Links for Episode three: Hacking

Last week the FBI announced that in July 4 million users worldwide could lose their internet connection. According to the Huffington Post everybody whose computer is infected with a certain virus is affected. The reason is a hacker ring that has been taken out by the FBI in November last year. Since the millions of infected computers were relying on the hackers’ rogue servers for their internet browsing, the police couldn’t pull the plug of the fraudulent network. Hence, the FBI replaced the rogue servers by governmental ones. However, this getting really expensive the government decided to shut their servers down at 9 July.

The FBI recommends to visit this website to find more information on the virus. Also there you will find a guide on how to figure out, if your computer is infected and what to do, if that proves to be the case.

Iran has been hit by a major cyber attack. The virus was directed at the Iranian oil ministry and its main oil export terminals and has struck its computer and internal communcations system. The Guardian quotes an Iranian IT expert who explains Iran’s fear of outside cyber attacks and hints at its efforts to create a secure nationwide intranet.

Iran’s plans of a so called “clean intranet” have been known since the beginning of April (however, denied shortly after by the Iranian Ministry for Information and Communication Technology, after a storm of outrage by the international community).

MIT students have managed to hack a huge on-campus building in order to turn it into a giant tetris game – an over 20 years old idea of MIT hacking tradition. With a controller people were even able to move, rotate and drop the blocks. The video you can check out here.

Recommendation: Mashable provides a good overview about cyber attacks – basic facts, the most common attack types and tipps for prevention.

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Links for Episode two: CISPA

After SOPA and PIPA have failed there are several bills discussed in Congress right now on internet regulation. Among these one is particularly raising eyebrows not only of civil liberty activists: the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, CISPA.

CISPA’s broad formulation and vague definitions of terms makes it highly controversial. However, in contrast to SOPA and PIPA, influential web companies are supportive of the bill. Among others, Facebook and Microsoft have endorsed CISPA. In Congress, more than 100 members are backing the bill already.

If you want to keep yourself updated, you can track the bill here.

CISPA would allow huge amounts of data to flood the government. Interesting in this context is a new research initiative on big data computing, which has been announced by the Federal Government by the beginning of April. The administration wants to invest 200 million US$ to acquire expertise on how to organize, manage and analyze huge amounts of digital data.

For the techie: IBM has been granted the patent for a multi touch smart floor. The floor can detect home intruders and can call 911 if somebody falls. Also, it is able to identify shape and weight of the objects contacting its surface.

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Links for Episode one: Tracking

Yahoo announces to join other internet browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer to implement a Do Not Track Header for their global network. However, according to the Wall Street Journal and many other sources the header may convey a false sense of web user protection.

The Do Not Track Mechanism still being subject to self-regulation the FTC calls Congress to pass a Privacy Bill of Rights – this video of Slate gives a brief overview.

In Brazil smart clothes keep students from cutting school. According to the Huffington Post 20 000 students are now wearing school uniforms with RFID chips. If students dont’t show up 20 minutes after class starts, their parents are informed via text message.

This App is better than every wingman you could possibly find. Combining data from Foursquare and Facebook it locates girls in your surroundings and serves them up on a plate to you including their profile pictures. Sick or sickening?

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