Sunday, February 3, 2013

Hitting some buzzwords hard lately

Over the last week, we're seeing a lot these buzzwords (not an all-inclusive list by any means): 
  • "Media Hacking": Several stories lately about major media outlets, like New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal getting hacked.  There is speculation that these attacks were mounted by Chinese hackers, possibly looking for reporter notes and source information.  It is thought the attackers may have been lurking for anywhere from several months to several years before being discovered.  Of course there is a ton of finger pointing now related to all this. Well, yeah, if you happen to have hackers sitting in your system for months or even years, you deserve some fingers.
  • "Extremely Sophisticated Attack": Approximately 250,000 Twitter accounts were hacked recently. Depending on what numbers you believe, there are possibly around 500 million accounts active.  While the 250K is a large number of accounts, it is a relatively small percentage of accounts.  Actually with any 250K sampling, how many of those accounts are fake in the first place?
  • "Ransomware": There is another nasty little piece of code out there that will encrypt some of your files and then ask for money to put them back right.  Researchers are calling this "unusual", in that a lot of the previous types of attacks could be circumvented without paying the ransom.
  • "Sextortion": So the FBI arrests a creep this past week for trying to convince hundreds of young women to flash various body parts at him on web cams.  If they would turn him down, he would place some inappropriate photos in their Facebook accounts which he hacked.  Luckily, this guy didn't do much at all to hide his identity.  He apparently used the same IP address for logging into all these different Facebook accounts.  Unfortunately it took over a year to get the investigation to the point of making an arrest.
  • What the hell?: This one isn't IT-related.  No buzzword here.  It's one of those stories that you just have to share.  A guy was arrested in LA recently for boosting 24 quarts of oil from a Costco.  He apparently strapped them to his body under his clothes.  He then was able to run from the store and get over a fence before eventually being arrested.  My question is how does one have enough mobility to move, let alone run and go over fences, with 24 quarts of oil strapped to themselves?