news of the world hacking


This biohacker implanted a transit card into his skin so he never has to get out his wallet

  • The story can’t get more bizarre. An Australian biohacker named Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow — yes, he legally changed his name to that — decided to embed a fare card into his arm.
  • But instead of finding Meow-Meow’s scannable limb to be good fun, the local transportation body decided to take it very seriously.
  • “Customers that are caught tampering with their Opal card may have their card cancelled,” a spokesperson from Transport for New South Wales told HuffPost Australia.
  • Meow-Meow had the chip cut out from the transit system’s “Opal card,” then had it covered in biocompatible plastic.
  • He’s allegedly able to board trains, buses and ferries by tapping his arm against card readers, though it may take a few tries. Read more (6/28/17)

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Vladimir Putin ordered attempt to influence US election, declassified report says

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin personally directed an attempt to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the 2016 U.S. presidential election, according to an intelligence report declassified and made public Friday.
  • The report, “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections,” noted that Moscow has for years attempted to meddle in American politics, but 2016 operations “demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity and scope of effort.” Read more
  • Afterward, Trump said in a statement that cyberattacks had no impact on the integrity of his victory. Read more

Overcast, fog drenched mornings like this were still unsettling for Duo.

They remind him, ironically, of his childhood in space. Of atmosphere stabilizers too old and too broken to compensate, of a government that would rather have its weakest and poorest die off than have to take care of them, of the plague.

It had taken two years of not so pointed and then very pointed suggestions from Wufei before Duo agreed to move, agreed to leave his position at Preventers and join Wufei in the small, sleepy town where Wufei taught philosophy at some ivy covered university.

Duo had been the last one left, had stuck it out even after Trowa had nearly died on their last mission together and decided to take his disability pension and travel the colonies with Heero. He had even stayed after Wufei had one final, furious showdown with Une- a shouting match that had ended with Duo, still limping from the bullet he had taken in his thigh, hauling Wufei away before security could be called.
He had stayed, despite the danger- or maybe because of it- that came from being the only field agent Une could rely upon to do anything necessary to preserve the peace.

But after two years of going it alone, or seeing all of his former comrades settled and safe and happy, Duo had realized he wanted that for himself. Wanted more than just a weekend here or there, a few hours between flights, a late night drink in a hotel bar before Wufei went back to his life, went back to his small, sleepy town and his safe, settled neighborhood.

So Duo let Wufei win the last fight, let Wufei convince him to leave behind Preventers and move to the country.

And he was happy. Happier than he had any right to be. He woke up early, as the first blue light peaked over the mountain ridge that guarded the small, sleepy town. Wufei slept later, and Duo puttered around the garage for those two hours, checked the news feeds, hacked into the Preventers database to see if the world were about to go up in flames, toyed with Wufei’s car.

It was quiet in those two hours, quiet like the dead of space.

The silence was so loud Duo sometimes thought he would go insane, but just when it got to be too much, he would hear a bird chirping away, or a squirrel charging up a tree. He would be reminded of all of the life around him, would be reminded of the small, sleepy little town and the beautiful man asleep in their bed.

And most mornings, that would be enough. It would settle the nauseating coil of anxiety in Duo’s gut and he would sip his coffee and read the new recruit performance reviews from HQ.

But mornings like this, when the fog rolled in over the mountains and Duo could almost see the faces of ghosts floating in the distance, birdsong wasn’t enough to soothe him.

On those mornings he climbed back into the bed, curled around himself and stared at Wufei as he slept, at his strong, familiar face and the easy, even rise and fall of his chest and he drew one breath after another.

Sometimes Wufei woke up, frowning to find Duo staring at him, but then reaching out and lacing his hand through Duo’s in silent support.

Sometimes he didn’t wake up, and Duo would spend two hours watching him, making sure he was still breathing.

Making sure he didn’t drift off into the fog.


@anyone else??

Wrote a thing this morning on the phone so the formatting might suck.


Global ransomware hack hits infrastructure targets across Europe

  • A ransomware attack hit companies and government agencies across Europe Tuesday, the Guardian reported.
  • Among the largest targets was Russian oil giant Rosneft, which is majority-owned by the Russian government. The company confirmed the hack on Twitter, but said it hadn’t affected oil production.
  • In Copenhagen, global shipping company Maersk was also hit, Reuters reported, though it was unclear if the attacks were linked.
  • But Ukraine appears to have been the hardest hit by the ongoing hack. The country’s central government, its largest airport and its national power supply company were all targeted, the Independent reported. Read more (6/27/17)

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Trump did talk to Putin about Russian election meddling — but Putin denied interference 

  • Trump kicked off his first in-person meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin by talking about Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday.
  • Tillerson said Trump “pressed Putin more than once” on Russia’s meddling, according to CNN’s Jeff Zeleny
  • But Putin denied that Russia interfered.
  • “The question is what we do now,” Tillerson said, according to Zeleny. “The relationship is too important to not find a way to move forward.”
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, however, said Trump accepted Putin’s denial about meddling in the U.S. election, according to Neil MacFarquhar, the chief of the New York Times’ Moscow bureau. Read more (7/7/17 2 PM)

The murder of Milly Dowler

Amanda “Milly” Dowler (13) was walking home after school when she vanished, shortly after 4 pm of March 21st, 2002. She was last seen by a friend of her sister, who was waiting for a bus, but by the time she got in it she couldn’t see Milly in the street anymore.

