Security Issues, Hacks

Microsoft to DOJ: 'The Constitution Itself is Suffering'

July 17, 2013 -

Last week Microsoft asked the Justice Department for permission to release information to the general public about its participation in government controlled surveillance programs, but the DOJ would not allow it. According to CNet, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith sent a letter on Tuesday to the Obama administration asking for permission to reveal details about how it responds to orders from the U.S. government for private user data.

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Senate Releases Draft Cybersecurity Bill

July 12, 2013 -

The Senate's Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee released a draft bill today that attempts to tackle the thorny issue of cybersecurity. The draft bill is backed by Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and ranking Republican member John Thune (R-S.D.). Its creators claim that the draft is an attempt to create a compromise on the issue of cybersecurity after repeated (and failed) attempts to pass legislation through the Senate last term.

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Report: Microsoft Cooperated with NSA Surveillance Programs

July 12, 2013 -

A new report from The Guardian reveals the scope of Microsoft's alleged collaboration with the National Security Agency and its PRISM domestic spying program. According to the report, which cites top secret documents obtained by the Guardian, Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption related to its Outlook portal and web chat services; provided help with Hotmail mail services, its cloud storage service SkyDrive; and Skype.

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Club Nintendo Security Breached in Japan

July 5, 2013 -

Nintendo announced that Club Nintendo, its member rewards site in Japan, has been hacked. The security breach was discovered when Nintendo noticed a large number of access errors on July 2. This prompted Nintendo to conduct a deeper investigation. Looking further into the issue, Nintendo found 23,000 instances of unauthorized log-ins (with 15 million attempts) between June 9 and July 4 on Japan's Club Nintendo site. The security breach does not apply to Club Nintendo sites in other countries, according to Nintendo.

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German Official: Germans Should Avoid American Services to Ensure Privacy

July 3, 2013 -

Germany’s internal security chief Hans-Peter Friedrich, has suggested to German citizens that it might be wise to avoid American services in the wake of the NSA PRISM scandal and other activities that involved targets in Europe. According to an Associated Press report, Friedrich said on Wednesday that "whoever fears their communication is being intercepted in any way should use services that don’t go through American servers."

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Restore The Fourth Protest Set for July 4th

July 3, 2013 -

Several advocacy groups have banded together for a 100 city protest called Restore the Fourth on July 4. The day-long protest is described by organizers as a "grassroots campaign designed to raise discussion in Congress about the rules and regulations of the Fourth Amendment." Specifically, the protest focuses on some of the laws and activities being used in the name of fighting terrorism.

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Ubisoft Accounts Compromised by Security Breach

July 2, 2013 -

Ubisoft has sent out emails and set up a support thread related to a recent security breach related to Ubisoft accounts. The company says that an exploit was used to gain unauthorized access to some of its online systems resulting user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords being exposed. The company claims that it was quick to take action and that credit and debit card information was not compromised because it is not stored on the same servers as personal information.

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Stop Watching Us Campaign Garners Half a Million Signatures

June 28, 2013 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced that the grassroots campaign opposing the dragnet surveillance programs of the National Security Agency (NSA) at StopWatching.Us has garnered 500,000 signatures. When half a million people sign up for a campaign the government would be wise to take note of it.

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Play NSA Leaker Edward Snowden in New Parody Game

June 27, 2013 -

A new web game called "Snowden's Leaks: The Game" (starring Edward Snowden and President Obama) lets players take the man who leaked information about the NSA's spying activities (PRISM and mobile phone data collection) for a spin as he fills up USB drives with secret data while avoiding NSA agents and security cameras using distractions like doughnuts and hiding places like behind the American flag.

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Texas Law Kills Warrantless Searches of Email

June 18, 2013 -

While the rest of the country worries about what the NSA is doing with our data on the Internet, the state of Texas is securing the privacy of its citizens' emails. On Friday Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) signed into law a privacy bill that will guard Texans from warrantless searches by state law enforcement officials. House Bill 2268 in effect requires that state investigators obtain a warrant to access emails no matter how old the communication might be.

