of the Chinese firm on charges of racketeering and conspiracy to steal trade secrets. The indictment lays out how the company sought to steal the intellectual property of six different U.S. tech companies — though not every attempt was particularly sophisticated.

According to the U.S. government’s description of a 2004 incident at a Chicago trade show, a Huawei employee, identified only as “Individual-3,” was “discovered in the middle of the night after the show had closed for the day in the booth of a technology company … removing the cover from a networking device and taking photographs of the circuitry inside.”

That alone would be pretty damming, but it only gets better: The would-be spy was allegedly wearing a badge that identified his employer as “Weihua,” which the indictment notes is simply the word “Huawei” rearranged.  

Here’s the full description of the incident from the court filing (emphasis added):

In or about July 2004, at a trade show in Chicago, Illinois, a HUAWEI employee (“Individual-3”), an individual whose identity is known to the Grand Jury, was discovered in the middle of the night after the show had closed for the day in the booth of a technology company (“Company 3”), an entity the identity of which is known to the Grand Jury, removing the cover from a networking device and taking photographs of the circuitry inside. Individual-3 wore a badge listing his employer as “Weihua,” HUAWEI spelled with its syllables reversed.

In official correspondence with Company 3 shortly after this incident, HUAWEI claimed that Individual-3 attended the trade show in his personal capacity and that his attempted misappropriation occurred “without Huawei’s authorization.” According to a purported official statement published in Reuters, HUAWEI claimed, “This is a junior engineer who had never traveled to the United States before. His actions do not reflect the culture or values of Huawei.” Notably, a resume that Individual-3 submitted to the U.S. government in approximately 2012 stated that he had been a “senior R&D Engineer” at HUAWEI from 1997 until July 2004, the time of the incident.

Leaving aside the fact that he kept his badge on for his late-night spying run, it’s truly hilarious that he couldn’t come up with a better cover than “Weihua.” 

It’s also worth noting that Huawei’s defense sounds equally weak. Though the company tried to say at the time that he was a “junior engineer,” years later, the company identified him as a longtime “senior” employee. Not exactly smooth. 

YouTuber fakes a Bali vacation, is actually in an IKEA

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If you’re going to fake something for Instagram, IKEA is pretty much the perfect place to do it. 

YouTuber Natalia Taylor tricked her followers into believing she took a luxurious tropical vacation in Bali, but she really just went to Ikea. Dressed in a bright pink dress she bought for a much more local trip to Vegas, she and a photographer had a guerrilla photoshoot in Ikea’s model rooms. 

Despite the Easter eggs she left in the photos — in one, she posed in front of a tag that literally said Ikea — Natalia successfully tricked her fans. 

“I mean that’s not a lie, it’s just not the life you think I’m living,” she said when one follower congratulated her on living her best life. 

It’s not the first time someone’s faked a vacation to make a statement. YouTubers have been tricking their fans since 2018 in an effort to show them how fake social media can be, no matter how authentic it looks. 

Similarly, Natalia wants her followers to know that everything isn’t as it seems. 

“Don’t trust everything you see on the internet,” she said.

Life after death: Man SEPARATED from consciousness in NDE as ‘time lost meaning’

A man who gave his name as just Brom said when he was younger, he was involved in a swimming injury which resulted in having to have a trachea tube fitted. However, as doctors and nurses were attempting to move Brom, the trachea tube became dislodged.

This meant he was unable to breathe, and at this point Brom said he entered a heavenly realm.

The man believes his life slipped away from him, where his consciousness was ttransported to another realm.

In this other world, Brom experienced euphoria and a sensation that he was out of his body.

Brom wrote on the Near Death Experience Research Foundation: “I became fully engulfed in heavenly light while being propelled forward. I clearly heard the loud sound of rushing wind.

“After some moments of awe and wonder, I realised that my consciousness had been separated from my body.

“Instinctively, I struggled to return to my body by sending messages to those parts of my body.