Her disappearance sparked an intense search that captured the attention of Surrey, and later, the whole Great Britain. And it ended on September 18th, 2002, when her body was found in the Yateley Woods, around 27 miles from where Milly went missing. She hadn’t been buried and was naked, but her body was too decomposed to determine a cause of death.

Milly’s case went unsolved for years, until in 2008, police set their sights on Levi Bellfield. This man lived very close to the place where Milly was last seen, and his car was caught in CCTV around the time she disappeared, in the street she was walking on.

By that time, Bellfield was already behind bars, sentenced to life, for the murder of two other girls.

Marsha McDonnell (19) was attacked with a hammer after getting off a bus the night of February 4th, 2003. She died from her injuries at the hospital two days later.

Amelia Delagrange (22), a French student that had traveled to the UK, was also killed by blunt force trauma around the same area of Marsha’s attack on August 19th, 2004.

Bellfield had also tried to kill Kate Sheedy by running her over with his car, and he had several other charges of abducting and attacking other women. The day before Milly’s abduction, he had tried to lure a 12 year old girl in his car.

He was charged, tried and found guilty of Milly’s murder, adding another life sentence. Milly’s parents revealed in February 2016 that Bellfield had finally admitted to their daughter’s murder in 2015, and in his confession he said he’d kept the girl alive for 14 hours after kidnapping her, raping and torturing her in different locations before finally strangling her. Almost right after, his lawyer denied such confession had taken place.

Levi Bellfield now goes by the name Yusuf Rahim, after converting to Islam in 2011.

Milly Dowler was also in the center of the phone hacking scandal, when it was revealed that News of the World hacked her voicemail while she was missing.  

Russian hackers reportedly tried to get into Emmanuel Macron’s campaign in French election

  • Emmanuel Macron — the pro-European Union centrist facing off against far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election — was the target of Russian hackers, Time reported Tuesday.
  • According to Japanese antivirus firm Trend Micro, hackers linked to Russia created fake websites in an attempt to steal passwords and online credentials from Macron staffers.
  • Mounir Mahjoubi, digital chief for the Macron campaign, confirmed there were attempts to hack the campaign but said they were unsuccessful.
  • “It’s serious, but nothing was compromised,” Mahjoubi told the Associated Press on Monday night.
  • Though it didn’t point its finger at any governments, Trend Micro said it was “very, very likely” a group called Pawn Storm — which U.S. intelligence considers a Russian spying organization — is behind the attempted hacks. Read more (4/25/17)
Ex-MI6 agent so worried by his Donald Trump discoveries he started working without pay
Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who investigated Donald Trump’s alleged Kremlin links, was so worried by what he was discovering that at the end he was working without pay, The Independent has learned. Mr Steele also decided to pass on information to both British and American intelligence officials after concluding that such material should not just be in the hands of political opponents of Mr Trump, who had hired his services, but was a matter of national security for both countries.

“Mr Trump’s campaign team had agreed to a Russian request to dilute attention on Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine. Four days later Mr Trump stated that he would recognise Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. A month later officials involved in his campaign asked the Republican party’s election platform to remove a pledge for military assistance to the Ukrainian government against separatist rebels in the east of the country. … There seemed to be little progress in a proper inquiry into Mr Trump. The Bureau, instead, seemed to be devoting their resources in the pursuit of Hillary Clinton’s email transgressions. The New York office, in particular, appeared to be on a crusade against Ms Clinton.”
Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont, U.S. officials say
A code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe was detected.

A code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected within the system of a Vermont utility, according to U.S. officials.

While the Russians did not actively use the code to disrupt operations, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a security matter, the discovery underlines the vulnerabilities of the nation’s electrical grid. Officials in government and the utility industry regularly monitor the grid because it is highly computerized and any disruptions can have disastrous implications for the country’s medical and emergency services.

American officials, including one senior administration official, said they are not yet sure what the intentions of the Russians might have been. The incursion may have been designed to disrupt the utility’s operations or as a test to see whether they could penetrate a portion of the grid.

Continue Reading.

