No, this is not a joke and yes it can be done. Anonymous, the hacktivist group, has filed a petition online on the White House website claiming that Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) shouldn’t be illegal because it is a form of protest. They claim, and it is correct in my opinion, that DDoS is the digital version of the “occupy” form of protest. It is the equivalent of users hitting the refresh button on a website repeatedly. It slows or stops the traffic to that website. For the time being there are 3500 votes and another 21500 needed for the Obama administration to gain their attention. The goal of 25000 is not very high for Anonymous and their supporters but the goal of 25000 needs to be reached by February 6. You can find the petition and vote for it on the source link.
U.S Department of Defense signed a three-year contract with a Microsoft reseller to bring Windows 8 along with Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013 to 75% of all DOD personnel. The license agreement will cost about $617 million and it will save to DOD around $70 million per year. This is a big win for Microsoft which is showing that happening to many TV series like Hawaii 5-0 and NCIS Los Angeles. This is a reality and we will see the numbers of windows 8 users growing.
Canonical announced that it will release Ubuntu, the Linux-based operating system, for smartphones. It will have a new user interface which is adapted for small screens. Ubuntu for mobile uses the kernel and the drivers from Android. This means that any hardware which has Android is able to install Ubuntu and manufacturers don’t need to change their hardware to support the new OS. Canonical already spoke with manufacturers to have Ubuntu pre-installed in their devices but don’t expect them before the end of 2013. Finally, Ubuntu will not be the only new OS, Firefox OS is also arriving and those operating systems will make a big impact in the mobile world.
Several companies in the music industry have violated Google’s terms of services by altering the views of their videos which is not allowed. YouTube deleted more than 2 billion views in the channels of Sony, Universal and RCA. Those companies among several others and many users hired view building services to increase the number of views. Universal had 1 billion fake views and Sony went from 850 million views to only 2.3 million. There is a huge number of services on the web that offer view building to fake the popularity of your videos but it is a violation of terms of services. There are also services to increase the likes of a Facebook page and get Twitter followers.
Pacemakers send and receive signals and it seems that pacemaker transmitters can be reverse engineered. This means that criminals can hack them and make them send a high voltage electric shock to pacemakers. The most scary part is that this can be done wireless and the attackers can be anywhere within few meters range. The distance can vary with different antennas and different environment (walls, windows, etc). It is also possible to change the firmware of a pacemaker and create some king of virus which will spread from pacemaker to pacemaker.
You may don’t find your way home with Apple Maps but you can see a top secret military base in Taiwan. The ultra-high-frequency radar they have can be used to detect missiles that could be launched by China and it is now public thanks to Apple and its effort to create map services. It is possible that China was familiar with the radar but it doesn’t hurt to have a clear high definition picture as well. We will assume that this was an accident because if it is not then conspiracy theories are endless. Thank you Apple for making me smile today. Now my mistakes look very small and I thank you for that.
iPhone 5 launched and smartphone companies started mocking Apple’s new product. Samsung was the first one with another ad with title “It doesn’t take a genius”. Samsung is comparing its Galaxy S III with the new iPhone. Based on the characteristics Galaxy S III is superior to iPhone 5. Samsung is the first but not the only one, Nokia is mocking the new iPhone with a twitter based Lumia campaign. Even the newest iPhone does not support NFC which is making some of the Apple fans unhappy. Samsung and HTC are not happy with the LTE that the iPhone 5 now supports and we may see another legal battle.
CRIME is the name of the new attack that can hijack HTTPS sessions. When you visit websites with HTTPS you expect them to be safe but researchers find new vulnerabilities. With CRIME, if you visit a site and you log in with your credentials like a bank, Google or Facebook the attacker can then decrypt the information of the session cookies and log in to those site and pretend to be you. If this is not scary then I don’t know what is. They can do it by exploiting a security hole in TLS 1.0.
Apple’s App Store is vulnerable and can be bypassed easily, even without jailbreaking. ZonD80, a Russian hacker found a way to bypass the payment and get paid apps for free. The amazing thing is that it is very easy and almost everyone can do it. The idea is to communicate and send the purchasing requests to a server operated by the hacker instead of the official one. ZonD80 posted a video on YouTube showing his hack but the video was deleted by Google and now he is requesting donations to setup a website to promote his hack.
Internet users do not realize that they are been watched by online companies. Most of us are not taking measures to ensure our privacy and anonymity. You search for flowers on Google and then you visit a site with Google AdSense and you see ads for cheap flowers in your area. You see the ad and you notice that it is interesting without realizing how this ad appeared in front of you. Internet companies are following you everywhere and they know what you want, what you like and what you do. If that doesn’t scare you then you are naive and lucky! You are traced by cookies and some browsers that store your data. If you want safer browsing use Firefox.