“I tried to shrug my shoulders, blink my eyes, and turning my head, but did not seem to have any effect at first.”

Brom also claimed there “was a singular purity about my consciousness because there were no distractions to cloud my thinking.”

He added: “Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning. Time seemed to lose meaning to me.

“My thinking pattern remained the same during the experience, so I conclude that moments had passed.”

Eventually, the doctors refitted the trachea tube, allowing him to breathe again as the “room gradually came into focus.”

Some researchers, however, have said these visions are normal phenomenon and not necessarily a sign of an afterlife.

Dr Sam Parnia, director of critical care and resuscitation research at NYU Langone School of Medicine in New York City, told a recent Oz Talk: “People describe a sensation of a bright, warm, welcoming light that draws people towards it.

“They describe a sensation of experiencing their deceased relatives, almost as if they have come to welcome them.

“They often say that they didn’t want to come back in many cases, it is so comfortable and it is like a magnet that draws them that they don’t want to come back.

Loch Ness Monster: Scientists finally reveal true identity of legendary Scottish creature

Many tales surrounding the myth of the Loch Ness Monster point to a giant reptile leftover from the Jurassic era or a dragon-like creature. The monster was first spotted in the River Ness in 565 AD, with sightings since then keeping the myth alive.

The most famous image that exists today of the alleged beast is a black and white photograph from 1934 which shows a trunk-like head protruding from the river.

However, a scientific survey of the loch has revealed that the monster is most likely to be a giant eel, according to Ecologist at Edinburgh Napier University, Jason Gilchrist.

Mr Gilchrist wrote in The Conversation that a new technique has allowed scientists to sample all the life in the loch by gathering environmental DNA or e-DNA, as it is commonly known.

He wrote: “This is genetic material that’s present in the cells of organisms and shed into their surrounding environment.

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Loch Ness Monster: Scientists finally reveal exactly what legendary Scottish creature is (Image: GETTY)

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The team of scientists took samples of water from throughout the loch (Image: GETTY)

“Finding and identifying e-DNA can tell scientists what organisms are living in a habitat without them having to observe or capture them.”

The team of scientists took samples of water from throughout the loch and compared them with 36 lochs nearby.

The list of DNA included bacteria, plants and animals.

The study detected over 500million individual organisms and 3,000 species.

READ MORE: Loch Ness monster: Creature filmed in lake where British tourist died

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The study detected over 500million individual organisms and 3,000 species (Image: GETTY)

Neil Gemmell of University of Otago in New Zealand led the study and confirmed that there are no matches for sharks, catfish or sturgeon, which rules out the possibility of Nessie being an exotic fish.

The DNA also identified land-living creatures which included badgers, deer, rabbits, voles, and different birds.

Sheep, cattle, dogs and even humans were traced among the DNA.

Media has suggested that the monster is likely to be a giant eel which has been backed up by the sampled DNA.

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Neil Gemmell of University of Otago in New Zealand led the study (Image: GETTY)

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Eel DNA was detected “pretty much every location sampled” in Loch Ness (Image: GETTY)

Eel DNA was detected “pretty much every location sampled” in Loch Ness.

However, Mr Gilchrist revealed that the DNA does not necessary confirm that Nessie is a giant eel but there are just a lot of eels in the loch.

Yet, he also suggests that scientists do not have monster DNA to compare with anything they found in the loch, “so no one can say for sure if there is or isn’t a monster there”.

An eel is any ray-finned fish belonging to the order Anguilliformes, of which there are 800 species.

Nessie’s most popular representation is a plesiosaur which is an ancient long-necked marine reptile.

loch ness

The most famous image that exists today of the alleged beast is a 1934 black and white photograph (Image: GETTY)

However, the huge reptile was wiped out along with the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Scottish geologist Hugh Miller found the bones of the first British plesiosaur on the Isle of Eigg, Scotland in 1844.

But according to Mr Gemmell, there is “not a single reptile in our vertebrate data, and nothing that sat in the expected place that a plesiosaur [DNA] sequence might be predicted to lie – somewhere between birds and crocodilians”.

