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Tech News Highlights

  • Software Tools Help Hack iCloud
  • Not True A.I. ... but it's gettin' there
  • Hackers, hackers and Pics of "Hackers"

Recently there has been news of the publishing of celebrities' ... compromising pictures on the internet. These pictures were taken from their iPhone backups stored in the iCloud. The hackers used tools originally developed for law enforcement and Government surveilance use. The hackers are presumed to have downloaded a full backup of the victims' phones.

By way of: Wired

The Wham Stack Layer: In an indirect way, this demonstrates the danger of the level of access currently available to the governement and law enforcement. The tools the hackers used were meant specifically for government and law enforcement. The only information required to obtain a copy of everything stored on an iPhone is the target username and password to an iCloud account. When combined with the NSA's wiretapping abilities, this could potentially expose anything on an iPhone if the user had ever logged in to the iCloud over the internet.

"Eugene" was created by a team based in Russia, and passed the test organized by the University of Reading just barely, by duping one in three judges. It should also be noted that a chatbot successfully pretending to be a 13-year-old boy for whom English is a second language ain't exactly Hal 9000. There's no artificial intelligence at work here; it's more clever gamesmanship by Eugene's creators.


By way of Gizmodo


The Wham Stack Layer: If you check out The Turing Test entry on Wikipedia you'll see that the test is meant to determine how close a computer\program is to emulating human intelligence. The implication here is that if it passes the Turing test, it is a "Thinking Machine" or a computer equivalent of a human brain. This event doesn't mark the day when computers have become smarter than us but it does mark the day that they became capable of tricking us in to thinking they were able to Instant\Text Message with the proficiency of a 13-year-old boy.

There are good hackers, bad hackers, (in-between hackers), and then there are pictures of what people think hackers look like. How do people know what hackers look like if hackers are always locked away in a dark room with lasers and bad-ass mood lighting when their hacking ... you might ask? Well, there's this movie called ... Swordfish (you thought I was gonna say "Hackers" didn't you? i' doesn't matter they all look the same, now). To fight this visually stunning but altogether rediculous stereotype of "hackers", Hacker Dojo pulled a prank. They staged an "(evil) hacker" photo-shoot. Then WIRED (and some others) used them as stock photos of "hackers".


By way of Slate


The Wham Stack Layer: We think more people should be pranking media outlets. They're gettin' lazy. Just because you browse the web, find a really intersting story, re-word it, and make it look shiny on your page or blog doesn't make you a journalist (btw - we're an I.T. company, just sayin').