Eight things for PR pros to know Thursday morning, 8.28.2014

US banks face cyberattacks from abroad; Microsoft purges fake apps from Windows Store; St. Louis County police chief defends tactics in Ferguson; John McCain's advice for Chuck Todd.

1. JPMorgan Chase and four other US banks were hit by a series of sophisticated cyberattacks earlier this month, with hackers making off with data including checking and savings account information. However, JPMorgan says it has not seen an increase in fraud as a result. Various media reports have blamed a Russian cybercrime ring for the attacks. The FBI and Secret Service are investigating.


2. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is planning to visit China next month as the country investigates his company for alleged antitrust violations, according to a report from Reuters. Critics say the 2008 anti-monopoly law cited in the case is being used to unfairly go after foreign businesses.


3. The police chief of Missouri’s St. Louis County has defended the tactics — derided as heavy handed or worse by critics — used during the unrest in Ferguson this month. "I never envisioned a day in which we would see that type of equipment used against protesters, but I also never envisioned a day in 28 years that we’d see [that] kind of criminal activity spin out of peaceful demonstrations," Chief Jon Belmar told The Huffington Post.


4. Microsoft has removed about 1,500 fake apps from its Windows Store, after a report last week that bogus antivirus, browsers, and other apps were being sold there. Microsoft announced the move in a corporate blog post.


5. Facing an online backlash from members of its community, Winooski, Vermont’s Sneakers Bistro and Cafe has hired Burlington-based PR agency People Making Good. After a handful of consumers complained about an outdoor ad the restaurant bought that read "Yield for Sneakers’ bacon," other residents of the town of 7,000 were outraged the establishment caved to demands to remove it.


6. Tyson Foods has won Justice Department approval to acquire Hillshire Brands. As part of the antitrust agreement, Tyson must sell its hog-purchasing business.


7. Arthur Demoulas, the former chief executive of New England grocery chain Market Basket, has reached an agreement to buy the remainder of the company from his cousin and members of his family. Employees began rallying in support of Arthur Demoulas last month after he was fired, attracting the attention of national media and the governors of two states.


8. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has some advice for incoming Meet the Press host Chuck Todd: focus on politics. His remarks came less than a week after NBC News president Deborah Turness said the show, the longest-running on TV, needed more "edge." Last week, public affairs experts told PRWeek how the Sunday morning talk -show genre should reinvent itself for a new generation.

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