He added: “People love a mystery, we’ve used science to add another chapter to Loch Ness’ mystique.

“We can’t find any evidence of a creature that’s remotely related to that in our environmental-DNA sequence data. So, sorry, I don’t think the plesiosaur idea holds up based on the data that we have obtained.”

It’s official: Mobile World Congress has been cancelled due to coronavirus fears

Mobile World Congress 2020 is officially cancelled. 

The world’s biggest annual phone show has been called off due to concerns over the coronavirus, according to an email from GSMA CEO John Hoffman obtained by Bloomberg. GSMA is the mobile industry organization that runs MWC.

The event was already in shambles as Facebook, Sprint, Cisco, AT&T, BT, Nokia, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom all announced they were pulling out of the event just today. These companies joined Amazon, Ericsson, LG, Nvidia, Sony, TCL, and ZTE which had all previously said they were no longer attending the event due to coronavirus fears.

The coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has infected over 45,000 people so far. More than 1,100 have since died from the outbreak and over 25 countries are now reporting cases of the coronavirus.

GSMA had insisted the event was still on as of early Wednesday. However, in the email canceling this year’s MWC, Hoffman claims the coronavirus outbreak has made it “impossible” to move forward. GSMA had previously attempted to curb fears by taking protective measures for this year’s event, like banning people from the Hubei province in China from going to the event. It had also urged vendors and attendees to take certain hygiene precautions, such as advising against shaking hands.

MWC, which was set to take place between Feb. 24 and 27 in Barcelona, is a massive industry trade event which typically features many Chinese mobile phone manufacturers.   

The event cancellation could result in a loss of $492 million euros, which is what MWC was projected to bring to the local Barcelona economy. The show typically creates more than 14,000 jobs as well.

WhatsApp has more than 2 billion users

Facebook’s growth may be slowing down, but WhatsApp is more dominant than ever. The messaging app now counts more than 2 billion monthly users, Facebook announced on Wednesday.

WhatsApp is the second Facebook-owned service to reach the 2 billion user milestone. Facebook passed 2 billion monthly users in 2017, but its growth has since slowed amid privacy scandals and increasing scrutiny from officials around the world. Recently, the company has instead emphasized metrics for its “family of apps,” which includes Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram.

But WhatsApp’s growth has remained strong even as Facebook’s has slowed. The messaging app is the main texting app used in much of the world, and the app is consistently among the most-downloaded.

The app’s founders, Jan Koum and Brian Acton, departed Facebook nearly two years ago amid reports the privacy conscious executives had clashed with Facebook leadership over proposed plans to bring advertising to WhatsApp. Acton famously called himself a “sellout” and tweeted #deleteFacebook. (The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Facebook was “backing away” from its plans to bring advertising to the messaging app.) 

In a statement marking its 2 billion-user milestone, Facebook emphasized WhatsApp’s use of encryption. 

“Strong encryption is a necessity in modern life,” the company wrote. “We will not compromise on security because that would make people less safe.”

Bloomberg is running his campaign’s Twitter like a brand, and it’s not landing

There’s no other way to write this: Mike Bloomberg’s official presidential campaign tweeted a photo of his face superimposed over a meatball. 

Yes, it was strange. And it wouldn’t be the last time the billionaire’s campaign would do something plainly odd online. 

The January meatball ploy — which, by the way, ranks well behind Dwight and Stanley’s meatball scheme in The Office, as far as meatball-related ploys go — is a part of a bigger push from the Democratic presidential candidate. 

A short list of the weird things the campaign has done in recent weeks:

The stranger posts haven’t been particularly well-received. The whole Weird Twitter thing for Bloomberg feels inauthentic and, somehow, less charming than the brands that thought of this strategy years ago. But people liking the posts might not be the point. 

“[The campaign] might do some dumb things, at first, that are clearly laughable, but they’re probably testing things out… trying to see which ones get engagement, which ones get traction,” said Anthony Nadler, associate professor of media studies at Ursinus College. 

