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It has happened before and it will happen again: a bunch of female entertainers or their partners have their private photos hacked and the sexual ones leaked online. There is usually one especially famous name in the bunch that leads the headlines, the starlet with the hottest career at the time of the leak. Last time it was Scarlett Johansson. This time it’s Jennifer Lawrence.
Hacker conference Defcon has a long tradition of playing "spot the fed," a game that involves outing government types who attend under the radar to learn about the latest hacking tricks and those who are expert at developing them. There was little challenge in the game this August when it came to one group of infiltrators from Washington, D.C.
Watching a month-old video of the lead-up to a shark attack in Los Angeles is like seeing Internet trolls in real life. An unidentified fisherman hooked a seven-foot great white shark off Manhattan Beach in July. It is illegal to fish for Jaws, but the guy lets the shark struggle on the line for more than a half hour, laughing and amused by its thrashing.
The bizarreness of the 'ice bucket challenge' is well-summarized by the skeptical child in this photoshop asking why people are wasting clean water to avoid giving money to charity, and also by Arielle Pardes at Vice.
There are technologists who specialize in "scanning the Internet." They are like a search team making its way through a neighborhood, but instead of checking the knob of every door, they check Internet entrances to online devices to see which ones are open.
Foursquare users who play hooky from work to go see a movie may not "check in" for fear of colleagues seeing their whereabouts, but the app still knows they're there. Last week, the Wall Street Journal confirmed an earlier report that Foursquare "tracks your every movement, even when the app is closed." Foursquare is far from the only app doing this.
A few years back, Thomas 'T.K.' Kinsey was having a late, inebriated night in downtown Redlands, a far-flung suburb of Los Angeles. He started climbing a fountain, making the kind of bad decision a late-night carouser makes. Suddenly, he heard a voice coming from above telling him to stop.
Every August, thousands of hackers invade Las Vegas for two security conferences, Black Hat and Defcon. The conferences are ostensibly an opportunity to share knowledge about new vulnerabilities and themes in the industry.
This week, people who care about security — and specialize in compromising it — are gathered in the adult theme park that is Las Vegas for back-to-back hacker conferences, Black Hat and Defcon.
As many a snoopy significant other knows, it's pretty easy to figure out a smartphone passcode. On the iPhone, the numbers helpfully light up when they are tapped. But thanks to new technology, you don't have to use the side-eye technique to compromise someone's privacy.
Yahoo users may have benefited most from the "Snowden effect." The tech company was a laggard when it came to security practices until the NSA leaker's disclosures made clear the extent to which weak security practices by tech companies are being exploited by talented hackers.
The New York Times dropped the freakiest security story since Heartbleed Tuesday, warning people that a "Russian gang has amassed over a billion passwords." The story provides few details beyond hyperbolic numbers: " 1.2 billion username and password combinations" and "more than 500 million email addresses" are in the hands of a group of 20-something hackers in Russia, according to the report.
Google has suddenly become the poster boy for child porn searches after the search giant reported a child porn image in a Texas man's Gmail, leading to his arrest. Many in the tech community, including my colleagues here at Forbes seem shocked, saying we should "be afraid of Google's power" and that its pairing up with law enforcement like this is leading us into the Panopticon.
Federal prosecutor Wesley Hsu has been working cybercrime cases for over a decade. Chief of the cyber crime unit at the U.S. Attorneys' Office in Los Angeles, his initial focus was on helping Hollywood protect its intellectual property and getting justice for companies that had been hacked by ex-employees.
"The only thing I have in common with Justin Timberlake is that we've both been 'SWAT-ed,' " says CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince. In 2012 an armed rescue team stormed his company's downtown San Francisco office ready to defuse a hostage situation called in by a prankster. It was the first of many visits from the SWAT team and Maggie the bomb-sniffing dog. Prince is used to unwanted attention.
Kashmir Hill's stories. The Not-So Private Parts: Welcome to The Not-So Private Parts where technology & privacy collide