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Watch Dogs: A Glimpse at our Possible Future?

June 14, 2013 -

Ubisoft's Watch Dogs couldn't be more topical and timely than at this very moment. With the revelation that the NSA is allegedly collecting data from our Internet activity on sites like Google and Facebook and tracking the data of Americans' mobile phones, Watch Dogs is like this generation's cautionary tale on government tyranny (think 1984 or Fahrenheit 451).

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Tap It: NSA Slow Jam

June 14, 2013 -

Libertarian publication Reason has a new song from resident parody prodigy Remy about the NSA's mobile phone surveillance program called "Tap It: The NSA Slow Jam." The song makes fun of the NSA's PRISM program and its practice of collecting Americans' mobile phone meta-data that was leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The best line in the song, in my opinion:

"Text yourself about it, let us know how you feel."

You can find the lyrics here.

1 comment

Edward Snowden - Deleted Scenes of NSA Security Video Interview

June 14, 2013 -

While America debates whether former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is a traitor or a hero for leaking classified information related to the NSA's alleged "PRISM" internet surveillance program or analyzing the data from Americans' mobile phones, some people are busy trying to make us laugh about the whole situation. One of those people is comedian Steve Hofstetter, who has created parody video of the "deleted scenes" from The Guardian interview with Snowden.

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Screw Privacy: English Version of Data Dealer Launches

May 31, 2013 -

The English language version of Data Dealer, a Facebook and web game about data privacy, has been released. Developed to teach about the perils and pitfalls of data mining, the 2013 Games for Change Awards nominated game puts players in the shoes of a data mining company that uses various internet services to collect and resell both legally and illegally obtained information. Players do this through social networks, sweepstakes, mobile apps, the web, dating sites and more.

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The FBI Seeks Overbroad Expansion of Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act

May 24, 2013 -

A New York Times article from earlier this week about the FBI's attempt to expand the scope of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and the subsequent response to it from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) should raise alarm bells for anyone that does anything on the Internet.

Hackers Talk CISPA, Anonymous and More

May 17, 2013 -

Motherboard (part of VICE - which you may know better from their new weekly news show on HBO) has an interesting interview with two hackers - Dragon and PhäntömZ - who run a stresser/booter company called Agony (a stresser/booter is a software or service that allows a user to flood a network). In the Interview the publication talks to the duo about Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, botnets, shells, black hat and white hat hackers, Anonymous, CISPA, and more.

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Four UK-Based LulzSec Members Sentenced for 2011 Security Breaches

May 17, 2013 -

The BBC reports that four members of the hacktivist group LulzSec based in the United Kingdom have been sentenced this week. They are Ryan Cleary, Jake Davis, Mustafa al-Bassam and Ryan Ackroyd. All four pled guilty to various charges either last year or earlier this year.

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Texas Politicians Fast Track CISPA-Like Law Through House, Senate Vote Expected Soon

May 16, 2013 -

Liberal-flavored site Burnt Orange Report sheds some light on a Texas bill sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans in the House that gives law enforcement in the state broad powers to look at private Internet data without much justification.

The bill was sponsored by Texas Republican Reps. John Frullo, Allen Fletcher, and John Carona; and Democratic Rep. Senfronia Thompson. House Bill 2268 is described as follows:

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Work on Cybersecurity Legislation Continues, Despite CISPA Stall

May 16, 2013 -

In April the House of Representatives managed to push the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) through the chamber, but shortly thereafter it stalled in the Senate. Leaders there said they weren't planning on taking the issue up, instead planning to focus on a number of separate bills to address issues related to cybersecurity concerns by the government and corporations.