The Bloomberg campaign did not respond to Mashable’s request for comment. 

The social strategy from Bloomberg is just a small part of a massive push from the billionaire candidate. Stocked with effectively unlimited cash, he’s bought ads at an incredible clip, flooding the airwaves and the internet with Bloomberg content.   

In a slimming — but still wildly crowded — Democratic field, attention is invaluable. But while the ads are obviously helpful, the weird posts from Bloomberg have fallen flat on Twitter. It’s easy to understand why: A 77-year-old, vanilla billionaire who’s running for president is dabbling in the absurd stuff regular people do online to pass the time. 

“I don’t know, I like meatballs,” Bloomberg said in an appearance on The View, attempting to explain the most infamous tweet from his team. “Young people that run the social media part of the campaign [were] having some fun.”  

That’s part of the reason the Bloomberg tweets have failed. The candidate himself is decidedly not in on the joke. Even brands that adopted a Weird Twitter voice — think: Denny’s posting about being Egg Daddy — felt less craven because it was sustained ploy. You could also imagine the person behind the account, collecting a check to shill waffles versus a candidate trying anything to get votes.  

“It’s really hard for Bloomberg to come off like an everyday meme-creator shooting things out,” Nadler said. 

The meatball tweet, for instance, was posted during a Democratic debate for which Bloomberg didn’t qualify. It was effectively the campaign being strange just to get something — anything — out there to feed the ever-churning, political-content beast. Bloomberg even ended the night by tweeting, “Now that my team @mike2020 has your attention, I think it’s important that you see what @RealDonaldTrump said to voters in Wisconsin tonight… This is not a joke.”

“The weird tweets are a type of meta act to capture the attention of people who have broken brains because they have to think about the election all the time,” wrote New York Magazine’s Brian Feldman.

And again, the weird posts are hardly all Bloomberg’s put out there. He’s spending like money is no object because, well, money is no object. He dished out $188 million — $140 million of which was thrown at digital and TV advertising — in just the first month of his campaign. Bloomberg’s funneled tens of millions into Hawkfish, a digital firm he just founded that’s working with the campaign, and has even sought out influencers to shill for his candidacy. 

Basically: If it can be bought, Bloomberg’s writing checks. It all serves to see what, if anything, sticks. Nadler, the media professor, described the idea of running countless targeted digital ads as using “tens of millions of people as a Bloomberg focus group.” 

Some of these efforts from the former NYC mayor must be working. Bloomberg started as a longshot and is now third among 2020 Democrats in RealClearPolitics’ average of national polls. It still remains to be seen if the weird posts will become a mainstay of the campaign or something it abandons with time.

“It may be hard to tell which things are getting laughed at or laughed with,” Nadler said.

But it might not matter why people are laughing — as long as they’re paying attention.

UFO sighting? ‘Alien craft’ spotted not far from Area 51 sparks conspiracy claims

The shaky amateur 25 second-long footage of unknown origin distinctly shows disk-shaped white object appearing to hover motionless over the barren US desert.

The camera phone footage is purported to have been shot in late January 2020.

This video is an awesome capture of an actual alien craft in the Nevada area

Scott Waring

Controversial conspiracy theorist Scott Waring took to his etdatabase.com site to speculate about what he claims is an apparent alien craft.

He said: “This video was taken on the extraterrestrial highway.

“This is an area famous for its UFO sightings in the middle of nowhere.

READ MORE: ‘UFO city’ spotted on Google Moon map

Area 51 UFO sighting

UFO sighting: was an ‘alien craft’ spotted not far from Area 51? (Image: etdatabase)

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UFO sighting: Mysterious military base has long been linked with aliens (Image: Getty)

“This video is an awesome capture of an actual alien craft in the Nevada area.”

The ET advocate continues by outlining the controversial theory how the nearby Nellis Air Force Base once provided land behind the old firing range to the Tall White Species, in exchange for friendship and technology.

