Are you someone who spends a lot of time on the Internet? Do you surf websites, send email, post your exploits on Facebook or argue with your friends on Twitter? If so, all that fun is apparently going to grind to a halt this Saturday.
How can this be? Well, if it does happen, you can thank notorious hacker group Anonymous. They plan to shut down the Internet in protest on March 31.
Here’s why: “To protest SOPA, Wallstreet, our irresponsible leaders and the beloved bankers who are starving the world for their own selfish needs out of sheer sadistic fun, on March 31, anonymous will shut the Internet down. Remember, this is a protest, we are not trying to ‘kill’ the Internet we are only temporarily shutting it down where it hurts the most.”
The plan, known as “Operation Global Blackout 2012″ (catchy name that) looks to hit the Internet where it lives, at the main DNS servers that make the entire thing possible. By shutting down the DNS servers with what amounts to a denial of service attack (look it up), it will effectively make websites unreachable and spawn a sea of 404 errors or worse.
But can they do it? According to Cyber Security “experts” they can’t. Well, at least this one guy seems pretty certain.
Whatever happens on Saturday, if you end up having a problem reaching your favorite website maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Take it as a sign that perhaps you should spend some time with friends, family or even dare I say it, outside in the fresh air.
It’s just one day. It won’t kill you.
The spree of hacking attacks against video game publishers continues. This time around Sega is the victim. Today, the company has confirmed that personal data from 1.3 million user accounts was stolen during a recent security breach, according to reports.
During the attack, hackers were able to obtain email addresses, encrypted passwords, birth dates and names of Sega Pass network users. The hackers did not access credit card data, however. As a result of the attack, Sega’s Sega Pass network has been taken offline.
“We are deeply sorry for causing trouble to our customers. We want to work on strengthening security,” Yoko Nagasawa, a Sega spokeswoman, said. As yet, no group has taken credit for the attack.
With all this hacking going on, you have to wonder who’s next?
This news should make you feel safe about your Gmail accounts. Might be time to change those passwords that contain your birthday and your kids names. Why are we so paranoid? Read on.
Google on Wednesday confirmed that a hacker from China was able to break into hundreds of Gmail accounts. Fortunately, Google detected the attack almost immediately and notified the victims. Almost as quickly, China has denied involvement in the hacking scheme and denounced the allegations as “unacceptable.”
Several high-profile accounts were reportedly hacked including senior U.S. government personnel, Chinese political activists and government officials from South Korea. The actual hack was a phishing scheme that prompted users to enter their user names and passwords on a web page.
“It’s important to stress that our internal systems have not been affected—these account hijackings were not the result of a security problem with Gmail itself,” Google said on its official Gmail blog.
So again, check those passwords and make them more complex. Also, don’t ever trust anyone who sends you an email asking for your password or other personal information. No legitimate website or company will ever do that.
The amazing Sony hacking saga continues. As you probably know, the company has had a few problems with hackers. Although now, it looks like the company may be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.
Sony on Tuesday said services associated with its PlayStation Network will be fully restored by the end of this week in all regions outside Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea. The company also said it would fully restore the Music Unlimited services tied to its Qriocity streaming music service for the PlayStation 3, PSP and PCs.
“We have been conducting additional testing and further security verification of our commerce functions in order to bring the PlayStation Network completely back online so that our fans can again enjoy the first class entertainment experience they have come to love,” said Kazuo Hirai, Sony’s Executive Deputy President, in a statement. “We appreciate the patience and support shown during this time.”
That all sounds great but its been quite a bit of time away from PSN for a lot of users. So much so that several people we know have jumped ship and gone over to Microsoft and its XBox 360/XBox Live offerings. Sucks to be Sony these days it seems.
Click through for the full press release from Sony. Has it been restored for you yet?
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As if the beleaguered Sony doesn’t have enough problems already what with all the recent security breaches, hacking and general ill will from fans who waited a long time for the PSN to come back online. Now it seems we can add another potential issue to the already troubled company’s litany of problems.
