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For years, Turchynov said, he’d been hacking unpublished press releases from business newswires and selling them, via Moscow-based middlemen, to stock traders for a cut of the sizable profits.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.

Summary of “Security Breach and Spilled Secrets Have Shaken the N.S.A. to Its Core”

Fifteen months into a wide-ranging investigation by the agency’s counterintelligence arm, known as Q Group, and the F.B.I., officials still do not know whether the N.S.A. is the victim of a brilliantly executed hack, with Russia as the most likely perpetrator, an insider’s leak, or both.
There is broad agreement that the damage from the Shadow Brokers already far exceeds the harm to American intelligence done by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor who fled with four laptops of classified material in 2013.Mr. Snowden’s cascade of disclosures to journalists and his defiant public stance drew far more media coverage than this new breach.
“Is NSA chasing shadowses?” the Shadow Brokers asked in a post on Oct. 16, mocking the agency’s inability to understand the leaks and announcing a price cut for subscriptions to its “Monthly dump service” of stolen N.S.A. tools.
Long known mainly as an eavesdropping agency, the N.S.A. has embraced hacking as an especially productive way to spy on foreign targets.
There were PowerPoint presentations and other files not used in hacking, making it unlikely that the Shadow Brokers had simply grabbed tools left on the internet by sloppy N.S.A. hackers.
N.S.A. employees say that with thousands of employees pouring in and out of the gates, and the ability to store a library’s worth of data in a device that can fit on a key ring, it is impossible to prevent people from walking out with secrets.
The third is Reality Winner, a young N.S.A. linguist arrested in June, who is charged with leaking to the news site The Intercept a single classified report on a Russian breach of an American election systems vendor.
American officials believe Russian intelligence was piggybacking on Kaspersky’s efforts to find and retrieve the N.S.A.’s secrets wherever they could be found.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The World Once Laughed at North Korean Cyberpower. No More.”

A South Korean lawmaker last week revealed that the North had successfully broken into the South’s military networks to steal war plans, including for the “Decapitation” of the North Korean leadership in the opening hours of a new Korean war.
The North is not motivated solely by politics: Its most famous cyberattack came in 2014, against Sony Pictures Entertainment, in a largely successful effort to block the release of a movie that satirized Mr. Kim.What has not been disclosed, until now, is that North Korea had also hacked into a British television network a few weeks earlier to stop it from broadcasting a drama about a nuclear scientist kidnapped in Pyongyang.
Now intelligence officials estimate that North Korea reaps hundreds of millions of dollars a year from ransomware, digital bank heists, online video game cracking, and more recently, hacks of South Korean Bitcoin exchanges.
In some cases, like that of New Zealand, North Korean hackers were simply routing their attacks through the country’s computers from abroad. In others, researchers believe they are now physically stationed in countries like India, where nearly one-fifth of Pyongyang’s cyberattacks now originate.
Seven months later, during joint military exercises between American and South Korean forces, North Korean hackers, operating from computers inside China, deployed a very similar cyberweapon against computer networks at three major South Korean banks and South Korea’s two largest broadcasters.
Like Iran’s Aramco attacks, the North Korean attacks on South Korean targets used wiping malware to eradicate data and paralyze their business operations.
North Korean hackers’ fingerprints showed up in a series of attempted attacks on so-called cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea, and were successful in at least one case, according to researchers at FireEye.
At a recent meeting of American strategists to evaluate North Korea’s capabilities, some participants expressed concerns that the escalating cyberwar could actually tempt the North to use its weapons – both nuclear and cyber – very quickly in any conflict, for fear that the United States has secret ways to shut the country down.

The orginal article.