Hashtag Trending June 9 – IBM layoff in Russia; FBI shuts down SSN marketplace; Elon Musk threatens to ditch Twitter deal

IBM begins laying off its workforce in Russia, the FBI seizes a platform that sells stolen personal information, and Elon Musk threatens to walk away from the Twitter deal.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Thursday, June 9, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.

IBM has officially begun the final stage of exiting Russia: laying off its entire workforce. The company had suspended business in the country in March but kept its employees on the payroll. But now, further sanctions on Russian banks have made it harder for them to receive money. In its memo to staff, IBM said that it will take reasonable steps to help its Russian workers transition as orderly as possible. Additionally, the company expects very little impact on its bottom line, calling Russia a minimis part of IBM. Last year, Russia accounted for just 0.5 per cent of IBM’s total revenue, according to Engadget.

The FBI, aided by the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice, has taken down SSNDOB, a notorious marketplace for trading stolen personal information. The digital marketplace is rife with sensitive information, including social security numbers, of more than 24 million Americans. It’s a hot market, too, as the DOJ estimates that it generated more than $19 million in revenue. It’s also connected to Joker’s Stash, another darknet market for stolen credit card information that shut down in 2021. Although the FBI had managed to seize four domains related to the operation, it did not disclose whether it’s holding anyone responsible.

Elon Musk has officially threatened to abandon his $44 billion Twitter purchase, accusing the company of refusing to provide information around bot count. Despite Twitter CEO’s insistence that five per cent of the 229 million accounts are bots, Musk refused to seal the deal until he saw more proof. Their squabble has caught the attention of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who on Monday launched an investigation against Twitter to verify the company’s bot accounts figures. Twitter has until June 27 to respond to the Attorney General’s request for information. Given the delay in the deal, Twitter shareholders have filed a lawsuit against Musk for manipulating the company’s stock prices last month.

Sharing is caring when it comes to electric vehicles. Ford has just released a new adapter kit that lets its F-150 Lightning electric pickup to charge Teslas. This is because Teslas require a proprietary connector that’s incompatible with the more common connector found on most EVs. The kit, which is apparently included as a part of the vehicle purchase, has some drivers eager to find stranded Teslas on the road. The Ford F150 Lighting features a massive internal battery and an onboard generator capable of outputting up to 9.6 kilowatts of power.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at sbalsara@itwc.ca

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