According to sources at Rockstar Games, the developer of hit games such as Grand Theft Auto and L.A. Noir, the latest 3.61 firmware update for the Sony PS3 is causing units to overheat.
“We have received some reports of PS3s overheating while playing L.A. Noire or beeping three times before shutting down / turning themselves off, mostly on older 60GB and 80GB fat models,” Rockstar customer service team said on its support page, as reported by MCVUK.
Rockstar also offered that the problem is not just with L.A. Noir and that users are experiencing the same issue with other games. When the problem occurs, the red light or PS3 freeze usually happens between 30 minutes to 2 hours after starting a game.
Here’s a statement from Rockstar Customer Service on the subject. This is, however, not an “official” statement from the company (at least not yet):
“At this time we are recommending contacting Sony directly to report the overheating issue. However, this is not the end of our support; we are continuing to test L.A. Noire on all firmware versions and hardware models to isolate the issues and see what can be done. As always, we will update this article as soon as we have updates.”
Sucks to be Sony right now. Anyone had any problems like this after updating your PS3? If so, sound off in the comments.
Let’s start out this post by mentioning a few things. First, we love the iPhone around here and pretty much all of us have one and use it every day. Second, I don’t think any of us has jailbroken their iPhone, at least not the iPhone 4. Also, we love the guys at LifeHacker and read their site every day.
So, when we can have all of those things combined, life is good. I’m talking about, of course, an article over at LifeHacker wherein author Adam Dachis highlight four very good reasons not to jailbreak your iPhone. In summary, here’s what Adam says are the four major negatives:
Goodbye Stability and Safety
While jailbreaking can provide you with plenty of options to increase the functionality of your iDevice, it can also cause things to work unexpectedly.
You Don’t Get to Update iOS as Soon or as Easily
Updating a jailbroken device sucks. When you update, you lose your jailbreak, need to re-jailbreak, and then re-install all your jailbroken apps and extensions.
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Poor Sony just can’t seem to get a break lately. With hackers already breaking into Playstation Network and Qriocity services only last week, the company now says hackers may have stolen the personal information, including credit card numbers, of 24.6 Million users of Sony Online Entertainment.
“We are today advising you that the personal information you provided us in connection with your SOE account may have been stolen in a cyberattack,” Sony wrote in a statement on its website on Monday.
Sony Online Entertainment is a division of the company that publishes online multiplayer games like the recently released DC Universe Online. Sony turned off all SOE game services Monday after it learned of the intrusion.
Sony said that the compromised personal information includes customers’ names, addresses, e-mail addresses, birth dates, gender, phone numbers, logins and hashed passwords. Also at risk are the credit card numbers and expiration dates of 12,700 non-U.S. customers, plus 10,700 direct debit records from customers in Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Spain, containing bank-account numbers, customers’ names and addresses.
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What was the world like without YouTube? Hard to believe that was an actual thing at one time, but it’s true. There were things like TV, radio, and even books to keep people entertained long before watching 30 second videos in which a baby farts and sneezes at the same time was a national pastime.
With those early dinosaur years in mind, YouTube has decided to show us what it would be like if this free video service was available in the time of silent movies with YouTube 1911.
The site has been res-kinned for the day, and a new feature has been added to all videos, in which you can see what that video would look like in old-timey coloring and, of course, without its original audio.
One of the best things to come out of this prank is their video in which 5 top YouTube classics get recreated for 100 years ago. Take a look at the video after the jump.
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We’re only a few days away from the big premiere of the next Harry Potter film and leave it to the Internet, specifically to the various torrent sites, to spoil it for Warner Brothers. Thirty-six minutes of the new film have leaked onto the ‘net and studio execs, who I’m sure are concerned, must be high-fiving their decision to only provide a small portion of the film to the press to screen. The footage is watermarked and obviously from a DVD screener, generally sent to the press prior to a film’s official release, however Warner Bros is not confirming this at this time.
