Summary of “When Chinese hackers declared war on the rest of us”

In recent years, such attacks have grown more common: hackers have taken to infecting large numbers of computers with viruses, which they then use to take control of the computers, enlisting them in the DDoS attack.
“We are currently experiencing the largest DDoS attack in GitHub’s history,” senior developer Jesse Newland wrote in a blog post almost 24 hours after the attack had begun.
In the company’s internal chat room, GitHub engineers realized they would be tackling the attack “For some time.” As the hours stretched into days, it became something of a competition between the GitHub engineers and whoever was on the other end of the attack.
As rumors abounded online, GitHub would only say, “We believe the intent of this attack is to convince us to remove a specific class of content.” About a 20-minute drive away, across San Francisco Bay, Nicholas Weaver thought he knew the culprit: China.
The cannon could also be used for other malware attacks besides denial-of-service attacks.
The GitHub attack was a rare public display of the attacking power of China’s cyber state, which usually preferred to exercise its capabilities behind the scenes.
Like police prosecuting a mob case, hackers can move up the chain, using compromised accounts to go after the ultimate targets and their associates with more believable phishing attacks.
As concerns about shadowy hackers undermining American institutions shifted from Beijing to Moscow, less attention was paid to the role of the Chinese government in future attacks.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Want to be a Hacker? Go to Dallas.”

“Okay, what’s the first rule of this place?” he asks the crowd before answering his own question: “Don’t hack the venue!” This is the monthly meeting of the Dallas Hackers Association, the largest of the local groups-for there are many more than you would expect.
MoeBius has a cool handle, but she’s not a hacker.
Her lock-picking hobby quickly became a specialty and a draw, not just at DHA but at larger hacker conferences and local cybersecurity camps for kids that are run by local colleges and the Girl Scouts.
Like pickers, a skilled hacker can either safeguard people’s belongings or gain unwanted access to something they shouldn’t.
On the main stage, an anonymous hacker describes a recent exploit he discovered.
For its part, the Dallas FBI office says that the FBI doesn’t conduct any official outreach with groups like DHA. Which is interesting phrasing, considering the number of DHA hackers who say FBI agents have quietly approached them to either help with an investigation or to build a case on someone else.
There’s now a new generation that will continue to grow Dallas’s hacker culture: “We’ve seen parents who come to learn about information security so they can get their kids into it,” Wirefall says.
“Parents who actually want their kids to become hackers? That’s awesome.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Yuval Noah Harari: the myth of freedom”

Theologians developed the idea of “Free will” to explain why God is right to punish sinners for their bad choices and reward saints for their good choices.
If our choices aren’t made freely, why should God punish or reward us for them? According to the theologians, it is reasonable for God to do so, because our choices reflect the free will of our eternal souls, which are independent of all physical and biological constraints.
Humans certainly have a will – but it isn’t free.
If governments succeed in hacking the human animal, the easiest people to manipulate will be those who believe in free will.
In order to survive and prosper in the 21st century, we need to leave behind the naive view of humans as free individuals – a view inherited from Christian theology as much as from the modern Enlightenment – and come to terms with what humans really are: hackable animals.
If humans are hackable animals, and if our choices and opinions don’t reflect our free will, what should the point of politics be? For 300 years, liberal ideals inspired a political project that aimed to give as many individuals as possible the ability to pursue their dreams and fulfil their desires.
If we understood that our desires are not the outcome of free choice, we would hopefully be less preoccupied with them, and would also feel more connected to the rest of the world.
Second, renouncing the myth of free will can kindle a profound curiosity.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How a hacker network turned stolen press releases into $100 million”

For years, Turchynov said, he’d been hacking unpublished press releases from business newswires and selling them, via Moscow-based middlemen, to stock traders for a cut of the sizable profits.
Traders who were active on US stock exchanges drew up shopping lists of company press releases and told the hackers when to expect them to hit the newswires.
The hackers would then upload the stolen press releases to foreign servers for the traders to access in exchange for 40 percent of their profits, paid to various offshore bank accounts.
Turchynov would send the stolen press releases to eggPLC and two other Moscow-based middlemen, who would pass them on to traders; the hackers would take a 40 percent cut of profits, and the middlemen took 10 percent.
In St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, and the US, the stolen press releases attracted growing groups of traders, some employed at investment companies and others working independently.
The traders would access and read the press releases on an offshore server, minimizing traces of evidence.
What likely happened, according to Austin, was that, armed with the knowledge that stolen press releases were being used on the markets, the regulators looked at logs of suspicious trades and gradually discovered that some of the entities were associated.
During pre-trial, a defense attorney referred to a sealed affidavit saying that the FBI has identified more than 100 individuals who traded on the hacked information.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Russia Indictment 2.0: What to Make of Mueller’s Hacking Indictment”

