"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
The US government may use visa restrictions to ban hackers from China from participating in the 2014 Defcon hacker conference in Las Vegas. The move is part of a larger effort by the US to combat Chinese internet espionage.
From the government-controlled China Daily on the recent US charges of hacking by China: "We should encourage organizations and individuals whose rights have been infringed to stand up and sue Washington. Regarding the issue of network security, the US is such a mincing rascal that we must stop developing any illusions about it." Read the rest
Weev exposed a security flaw in AT&T's website and obtained the personal data of more than 100,000 iPad users. He was charged with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), and sentenced to three and a half years in prison. Today's ruling says prosecutors did not have the right to charge him in a state where none of the alleged crimes occurred.
Joshua Lifton is one of the founders of Crowd Supply, a company that crowdfunds around products. They take a very different approach to preparation, funding, and follow-up than Kickstarter. Kickstarter just announced that it had crossed $1bn in pledges in its five-year lifetime. Of that, it's disbursed nearly $850m. It's on track to facilitate perhaps half a billion in 2014 alone.The name Kickstarter may be used interchangeably with the term crowdfunding, and it is the 800 lb. gorilla in the space. (Watch out for the shipping charges on that gorilla, especially internationally.) But in its wake, hundreds of millions of dollars are being raised from all sorts of other sites which fill in important aspects of ecosystem, and Crowd Supply is one of them.
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Mailchimp helps more than five million people and businesses around the world use MailChimp to send email newsletters. They sent 70 billion messages on their behalf in 2013! They also have hats for cats and small dogs. Read the rest