The inside story of MIT and Aaron Swartz.
The Boston Globe reviews over 7,000 pages of discovery documents in the Aaron Swartz case (previously
): Most vividly, the e-mails underscore the dissonant instincts the university grappled with. There was the eagerness of some MIT employees to help investigators and prosecutors with the case, and then there was, by contrast, the glacial pace of the institution’s early reaction to the intruder’s provocation.... MIT never encouraged Swartz’s prosecution, and once told his prosecutor they had no interest in jail time. However, e-mails illustrate how MIT energetically assisted authorities in capturing him and gathering evidence — even prodding JSTOR to get answers for prosecutors more quickly — before a subpoena had been issued.... Yet if MIT eventually adopted a relatively hard line on Swartz, the university had also helped to make his misdeeds possible, the Globe review found. Numerous e-mails make it clear that the unusually easy access to the campus computer network, which Swartz took advantage of, had long been a concern to some of the university’s information technology staff.
posted by Cash4Lead
on Mar 31, 2014 -
From a small town in Romania, Guccifer skewered and glorified the power elite.
If Snowden perfectly fit the profile of geek crusader, Lehel, a stone-faced, disheveled man in a tight leather jacket, seemed an odd candidate for one of the world’s most notorious hackers. But Guccifer is to hacking what the Beatles are to rock and roll. He had predecessors, 4Chan cowboys like Anonymous and Sabu of LulzSec, but he’s changed the nature of hacking fame. Guccifer rose by exploiting the connections people make online to infiltrate the private lives of some of the most powerful people on Earth. He served up the results to the media, irresistible high-low raw material for an online news cycle driven by leaks and voyeurism and racked by anxiety over privacy.
What Is A Guccifer? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jan 27, 2014 -
"After his son was arrested for downloading files at MIT, Bob Swartz did everything in his power to save him. He couldn’t. Now he wants the institute to own up to its part in Aaron’s death
posted by homunculus
on Jan 5, 2014 -
A DOS attack
on Sunday, 3 June caused the moderators of the MMORPGs EVE Online
and Dust 514
to shut down the server cluster that hosted both games. The games were offline for most of the day and into the following morning, having just recently been restored. The COO of EVE's parent company, CCP, described the situation this way:
What we can now confirm is that a person was able to utilize a vulnerability in one of the back-end services that support the operation of the Tranquility server. This vulnerability has now been secured and thoroughly tested.
We would like to stress that at no time was customer data compromised or accessible in any way.
The effort of returning the complex server structure of the EVE Universe and associated websites to service in a methodical and highly-scrutinized fashion began hours ago and Tranquility has now been brought online (at 10:13 UTC). Our teams will monitor the situation carefully in the coming hours to ensure that our services are accessible and that all customer data remains secure.
CCP also took the precaution of shutting down the games' websites, and so communicated with players via Twitter
("Your patience has been legendary and appreciated.") and its Facebook page
. [more inside]
posted by Gelatin
on Jun 3, 2013 -
Meet the men who spy on women through their webcams - "If you are unlucky enough to have your computer infected with a RAT, prepare to be sold or traded to the kind of person who enters forums to ask, "Can I get some slaves for my rat please? I got 2 bucks lol I will give it to you :b" At that point, the indignities you will suffer—and the horrific website images you may see—will be limited only by the imagination of that most terrifying person: a 14-year-old boy with an unsupervised Internet connection."
posted by madamjujujive
on Mar 10, 2013 -
“On the one hand the government is freaking out about cyber-security, and on the other the U.S. is participating in a global market in vulnerabilities and pushing up the prices,” says Soghoian, who says he has spoken with people involved in the trade and that prices range from the thousands to the hundreds of thousands. Even civilian law-enforcement agencies pay for zero-days
, Soghoian says, in order to sneak spy software onto suspects’ computers or mobile phones.
posted by Chrysostom
on Feb 14, 2013 -
10 Raspberry Pi creations that show how amazing the tiny PC can be
"The Raspberry Pi, the $35 credit card-sized computer, has lived an interesting life despite being less than a year old. It has been used to teach programming and host servers, but above all it has provided a near-perfect platform for some of the most fun and interesting hobbyist projects in the computing world. Arcade cabinets, computing clusters housed in LEGOs, musical instruments, robots, and wearable computers are just some of the uses Pi owners have found. It turns out you can do a lot with an ARM processor, GPU, a few ports and GPIO pins, and an operating system (typically Linux-based) loaded onto an SD card. Here are 10 of the coolest Raspberry Pi creations we've been able to find."
posted by bookman117
on Jan 1, 2013 -
"For the seventh time in less than 70 years, a report has been commissioned by the Government which has dealt with concerns about the press. It was sparked by public revulsion about a single action – the hacking of the mobile phone of a murdered teenager. From that beginning, the scope of the Inquiry was expanded to cover the culture, practices and ethics of the press in its relations with the public, with the police, with politicians and, as to the police and politicians, the conduct of each."
