Gentlemachines
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Gentlemachines
What's new at the crossroads of culture, technology and science
Curated by Artur Alves
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Edward Snowden: The Untold Story | WIRED

Edward Snowden: The Untold Story | WIRED | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The message arrives on my “clean machine,” a MacBook Air loaded only with a sophisticated encryption package. “Change in plans,” my contact says. “Be in the lobby of the Hotel ______ by 1 pm. Bring a book and wait for ES to find you.”
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I Spent Two Hours Talking With the NSA's Bigwigs. Here's What Has Them Mad | Threat Level | Wired.com

I Spent Two Hours Talking With the NSA's Bigwigs. Here's What Has Them Mad | Threat Level | Wired.com | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
My expectations were low when I asked the National Security Agency to cooperate with my story on the impact of Edward Snowden’s leaks on the tech industry. Imagine my surprise when they agreed to let me behind the fence.
Artur Alves's insight:

Steven Levy's (short) report of his visit to the NSA. Apparently, "They really hate Snowden" and "[t]hey believe their intelligence gathering is palatable because it’s controlled by laws, regulations, and internal oversight"... Naturally.

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Cosmo, the Hacker 'God' Who Fell to Earth | Gadget Lab | Wired.com

Cosmo, the Hacker 'God' Who Fell to Earth | Gadget Lab | Wired.com | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

"With his group, UGNazi (short for “underground nazi” and pronounced “you-gee” not “uhg”), Cosmo took part in some of the most notorious hacks of the year. Throughout the winter and spring, they DDoS’ed all manner of government and financial sites, including NASDAQ, ca.gov, and CIA.gov, which they took down for a matter of hours in April. They bypassed Google two step, hijacked 4chan’s DNS and redirected it to their own Twitter feed, and repeatedly posted Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s address and Social Security number online. After breaking into one billing agency using social-engineering techniques this past May, they proceeded to dump some 500,000 credit card numbers online. Cosmo was the social engineer for the crew, a specialist in talking his way past security barriers. His arsenal of tricks held clever-yet-idiot-proof ways of getting into accounts on Amazon, Apple, AOL, PayPal, Best Buy, Buy.com, Live.com (think: Hotmail, Outlook, Xbox) and more. He can hijack phone numbers from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and your local telco."

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The 5 Biggest Cybersecurity Myths, Debunked | Opinion | WIRED

The 5 Biggest Cybersecurity Myths, Debunked | Opinion | WIRED | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
While the Internet has given us the ability to run down the answer to almost any question, cybersecurity is a realm where past myth and future hype often weave together, obscuring what actually has happened and where we really are now. If we ever want to get anything effective done in securing the online world, we have to demystify it first.
Artur Alves's insight:

Myth #1: Cybersecurity Is Unlike Any Challenge We Have Faced

Myth #2: Every Day We Face “Millions of Cyber Attacks”

Myth #3 This Is a Technology Problem

Myth #4: The Best (Cyber) Defense Is a Good (Cyber) Offense

Myth #5: “Hackers” Are the Biggest Threat to the Internet Today

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How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet | Threat Level | Wired.com

How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet | Threat Level | Wired.com | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and the other tech titans have had to fight for their lives against their own government. An exclusive look inside their year from hell—and why the Internet will never be the same.
Artur Alves's insight:

A very enterprise-friendly piece by Steven Levy. The transparency of Silicon Valley companies has always raised doubts and considered wanting.

 

"The clash illustrates a seemingly irresolvable conflict. While Silicon Valley must be transparent in many regards, spy agencies operate under a cloak of obfuscation. There is certainly a reason for the secrecy; evildoers who use an Internet service presumably would be less likely to keep using it if they were aware that the pro­vider was sharing communications with the NSA. But one of the disturbing conse­quences of secret programs is the destructive shroud of doubt they cast over every­thing they touch. Months after Snowden’s leak, basic facts about Prism remain elusive. How much information is actually collected by the program? Exactly what kind of cooperation did the companies offer after those dates specified on that NSA PowerPoint slide? The companies contend that in addition to what they can’t say, there’s plenty they don’t know.

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But even if the spy programs are viewed as justified, and whether they are tempered or not, we’re still left with the most sickening aspect of the Snowden revelations: The vast troves of information gathered from our digital activities will forever be seen as potential fodder for government intelligence agencies. A lot of people became inured to worries about Little Brother—private companies—knowing what we bought, where we were, what we were saying, and what we were searching for. Now it turns out that Big Brother can access that data too. It could not have been otherwise. The wealth of data we share on our computers, phones, and tablets is irresistible to a government determined to prevent the next disaster, even if the effort stretches laws beyond the comprehension of those who voted for them. And even if it turns the US into the number one adversary of American tech companies and their privacy-seeking customers."

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Meet ‘Flame,’ The Massive Spy Malware Infiltrating Iranian Computers

Meet ‘Flame,’ The Massive Spy Malware Infiltrating Iranian Computers | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
A massive, highly sophisticated piece of malware has been newly found infecting systems in Iran and elsewhere and is believed to be part of ...
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