Just when you thought it was safe to use your credit card we are hearing rumblings of a breach at Hilton. According to Brian Kerbs and some of our own sources a payment card breach has taken place and the only unique feature about this was that all of the affected cards were used at a Hilton Property. This is not just the regular Hilton Logo properties, but also includes Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Hampton Inn and Suites, Waldorf Astoria Hates and Resorts, and potentially others. The exact timing of the breach is unclear at the moment, but could go as far back as November 2014.
Taro Aso, the Japanese finance minister, said that the local government is still investigating the case of Mt.Gox collapse, the best known Bitcoin exchange office, which was located in Tokyo. As word of possible criminal activity behind this case, it is possible to be a responsible and serious legal consequences.
Charlie Shrem, vice president of Bitcoin Foundation, which is among other things responsible for lobbying in favor of digital currencies, was arrested earlier this week in New York. With him was arrested Robert Faiella, a senior official of the same organization.
Although many would say there are far more fake accounts, Facebook has admitted that in the past year about 76 million "fake" profiles have been opened on their service that has just over a billion users. These fall under the double accounts, wrongly classified and unwanted accounts and those where users deliberately identify themselves with a false name. In total, therefore, according to Facebook the fake accounts amount to 7% of the total number of users.
Hewlett Packard in its fiscal fourth quarter financial report included the costs in the amount of 8.8 billion dollars due to serious accounting irregularities in its subsidiary Autonomy. With this HP admitted that they bought Autonomy based on dodgy data and false accounting reports in which the data was hidden. Overall, HP in its fourth quarter had a loss of 6.9 billion dollars, while revenues were $30 billion, which is 7% lower than a year before. Throughout fiscal 2012 HP has reported a loss of $12.7 billion on revenue of $ 120.4 billion.
Although we have covered many aspects of the ridiculous charges and case against Megaupload and its founder we have only talked about how it could happen in minor detail. However, bolstered on the back of the success at using these tactics the entertainment industry has shifted its focus and is pushing these out across the globe to bring down as many sites as they can. It does not appear to matter if the sites in question are actually guilty of copyright infringement or even if they host any content. All that matters is that they want to prove conspiracy and when possible fraud and/or money laundering.
Someone over at Proview in China has been doing some thinking and is now fighting Apple in a very interesting manner. Unless you have been living under a rock you are probably aware that Pro View and Apple are in a trademark battle over the iPad name in China. The back story is a little long, but if you are interested in the whole thing you can read it here, here, and here. For the rest of you it is important to know that Apple used a special group to hide their identity from Proview during the negotiations for the iPad trademark. The company’s name was IP Application Development Limited.
When you think about social activist groups you often think of Green Peace, or maybe the Suzan Colman foundation, perhaps your mind may hit on groups like the Shriners. I do doubt that you think of Anonymous. When Anonymous comes to mind many people (too many perhaps) think “Hacker!” and all that this negative title has to offer. Anonymous does have only themselves to blame on this one though as through the years many of their members have perpetrated some very unsavory acts. The one that really comes to my mind was the releasing of personal information (including home addresses) of police officers. This act (which was, from what I hear, very unpopular even inside Anonymous) put many innocent people in danger; spouses and children to be exact.
So we are sure that the question that must be mulling around in the heads of some of the more clear thinking members of the ever changing group is; “How to change the way Anonymous is viewed by the world?” They can no longer just hack companies and gain the same level of response they once did. Defacing a web site is becoming as common and mundane as graffiti painted on the wall of an abandoned building. Sure people look at it, read about it, and then file the incident away in the “just another hacker” section of their minds. Anonymous needs something to work with that still has mystique but also hits these companies where it counts.
To accomplish this Anonymous has started their own analysis group. This group is reportedly staffed by Anonymous members whose regular jobs are in the Legal, Financial and Analytical world already. Together this new offshoot will use cough “unconventional” methods to identify and expose fraudulent activity and (as they put it) bad corporate stewardship. This type of “attack” is something that the rest of the world can understand (if not get behind). After all, while the methods differ drastically then results are identical to what the judicial branches of our respective governments claim they are working towards.
Still it is very hard to get a good feel for the motives and psychology of a collective like Anonymous. Usually to find this you look at the movies and ideology of the leader(s). With Anonymous there is no stated leader and there is no group in control. It truly is a collective. Anyone can make a suggestion and those that agree jump in. This is Anonymous’ strength and weakness. As we have seen the smaller splinter groups that have cohesion are quickly infiltrated and run to ground by law enforcement. So while not having a leader helps prevent this, it also makes keeping focus nearly impossible. This is what is responsible for the many projects that have simply died out, or never even started on the date in question. This makes me wonder how long the analytics group will stay focused and if this effort will be enough to maintain momentum, which as we have said is one of the downsides to being a true collective.
Personally, I really hope that this project can meet their stated ends and uncover some of the corruption and fraud that does exist out there. I hope that it is successful enough that some of the more subversive plans and elements will turn their efforts to this instead of releasing information that has the potential to harm innocent people; something that Anonymous claims to be very much against.
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