Waring added: “This is a mothership following the mountain range.

“And guess what? The mountain range leads directly to behind Nellis Air Force Base the Tall White location.

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“This is 100 percent proof alien activity is still happening in Nevada.

“I love the detail on this one, with an open payload door area at the UFO’s top.

“And towards the aline craft’s lower centre is a white shiny half dome, a classic disk shape.”

Using the mountains to determine its size, Waring calculates the UFO is approximately half a mile (1km) in size.

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UFO sighting: Nevada’s Area 51 is an area associated with ET (Image: Getty)

Mexico UFO sighting

UFO sighting: A UFO variety was photographed when it hovered for fifteen minutes near Holloman Air Development Center in New Mexico in 1957 (Image: Getty)

And the sighting appears to have occurred approximately 132 miles (212km) from Las Vegas, using the road sign at the video’s 14 second mark.

The dubious claims about the cloud-shaped object quickly attracted scores of people to comment on the etdatabase YouTube channel.

YouTube viewer Mountain Rain appeared convinced by the UFO claims, commenting: “You know something’s up when there isn’t a cloud in the sky but this.”

And Curtis Hill agreed, writing: “Its definitely not a “normal” looking cloud at all! Thanks for sharing.”

MH370 bombshell: How plane carefully avoided ‘disputed territory’ to avoid detection

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing on March 8, 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. The official investigation concluded that, after the plane did a 180 and flew up the Malacca Strait, it then turned and flew south over the Indian Ocean and ended up in the sea west of Perth, Australia. However, two epic search missions came up empty-handed, leading some experts to question whether this was the real route of the plane.

Aviation expert Jeff Wise suggested in his 2015 book ‘The Plane That Wasn’t There’ that MH370 in fact flew north over Asia and ended up in Kazakhstan.

One of the major issues with this theory is: How did none of the countries they flew over notice the rogue plane?

Firstly, Mr Wise claimed, it would have flown over the Andaman Islands, which belong to India, but their radar station is apparently only turned on when a crisis is looming.

The chief of staff of India’s Andamans and Nicobar command said: “We operate on an ‘as required’ basis.”

READ MORE: MH370 bombshell: Why secret data suggests the plane flew north

Then, a straight line track would have seen the plane fly over Assam, India, and then into Nepalese airspace.

As Nepal is a small, poor country with no urgent concerns about aerial attack from India, its military radar is “most likely non-existent”, Mr Wise explained. 

However, after this it would reach Kashmir, described as “some of the most disputed territory on earth”. 

Mr Wise wrote: “India and Pakistan have been in a state of semi-war of disputed Kashmir for more than half a century.

“India painstakingly monitors its border with Pakistan and frequently intercepts civilian aircraft that stray into its airspace without having complete the proper paperwork.

“Likewise, China and India have been rivals since time immemorial and the two countries fought a border war in 1962.

“In the months before MH370 disappeared, China had unilaterally declared control of airspace over islands claimed by Japan and aggressively intercepted aircraft attempting to enter it.

“To pass over the disputed India-Pakistan border or to penetrate Chinese airspace would be to invite detection and interception.”

However, this is not what the satellite data suggests MH370 did. 

In fact, a straight line course that begins at the plane’s last known location and intercepts with the ping ring arc at the correct speed, it appears the plane flew over the boundary between these countries. 

This is a special aviation technique that means the plane avoids detection.

Each country believes the plane belongs to the other country and does not interfere.

It is known that whoever likely hijacked MH370 used this technique earlier in its journey – when flying between Thailand and Malaysia’s Flight Information Regions (FIRs). 

Both Thai and Malaysian militaries thought the plane belonged to the other and did not raise the alarm.

Former RAF navigator Steve Pearson told Mr Wise that this technique was used by the RAF at times to slip through airspace where they are not supposed to be. 

He said: “When we used to go to other parts of the world, you could fly down FIR boundaries and each side thought you were in the other one’s control.