Members of Anonymous attack Israel every year on April 7 — and Israel is ready

Every year, Anonymous threatens to attack Israel in the name of Palestine and wipe them off the internet. This year, like each year before, Israel is ready. The attack happens every year on April 7, starting in 2013, when it occurred on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day. For the first couple of years, Anonymous was somewhat successful in taking down a few government sites. This year might be a challenge.

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Putin says “patriotically minded” Russians may have been a part of 2016 election cyberattacks

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested on Thursday that some Russians might have played a role in the cyberattacks in the 2016 presidential election.
  • Putin said that “patriotically minded” Russians may have launched the attacks to “fight against those who say bad things about Russia,” the New York Times reported.
  • While Putin denied that Russian government officials were involved in the cyberattacks, it was the first time Putin admitted that any Russians whatsoever may well have had some sort of role in the hacks that upended the U.S. presidential election, and which are still dogging President Donald Trump and his administration. Read more (6/1/17)
Charles and Diana: the phone leak scandal

Alright people: I’m not a brit so I’m not quite as well versed as they are, but we Aussies have this thing about Diana, so I’m going to give you a rundown on the scandal of the century. If I get any details wrong, let me know, this knowledge has mostly been obtained by cultural osmosis. But also I think Charles’ love story is heartbreaking angst with a bittersweet ending, and that’s my jam yo. 

Bit of background: Charles wanted to marry Camilla Parker Bowles (his current wife) but she was divorced. That was a big NO for the crown prince (had resulted in an abdication in the 30s) so he was encouraged to find someone else instead. That someone was a very well bred kindergarten teacher named Lady Diana Spencer. There has always been speculation about how arranged this coupling was, btw. Diana got pretty critical of it later. Anyway, the royal wedding happened, it was huge (internationally broadcast live on television - the first ever royal event to get that treatment) and EVERYONE of a certain generation can remember what they were doing around the royal wedding (in Australia at least). They have about 3-6 years of apparent happiness before it all goes to shit. 

Here’s the big thing though, and here’s why, as an Australian, my mind doesn’t go to the royal wedding, but to the phone leak scandal that caused the first royal divorce (i.e. the biggest fucking deal of the century). The story was broken by an Australian up and coming tabloid, and was recently made into a miniseries with Rachel Griffiths that EVERYBODY watched (this country and watching shows about Packer or the Royal Family I swear to god). It’s called Paper Giants: Magazine Wars FYI, and it is a REALLY great series. The early 90s fashion gets me going. 

ANYWAY, so this mag, owned by a guy called Kerry Packer, is in the middle of a turf war for the biggest slice of Australian tabloid media, with Rupert Murdoch no less (*cough* The Sun) when BOTH magazines get sent this tape. 

And this tape, you guys, this tape. This tape is the most famous phone leak scandal of the 20th century, and was only eclipsed by the recent news of the world phone hacking scandal. This tape. 

This tape was a recording of a conversation between Charles and Camilla, and it was KINKY AS FUCK. SO FUCKING KINKY. IT WAS PHONE SEX. BUT IT WAS GROSS PHONE SEX. Charles is most famous for the part where he tells Camilla he wants to be her tampon so he can live in her vagina. IT IS SO GROSS. 

And there’d been speculation for a while that there was trouble in his marriage, but not to this extent. There had been rumours about Camilla, but nothing concrete. This tape turned up out of nowhere to two magazine tabloids engaged in an all out turf war in Australia, of all places. The only warning had been some very vague whisperings about a tape in the weeks beforehand that no one believed. One mag refused to publish it, because they couldn’t verify the source (IMHO I think Murdoch is still bitter about that decision). The mag that DID publish got in a LOT of trouble, but ended up making a killing off it, and a lot of recognition once the divorce happened. IT WAS THE SCANDAL OF THE 90s (if you want to call it a scandal - sorry, couldn’t help but make a Fatboy Slim reference). Later, there was a lot of speculation that the tape came from Diana herself, as a way to leverage the divorce that she desperately wanted. The recording itself is thought to have been made by MI-fucking-5. 

The really interesting thing is that this is cultural capital, even more so than the royal wedding. In Oz, MOST people of a certain age and above know this, even if they aren’t interested in it. (I grew up in an era of constant jokes about Charles and tampons). In the UK, times that by a million. So it is definitely not reaching to suggest that this is what the bears are referencing, especially in light of the phone in RBB’s hand last concert. 

Take from this what you will, babies, but I know what conclusions I’m drawing. 

The Panama Papers may actually have been a hack

Right now, the world is in the midst of the largest leak in history: the Panama Papers, a treasure trove of information about how the world’s wealthy elites hide their money away from taxation, leaked by a do-gooder who couldn’t stand to see corruption go unchecked.

But Mossack Fonseca, the firm at the center of the documents, is calling foul. They say that the leaker wasn’t an insider, but an outside hacker. That makes a huge difference.

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