, in four volumes of around 500 pages each, is available for download
posted by rjs
on Dec 7, 2012 -
"During his civil lawsuit against the People's Republic of China, Brian Milburn
says he never once saw one of the country's lawyers. He read no court documents from China's attorneys because they filed none. The voluminous case record at the U.S. District courthouse in Santa Ana contains a single communication from China: a curt letter to the U.S. State Department, urging that the suit be dismissed. That doesn't mean
Milburn's adversary had no contact with him." [China Mafia-Style Hack Attack Drives California Firm to Brink
posted by vidur
on Nov 28, 2012 -
British computer hacker Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the US, Home Secretary Theresa May has announced.
]. She stated that "a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon's human rights." on grounds of his mental illness(es) and propensity for suicidal thoughts. On a broader level she has also indicated that a forum bar
will be available in future extraditions to the USA, meaning a court will be able to consider whether it would be more appropriate for a trial to be held in the UK. [more inside]
posted by samworm
on Oct 16, 2012 -
hacking group claims to have released a set
of more than 1 million Apple Unique Device Identifiers (UDIDs) allegedly obtained from breaching an FBI agent's laptop
via a Java vulnerability. The group claims to have over 12 million IDs, as well as personal information such as user names, device names, notification tokens, cell phone numbers and addresses. There's a tool
to help you check if your device is in the list. [more inside]
posted by unSane
on Sep 4, 2012 -
- an audio archive of the Phone Phreaking community. Phone phreaking was the practice of hacking into phone systems and networks in order to explore these networks and their connections [1 2
]. Many people first heard about the phenomenon in a 1971 Esquire article, Secrets of the Little Blue Box
, which included input from Captain Crunch
. Crunch discovered that you could access telephone networks by blowing a 2600 Hz tone, from a whistle given away free in cereal boxes, into telephone handsets. "Have you ever heard eight tandems stacked up?" asked Crunch in the interview. Well, now we can, thanks to a large audio archive of phone phreaking. [more inside]
posted by carter
on Aug 31, 2012 -
In the early 80’s, personal computers were a new innovation. Films like WarGames
made it seem as if a kid with a keyboard could hack into anything: a school or corporate mainframe, NORAD, the US nuclear arsenal or your neighborhood bank. Hoping to capitalize on this, in 1983 CBS premiered a show which could have been considered WarGames
’ intellectual successor. It featured a group of resourceful kids who solved crimes by hacking and cracking, led by Matthew Laborteaux, child star of Little House on the Prairie
, and advised by a Gavilan SC
-toting, mustachioed reporter played by Max Gail, formerly of the show Barney Miller
. Whiz Kids
lasted only a single season: 18 episodes, but all of them live on in cyberspace, on YouTube. Complete episode links contained within. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on May 8, 2012 -
On the basis of the facts and evidence before the committee, we conclude that if at all relevant times Rupert Murdoch did not take steps to become fully informed about phone hacking, he turned a blind eye and exhibited wilful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications. This culture, we consider, permeated from the top throughout the organisation and speaks volumes about the lack of effective corporate governance at News Corporation and News International. We conclude, therefore, that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company. [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on May 1, 2012 -
In 1984, Congress passed a law called the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
, in the wake of some high profile incidents of hacking
. Designed to prosecute hackers, the law is written vaguely enough that it has, in recent years, been used (with varying degrees of success) to prosecute people violating terms of an employer's computer usage policies
, or in the infamous case of Lori Drew
, a Terms of Service agreement.
But today, the 9th circuit court of appeals ruled that employees can not be prosecuted under the CFAA for violating an employer's computer use policies, dealing a blow to the Obama administration’s Justice Department, which is trying to use the same theory to prosecute alleged WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning
posted by to sir with millipedes
on Apr 10, 2012 -