Ohio Man Gets One Year of House Arrest for Part in PSN Security Breach

May 13, 2013 -

The Columbus Dispatch reports that 23-year-old Todd M. Miller has been sentenced to one year of house arrest for his part in the 2008 security breach of Sony's PlayStation Network. Miller wasn't convicted on charges directly related to the hacking, but for destroying computers the FBI was interested in investigating related to the crime. Miller was sentenced last week.

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Security Firm Finds 32 Apps Containing BadNews Malware on Google Play

April 19, 2013 -

Security research firm Lookout has identified 32 separate apps on Google Play for Android devices that contain malware called BadNews, according to this BBC report. The BadNews malware has been known to steal cash by racking up charges from sending premium rate text messages. Lookout says that the malware can hide on a user's phone for weeks before being detected. As a general rule the BadNews malware targets Android phone owners in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries in eastern Europe.

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Civil Liberties Groups Send CISPA Opposition Letter to Members of Congress

April 17, 2013 -

Thirty-four civil liberties groups have signed onto a letter urging lawmakers in the House of Representatives to vote against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) when it comes up for a vote on the floor either today or tomorrow. The letter lays out the collective groups' continued opposition to the bill after a secret markup hearing last week was held and amendments put forward that would have added privacy protections for Americans were soundly rejected by hearing members.

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Report: Most Game Hacks Contain Malware

April 15, 2013 -

If you are interested in using some third-party video game hacks that you happened upon in the darker corners of the Internet, then you might want to think twice before using it. According to a report by AVG Viruslab Research Group, almost 90 percent of all video game hacks contain malware, putting gamers’ systems at risk.

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Fourth LulzSec Member Pleads Guilty to Cyberattacks Against Nintendo, Sony, and Others

April 10, 2013 -

A fourth member of the hacktivist group LulzSec has pled guilty to attacking websites owned by Sony, Nintendo, and News Corp., according to Bloomberg. Ryan Ackroyd entered a guilty plea at a hearing in London today. He will be sentenced on May 14 along with the three other hackers, according to presiding Judge Deborah Taylor.

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Lawmakers To Hold CISPA Hearing Behind Closed Doors Next Week

April 4, 2013 -

Next week when the House Intelligence Committee takes up the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA - HR 624) it will hold its markup hearing behind closed doors and away from the prying eyes of the general public and critics of the bill. Not only will this hide the discussion lawmakers have about this bill, but it will also allow them to stealthily make any amendments to the bill they like without having to worry about immediate scrutiny from anyone.

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The War Z Taken Offline After Security Breach

April 2, 2013 -

The Zombie survival MMO The War Z has been taken offline after an unknown hacker mucked about in the game's database and compromised personal player data, according to a message from publisher OP Productions. The message, which appears when you try to go to the War Z forums tells players that the game has been taken down and that the hack is being investigated. The publisher also says that those who might have been affected by the hack have been informed.

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Report: US-Based Sex Offenders Use Online Games to Target Children in Canada

April 2, 2013 -

An interesting story via the Huffington Post (based on this CBC report) details sexual predators in the United States using online games and consoles to talk to children in Canada. This particular report focuses on Winnipeg, but it's not far-fetched to imagine that if it's happening in one province, it's happening to some degree in other provinces as well.

Report: Security Hole Found in EA's Battlefield Play4Free Game

March 22, 2013 -

Hot on the heels of an exploit uncovered relating to EA's origin client, another product in the EA family has been found to have a massive security hole. Users playing EA's Battlefield Play4Free game on an older version of Windows can have their PCs hijacked by simply landing on a booby-trapped website, according to this Ars Technica report.

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Report: Researchers Uncover Serious Vulnerability in Origin Client

March 18, 2013 -

According to this Ars Technica report a serious bug in the client for EA's Origin digital distribution service could allow attackers to remotely execute malicious code on players' computers. The attack was demonstrated last week at the Black Hat security conference in Amsterdam, and it apparently only takes a few seconds to execute.

