Read a little. Learn a lot. • Tightly-written news, views and stuff • Follow us on TwitterBe a Facebook FanTumble us!

02 Mar 2012 20:16


Tech: NASA skimps on cyber security, China hacks us regularly as a result

  • 3.9% of NASA’s IT budget is allocated to cyber security
  • 13 successful hacking attempts were carried out against NASA last year source
  • » You get what you pay for: Really, guys? Thirteen times in a year? This means NASA gets hacked more often than I pay my phone bill. But maybe that’s to be expected when you spend so little on cyber security. This is all based on testimony from the agency’s inspector general, Paul Martin, and the rest of his testimony is quite terrifying. For example, Martin says that hackers working through Chinese IP addresses were able to gain full system access to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, steal user credentials from over 150 NASA employees, and modify system logs to cover up their tracks. Let’s hope it was just a couple of bored middle schoolers.

16 Jan 2012 11:50


Biz: Zappos nailed by security breach, millions of customers affected

  • 24 million customers affected by a major security breach source
  • » A consumer-focused brand suffers: A data breach with far-reaching implications, this couldn’t have happened to a better company. Anyone who’s ever bought shoes from Zappos knows the company has a rep for doing whatever it can to make the customer happy. “We’ve spent over 12 years building our reputation, brand, and trust with our customers,” wrote Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. “It’s painful to see us take so many steps back due to a single incident.” According to the company, sensitive data, including the last four digits of customers’ credit card numbers, may have been acquired in the cyber attack.

02 Jan 2012 11:21


World: Global warming e-mail whodunit heats up as new e-mails surface

  • It smells a lot like a certain quadrant of the denier community. They pretend to be concerned that we are impeding development in poor countries. Only certain think tanks think that way and play that way.
  • Greenpeace research director Kert Davies • Discussing who he thinks might be behind an infamous 2009 hack that led to the distribution of over 1,000 e-mails from the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, timed in such a way to undercut research being done on global warming. The story, on the backburner for nearly two years, is suddenly starting to simmer again as a result of further e-mail releases and word of an investigation in Britain. During the most recent leak of e-mails, the leaker offered up just enough details in cryptic messages to give investigators something to grasp onto. Many in the climate change community — skeptics, activists and so on — have different views on the motives of the person who released the e-mails, but it’s a whodunit which should keep things interesting in the coming weeks. source

18 Dec 2011 11:03


World: Piers Morgan’s tabloid past haunting his TV host present

  • So heartwarming that everyone in U.K.’s missing me so much they want me to come home.
  • CNN host Piers Morgan • Joking earlier this year in regards to allegations he faces over possible involvement in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. Morgan, a former tabloid newspaper editor who’s built a second life as a TV host, will take part, via video-link, in a judicial inquiry into the alleged practices of “News of the World” and other British tabloids. Morgan’s past could come to haunt him in the future. source

11 Dec 2011 12:17


World: Scotland Yard: News of the World scandal much wider than thought

  • 803 victims in News of the World phone-hacking scandal? source
  • » That’s what Scotland Yard says: They’ve investigated over 2,000 cases at length, and think they’ve found hundreds of examples of the same hacking that befell the newspaper earlier this year. “Operation Weeting has been in contact with or been contacted by 2,037 people,” Scotland Yard says, “of which in the region of 803 are ‘victims’, whose names have appeared in the material.” More people are likely to get investigated, but as their personal information is limited, it’s believed they were less likely to be hacked by the newspaper.

20 Nov 2011 11:20


Tech, U.S.: Report: Illinois industrial water pump damaged by … Russian hackers?!

  • Because that’s not weird or anything. On November 8, an industrial water pump in a rural Illinois town went down. Reportedly, the culprit was a Russian hacker who had gained access to the pump via compromised details from the software firm that produced the water pump’s remote-control software. The hack damaged the water pump, making it the first confirmed (but not claimed) cyber attack on an industrial system in U.S. history. The hack harkens back to last year’s Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Stuxnet, a piece of malware reportedly created by the U.S. and Israel with the expressed purpose of damaging the country’s budding nuclear program, reportedly gave the Iranian nuclear program a huge setback. Excuse us, we’re gonna hide out in a bunker to protect ourselves from the fallout from the forthcoming cyberwar. source

21 Oct 2011 11:05


World: News Corp. pays off phone-hacking scandal victim’s family

  • $3.2 million the settlement headed to Milly Dowler’s family, via News Corp.
  • $1.6 million the settlement headed to a charity of the Dowler family’s choosing source
  • » The scandal that killed a newspaper: With the News of the World scandal a bit of a low point for the company this year, it’s understandable that they might want to get this dealt with. But the Dowler family has made sure it was to their liking: “Nothing that has been agreed will ever bring back Milly or undo the traumas of her disappearance and the horrendous murder trial earlier this year,” they said. “The only way that a fitting tribute could be agreed was to ensure that a very substantial donation to charity was made in Milly’s memory. We hope that projects will be undertaken so that some good can come from this.” Meanwhile, News Corp. now has a second scandal under its large journalistic umbrella, though this one (the WSJ’s circulation scandal) is fortunately more business-oriented and less invasive on another person’s life.

20 Sep 2011 11:14


Biz: Ted Turner: Rupert Murdoch may have to resign from News Corp.

  • From one rich mogul to another: Former Turner Broadcasting owner Ted Turner, who knows a thing or two about running his mouth, says that Murdoch has made tactical errors in his handling of the phone-hacking scandal, including his claim that he didn’t know anything about the hacking. “Well, he should have known,” Turner said. “He was chairman of the board. He’s responsible. I took responsibility when I ran my company. You never heard me say, ‘Well, I didn’t know.’” The two moguls once famously feuded, after Turner claimed Murdoch’s media outlets (including Fox News, a direct rival to the Turner-founded CNN) were largely behind the Iraq war, because it helped his company. Turner says they eventually buried the hatchet, however, after he bought Rupert a bison burger and praised the Wall Street Journal. Well, this may perhaps change that situation once again. Heh. source

04 Sep 2011 16:10


Biz: James Murdoch turns down bonus; Rupert Murdoch takes his own

  • In light of the current controversy surrounding News of the World, I have declined the bonus that the company chose to award to me. While the financial and operating performance metrics on which the bonus decision was based are not associated with this matter, I feel that declining the bonus is the right thing to do.
  • James Murdoch • Explaining his reasons for not accepting a $6 million bonus from News Corp. in the wake of the News of the World scandal. Accepting the bonus would have increased his 2010 take-home pay by 74 percent. His dad Rupert, meanwhile, accepted a $12.5 million bonus of his own. Do you think James made the right move? And if so, should Rupert Murdoch have followed the same track? source

27 Jul 2011 14:08


Tech: Important LulzSec member reportedly goes down

  • Topiary, LulzSec’s most public member and second-in-command has reportedly been arrested. He’s the one that ran LulzSec’s Twitter and wrote all of their eloquent messages — and he was only 19. Topiary deleted every tweet from his personal twitter and left only one: “You can’t arrest an idea,” pointing more to the fact that he was arrested and even knew it was coming. LulzSec will undoubtedly confirm or deny all of this soon enough, but this all comes on the heels of a sting which nailed 14 members of Anonymous, which reportedly has ties to the more-low-key group. source