Observers of the Mueller investigation have been expecting it for a long time, particularly since the Feb. 16 indictment of 13 Russian individuals and three companies over the social media campaign conducted by the so-called Internet Research Agency.
If the hacking indictment was generally expected, nobody seemed to see it coming this week before today’s announcement of an 11:45 am press conference.
On June 8, 2016-one day before the Trump Tower meeting at which Russian actors met with senior Trump campaign officials promising “Dirt” on Hillary Clinton-the indictment alleges that the conspirators launched the website DCLeaks.com, which they labeled as being started by “American hacktivists.” That month, according to the indictment, the group began releasing materials it had stolen from individuals tied to the Clinton campaign as well as documents stolen from other operations dating to 2015, including emails from individuals affiliated with the Republican Party.
In mid-June 2016, when the Democrats publicly acknowledged that they had been hacked, the indictment alleges that the conspirators created the online persona Guccifer 2.0, which they described as a “Lone Romanian hacker” to undermine claims of Russian responsibility for the hacks.
After the FBI issued an alert in August 2016 about the hacking of the state election board, Kovalev erased his search history, and he and his co-conspirators erased records from the accounts they used in hacking election boards and related entities, according to the indictment.
This indictment provides a great deal of information about the extent and internal structure of the Russian government side of the 2016 hacking operation.
Second, and perhaps more important, the indictment alleges that the criminal hacking conspiracy was ongoing at the time individuals in the Trump campaign were in contact with charged and uncharged Russian conspirators, raising the possibility of more straightforward aiding and abetting liability.
This indictment represents a tightening of the ring in the story of criminal prosecution for the 2016 election hacking.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why a DNA data breach is much worse than a credit card leak”

Though the hackers only accessed encrypted emails and passwords – so they never reached the actual genetic data – there’s no question that this type of hack will happen more frequently as consumer genetic testing becomes more and more popular.
One simple reason is that hackers might want to sell DNA data back for ransom, says Giovanni Vigna, a professor of computer science at UC Santa Barbara and co-founder of cybersecurity company Lastline.
There are plenty of players interested in DNA: researchers want genetic data for scientific studies, insurance companies want genetic data to help them calculate the cost of health and life insurance, and police want genetic data to help them track down criminals, like in the recent Golden State Killer case.
Already, we lack robust protections when it comes to genetic privacy, and so a genetic data breach could be a nightmare.
In the future, if genetic data becomes commonplace enough, people might be able to pay a fee and get access to someone’s genetic data, too, the way we can now to access someone’s criminal background.
As the Equifax hack last year showed, there’s a lack of legislation governing what happens to data from a breach.
Ultimately, a breach of genetic data is much more serious than most credit breaches.
Genetic information is immutable: Vigna points out that it’s possible to change credit card numbers or even addresses, but genetic information cannot be changed.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Here Are Your Best Parenting Hacks”

We held a contest over on the Offspring Facebook group, asking members to give us their best parenting hacks.
It’s a much more inviting conversation opener than the dreaded “How was your day?” Congratulations, Christopher!
Teach “Waiting fingers”My 2-year-old was struggling with waiting and whining for a while, so I came up with ‘waiting fingers.
‘ Whenever she has to wait for something, I have her wiggle her fingers furiously.
It has really helped, and now she’ll do ‘waiting fingers’ quietly and unprompted when she has to wait.
Kristin T.Make a toy condo “My 4-year-old son has way too many stuffed toys so we built a ‘toy condo’ out of 10 small cardboard boxes.
We went from dawdling around for fifteen minutes with underwear around the ankles to fully dressed in three minutes flat.
Anna r. Join us for more conversations on parenting hacks and more in our Facebook group!

The orginal article.

Summary of “A brief history of Bitcoin hacks and frauds”

Over the years, the Bitcoin world has been plagued by hacks, scams, and abusive practices.
Here we present a short history of the Bitcoin world’s most significant scams and hacks.
As far as we know, the Bitcoin network itself is highly secure, though of course that’s little comfort if you entrust your bitcoins to a third party that gets hacked.
June 2011: Bitcoin user loses $500,000 in bitcoin to hackers.
The Bitcoin world’s biggest financial fiasco was the collapse of Mt. Gox-then the world’s leading Bitcoin exchange-in 2014.
A Russian man named Alexander Vinnik was the owner and operator of a competing Bitcoin exchange called BTC-e. The feds allege that he knowingly accepted stolen bitcoins from Mt. Gox and laundered them through his own bitcoin exchange.
In January 2015, the popular Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp reported that it had lost around 19,000 bitcoins, then worth about $5 million.
In August 2016, the Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex announced that hackers had stolen $77 million worth of bitcoins.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Motherboard Guide to Not Getting Hacked”

One of the questions we are asked most often at Motherboard is “How can I prevent myself from getting hacked?”.
The future is probably not going to get better, with real-life disasters caused by internet-connected knick-knacks, smart home robots that could kill you, flying hacker laptops, and the dangers of hackers getting your genetic data.
You, as an individual user, can’t do anything to prevent your email provider, or the company that holds your financial details, from getting hacked.
THREAT MODELING. Everything in this guide starts with “Threat modeling,” which is hacker lingo for assessing how likely it is you are going to get hacked or surveilled.
Some password managers store your passwords encrypted in the cloud, so even if the company gets hacked, your passwords will be safe.
The password manager LastPass has been hacked at least twice, but no actual passwords were stolen because the company stored them securely.
Antiviruses are actually, and ironically, full of security holes, but if you’re not a person who’s at risk of getting targeted by nation-state hackers or pretty advanced criminals, having antivirus is still a good idea.
The security tips provided earlier in this guide still apply: If you can protect yourself from getting hacked, you will have a better shot at preventing yourself from being surveilled.

The orginal article.