For those with even a cursory knowledge of how torrent sites work, they’re probably quite busy getting a solid look at the film before the world-wide release later this week. According to TorrentFreak.com, this is not the first time ‘Deathly Hallows’ has made a splash on the torrent scene. In 2007 a scan of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book was posted online before it hit the book stores, and was then quickly transcribed by fans. Someone had managed to get their hands on the American edition of the book and had photographed each page of the book and uploaded it to BitTorrent.
Flash forward a few years and dozens of torrent sites are offering up the lengthy “preview” of the film. No surprise really, considering TorrentFreak reports that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince scored a spot on its “most pirated movies” list with nearly 8 million downloads last year. Industry watchers are speculating whether the leak will have any affect on ticket sales, which seems remote unless the initial half hour of the film is disastrously bad. Instead, it may have the opposite effect, whetting movie-goers appetite for the full movie.
Wired.com is already reporting an official statement by the studio, who is vowing to find and prosecute those responsible.
“Last night a portion of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 was stolen and illegally posted on the internet. This constitutes a serious breach of copyright violation and theft of Warner Bros. property. We are working actively to restrict and/or remove copies that may be available. Also, we are vigorously investigating this matter and will prosecute those involved to the full extent of the law.”
What do you think? Will a little more than a half hour of the film have any bearing on opening night box office sales? Let us know your opinion in the comments section.
Jailbreaking the latest Apple devices just became a whole lot easier. Fire up your iOS4 device, point Safari at the web site www.JailBreakMe.com, slide the big button on the main page and you’re done. Considerably easier than some of the arcane methods device owners had to engage in previously to free their devices from Apple’s short leash. The web-based tool works for iPhones, including the latest iPhone 4, as well as other devices like the iPod and iPad running iOS 3.2.1.
In case you’re not familiar with jailbreaking, it’s act of unlocking your device’s file system so that you can install any app you’d like, even those outside the purview of the official app store. This cloud-based jailbreaking method comes hot on the heels of a decision by the U.S. Library of Congress which declared the act of jailbreaking to be legal. Good timing for the hacker who created the code, since Apple can no longer have the site taken down.
So how does the hack work? According to Wired’s Gadget Lab, The hack works through a PDF exploit in Mobile Safari. Comex, a member of the iPhone Dev Team (the jailbreaking people), uses Safari’s PDF decoder to run the code. Because Safari automatically opens PDFs, the jailbreak code is run. Expect Apple to close this hole in an update, if only for security purposes.
Perhaps the more important question is why would you want to jailbreak your Apple device? Most who do so, cite gaining access to sites like Cydia, the unofficial app store where you can download apps not approved for sale by Apple. Some of the ‘rogue’ apps available at these sites include MyWi, which turns phones into mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, and IntelliScreen, which lets users put e-mail and calendars on their home screens.
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Own a 3G-enabled iPad? You personal data may have been exposed in one of the first kerfuffles to erupt over Apple’s beloved iPad tablet. WiFi-only users? You’re safe for now.
But owners who signed up for 3G service via AT&T have been reportedly subject to an exploit that left nearly 115K iPad owners, including dozens of CEOs, military officials, and top politicians, exposed to hackers whose motives remain unclear.
From what we’re hearing from Gawker’s Valleywag site, the damage seems limited to e-mail addresses alone. However in some cases, these addresses happened to belong to individuals who make them very valuable. 3G subscribers who have been compromised include thousands of A-listers in finance, politics and media.
Would you like to e-mail NY Times Co. CEO Janet Robinson? Or how about Diane Sawyer of ABC News? Is Harvey Weinstein or Mayor Michael Bloomberg more your speed? For hackers who captured these high-level e-mails, even White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s address isn’t off-limits. No bueno.
In AT&T’s defense, their security personnel closed the security hole in recent days, but the victims have been unaware, until now. Who did it? Why did they do it? Read on past the jump to learn more about the hacker group responsible for this exploit and how they pulled it off.