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Ninth Circuit Limits Search of Electronic Devices at Borders

March 14, 2013 -

If you own a smart phone, an Android or iOS-based device or even a hand-held gaming system or a laptop, you no longer have to worry about having the device searched by a border patrol officer when entering the United States without some sort of reasonable cause. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that allowing border agents to search such devices violates Fourth Amendment protections.

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Zenemulator...it's not just a slap job that makes "some" work..they do it for each which is why they work so well. I would rather have the quality over just a slap job.07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
ZenMatthew there is a difference between "worked" and "accurate". You play the Nintendo VC titles they play as damn close to the original as possible. The PSP would just run them as best they could, issues and all. And Masked...EACH VC title has their own07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOnce again, the 3DS already HAS a GBA emulator, it just can't run at the same time as the 3DS OS.07/30/2014 - 4:54pm
Matthew Wilsonyou cant street pass in ds mode ether, and if moders can make a gba emulator that runs very well on the psp as I understand it. you are telling me that Nintendo devs are not as good as moders?07/30/2014 - 4:49pm
Zenperformance. Halo 1 and 2 worked great because they actually did custom work on each of them...just like Nintendo does now lol07/30/2014 - 4:08pm
Zenexisting hardware while the GBA has to be emulated completely. Same reason the 360 couldn't run most Original Xbox games correctly, or had issues because they just did "blanket approach" for their emulation which led to game killing bugs or horrible07/30/2014 - 4:07pm
ZenSora/Matthew: It's not just Miiverse, but the whole idea of streetpass and things like that would be affected if the OS is not running. And just because a 3DS game can be downloaded and run does not mean that GBA can as easily. Those 3DS games use the07/30/2014 - 4:06pm
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, How is that different from every other credit card company targeting high school and college students?07/30/2014 - 1:40pm
Sleaker@EZK - I think some people are concerned beacuse it's a predatory technique targetted toward younger people that don't understand on top of offering the worst interest rates of any retailer around.07/30/2014 - 11:33am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/07/30/europe-gets-long-detained-shin-megami-tensei-4-at-cut-price/ "Sorry you had to wait a year for SMT4, would a price cut make it sting less?"07/30/2014 - 10:29am
NeenekoI would hope not. Though it is not unheard of for store specific cards to be pretty good.07/30/2014 - 8:17am
E. Zachary KnightDoes anyone, or at least any intelligent person, expect a retail branded credit card to be anything close to resembling a "good deal" on interest rates?07/30/2014 - 7:13am
SleakerGamestop articles popping up everywhere about their ludicrous new Credit card offerings at a whopping pre-approval for 26.9% APR07/29/2014 - 10:19pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/07/podcasting-patent-troll-we-tried-to-drop-lawsuit-against-adam-carolla/ the podcasting patent troll scum is trying to turn tail and run.07/29/2014 - 9:50pm
MaskedPixelanteOf course it's improved. At launch, Origin was scanning your entire hard drive, but now it's just scanning your browsing history. If that's not an improvement, I dunno what is!07/29/2014 - 8:59pm
Papa Midnighthttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/columns/experienced-points/12029-Has-EAs-Origin-Service-Improved-Any-Over-the-Last-Two-Years07/29/2014 - 8:25pm
Sora-ChanSo it's just a matter of having better emulation software. If it can be done with a 3DS game, with all the memory and what not it takes up, it can be done with a GBA title through emulation.07/29/2014 - 7:30pm
Sora-ChanOther VC titles for the NES and Gameboy had the same setup where you couldn't access the homescreen without quitting out of the game til a later update when those games were released for the public outside of the founder program.07/29/2014 - 7:28pm
Sora-Chanthe 3DS can, and does, run GBA games, as seen by the founder gifts, which included a number of GBA titles. As for running GBA games and still having access to the home screen, I beleive it's more of the game emulation software needs to be updated.07/29/2014 - 7:27pm
Matthew Wilsonthe 3ds already swaps os's with the original ds. plus I dont think people expect miverse interaction when playing a gba game.07/29/2014 - 6:06pm
 

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