Last week, Brian Krebs (a respected security researcher and journalist who often publishes details about high-tech crime) was SWATted -- that is, someone defrauded his local police department into sending a SWAT team to his house, resulting in his getting confronted by gun-wielding, hair-trigger cops who had him lie on the ground and cuffed him before it was all sorted out.
Krebs, being a talented investigator, is hot on the trail of the people or person responsible for this. And a variety of sources point to a 20-year-old hacker who goes by "Phobia," and whose real name, according to Krebs, is Ryan Stevenson. Phobia was implicated in the attack on Wired reporter Mat Honan, wherein his laptop drive and online backup were deleted, including irreplaceable photos of his child's first year, and eight years' worth of email.
Krebs phoned "Phobia" up and ended up speaking to Phobia and his father. Phobia denied attacking Krebs and insisted that he had nothing to do with the gamer/fraudster clan behind it (though Krebs pointed out that Phobia can be heard speaking in the group's YouTube videos, which document their attacks), but admitted that he had been the culprit in hacking Honan (his father then came onto the line to deny this). The transcript is the most interesting part of the piece:
BK: Uh huh. And is Honan referring to you in this article?
RS: Uh huh.
BK: Did anything bad ever happen to you because of this?
BK: So, this was your doing with the Mat Honan hack, but you say you would never use a site like a stresser or…
RS: Yeah, I would never do that. That’s stupid.
BK: …or hack a reporter’s account or launch a denial of service attack against a reporter, or SWAT his house….
BK: So what’s the point of hacking a reporter’s iCloud account? Why’d you do that?
RS: Just to prove a point that, like…the security is breachable.
After years of missteps, blunders and disasters in which Youtube users have been censored through spurious copyright claims or had their accounts deleted altogether, Google has announced an amazing, user-friendly new initiative though which it will fund the legal defense of Youtube creators who are censored by bad-faith copyright infringement claims.
Gus writes, “November 2-6 was Media Literacy Week, that great traditional festival of questioning everything we read and talking back to the TV. OK, so it’s only ten years old… and this is the first year it’s been formally observed in the United States, which has long lagged behind other English-speaking countries in media literacy […]
The Wizard of Northampton in dialog with John Higgs, author of Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century, describing HP Lovecraft’s curious, twisted grasp of the awful anxieties of 20th century America, and how this created the racist, horror-flecked prose that resonates even today. (via m1k3y)
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