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On Friday, Google quietly rolled out a new beta feature for it’s core search service, dubbed ‘Google with SSL.’ While a post on the official Google blog implied that while this new secure connection would eventually be made available on the vast majority of its ancillary services, only the core search property would be part of this public beta for now.
Most consumers are used to seeing banking or e-commerce services use what are known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connections to encrypt information that travels between your computer and their service. However this is a first for any major search engine and something that competitors Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing have yet to implement.
Usually recognized by a web address starting with “https” along with a browser lock icon, this technology is regularly used to secure log-in areas and to prevent sensitive data from being intercepted. But now, search users will be able to take advantage of this privacy-enhancing feature to help protect their search terms and their search results pages from being intercepted by a third party on your network.
U.S.-based users can begin using the new secure version of Google Search by simply adding a ‘https://’ in front of the standard ‘www.google.com’ URL. The new secure search mode will be rolled out to the rest of the world over the next few days.
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Given the storm of bad press and user revolts Facebook has been suffering since announcing their “Open Graph” feature to better spread its data across the web, it’s rather puzzling that the company would announce an unrelated new security feature. But, announce it they did. With well-known tech pundit and podcaster Leo Laporte deleting his Facebook account on-the-air, Facebook has announced a new security method that ties your account to certain known computers and devices.
Similar to a method already in-use by most U.S. banking entities, Facebook will recognize computers and devices you typically log-in with, however when an unknown device attempts to log-in, you will be required to answer a challenge-response question to verify your identity. Facebook users will be able to approve which computers and mobile devices are allowed to log-in, and when an unauthorized attempt occurs, an email or text message will alert the user of the unauthorized access attempt.
While this heightened security is certainly unique in the social networking world, it does nothing to address the serious privacy issues being expressed about how Facebook data is being extended and used by unknown and potentially untrustworthy third-party web sites. Even Congress is getting involved, with four Democratic senators calling on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to reconsider the recent changes in its privacy settings and asking the Federal Trade Commission to streamline guidelines regarding privacy on all social networks.
After the jump, I describe how to activate Facebook’s new authorized device/log-in notification feature, so read on if you’d like to try it for yourself.
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Before we get started, congratulations are in order for QuakeHOLD I of Escondido California who is officially the one millionth user to sign up for a Foursquare account. It’s always a momentous occasion when an app or web service surpasses the one-million user threshold and I’m guessing that there will be some celebrating in Foursquare’s HQ this Friday as they savor this achievement. In fact, a tweet from the popular location-aware service implied exactly those sort of festivities are on tap:
“We’re closing in on 1 million users! Current count is 969,775. Looks like that’s we may have something to toast during Friday Happy Hour ”
Exciting stuff indeed, but what I’m really enthused about is a novel way for brands and organizations to leverage Foursquare to help users unlock their immediate surroundings. With Foursquare, one of the sticking points is that unless your friends live in your immediate area, Foursquare doesn’t really offer a lot of regional intelligence.
Sure, you could check-in at nearby locations, maybe even become the mayor, but after a while, the allure of such things wore off and the general sentiment seemed to be, “So what?”
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Sometimes in the world of Tech reporting writers can occasionally become jaded at having to talk about this new phone or that new device or Apple’s latest amazing creation which is usually amazing but people also criticize because it doesn’t do eveything. However, every once in awhile something happens that’s pretty revolutionary and also, pretty darn cool. Oh, and pretty darn geeky too.
Case in point is the intrepid coder/hacker/mad genius known as planetbeing who was able to install Android on his iPhone and make it work reasonably well. But wait, that’s not all. Not only can you run Android on your iPhone, you can dual boot between Android and the iPhone OS. Like I said, geeky as hell but also, darn cool.
Click through to check out the video showing this tasty bit of hackery goodness. Now where did I put that old iPhone?
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