Tag: poland

Security conference wracked with sexual assault allegation

A Polish IT conference has been wracked with controversy after a female guest speaker levelled an allegation of attempted rape against another guest speaker.

Georgia Weidman initially wasn’t going to name and shame the person she claimed tried to rape her, but after he threatened to sue her she outted him as Fernando Gont.

Weidman is famous for her work on smartphone hacking while Gont is an Argentine IP6 expert. They were both down to talk at the Confidence conference in Poland two weeks ago.

Weidman describes the incident in her blog, here. If it panned out as she said it did, then Gont was stopped from carrying through the assault by being decked with a coffee mug.

She managed to get to the phone to call the front desk for help and he left and went to bed. The police showed up and pointed out that both sides had been drinking and Weidman could not prove it. Gont denied anything happened.

However, Gont allegedly lifted some of her gear when he left the room, including her passport, wallet, iPad, one of her test phones, one shoe, and her Tag Heuer Carrera watch, it is claimed.

When questioned by hotel security he said that he had nothing of hers – before finding her iPad and passport. The phone was later found in the hallway of his floor of the hotel. The rest of Weidman’s things were recovered the next evening from his room by conference staff.

Despite a stressful night, and nursing a black eye, Weidman gave her talk barefoot – because of her missing shoe.

After her blog post she said that her “duty was done” and she did not want to be the representative for infosec feminism.

Gont, on the other hand, has written a blog in reply  where he seems to call Weidman, who is not named, mentally ill – and implies her rape allegation was just a quest for attention.

While he does not give his side of the story, he says: “For reasons that I didn’t and don’t understand, [Weidman] has been repeating blatant lies, every time magnifying it a bit more – which nobody in their right mind could believe”.

Gont said he will certainly start legal actions against anyone who has made accusations that they cannot back. “I personally encourage anyone that has any concrete accusation to make, that they do so with the corresponding legal procedures,” he wrote. 

Vodafone sells its share of China Mobile for $6.5 billion

Vodafone has sold its share of China Mobile for a whopping $6.5 billion, almost double the amount it paid when it invested in the company in 2000.

The share, which totals a meagre 3.2 percent, is one of several minority investments Vodafone said it will be selling off as it no longer considers them of “strategic value”. 74 percent of China Mobile is owned by state-run China Mobile Communications, making the 3.2 percent share a much larger slice of the external share pie.

The sale may be a good call for Vodafone as China Mobile’s growth has been slowing considerably over the last year or two, making it less of a money-maker than it was when Vodafone first invested. 

Vodafone has made a sizeable profit from the sale, doubling its initial investment of $3.25 billion in 2000. It plans to offer 70 percent of this to shareholders in the company.

Vodafone has small shares in other mobile operators in Poland, France and India, all of which it intends to sell off as part of its new plans, backed by pressure from investors who saw the purchases as failures of previous management.

Vodafone’s CEO, Vittoria Celao, has also confirmed an interest in selling off its 45 percent share of Verizon Wireless, which represents a much bigger venture than the relatively small shares it owns in other companies around the world.

“China Mobile and Vodafone have established close co-operation in business and technology areas since 2000. Both side will continue to cooperate in these areas in the future,” said a spokesperson for China Mobile.