Every email NSA says it got after asking Americans for tips on how to protect their privacy

Former NSA chief Keith Alexander at Black Hat 2013 [Reuters]

At the Black Hat hacker convention in 2013, Former NSA director Keith Alexander asked hackers to help the NSA come up with ways to protect Americans' privacy and civil liberties.

"How do we start this discussion on defending our nation and protecting our civil liberties and privacy?" Alexander asked the Las Vegas crowd. "The reason I'm here is because you may have some ideas of how we can do it better. We need to hear those ideas."

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Ex-Reuters social media editor Matthew Keys found guilty of 3 federal counts of hacking

Matthew Keys escorted by his legal team. Photo: Sarah Jeong

A jury in Sacramento, California, today found former Reuters deputy social media editor Matthew Keys guilty of computer hacking under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (CFAA).

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Obama and China's Xi Jinping make a deal on commercial cyber espionage

The Financial Times reports that U.S. President Barack Obama has negotiated a commitment from Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that China will not conduct commercial cyber espionage. In what were reportedly tense, prolonged talks, Obama communicated to the Chinese leader that the United States was ready to impose sanctions on Chinese companies accused of profiting from stolen industrial secrets. Read the rest

Hotel safes are easily opened with a screwdriver and a paper clip


Jim Stickley of Stickley Online Security uses his handy $8 Utili-Key to open a locked hotel safe at the Horseshoe Hotel in Bossier City, LA. He unscrews the nameplate on the safe, which reveals a physical lock. He then unbends a paper clip, wiggles it around for a while, and viola! the safe is open. He says a thief could use this method to take something from the safe without any sign that the safe had been opened. Read the rest

WSJ: consumers should be allowed to repair their gadgets


Wall Street Journal columnist Geoffrey A Fowler: "There’s a fight brewing between giant tech companies and tinkerers that could impact how we repair gadgets or choose the shop where we get it done by a pro. At issue: Who owns the knowledge required to take apart and repair TVs, phones and other electronics?" Read the rest

Ashley Madison leak 2.0: new dump is twice as large, and includes CEO's emails

Self-proclaimed Ashley Madison hackers the Impact Team today released what looks like another 20 gigabytes of ill-gotten data. The just-dropped “other shoe” includes emails from the cheater-dating website's CEO.

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Supercut of 80s movies' computer hacking


A phone slams into an acoustic coupler on the desk. Screeching beeping sounds. Two people sitting side-by-side in front of a computer. One is a socially awkward nerd. The other is cooler, but dumber.

The nerd types something really fast on the keyboard. A rotating Necker cube appears on the green monochrome monitor. SECTOR-INFILTRATE SEQUENCE INITIATED. We see rapidly scrolling strings of hexadecimals reflected in the nerd's wireframe glasses.

“YES! We're in.”

They stop scrolling, and begin to disintegrate, and are replaced by a jolly roger. "HA HA HA!" it says, lower jaw cycling.

"We're in," says the nerd, grinning. "How did you do that!?" interrobangs the cool person. Enjoy this supercut of computer hacking scenes from the 1980s.

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Feds used malware to hack child porn network


It's OK, they're the government. Read the rest

US Army National Guard reveals they, too, recently suffered data breach

The compromised data includes Social Security Numbers, Dates of Birth, and Home Addresses.

Dictators' favorite surveillance company hacked and exposed online


"Hacking Team" is a badly-named security contractor that helps governments spy on activists and journalists. It got hacked, badly, and more than 400GB of its data is now public.

Widely shared online, the stolen data includes a list of the countries that have bought Hacking Team's main surveillance tool, Da Vinci, and emails suggesting intelligence agencies use it to spy on activists and journalists. The list includes: Azerbaijan, Chile, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sudan.

… Confirmation of the breach came via the Twitter account of Hacking Team engineer Christian Pozzi.

"We are awake. The people responsible for this will be arrested. We are working with the police at the moment," he said in one message.

Soon after, this and other messages about the breach were removed as Mr Pozzi's Twitter account was deleted.

What better outcome for this company than tweeted authoritarian outrage, sputtering its way into the memory hole. Read the rest

Accused Turkish cybercriminal extradited to U.S. to face charges of hacking ATMs worldwide

Never a good look, at least not to prosecutors.
The so-called unlimited cash out operations used hacked debit cards with withdrawal limits removed to make ATMs spew money.

CNN interview with author of discredited Sunday Times story on Snowden is painful to watch

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If you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself to do so now.

FBI and DoJ investigating whether St. Louis Cardinals hacked networks of rival Houston Astros baseball team

Players on the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, high-fiving one another in happier, more innocent times. [Reuters]
Prosecutors say officials hacked into a rival's internal networks to steal valuable private data on players.

On ethics in information technology

Our field requires ethical frameworks we accept, instead of rules that remain technically unbroken while we hackers violate their spirit with as much ingenuity as we can muster.

To do in LA: screening and Q&A with director of Aaron Swartz doc, "The Internet's Own Boy"

The film has been shortlisted for an Academy Award. After the screening, I will host a question and answer session with filmmaker Brian Knappenberger.

The emergence of science hacking in Madagascar

Ariel Waldman reports on how one of the world's poorest countries is tackling developmental challenges.

Online activism and why the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act must die

Courts have appreciated that even distributed denial of service attacks can be legitimate form of public protest. Molly Sauter on the insane U.S. law used to criminalize them and other forms of online activism.

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