The Oban Blog

Digital World – Global Digital Marketing News: Thursday 03 March 2016

Security and privacy mix in the international marketing melting pot this week, as India’s web security is questioned following high profile hacks, while the extent to which encrypted data should stay secure is challenged by FBI vs Apple. Meanwhile, in Russia, Yandex is no longer the most valuable web business and geotargeting comes to Yandex.Direct. Finally, trust in traditional media is eroding in South Korea. Keep reading to find out more.

Concerns raised over India’s web security after Al Qaeda hack

On Tuesday, a microsite of Indian Railways, the world’s fourth largest railway network, became the first government-operated website in India to be attacked by Al Qaeda. This dubious distinction is in itself not especially concerning, but as Tech in Asia reports, Indian government websites are no strangers to hacking activity by other groups. The IRS (Indian Revenue Service) was hacked in February, local state government websites and around 700 other websites with and domains have been hacked since 2012.

The concern is that these defacements are a symptom of security shortcomings in other areas of India’s rapidly modernising digital infrastructure. India’s exposure to advanced attacks is allegedly almost twice the global average, but a lack of disclosure laws means that corporations aren’t actually obliged to inform users when cyber-attacks take place. There is also concern that India’s image as “the back-office of the world” is under threat.


Yandex overtaken as Russia’s most valuable internet company

According to the Russian version of Forbes magazine (as reported by The Moscow Times), Yandex has been dethroned as the most valuable company in the Russian Internet segment for the first time. The new king of the money-pile is the group, which in addition to an eponymous portal, includes the popular Vkontakte (VK) and Odnoklassniki social networks. Forbes attributes’s success to the continued growth of social network advertising – revenue for Vkontakte alone grew 41.2 in Q1 to Q3 2015. is valued at $4.7 billion, Yandex at $4.3 billion. Classified ads service Avito is third at $2.4 billion. Other names in the top 10 include Ulmart (retail), (retail), Ozon Group (retail), Wildberries (fashion), Citilink (retail), Gett (taxis) and Emex (auto-parts).


Chinese perspectives on Apple’s FBI court victory

The FBI vs Apple legal case, wherein the Federal Bureau of Investigation are attempting to compel the smartphone manufacturer to unlock the phone of one of the San Bernadino shooters, has been one of 2016’s most heated digital debates. Tech In Asia provides an interesting perspective on the debate – China’s tech portals are discussing the subject, with the inevitable question of how the battle would play out if replicated in China a key topic.

While the answer would likely be that even Apple would be obliged to comply with the Chinese government (unless it was happy to withdraw entirely from the market), some commenters are visibly impressed that such resistance is possible within America’s legal system – though others feel it makes the US government look weak, and others have a more conspiratorial interpretation of the events.


An introduction to Yandex.Direct’s extended geotargeting feature

Those familiar with Google’s powerful AdWords tools may find Yandex.Direct’s feature-set somewhat lacking at first glance, but some of its apparent shortcomings can be offset when digging around. takes a closer look at Yandex.Direct’s geotargeting options for PPC ads, taking advantage of recently added cities and a new update that allows geotargeting based on locations stated within search queries.

This extended geotargeting feature will be enabled by default on all search campaigns within a fortnight and it has similarities to Google’s “People in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location”. Users can currently disable the feature in “geotargeting settings” within the Yandex.Direct web interface.


South Korean trust in traditional media shrinks

According to recent research by Edelman, (discussed by eMarketer), South Korean Internet users are reporting rapidly shrinking trust in their country’s traditional media outlets. Just 47% said they trusted newspaper, television and other traditional sources for their news and information – 56% said the same of search engines. While trust in search engines and online media has grown since 2014, traditional media has been hit hard – the 47% figure is down from 60% in 2014.

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Image credits

Waiting on the station platform photo by Flickr user Crispin Semmens

Monument and Hermitage photo by Flickr user Dennis Jarvis

iPhone 5C photo by Flickr user Karlis Dambrans

Wall of adverts photo by Flickr user symmetry_mind

The entire newspaper is posted photo by Flickr user dom brassey