Amidst the fallout from the PlayStation Network hack, Sony claimed yesterday that the Internet vigilante group Anonymous was responsible for the attack. But today the well-known hacktivist group denied any involvement with the theft of credit card numbers. The statement is carefully worded, though. Could there be more to this?
Sony has once again commented on the PSN outage and hacking incident. But this time we got a little more technical information than previous disclosures offered. Contrary to past reports, Sony claims that passwords were not stored in plain text, or in any easily accessible form. They were not encrypted, but were rather "transformed using a cryptographic hash function." Well, it's better than nothing.
Think you got a good deal on those Beats by Dre? Might've. Or maybe you paid too much for a knockoff. Thanks to easily accessed suckers like you, business in the world of phony high-end audio has never been better.
WordPress is silently running many of the sites you visit every day, but it seems like every time you hear about it, something has gone terribly wrong. Well, today is no exception. WordPress has announced that a person or persons recently gained root access to several of the WordPress servers. The site source code for VIP customers was likely downloaded by the intruders.
Yesterday we heard the news that internet hacker group Anonymous had begun an attack on Sony in retaliation for their legal threats against PS3 modders. But now things are taking a bit of a dark turn, even for Anonymous. An offshoot of the main OpSony Anon group called SonyRecon has decided that hitting the Sony sites and services with DDoS attacks isn't enough. They've decided to go after Sony employees personally.
A few weeks ago, OffHollywood studio head Mark Pederson became the first person to receive a new RED EPIC camera. This uber-expensive, high resolution digital camcorder cost Mr. Pederson a whopping $58,000. Now, it's been stolen in a home break-in, Engadget reports. Pederson posted the news on the REDUSER forums.
While Pederson and his family were sleeping obliviously, miscreants broke in, and stole money and the $58,000 camera. The theft went undetected until the family awoke the next day. It is unlikely that the thieves knew exactly what they were stealing. You can't exactly take a RED camera down to the local pawn shop without drawing some attention. Let's hope that the perpetrators are clueless enough to do just that.
Most of those charged by the US authorities, including many Russian nationals, acted as “money mules,” or money-laundering agents, merely concerned with moving stolen funds for their Zeus-armed clients.
“The mule organization typically recruited mules from Eastern Europe who were either planning to travel to or were already present in the United States on J1 visas,” reads one of the complaints in the matter.
"The mules kept a portion of the fraudulent proceeds for themselves -- usually 8 to 10 percent -- and transferred the rest to other participants in the fraudulent scheme."
The trojan, which mainly spreads through phishing and drive-by download attacks, is said to have helped thugs rake in over $200 million since 2006.
The internet at large tends to childe us all every few months about how much information people are sharing online. Sites like the now defunct Please Rob Me tried to bring the whole problem into focus by aggregating social networking posts wherein people said they were not at home. Sure, we all told ourselves this was no big deal. It's not like thieves are cruising Facebook looking for clues on when to rob you. As it turns out, at least some of them are. Police are reporting that three recently apprehended accused burglars were using Facebook to target empty homes.
The accused individuals were found to be in possession of $100,000-200,000 in stolen property. Police Capt. Ron Dickerson said in a statement, "We know for a fact that some of these players, some of these criminals, were looking on these sites and identifying their targets through these social networking sites." When you think about it, many people have hundreds of Facebook friends, many of which they know only in passing. Who's to say none of them are an unscrupulous lot?
The suspects were caught when they were seen lighting off a large quantity of fireworks stolen from one of the burgled homes. Does this incident give you pause about that you say on Facebook? Have you ever posted something you feel gave away too much information?
A few years ago in Finland, a case of white collar crime was perpetrated. This in and of itself is not unusual, but the resulting legislation was. It turns out a bank employee used an open Wi-Fi access point to electronically transfer some money that wasn't his. So, clearly the best way to make sure people don't steal is to outlaw open Wi-Fi. That's just what Finland did. But now they're looking back with the benefit of hindsight and realizing they might have overreacted a little bit.
The Finnish Justice Ministry is planning to officially decriminalize unprotected Wi-Fi hotspots. Let's be clear though, this is not an invitation for people to leave the wireless networks unprotected. Individuals should probably protect their networks, unless they really feel like sharing with the neighborhood. This change will be great for businesses that had no choice but to lock down their Wi-Fi networks, causing inconvenience for customers.
It's nice to see a European nation being realistic about wireless networks. Germany recently instituted rules similar to the Finnish ones. We just don't quite see the argument. Do you think everyone should be legally required to lock down their Wi-Fi?
There are sore losers, like those who don't shake hands and congratulate the winning team after losing a hotly contested basketball game, and then there's Julien Barreaux, a Frenchman who doesn't like to lose at Counter Strike. And considering what he reportedly did, it isn't much fun to win against him either.
According to a NYDailyNews.com report, Barreaux simmered for 6 months as he tried to track down the gamer who had the gall to kill his online Counter Strike character in a virtual knife fight. He eventually found the skilled, albeit incredibly unlucky gamer and allegedly proceeded to stab him in the chest with a real knife. Repeatedly. In the man's own home.
"Barreaux was arrested wthin the hour and told us he had wanted to see his rival wiped out for killing off his character," a police officer testified at the trial.
The victim ultimately survived, though not for lack of trying to murder him. Barreaux missed the victim's heart by less than an inch. Had his aim been better, Barreaux likely would be looking at more jail time, but as it stands, he'll serve just two years behind bars and receive anger management therapy.
Think the sentence is too light? So do we, but if it makes you feel any better, Judge Alexiane Potel had some strong words for Barreaux, calling him a "menace to society" (on an unrelated note, that's a great movie if you're into that sort of thing).
"I am frankly terrified of the disproportionate reaction you could have if someone looked at you the wrong way in the street," the judge continued.
And thanks to the light sentence, he'll be on the streets in no more than 24 months from now.