The anonymous social networking app Secret has been finally released for Android users. Now, if you have not heard about this then let me give you a short overview. Imagine Facebook where the images, posts and links were not related to a person, but were simply there. You would not know who they came from, but you could comment and like them all without anyone (even the original poster) knowing that you did so.
Every now and then someone makes statements that are so extreme that we really have to wonder what they were thinking and if they really believe the things they are saying. The latest statement of this type comes from former NSA head General (retired) Michael Hayden. Hayden recently spoke to the Bipartisan Policy Center about future cyber security threats. It seems that Hayden wants to put cyberactivists, groups that call for government transparency, hackers and, from the sound of it, anyone that disagrees with being spied on into the same category as al-Qaida.
Over the last few years we have followed the sorry state of cyber security in both corporate and governmental systems and have always been surprised at the solutions that they have presented. For some reason these groups want to remove responsibility from themselves for making sure their data (which in some cases is your data) is secure. This lack of corporate responsibility has led to misguided bills, acts and other nonsense that will still not do anything to stem the tide of security breaches. One of the most famous examples of this is QinetiQ.
Today I read some very interesting news. According to a few news outlets the Australian Federal Police have arrested another “leader” of the group formerly known as LulzSec. This would make the 2nd top dog of the Anonymous splinter group to have been taken in by authorities. So the question is; who is the real LulzSec leader? Is it Hector Monsegur (Sabu) who was caught in New York and turned informant for the FBI to avoid a lot of jail time or is it 24 year old Mathew Trevor Flannery who went by the name Aush0k?
As we wrote earlier today the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act has passed through the US House of Representatives. This is not an act that anyone, other than the corporations that lobbied for it, wants. CISPA brings nothing to the table that agencies already do not have, or cannot get with the right requests to the courts. Instead it removes many (almost all) individual rights and turns your private data into a commodity that can be passed around without any legal recourse.
After Anonymous pulled their support from WikiLeaks many thought the group would drift off into obscurity. After all, many in the press still think that Anonymous was formed after WikiLeaks started, so why not have that misguided opinion. The reality is that Anonymous existed long before WikiLeaks, and will continue to exist when WikiLeaks is a long forgotten memory. The collective (there is no leader despite what you might here from other media sources) has matured in many ways though, and does not appear to be hell-bent on hitting every single site that annoys them anymore. At least that is what we are seeing: there will always be members who will lash out or simply try to hack a site for the fun of it, but the collective has calmed for the most part.
Windows 8, Microsoft’s heavily cloud based operating system, is due to hit the market in four days along with their Surface RT Tablet. While Microsoft (including Bill Gates) is talking up the operating system and its virtues there are many in the industry that are concerned about what will happen once (really if) a larger number of people start using these cloud services. This is highlighted today by yet another outage at Amazon that brought down many services including Reddit.
The whistle blowing site WikiLeaks has finally stepped over an imaginary line and annoyed Anonymous their one time protector. Although there has been rumblings in the community about the direction that WikiLeaks was heading in the collective was always ready to defend the site and by-proxy its owner Julian Assange. The straw that finally broke the relationship was the creation of a “paywall” that required you to donate or to share content from the site before allowing you to get to the rest of the site. The donations were not just intended to maintain the site either, but to support site owner Julian Assange and his mounting legal bills and living expenses.
Someone is claiming that the one million UDIDs posted by Anonymous actually were taken from them and not the FBI or Apple. The company Blue Toad from Orlando FL says that they checked the pastebin file and it was a 98% match for their database. This is an interesting twist in the events that have seen Apple, the FBI and even AT&T linked to surveillance of Apple phones through the use of the UDID (Unique Device IDentifier). Apple has already stated that the UDID will no longer be supported in the next version of their iOS software that is expected to be released to the world tomorrow.
Yesterday the Internet was caught up in the fact that for some reason an FBI Special Agent had 12 Million Apple UDIDs (Unique Device IDentifiers) along with connected personal information on his laptop. At the time the reports appeared to indicate that this was an FBI-Issued laptop and not a personal one. This small detail was overshadowed by many due to how the information was uncovered. A group known as AntiSec, who is part of the larger Anonymous collective, claimed that they found it after hacking into the agent’s laptop using a fairly common tool.